/ Shopping

The Convo top ten – the first of the year

2011 numbers with streamers

Not only are we celebrating the start of the year at Which? Convo, we’ve also completed our first six months! The debates have been varied and heated, but let’s not stop now – here’s this week’s top Conversations.

Our New Year resolutions

Have you made any New Year resolutions? If you haven’t had a chance, we’re here to help. Some of the Which? Tech team has run down their technology resolutions, with Laura Starkey offering her canny financial resolutions.

January sales and VAT rise

Have you shopped in any January sales this year? Nikki Whiteman doesn’t think it’s worth digging for bargains. Or maybe you’ve been put off by the latest rise in VAT? Though commenter Rarrar isn’t convinced, ‘I suspect that the extra 2.5% on VAT should not affect most people’s shopping habits.’

Travel costs on the rise

January has been a month of increased travel costs, with train prices going up by as much as 15% on some lines. Cat was ‘nearly poleaxed with shock’ when she saw the price of her ticket. And motorists haven’t got it any better, with fuel costs also on the up. Have you been enraged by the latest travel price rises?

Too many tablets to swallow at CES 2011

The Which? Tech team is working hard in Los Angeles at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. But rather than being chatted up by a bunch of TVs as usual, it’s tablet PCs that are overwhelming them. Has the iPad started a fad you’ll ever buy into?

Supermarkets don’t follow through with special offers

We love a good moan about rubbish supermarket special offers on Which? Convo, but this just takes the biscuit. Supermarkets are listing special offers online but when your shopping turns up, their discounted prices aren’t honoured as the ‘deal has expired’. Unbelievable.

How natural are ‘green’ gardening products?

Using ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘chemical free’ gardening products to ward off unwanted pests and bugs is very tempting. But many are not as natural as they claim to be. Have you spotted any misleading ‘green’ claims on your gardening products?

Can volunteers fill the spending gap?

With public spending cuts set to bite in the next few years, the government has called on volunteers to make up the shortfall. Richard has volunteered for 60 years, but he did this because he ‘wanted to – not because [he] was coerced into it’. Do you think volunteers should run essential services?

Does BT’s move signal an end for net neutrality?

BT this week announced that it’s going to offer faster internet to video-based websites if they want, or can, pay for the privilege. Do you think that’s right, or do you believe it will destroy the open and neutral internet that we currently enjoy?

Why can’t all chargers be universal?

How many times have you rifled through a mass of tangled cables looking for the right charger? Wouldn’t it be so much easier if all gadgets came with a universal charger? Or maybe that’d be too good to be true, as Pete says ‘there is big money in [proprietary adaptors]’.

Are massive mark-ups on used video games fair?

If you’ve ever tried to sell a second-hand video game to a high street store you may have been disappointed by the price offered. Our recent investigation found that you can get as little as £6 for a recent game. Waylander101 says ‘it’s a con we’ve all been buying into for years’ but Lombear thinks that ‘if people were not happy with the value they wouldn’t do it’.