/ Money, Technology

Your comments this week – plugs, pressies & platinum accounts

Bright spark on a dark background

In the run up to Christmas, you’ve been sharing your views on the reliability of appliances and the unreliability of some saving account names. The need for simple energy prices also sparked debate.

Does reliability top your list of appliance ‘must haves’?

We ran a survey about appliance reliability back in September. William France feels that appliance manufacturers could learn a lot from the motoring industry:

‘In the 1960s you were lucky if an exhaust pipe lasted a year and a day (the limit of the guarantee). Other parts were not far behind and after four years, enough rust could be on the car to make economical repair out of the question. Enter reliable, competitively priced cars from Japan. Now a car can often go 10 years and still have an appreciable resale value! If everyone paid as much heed to domestic appliances, every machine would be as reliable as a Miele.’

Gold and platinum accounts – how looks can be deceiving

Flashy savings account names like ‘Midas Gold’ and ‘Diamond Reserve’ don’t convince Stephen Roslings:

‘It would be interesting to see the names of accounts offering less interest – if there are any! These names are completely misleading. If and when savings rates do improve, they’ve got nowhere to go with their names!’

Two-pin plugs – it’s just not British

Dave is happy to adapt to devices that come with two-pin plugs:

‘I have bought several devices online that came with two-pin European or US plugs. Mostly they also come with a separate adaptor, although I did have to ring up one supplier and get them to send one (by quoting the law at them, which they claimed to be unaware of).

‘Quite a few devices now come with neat snap-on adaptors for whichever sockets are in use, which seems a sensible compromise for international device manufacturers.’

However, Wavechange has safety concerns:

‘I’m not sure that this is a good solution. Were all your adaptors provided with the correct fuse? Will people think about using the correct fuse if they install an adaptor themselves?

‘Moving to moulded fused plugs has been a great step forward for electrical safety in the UK and I don’t believe that this should be debased for the convenience of manufacturers.’

Plan or panic: what’s your Christmas shopping style?

Louis’s Christmas shopping isn’t going quite to plan:

‘I haven’t even put my decorations up or got my groceries in, despite having a list and having best intentions. Still, I’m an optimist and everything will be fine. It just means that I have to brave the physical shops, when I was hoping to get almost everything online. My resolution for 2013 is to be better organised (was that a pig I just saw flying past?)’

Why pay for line rental when you only use broadband?

Tpoots is frustrated by paying for line rental:

‘The fact that I have to pay for line rental when I don’t even have a telephone plugged into my landline frustrates me no end. The kick in the teeth is that they put the prices up recently by £2.50 a month, sigh.’

Ken feels that line rental should be cut off:

‘Why do we pay line rentals anyway? We paid to get connected and we pay for the calls! Line rentals and standing charges are an outdated idea and should be abolished. Supermarkets charge for delivery, but not when they don’t. So phone, internet, gas and electricity should be the same. Rip off charges should be a thing of the past.’

Give customers simple prices & end energy market confusion

Gerard Gordon is calling for energy customers to make a stand for fairer prices, earning himself our Comment of the Week:

‘The only way the corporate world acts fairly is when we organise as a large group of consumers to switch to those suppliers who have some morality. If suppliers refuse to simplify the market, and there is no commercial reason why this cannot be done, they should be boycotted and consumers urged to switch.

‘The tactic is to have so many tariffs in order to make price comparison impossible. As consumers, we have the whip hand here and we should use it. Punish those who try to con us and they will have no option but to act decently. Many of the poorest and elderly are being forced into greater poverty by these greedy corporations. The time has come to teach them a lesson.’

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