/ Money, Technology, Which? Membership

Welcome to the new Which? Conversation

Fireworks

Welcome to the new Which? Conversation website. Read on to hear about some of the site’s new features.

Following feedback from our community, we’ve been hard at work redeveloping Which? Convo. I’m very pleased to unveil it today, and I’d love to hear any feedback you have. Here’s a brief round up of some of the new features, but I’m happy to answer any questions you have in the comments.

Finding conversations you’re interested in

There are now nine Which? Convo topics – find them at the top of the site or on our homepage. So if you want to chat about slow broadband speeds, head on over to Technology. Peeved about supermarket special offers? Shopping’s where you need to be.

Within each topic you’ll find communities of people interested in the same stuff, so watch out for car enthusiasts in Motoring or financial experts in Money.

Your own profile

Everyone now has their own profile, not just authors!

Sign in with your existing Which? Convo credentials, then have a look at your profile to find a list of all the comments you’ve made. If there have been any replies to your comments, you’ll be notified of them here too. You can even @mention people in your comments – try @patrick and I’ll be alerted!

You can add some information about yourself, including any hobbies and interests. This will help others with similar interests find you in our new Community Members search page. And if you find someone you like, you can add them as a friend – this means you can more easily see what they’ve been talking about by filtering by ‘My friends’ on our Recent Activity page.

Recent activity

What’s the Recent Activity page? Well we heard you loud and clear that you were fed up with only being able to see just nine of the latest comments on our homepage. So rather than just increasing the number of comments you could see by a small amount, we thought we’d let you access all the comments that have ever been made in the past five years. That’s what the Recent Activity page is for – you can filter by comments, Convos, what your friends are saying, and more. If you want to come back to one of those comments so you can reply later, add it as a ‘favourite’ then you can filter by just your favourites too.

Got an idea for a convo?

You can now share your ideas for new conversations in our Ideas lounge. And if you’re not feeling inspired, why not vote for the ideas others have shared?

We’ll regularly check out your ideas and will be interested to see how popular they are with the community. We’ll let you know whether we’ve picked one of your ideas and may be in touch to ask if you’d like to write it!

Much, much more

You now have the chance to edit your comments for 15 minutes after you posted them, meaning you can now say goodbye to those peskey pesky typos. If you feel so inclined, you can sign in with your Twitter, Facebook or Google+ account – that makes registration all the quicker and will use your name and photo from your chosen account.

There are all sorts of other new things that I’ll leave you to discover, but in short welcome to the new Which? Convo! I know it’ll take some time to get used to, but I hope you like it. Of course, as with any new site launch there will be things we need to fix, so if you spot anything, please just add a comment here and I’ll look into it. Finally, a big thanks to all those who were involved in testing the website – we couldn’t have done it without you.

If you need any help finding your way around the new Which? Conversation, we have a Help Getting Started guide as well as a Frequently Asked Questions guide.

If you would like to discuss the closure of Which.net, you can do so in this dedicated discussion area.

Comments

Hey all,

We’ve just deployed a fix for the edit button and double spacing issue when editing comments, so you should be able to edit your comments from now.

You may need to empty your cache and refresh the page for the change to take effect.

As always we’ll be monitoring for any issues, so please do shout if something goes awry.

Thanks for your patience on this.

Thanks for fixing these @jon-stricklin-coutinho.

I have another query.

Very often when I post images they end up in the wrong place, and the only way I have found to get around it is by putting a single character on a line hence the full stops as the space bar doesn’t seem to count.

This morning I wrote ‘You then see this screen’ but the image placed itself before that sentence!!!

Here’s a suggestion, Alfa. When adding an image after text press Enter once and Shift + Enter twice and then add the image. This puts the image in the right place with a gap above the image. Well it works on a Mac…

Thanks wavechange, just noticed your reply so will try your suggestion next time.

There seems to a problem with logging in.

Internet Explorer won’t log in at all, Firefox recognised me eventually.

Yep; I noticed FF is not displaying correctly after log in.

@jon-stricklin-coutinho
Jon, there is still a problem logging in.

I just logged in to post then went to the front page. My post did not appear in latest comments and I was logged out. F5 refresh did not make me appear.

When I arrived at this page, I was logged in !!!

Thanks for flagging @alfa. This one has been a bit of a tricky error with what happens after you log in. It should trigger a page refresh, however it hasn’t been consistent in doing so (this is why you’re logged in when you come to a different page, but aren’t logged in when you refresh the page).

I’ll speak with the team on where we are with a fix.

Just to flag up, we’re continuing to experience some intermittent issues with the site login, wherein it may appear that you are not logged in on the home page, however are logged in when you navigate to a specific discussion outside of the homepage.

Some have also experienced errors, where comments may not appear to have been posted and the act of posting a comment may appear to have logged you out. In these instances it is likely that you are in fact logged in and your comment has been posted, however it may take some time to appear.

Our Dev team are aware of this and working on a fix. In the mean time we recommend:

  • Logging out of Which? Conversation completely
  • Clearing your browser’s cache
  • Logging back into Which? Conversation

While this does not eliminate the issue completely, it does seem to reduce its frequency.

Thanks for your patience on this, and please do comment here or contact us if we can help in any way

I’m still having problems every day or two, Jon. Quitting the browser and reopening it usually does the trick. I see that Ian and Vynor have made recent comments about logging-in too.

Updating on the login issue:

As before, the prevailing theory is that this is an issue with browser caching rather than with the actual login function – the login process has in fact completed successfully, however your browser isn’t loading the new logged in data as it should be.

Clearing your browser’s cache and doing a hard refresh of the page has offered some limited respite to this, however in most cases the issue does reoccur after logging in and loading a page. This may be due to how the data’s being pulled from the server – part of the page may be loading from one’s cache, while the rest loads from the server, thus creating the discrepancies in functionality.

Based on your comments it seems that this happens in the Lobby most often? Are there any others you’ve logged in, navigated to and then apparently been logged out of?

The logging in process continues to be flawed. Now, this is all in relation to the Lobby as that’s where I’m finding numerous and quite possibly interrelated issues arising.

My start point is always the lobby, to which I navigate through the All Recent Activity listing.

Initially, I appear to be logged in as I open the ‘post comment’ box. However. the top of the page still reveals the ‘sign in’ invitation, as though the system hasn’t really comprehended that I am signed in.

I attempt to sign in but the sign in dialogue fails to appear. The page refreshes itself, but nothing else happens.

So I complete making the post, anyway (as life is too short) and the box vanishes, as it always does, but the post fails to appear. Here’s where it gets interesting.

I’ve discovered that if I enter a short string of characters–asdf, for example–the message is accepted, then all I have to do is use the edit facility and the message than appears. The obvious question is why?

Finally, and for no apparent reason, the log in process appears to function, as though it’s thinking to itself ‘Well I’ve made him wait a few minutes and annoyed him, so now I’ll let him in.’

At that point, it’s often happened that each of the previous comments, posted while not logged in, will suddenly sport my usual moniker.

So, to summarise:

1. Log in issue with getting dialogue box to appear
2. Log in issue because system doesn’t accept log in request.
3. Refusal to accept post.
4. System accepts five character strings which can then be edited but not a complete post.

This issue was first flagged on 16.7.20.

Agree with all of the above Jon. I wouldn’t like to describe this site in terms of personal traits, but it does seem to be having quite a number of glitches over the past year, which you always seem to be in the process of fixing and never quite succeeding in doing. Might you, therefore, begin to look for a different software base that has a more robust structure and doesn’t fall over when items are altered or become disjointed? I wonder what conclusions you would come to if you were testing this site in the magazine and rating it for its reliability?

I’m seeing these issues too.

I sometimes have to quit my browser to be able to log-in and post, occasionally more than once a day. There have been periodic log-in issues for years.

A couple of days ago I noticed a post that included promotional material. The ‘Report’ button was missing so I did a reply to the offending post (just a full stop) and tried to report my own post. I initially chose ‘Other’, with the intention of pointing out that the contributor’s profile also contained promotional information. That did not work because it produced a message ‘Cheating huh’, so I just had to choose the option that the post contained promotional material.

I have used the ‘Other’ option a couple of times to report my own posts that I would like removed ASAP and that worked fine. In one case I had posted a link to a form that included my postcode rather than the blank form. I’m not sure how I could be cheating by reporting my own post but it seems that a useful facility has been removed.

I saw that and wondered what it was doing there. Which? seems keen to moderate our thoughts but this slipped through the net. Well done for doing more about it than I did!

I’m sure there is a good reason, Vynor. Maybe Jon will explain.

Interestingly, I did the same, recently. Heard nothing and the reported post remained in situ.

Not sure if this is the right place for it, but I would like to suggest a new convo topic, and I’d like a Which Legal expert to write it

Many people living in care homes have passed away from coronavirus. But there’s been no word from the government or Which Legal on who is responsibly negligent, and who should be paying recompense to the bereaved families for the early, preventable death of their loved ones

Who is responsible for the care home deaths caused by coronavirus?

The care home provider? The government? Or the family members who put them there?

And how can people choose a good care home guaranteed to stay free of the virus?

a – My view is that there is a general presumption that death has occurred due to natural causes and that no liability attaches to the accommodation provider, other members of the family, or the government. The cause of death will have been determined and certified by at least one doctor and unless there were extraordinary circumstances the Coroner would not be involved.

People who are looked after in residential care homes [as distinct from general residential homes not providing continuous clinical care] are there for the reason that they suffer from illnesses or conditions, often age-related but not exclusively so, which make them much more susceptible than normal to infections and contagions of many different types, a viral infection being one of them. Distasteful though it might be to state this, but they are there entirely at their own risk.

It is very unfortunate when care home residents, who have been living reasonably comfortably with the aid of the medical support provided through treatment and medication, die following the introduction into the accommodation of a deadly virus but I cannot see that it is in the public interest to identify a responsible party for the death. It will also not be possible to determine whether or not it was they who brought the infection into the home.

Care home residents are regarded as having elected to live in the accommodation, generally because they are at much lower risk than if they continued to live in their own home or with other members of their family [if any]. I appreciate that the prevalence of a virus in the community can change the balance of that risk assessment but I do not think it upsets it entirely. Many believe that living in a care home would be expected to extend people’s lives rather than shorten them and I expect that remains the case even during an epidemic that disproportionately affects care home residents where age and the body’s reduced resistance are the major contributing factors.

Most care homes are operated by private companies and there are contracts between them and the residents if they have capacity or, if not, with those who have a power or attorney or a legal responsibility for them [such as a local social services authority or a health authority]. I have not seen a typical contract but I would expect it to exclude any liability unless there was a clear case of negligence that a court would have to determine.

Families are not usually placing their relatives in homes without their consent even if they make the necessary arrangements or provide the funding; so far as practical the individual makes the decision to live in a care home unless they have a legal agreement in place for someone else to act on their behalf. I don’t believe families can be held responsible unless they acted negligently.

Local social services authorities do not formally place people in care homes but they exercise full or partial financial responsibility for the accommodation and care charges. They act as facilitators for the process of securing the ongoing welfare of the individual client and have a statutory duty to decide whether or not full-time residential care is in their best interests. They must also act in good faith.

The government does not have any role in regard to care home placement other than a general responsibility for providing a statutory, regulatory and supervisory system for the sector.

An unresolved question that is bound to be explored further in the eventual inquiry into the coronavirus crisis is the claim that hospitals were under direction to transfer as many patients as possible to care homes in order to release capacity for Covid-19 cases. It is possible that either some of those former hospital patients might have already been infected and then transmitted the virus to other residents, or that the addition to a care home containing mainly elderly and frail residents with other serious conditions of a more vulnerable group with a higher propensity to infection as a result of hospitalisation led to rapid spread of the infection. On the balance of probabilities I would suggest that the hospitals believed, with good reason, that it was in the interests of their existing patients to remove them to a more protected environment rather than one which was expecting to receive hundreds. if not thousands, of people with the virus. The fact that this turned out adversely in many cases is probably not attributable and there is no guarantee that there was any safer alternative at the time.

Your comment presupposes that negligence was a cause of so many premature deaths and you presumably wish to identify responsible parties for that situation so that lessons may be learned so as to prevent such a high death rate in future, or possibly so that legal avenues can be explored to hold responsible parties to account and thus award compensation to relatives for “early and preventable deaths”. I support the examination of the evidence in pursuit of the first objective but do not support the second one. If there is a reasonable suspicion of negligence then I would expect the Coroner to have intervened and held an inquest. It should also be borne in mind that many people have a life assurance policy or a form of life insurance that will provide relief to named beneficiaries.

My sense is that the public mood does not seek an attribution for every death from a medical condition however grievous it is to those affected by that death, and furthermore that many relatives would not be comfortable with such a process.

I agree that it would be interesting if Which? could look into the issues but they are extremely wide-ranging and complex and, I would suggest, outside its remit. It would certainly need to have a strong legal input but probably a specialist legal expert in order to provide some direction and authority to such a discussion as it has the potential to become emotive and distressing.

You also ask how people can “choose a good care home guaranteed to stay free of the virus”. I am sure all care home operators and managers have done their utmost within their knowledge and with the staffing and funding resources at their disposal to prevent infection and to minimise risk but I doubt that it is possible to eliminate the risk entirely since there are so many uncontrollable factors, many of which are not fully understood. The epidemic developed rapidly and it is still an unstable and dynamic experience that introduces a new dimension every day for which a definitive resolution is not necessarily available, so trial and error has been an unavoidable aspect of its control.

As an afterthought, there is another sizeable group of people who have lost their lives in consequence of the coronavirus and that is the thousands of health service and care home staff who have contracted Covid-19 through their occupation and sadly succumbed fatally. I would hope there will be some recognition for the sacrifices that their families are now having to make.

I wear a mask and gloves when visiting shops, for example, and keep well spaced from others when out walking. I don’t go abroad. I use gloves when opening post, retrieving my bins. I don’t have physical contact with my family when we meet up. I don’t go to the pub and rarely eat out.

Paranoid? Maybe. Goody goody? Certainly not. I see these as simple measures to avoid, as much as I can, picking up the virus and spreading it. Why not?

I no longer work so do not have to face the difficulties of those who do. However my family does and they have strict measures in place to protect them as much as possible. Public transport is a problem now returning to work is encouraged but severely staggered working hours could help reduce crowding.

I don’t know whether enough people take this seriously enough. We see people travelling abroad on holiday; why do we tolerate that? We see people partying, how prevalent I don’t know. But there seem to be some who don’t really see, or simply ignore, how serious the virus is, and worse they see they are unlikely to suffer but don’t seem to think about the consequences of being in contact with more vulnerable people, including there own families.

There is criticism of fining people who break regulations. Why? Lives are at stake. There is condemnation of people reporting illegal gatherings, as if it is not the done thing. Unless people are rebuked for deliberately flouting the regulations in force we will simply prolong the difficulties and tragedies that the rest of the responsible population will have to endure.

@jon-stricklin-coutinho – Hi Jon – Please could we have a fix for the problems with login to Convo. Several people continue to mention problems. Clearing my browser history or quitting the browser several times does work for me, but I can have a problem several times a week.

Hey @wavechange, sure thing! I’ll post as an update on the earlier thread to keep it in one place.

Thanks Jon. I may have an additional problem. When I cannot log in, an email address is shown at the bottom of the dialogue box. This is not my current email address but one that is no longer active. Should I contact Which? Membership Services or conversation.comments@which.co.uk ?