Which? tests over 2,700 products a year, and we always do our best to make sure our reviews reflect real-life use as closely as possible. But sometimes there’s nothing to replace a testimonial from a real person…
Every now and then, long-term use of a product can find unexpected quirks that weren’t revealed in the testing process.
For instance, our very own Martyn Saville from Money Research shared his experience of setting up a fridge in his kitchen in a very different manner to how we would in the test lab:
‘It would be good to know what weight a fridge freezer can take on top of it before it complains. I’ve got a mini-freezer that I put on top of my fridge freezer, but the latter made loud complaining noises until I removed the second smaller freezer.’
I used to keep a microwave on top of my own fridge freezer myself without any problems, but Martyn’s experience raises an interesting thought for how we could further adapt our tests to mimic everyday use of a product.
Another great example from Conversation editor Hannah Joliffe, who owned an HTC phone which she loved using, except for the one frustration that she couldn’t find the £-sign on any of the keyboard menus (some digging around with the Tech team uncovered it eventually!)
‘My phone didn’t come with a printed manual, so you just have to work these things out for yourself. In this case the £-sign was hidden in a sub menu of a sub menu – hardly easy to locate!’
Tell us and we’ll tell manufacturers
Letting us know about quirks like this gives us a great opportunity to feed back to manufacturers on how they can improve their products. In the last month alone I’ve spoken to representatives from Samsung and Sony to share feedback from our members as well as findings from our tests, and throughout the year Which? works closely with manufacturers to let them know the issues we’re finding with their products.
That’s why all of our online reviews allow Which? members to add their own views and opinions on the products they own. By sharing your experiences with us, we can contact manufacturers about problems or even adapt our testing to respond to new suggestions.
Have you had any unusual experiences of owning a product in the last few years? Let us know here, or add your own comments to the Which? review of your product so you can share your experiences with a much wider audience.