306

Share your idea

8
11 February 2017

Why does an eco-labelled wood stove emit more pollution than 25 ten-year-old diesel trucks?

The New Scientist showed that “Log-burning stoves are harming our health and speeding up global warming.”
The UN Environment Program recommends phasing out log-burning stoves to improve health & reduce climate change.
The Danish Ecological Council showed that even an eco-labelled wood stove pollutes as much as 25 ten-year-old diesel trucks.

PM2.5 air pollution kills 38,000 UK residents every year. Wood as a domestic fuel is the largest contributor to UK PM2.5 emissions (47,000 tonnes per year), nearly 3 times more than all road transport (13,900 tonnes/yr). The average new wood stove approved for UK Smokeless zones emits more PM2.5 per year than 1,000 petrol cars or 200 Euro-5 diesels.

Reviews of wood stoves should be updated to include information on health and air pollution, and consider the UN Environment Program recommendation that developed countries phase out this major source of PM2.5 pollution.

More info: woodsmoke.3sc.net/files/UK_PM25_pollution_extracts_of_supporting_documents.pdf
woodsmoke.3sc.net/greenhouse
woodsmoke.3sc.net/health

Read more +
21 February 2017

Hi @caresabouthealth

Thank you for your comment. In the coming years, the European Union will be changing the laws around stove efficiency to reduce harmful emissions even further.

We are actually in the process of updating our guide to look at this, and will be looking into the matter in more depth in due course.

Hope that helps.

2
28 January 2017

Meat product labelling and Religious Slaughter

I am a christian animal lover and completely opposed to animal cruelty. I am aware of the exemption for religious slaughter. However it now appears that major supermarkets are selling meat that has been religiously slaughtered but are refusing to label it. What can we do?
Read more +
2
Richard Horton says:
11 January 2017

Openreach is ignoring a large section of the superfast broadband customer base

We live in rural Cambridgeshire. Our village exchange has been upgraded to fibre broadband but is only accessible to those who are connected to a cabinet. Everyone else (so called “Exchange Only” or EO) cannot access superfast. This amounts to more than half the postcodes. Openreach say that its not commercially viable for them to connect everyone and they consider the exchange “complete”. Surely as a service provider they have an obligation to provide common services to all of their customers? How have other communities addressed this issue?
Read more +
1
Jayne says:
17 February 2017

Is the lack of competition in Package Holidays now at a point where we are receiving appalling customer service?

The Monopolies Commission doesn’t seem to have an interest in the fact that from a package holiday perspective, we seem to have only a couple of giants now owning most brands in the UK. As a result the customer service seems to be declining…there’s not even a regulator to help! So how can we start to have more of a say in trying to gain the respect from these companies, that we deserve as consumers who’ve parted with our hard earned cash?
Read more +
1
10 February 2017

Mutual current accounts

Now that the Yorkshire has pulled out of the market is the Nationwide the only mutual left to offer a current account? I’m with the Coventry which closed its current account to new members recently, and will doubtless close remaining accounts sometime soon. What is the best option for those who don’t want their money used for the benefit of corporate shareholders?
Read more +
1
TerryD says:
9 February 2017

The danger of candles in the home

We’ve used standard dinner candles from Morrisons for years. The last batch bought in December 2016, in readiness for Christmas have proved a disaster.
They have melted, dripped and leaked all over the place causing a real mess on our mantelpiece. The inherent fire hazards of this are unthinkable. I’ve emailed Morrisons who’s supplier Spaas, eventually returned a pathetic set of excuses. I remonstrated on the dangers of poor quality materials etc, but to no avail.
Has anyone else had such a problem?
Read more +
1
Bonzo1956 says:
29 January 2017

The dispute between Sky and Discovery/Eurosport

Whilst watching the Eurosports channel on my Sky system today I received a message saying that Sky may lose Eurosports and Discovery channels from 1st February. Now I know that the Contract terms say that 3rd Party channels may change and I know Sky are saying that the money they currently spend on Eurosports will be used to improve the Sky sports services, but actually Eurosports and Discovery channels are some that I watch most frequently. I have fairly recently upgraded to Sky Q silver, so I think I am locked in for more than another year. Anyone else feel miffed that they are going to loose more sport unless they buy into yet another services provider?
Read more +
8 February 2017

Hi Bonzo1956

Thank you for your idea.

This subject was actually discussed in this convo:

https://conversation.which.co.uk/home-energy/sky-dispute-with-discovery/

1
BP-London says:
29 January 2017

BA Flight Cancellations – Website Blocks Online Refunds!

I have in the last 12 months had two separate flights cancelled by BA (code share with Iberia Express) from LGW to Gran Canaria. The only alternatives offered were a flight 3 days earlier or one 2 days later… It is unfortunately not a destination with multiple daily flights or even daily flights…

With one flight cancellation I found a route via Madrid back to London on the same day, but this was not offered by BA. Their call centre finally accepted this change, but only after a supervisor had to be consulted and I was advised that they had graciously made an “exception”; I don’t find that this is an exception whatsoever – it should be a basic service in the circumstances – in hindsight it was cheaper at the time to accept a refund and re-book the flight myself without their hassle!

The biggest problem with the BA website is that whilst is allows you to re-book cancelled flights, it blocks you from simply requesting a refund with the message “”Sorry, unfortunately our systems are not responding” – I have had this issue on each occasion (months apart!)..

It is so easy to book a flight online and then to re-book cancelled flights online – why do BA continue not to allow it’s customers to request refunds online (without the above), instead of having to contact a call centre to process….?

Read more +
1
alfa says:
16 January 2017

Which? Poetry 2017 Permanent Convo

As there are a number of budding poets here, can we have a permanent annual poetry convo with subjects of the day discussed in a separate linked convo. Subjects can be themed on current issues, national/international days, or anything else that might be relevant.

There is a space under the topic boxes just waiting to be used.

Some very good poems will stay buried and forgotten in the depths of Which? so it would be nice to have them all in one place for further enjoyment and contribution.

Read more +
1
Jennifer Thomas says:
15 January 2017

Taking infants on long haul flights

Son and d-in -l on Virgin Atlantic on flight from Hong Kong to Heathrow and return. Can’t prebook bulkhead cots and so don’t know until the gate. Then if you get one the infant is not necessarily put in front of your seat but in front of another passenger! 13 hour flight, passenger wouldn’t swop seats. Eventually a swop was found after an hour. Virgin’s explanations about disabled passengers etc did not stand up to the reality as couple who agreed to swop had bulkhead seats in front of cot fixings & were not disabled. I have a string of emails to and from executive office with no acceptable answers.
Read more +
1
peter t says:
15 January 2017

The danger posed by the Internet of Things

2016 saw DDos attacks by botnets on DNS company Dyn and IANA the IP address organisation, Should we rethink this idea
Read more +
1
Richard King says:
10 January 2017

Is the Gov.UK Verification scheme working satisfactorily?

I have had on-line applications for identity verification rejected by Experian and Citizen Safe supposedly on the grounds of insufficient information about me being held by them. As someone who has paid taxes for 55 years and lived at the same address for nearly 34 years I find it astonishing that this should be the case. Apparently my “credit history” is non-existent!

Is it time for the Government to strip these organisations of their contracts to verify identities until such time as they can acquire sufficient information from whatever sources to verify identities as a matter of course?

Read more +
1
Mark Williams says:
5 January 2017

Why do car insurers penalise you for a non fault accident.

My premium has gone up £160 due to claiming against a third party who hit my car in a car park when I wasn’t even in my car. This is daylight robbery.
Apparently I’m more likely likely to make a claim. I wasn’t even there!
What a crazy world we live in.
Read more +
14 February 2017

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your idea.

We actually covered this on Which? Conversation last summer, following an investigation into non-fault claims.

You can find it here: https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/car-insurance-premiums-non-fault-claims-damages-repairs-esure/

Thanks

1
27 December 2016

Credit Report missleads with information when it comes to Business application

I recently applied for a Business Credit Card and noticed that although the application will leave a mark on your personal Credit history, which will affect you negatively. As the lenders will look at how many credit applications you have done in the last 6 months. However, once approved the actual Credit Card with its credit limit won’t show up on your personal report and therefore you won’t benefit from the positive part of the application which is a higher “available credit”.
I would suggest that either you totally separate Business from Personal or you totally merge them.

Thank you

Read more +
0
Carol says:
Today 00:20

A Which? about Pets

Just like Computing Which? etc I think there is a place for it. Information about pet foods is conflicting and often dogmatic. Also my impression is that goods sold for pets do not put a high priority on safety or comfort for the animal – cages are typically far too small, for example. Given the range of pet animals, the widespread ownership, and the need for advice, I think the scope for articles is vast.
Read more +
0
Hubert Allen says:
26 February 2017

Use loyalty cards for charity

I assigned my loyalty card points from the start in equal amounts to two charities. Then if I remember to get them recorded, they’ll profit something I support: but I don’t feel unduly annoyed if I forget. My principal card is a Co-op one, but probably some of the other firms do likewise.
Read more +
0
Bieldman says:
26 February 2017

British Airways downgrades for 2 for 1 voucher redemptions

It appears BA have a policy of targeting passengers travelling on 2 for 1 vouchers for downgrades or no-flight in the event of a plane being overbooked. These vouchers are often hard earned as part of a loyalty scheme and are booked months ahead, often as part of a long awaited special holiday. It appears 2 for 1 ticket holders are targeted for downgrades for the purely short sighted commercial reason of getting the seats filled by people paying the full price. Compensation is also miserly. Rather than getting benefits for their loyalty, these passengers are being treated with contempt by our national carrier. Regardless of what the legal position may or may not be, the practice is morally repugnant. I wonder if anyone travelling on 2 for 1 vouchers or other redemptions has been affected by this.
Read more +
0
Marian Evans says:
26 February 2017

Banks using your account direct debits to cold call and sell their own products

I recently received a call from HSBC asking if I would like to switch from John Lewis home insurance to their own product. When asked how they knew I was currently with John Lewis they said they could see payments to them from my bank account – is this right can they cherry pick accounts to sell their products? I found this to be very disturbing and totally unethical.
Read more +
0
Manxman says:
25 February 2017

Kasperski anti virus software

With all the publicity in the national press about Russian hacking how can we be sure that Kasperski hasn’t deliberately developed an excellent anti virus system which it sells at a sensible price for the particular target market but which actually contains a trojan that can be activated whenever Kasperki feels it would help Russia?
Read more +
0
John Thurgood says:
23 February 2017

DNA testing

I was rather excited to get the results of my genealogy test from Ancestry, UK. It
showed I was 71% British, 17% Irish and 6% of me came from the Iberian Peninsula. In addition there were very small bits of other nationalities in my genes. I then got to thinking, what is British? English, Scottish and Welsh were not identified as separate groups. Internet research revealed the complex makeup of we British but none of this shows in the Ancestry results. It’s very dissapointing! My advice is don’t waste your money on what is a very shallow report.
Read more +
23 February 2017

Your right John thats not an in depth report .

0
Kate temperley says:
21 February 2017

Washing machines – door reversal

Wondering if anyone has any experience of buying a washer dryer with a right hand door opening, or if there are right hand door opening washer dryers available on the market?
Read more +
0
19 February 2017

Amazon marketplace sellers

Why do Amazon not insist that their marketplace sellers follow the consumer laws on faulty goods after their arbitrary 30-days return policy has expired?
I bought a Rotho bin from ehappypets.co.uk, which broke after three months. The company refused to do any thing and Amazon backed them up.
Also, Amazon removed comments I made on Seller Feedback without informing me or telling me why. Amazon say they want to build the most “customer-centric” company in the world. Really?
Read more +
0
KenB says:
18 February 2017

pension changes and the lack of clarity in the information that has been put out and given in response to questions.

As someone who missed the old pension by a few days I have a complete lack of clarity on several points. Also there is nothing joined up.
I asked for a forecast and received one that assumed that as I was on retiring (because of company rules) enrolled in a contracted out scheme I had spent my the full working life contracted out. Also the time in work does not add up. Then again In he new scheme the pension is strictly personnel, however is the pension I was paying into also applied to a partner raising children etc. Does that still apply to those who paid into the old scheme or has my wife lost what we paid for?
Again I cannot get answers.
Its just not acceptable to just go silent on us
I
Read more +
0
Tim says:
18 February 2017

How to defrost your freezer

http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/freezers/article/how-to-defrost-your-freezer?utm_campaign=whichukf

There are some good points in this article, but I suspect it’s author Ben Slater was not made aware of some very useful advice when he wrote it. For example, he says “wait for the ice to melt”, but many manufacturers supply a scraper. The most recent time was yesterday, when my wife and I completed the task on a rather large domestic chest freezer. It was full, but including emptying, sorting and refilling, it took nicely under 90 minutes. I have a trick but it doesn’t involve electricity, because Ben’s comment about electricity and water not mixing is a good one. I’m wondering how many people have an effective and fast technique.

Thanks
Tim

Read more +
22 February 2017

Thanks very much for your comment.

We recommend waiting for the ice to melt, because we don’t want to offer advice that will invalidate anyone’s warranty. That said, you’re right to point out that if the manufacturer supplies tools for the job, then so much the better.

If you’re in any doubt, though, it’s always a good idea to check the terms and conditions of your warranty with the manufacturer.

0
RALFE says:
17 February 2017

Brexit Price Increases

Why are some prices rising now, supposedly due to Brexit, when we haven’t even left Europe yet? There’s even a slim chance we may not leave at all, so what happens then – big refunds? Some of these companies are apparently making the most of the situation before anything has even happened. The one thing that will never change is business making the most of every available opportunity to rip off as many as possible.
Read more +
0
Chris Curwood says:
15 February 2017

Privatisation

It will be so easy for this government to sort out the energy companies privatise them let’s go back to all the profits going back in and then we will see a massive drop in prices at the moment if the price of gas or electricity goes down we never see it in our bills there is no reason for a increase now as they keep telling us that they ant drop prices as they buy there energy months if not year behind now they say prices have to rise due to the pound going down so if they buy the energy months our years before then if the pound drops it should not make a difference yet they can’t have it both ways But they do Dick Turpin comes to mind
Read more +
0
D Ridley says:
15 February 2017

Post Office requires payment for cancelled service…

Should the post office hold on to your money after you cancelled a service? E.g., they take a quaterly payment up front (E.g,. payment in February to cover May) If you cancell part of your service before they collect payment (even two weeks before) you still have to pay the full bill amount for the quater as if you had not cancelled. They say the refund will be reflected in your next quarterly bill which is effectively months away. So you are effectively still paying for a service you won’t be using. Is this right? I would like the benefit of my money straight away not months down the line. I question the ethics of having to firstly pay for something I am not using and then having to wait months to get my money back. On top of this the Post Office say if I cancell my direct debit to allow them to make the adjustments they will restrict my calls and still require the same payment that they will later refund. Is it just me or does this sound like nonsense to anyone else?
Read more +
0
Billyboy1 says:
14 February 2017

The government is always looking for Productivity Improvements -here is one way of helping

Recently on this site there was a complaint about Experian because the person complained that although they were in residence for 55 years, Experian (and it applys to ALL credit agencies) were unable to verify their existance and why does the government not do something about it. I have tried through my MP to get something done but nobody seems to be bothered that thousands of man hours are being wasted by us all having to supply proof of who we are from two lists of forms (passports,driving licence etc) just because the systems being used by the credit agencies are stupid. All the govenment needs to do is prescribe what checks are necessary and give them (The credit agencies) access to passport and drivers info and the whole process could be speeded up. Because my wife keeps opening new savings accounts, to try and get the best interest rate month by month, we have to provide this proof almost daily even though she is 77 lived here all her life and never had any bad debts and has passport ,driving licence etc. What a complete waste of time for all concerned.
Read more +
0
yvgrea says:
13 February 2017

claims advisory group

Has anybody used this company?

Is it legit?

Thanks

Read more +
14 February 2017

Thanks for getting in touch. If you were thinking of using this company to claim back PPI, we’d advise that you do it yourself instead. Our guide http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-reclaim-mis-sold-ppi takes you through the whole process. Good luck.

0
Steve Wakerly says:
13 February 2017

airbnb cancellation policies

Hosts can and do cancel (with mild penalties) some considerable time after a firm booking has been made because they want to increase the price for the booking . If you refuse to pay more, airbnb refund your money (but no interest) and offer a 10% discount on your next booking. All very well but when it happens twice in a row 5 months after the second booking was made who would then risk booking another property with airbnb again? Certainly not me!
Read more +
0
mary constantine says:
12 February 2017

autism

Autism is at epidemic levels now and so many parents are frazzled and need answers and need to ask question on the topic
we need more autism topics, how to help child with autism cope with school , travel, homework or just sitting still .
I use an autisticvest to help my son it really works but any other ideas are welcome
Read more +
0
rasbury20 says:
8 February 2017

school uniform cost

Hi how much did you have to spend on school uniform last September? my cost was quite expensive because my son started secondary school so i bought him a brand new uniform. how doe my cost compare to your cost ? my sons uniform cost
school jumper £11×2
school polo shirt £9×3
school trousers £7×2
school shoes / plain black lace up plimsolls £3
Read more +
0
Seaweedsarah says:
6 February 2017

Is it possible to clean efficiently and be kind to the environment?

I am passionate about marine conservation and try to buy products that cause the minimum amount of harm to the aquatic environment. Sadly, Ecover products routinely come at or near the bottom of the rankings and there don’t seem to be any others reviewed. It would be great to combine efficiency with environmental awareness.
Read more +
0
Skarloey says:
6 February 2017

No Help From Which? on Dry Cleaners

It’s just a simple idea, but doesn’t seem to exist on Which? As usual when I need a new product or service I turn to Which? In this case I need my wedding dress dry cleaning… how should I choose a provider, what to look out for and what to pay. There doesn’t appear to be anything (or at least not when I search the Which? website). Isn’t it about time Which? helped with dry cleaners?
Read more +
0
2 February 2017

How about the new so called free smart meters that will cost every home £400 plus another over a billion for recalls. Common sense means if you heat anything it costs big money, the rest is peanuts in comparison.

Read more +
0
Billyboy1 says:
1 February 2017

Why do BT not HAVE TO tell customers BEFORE they sign up to Fibre to the premises they can not change supplier

We had fibre installed in our village last year and were suitably grateful. I am a BT customer and asked for it to be installed and they did so in due course. Only now do I find they installed FTTP (fibre to the premises or fibre to the home ftth) and when I try to get a quote for a fibre service from other suppliers to check my service is reasonably priced (which it is not) they say I am not connected to fibre. On further investigation this is because BT through their subsidiary Openreach will not give any supplier but themselves access to my line hence I am a captive of a monopoly.Surely I should have been told all of the implications BEFORE being asked to agree to a supply and not left to find out for myself. I have complained to Ofcom but they do not want to know !! Is anybody else interested in taking on BT to get this monopoly broken.
Read more +
0
Astore says:
1 February 2017

AER is it as “equivalent” as the name suggests?

Annual Equivalent Rate (AER) is one of the mostly used indicators for lending and borrowing money. However, unlike what the name suggests, it does not represent an equivalent rate if it was compounded annually.

Let’s look at a simple example:
You borrow £100 with a rate of 10% for a year compounded annually. As you would expect this the money you owe by the end of the year will be £110.
In another case where you borrow £100 with a monthly compounded rate of 10% AER, things are different. At the end of the year you don’t owe the same amount, but instead you owe £110.47. Well, it’s not equivalent, is it?

The reason being that the monthly interest rate is assumed to be equivalent of the AER rate divided by 12 months, which is clearly false mathematics. The difference may not seem a lot in the case of £100 as above, but in larger sums, e.g. in a case of a mortgage which lasts for many years, this may be accrued to a sizeable amount.

I question the sincerity in the naming of such tools. Naming of technical terms should not be a mechanism to mislead people. And I am surprised how governments have allowed AER’s usage.

I hope other people find this as annoying as I do. Give me your thoughts.

Read more +
0
BP-London says:
29 January 2017

FlyBe Flight Cancellation 7 Weeks Prior To Departure

There are lot’s of conversations regarding flights cancelled or delayed on the day, but I cannot see any regarding flights cancelled weeks before departure and any expenses incurred/lost as a result? I booked flights with FlyBe to Knock from Manchester on 13/08/16, departing 02/02/17. The times were altered on 26/09/16, then the flights completely cancelled on 13/12/16, with the only alternative to fly 2 days either side… I had already booked hotels (non-refundable) and train tickets to the airport (non-refundable) – I stood to make a loss of around €1,200 – despite the flight fares being refunded (though I still wait for one from Flybe weeks after promises it was processed….) I enquired about compensation in regards to the train fare to the airport but was advised by FlyBe that they would not pay any compensation…. Fortunately, it appears that the train company Trans Pennine Express are generously refunding the train fare, even though it has no obligation in the circumstances…

The airline said in an email “We at Flybe are not unique in this practice and schedule changes are an integral part of dynamic industry we work in. Any alterations are implemented only when necessary due to commercial or operational reasons and we do attempt to issue them as early as possible to facilitate reservations.”

1) Should there be any liability on the airlines in these circumstances or should it fall on insurance (if covered)?
2) Should train companies form better working relationships with airlines, when flights are cancelled in the above circumstances regardless of ticket conditions?

Read more +
0
Susan Pooley says:
25 January 2017

Is HSBC’s new Safeguard ‘protection’ scheme in breach of the Data Protection Act?

If you hold an HSBC account, you cannot refuse to give them a wide range of information about yourself and keep your account with them. This includes information that has no relevance to the services they are providing you with. For example, if you open a children’s savings account, you have to tell HSBC of any changes in your employment status and income, even though these are not relevant to the services they are providing for the savings account. Is in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998, which states that: ‘Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed’? In other words, an organisation or professional body cannot hold any information about you that is not directly relevant to the services they are providing you with.
Will we be bound by time-consuming demands to know all about our lives just so we can get a ‘secure’ service from our banks? How will this affect thousands of people who either don’t live near high street banks (which are disappearing), change their circumstances a lot (e.g. on 0 hours contracts), or who don’t get a bank card with their account (HSBC phone system won’t allow you through without a card number)?
Read more +
0
24 January 2017

Region 1 DVDs

Should sellers of Region 1 DVDs (i.e. from the USA) be allowed to market them in the UK when they will not work on the players we all have?
Read more +
0
23 January 2017

EQUITY RELEASE

How can a LIFETIME MORTGAGE be considered a fair contract when I drew £60,000 and the present amount owing is £134,000 already with a home value of £200,000. On this basis it won’t take long to lose my home for such a low withdrawal! Anyone else experienced same problem and resolved it?
Read more +
0
6 January 2017

Housing and Fair Wages also Living Pensions

Housing and low wages with low Pensions create a country divided and unprogressive
It is time that Housing was sorted and low pay ended
DWP Pensions among the lowest in Europe
I think if politicians had to live on the pension they would learn how
others struggle with their costs
Write to YOUR Politician asking he or she to live on a pension for a few weeks
Don’t wait for any reply many of them do not give a damn.
Read more +
-3
6 January 2017

Scotland on its own

I think that we should be our own country. England bleeds us dry and we would be so much better without them.
Read more +
10 January 2017

Hi Karacameron,

Thanks for sharing your idea. Unfortunately this isn’t really something that we would cover as a consumer issue on Which? Conversation. Thanks, Lauren