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Which? Convo in 2011 – the best Conversations of the year

What a year for Which? Conversation! Not only have we popped our first award into our trophy cabinet, we’ve had a bumper year of popular posts. So here’s our run down of the best Conversations of 2011…

Since Which? Conversation launched in 2010, we’ve published over 1,500 posts, on which there have been 26,000 comments. You’ve made over 75,000 votes on nearly 150 polls, and over 65,000 thumb votes across comments and articles.

But you’re not here for a maths lesson! Let’s get moving to the content that’s got you tapping on your keyboards – here are our top Convos of 2011.

Shining a light on bulbs

Many of you aren’t enjoying the change from incandescent to energy saving light bulbs. It’s wound people up so much that over 500 comments have been made on our ‘farewell to 60 watt bulbs‘ – that makes it our most popular Conversation of all time!

Beko’s fridge freezers set the comments alight

When the London fire brigade put out a warning about Beko’s fridge freezers, we were there to help you get your fridge checked. With almost 400 comments, it’s our second most commented Convo, with the whole ordeal leading many of you to lose faith in Beko.

Squeezing the Orange

In November, hundreds of you shared your frustration with Orange’s price rise. We took your comments straight to Ofcom and Orange, and though the rise still went ahead, we hope to ensure any such contract terms are made clearer to customers in the future.

And tonight we’re joined by…

It’s been a bumper year for guest posts – politicians, organisations and celebrities have joined us to have their say. We’ve had Vince Cable talking about bank reform, Richard Wilson criticising automated services and Greenpeace UK calling the fashion police over chemicals in clothes. We’ve had over 20 guest posts in total, so check them out!

Want viewfinders? You’ve got it

We want to bring back digital camera viewfinders. Why? Because you want them! After canvassing opinion here on Which? Convo, your resounding support drove us to take our campaign straight to the manufacturers. Some have already responded with their own digi cameras with viewfinders – let’s hope we’re in store for more in 2012.

Supporting our campaign to ban ‘rip off’ surcharges

You’ve been with us every step of the way in our campaign to stop ‘rip off’ card surcharges, from the day we submitted our super complaint, to the government announcing a ban. And we’ve had lots of other campaign success – read about them in our reminiscing round-up.

It’s a supermarket clean sweep

Whether it’s about price wars or trying to work out the cost of a banana, everyone’s had something to say about supermarkets. They’re taking over our high streets, as Tesco can attest, and they’re doing a damn good job of dominating Which? Convo as well – more often than not with you sharing your supermarket bugbears.

Winter tyre tests? Done

After such a loud call from Convo commenters for us to test winter tyres, the Which? Car team has worked hard to fulfil that request, publishing full winter tyre tests in time for Christmas.

We’ve got to be smart

Energy suppliers are busy rolling out smart meters, but not everyone wants one. After over 450 comments across two Conversations, we’ve listened to your concerns and are now busy reviewing the roll-out. You’ll hear more about the results of our investigation in the new year…

Don’t scrap Isas!

When a political think tank suggested Isas should be scrapped, we knew there was one group who wouldn’t stay silent – Which? Convo readers! You came in your droves to vote in our poll – 2,919 of you told us Isas must stay put.

You ask, Which? answers

We launched our ‘Ask Which?’ features in 2011, where Which? experts answer the questions you’ve emailed. And, where possible, we’ve stepped in to help, such as assisting Terry to get redress from Kwikfit, and helping Emma reduce her mobile bill from £12,000 to under £200.

Are wine clubs to your taste or a load of plonk?

When our experts reviewed wine clubs, we didn’t expect so many personal experiences, let alone to be joined by a scattering of wine makers and the wine clubs themselves. So, here’s a toast to all of them.

Royal Mail – the holy grail for comments

We just have to whisper the words ‘Royal Mail’ for people to come and comment. Our Royal Mail investigation inspired many of you to share your experiences – and if our poll is anything to go by they’re almost equally split between positive (41%) and negative (45%).

Cyclists and motorists go head to head

The popularity of our Conversation on whether cyclists should pay to use the roads had to be our biggest surprise of the year, with a battle ignited between motorists and cyclists. Should cyclists pay some sort of road tax? No, according to 59% of the 1,002 who voted in our poll.

Why so serious?

But we’re not always deadpan. In fact, we like to sprinkle light-hearted Conversations about the place. I launched my own mini-campaign to stop the spread of mayonnaise, Victoria Pearson had a good old moan about the length of cinema adverts, and Hannah Jolliffe started her ‘wonky challenge’ to get you eating misshapen fruit’n’veg.

So there’s our round-up of the best Convos of 2011! We wouldn’t have enjoyed so many bustling posts if it wasn’t for each and every one of you, so thanks for all your comments and here’s to an even bigger 2012! Which Conversations stood out for you this year?


Happy New Year to all staff at Which? Conversation and thanks for an interesting variety of topics to argue about. 🙂