What a year for Which? Conversation – we published 960 posts, you made more than 30,000 comments and cast 70,000 poll votes. From mobile phone price rises to nutritional therapists, it was a chatty 2012.
This year we said goodbye to founding Which? Convo editor Hannah Jolliffe who has moved on to pastures new – but we also welcomed three new team members, Charlotte, Jen and Katie.
As for you, the Which? Convo community, you’ve shaped some cracking debates. Your comments have not only influenced our work here at Which? but they’ve also influenced other organisations, manufacturers and politicians. So, before I move on to my top 10 highlights of 2012, here’s a big thanks from me and everyone at Which? – we couldn’t have done it without you.
Bad advice from nutritional therapists
When we presented you with our undercover investigation of nutritional therapists, we didn’t expect it to take off in quite the way it did. A mixture of consumers, scientists and nutritional therapists led to a heated debate that leapt to 1,950 comments. It remains our most commented post and it will take some beating. There’s just one other that’s come close…
Fixing mobile phone price rises
…And that was our post on Three Mobile’s price rise for fixed contract customers. With 1,281 comments, it’s our second most popular post. But it wasn’t the first of its kind. We received similar complaints relating to price increases from Orange and T-Mobile prior to this. The collective reaction to these posts was so overwhelming that we launched our Fixed Means Fixed campaign in response – hopefully 2013 will be the year fixed really means fixed.
Wound up by wind farms
I’d like to say that moderating this debate was a breeze, but there’s just something about wind farms that creates a stormy atmosphere. I won’t give you a blow by blow account of how the discussion went down, but let’s just say that not all of the 540 comments were as calm as a Caribbean sunrise.
Cut off nuisance phone calls
When Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith shared his nuisance call frustrations, it pushed your buttons. More individuals (357 unique commenters) joined this debate than any other Conversation so far. It also gave us our most popular poll of all time, with 76% of 4,196 voters saying the Telephone Preference Service didn’t work for them. We provided a follow-up which dialled in another 318 comments, proving you’re all hung up on nuisance calls.
Driven mad by elusive spare wheels
Rob Hull’s observation that new cars rarely come with full-sized spare wheels reached 480 comments in record time, making it our most commented motoring debate of all time. With 78% voting in favour of spare wheels coming as standard, let’s hope the car makers listen in 2013.
Digital download rights after death
Rich Parris’ post about what happens to your downloads after death launched an international debate. It’s one of our most read Conversations, after being shared widely on the social websites Reddit, Facebook and Twitter.
Rolling out the smart debate
Smart meters have always been a topic of interest here on Which? Convo, and it was your views that led us to call on the government to stop and rethink the roll-out. Our call to halt the smart meter roll-out gathered 175 comments from the community, with John Healey MP joining us later in the year to add his concerns in a guest post.
Playing the Olympic ticketing game
I couldn’t talk about 2012 without mentioning the Olympic Games. We published 20 posts on the topic, including one on how the Games affected your energy bills. However, it was the continuing ticketing troubles that got you going – 168 comments added to my frustrations with the Olympic ticket reselling system.
Big response to Big Change
When we called for a Big Change in banking, we were chuffed to have your support here on Which? Conversation. More than 200 comments were made on our Big Change debate at the launch of the campaign, some of which were included in our dossier of evidence submitted to the Banking Commission at the start of this month.
Measuring the impact of metric vs imperial
We sometimes find the quirkiest of subjects take off on Which? Conversation – and with 191 comments made about whether Britain should ditch imperial measurements, the issue of metric versus imperial was clearly one of them.
So those are my favourite Conversations of the year, but I’m sure there were many others that stuck in your mind. What were your stand out Convos of 2012?