Happy New Year! Another year over and another just begun. We provided the big debates of 2013 and you dutifully joined in. Here’s our round up of the top 10 most popular – what was your favourite debate of 2013?
Spare a thought for spare wheels
You’ve been driving us spare over the years (I’m too pleased with that double pun) with your comments about spare wheels. And almost 300 comments were made in 2013 about the lack of full-size spare wheels in new cars. Will manufacturers provide them in 2014?
Dialling up the pressure
Together we made a nuisance of ourselves in 2013, with record comments about nuisance calls and texts. Your stories helped launch our Calling Time campaign, which has now surpassed 100,000 signatures. Here on Which? Convo, 2,172 comments were made on our launch post, making it our most popular of all time.
Getting in a state over pensions
When we revealed our research comparing state pensions around the world, the debate took off in a big way. 603 comments discussed whether Britain was properly looking after its elderly population. Mike commented:
‘Our treatment of pensioners in terms of pension and social health care in later life is a national disgrace!’
Good reception for our LED research
‘I purchased a Roberts Ecologic [DAB radio] at the same time that I replaced the bathroom lights with LEDs. I just accepted that there was no reception in the bathroom but following your article I tried with the lights OFF. The radio worked fine! Bathing in the dark from now on.’
Calling all commenters
In August, 99% of more than 6,000 of you told us companies should ditch high rate numbers for their helplines. So, in September, we launched our Costly Calls campaign. When we achieved our first win, nearly 1,000 celebratory comments were made. Comments like this one from Paganlady, make it my personal stand out moment of 2013:
‘Thank goodness we have a consumer group that actually fights for the people. Without Which? continually campaigning so many of us would have even less money.’
Imperial measurements rule
Here’s another familiar face. It seems 2012’s debate about imperial vs metric measurements only touched the surface. More than 450 comments were added to our 2013 Conversation about the potential return of imperial measurements to the classroom. Alex B commented:
‘In a country that decided to go metric in the 1960s […] we should be ending any education in imperial units and using the resources to complete the job properly.’
Baby, it’s cold outside
When we revealed that keeping your freezer in an unheated garage could void your warranty, the debate went off with 176 comments. 84% admitted they kept their freezer in a garage, and we heard many stories of long-living freezers, such as Graham’s:
‘I bought a BeeKay (Bauknecht) large chest freezer for my garage in 1971 and it’s still working well!’
Fixing the world one comment at a time
We enjoyed a big campaign win in 2013 when Ofcom announced that you’d be able to leave your mobile contract without penalty following price hikes. Our Fixed Means Fixed campaign was born from your comments, and you were there for us again when you made 171 comments to feed into Ofcom’s consultation.
Empathy and apathy for homeopathy
Like nutritional therapy in 2012, homeopathy was the controversial talking point of 2013. The topic was so popular that it’s the only time we’ve published a round-up of a previous comment round-up, with 1,174 comments made across our three homeopathy posts. Even Ben Goldacre joined in!
Who’s on the guest list?
Sense About Science’s guest post on miracle cures also struck a nerve. With 760 comments, it was our most popular guest contribution. And we had many other guest posts – we’ve featured contributions from organisations including the Trading Standards, the RNIB, Co-op Energy, EDF, The Soil Association and Talk Talk. A whole host of MPs also came to Which? Conversation to hear your views, from Jo Swinson to Tim Yeo. And Jamie Oliver wrote for us too.
Then we heard from consumers themselves. Naomi Milward shared her battle with an insurance company, Skint Dad shared his experiences with payday loans, and Lee Beaumont‘s story of charging cold callers with his own 0871 number went global.
Thanks to every one of you for shaping Which? Convo’s debates in 2013. What was your most memorable Conversation from last year?