/ Technology

This week in comments – Scottish Power, Google and SWT

Stop painted on road

We’ve considered stopping lots of things this week, from Google’s end to old web browser support to the sexualisation of kids. Or maybe you’d like to stop commuting in favour of a smaller salary and better lifestyle?

Is the internet a human right?

The United Nations thinks so, but Mal feels other things are more important:

‘Yes where it’s possible people should have access to the internet, but I expect in poor countries people would rather have food and shelter first.

‘In the UK many low income people use the connection at the library, but now many charge for this or the library has been closed down. BT should provide a basic low cost connection to all low income homes who want it.’

Good on Google for stopping old web browser support

Google will soon stop supporting old browsers, like Internet Explorer 7, and Marks’ glad:

‘It’s not a problem at all. Updating a browser is (usually) free and can be done with a click.’

But Fat Sam sees it from a different perspective:

‘Unfortunately it is a problem for those surfing from business networks. IT staff have enough things to worry about than updating hundreds of workstations on a regular basis.’

It’s right to stop the sexualisation of kids

We asked what you thought of the Bailey Review, which was published this week. Kate works for a well-known brand and gave us an insight into their approach:

‘I work as a designer for a large well-known brand, particularly directed towards children’s products. It is (and always has been) strictly unacceptable for us to create clothing with age-inappropriate messages and slogans. If we receive complaints from mothers, we risk damaging our strength of core family values. Kids should be kids and it’s as simple as that.’

Children’s Food also welcomed the report, but thought it was lacking in certain areas:

‘This review is meant to have taken into account the views of parents. Research by the British Heart Foundation shows that over two-thirds of parents favour a 9pm watershed for junk food marketing – yet food marketing doesn’t get a single mention in the report.’

Scottish Power increase prices, but I’ve got the power to leave

Scottish Power announced 19% energy price rises this week. Lombear’s one of its customers:

‘I am with them but capped until next year thankfully and they were very cheap when I signed up. Of course I will have to move or renegotiate once the term is up. However, what really grates is the complete lack of price drops when wholesale prices go down.’

Would you commute longer for a bigger pay packet?

Data reveals that Londoners commute for longer and for higher salaries, but would you travel long hours for more money? Simon says those days are over for him:

‘Short commute hands down. I used to spend three hours a day on trains getting in and out of work in London. It was a hellish experience. My quality of life improved dramatically when I changed jobs to be closer to home.’

Were you stranded by South West Trains last night?

Following the stress caused by South West Train delays, Charlotte feels there should be compensation. Victoria Stewert agrees and gets our Comment of the Week:

‘I was stuck on the 6:05 train going back home to Southampton for hours. We (a colleague and I) abandoned all hope of getting a train home and, with two fellow passengers, got a taxi to Basingstoke where we got picked up.

‘I will be writing to the company to claim back my portion of the taxi fare, food I bought, the price of my ticket for the journey and letting them know my disgust of how they treated their customers. I would urge anyone who feels as strongly as I do to do the same.’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read the full comments on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).


In the past week the most popular topic has been the one suggesting the need for an independent review to consider whether cheques should be withdrawn.

Much of the discussion recycles points made in earlier Conversations, providing clear examples that demonstrate the need to keep cheques. Those who are keen to abolish cheques seem to be thinking only of their own needs or those of the companies they work for. An independent review would demonstrate that we need to keep cheques for the time being, and would just be a waste of money. I hope that Which? will push for retention of cheques.

Though there is a need to keep cheques, it would be useful to encourage people to take advantage of alternative ways of transferring money where these are available. Ideally, cheques would only be used where there is no suitable alternative.