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MaryV says:
2 September 2016

Shrinking Biscuits

Ryvita last year started selling a variety of flavours such as sweet onion and mixed herb. These are now been put into the same sized box as always, but within the box there are so called Snack Packs of two and four biscuits, the price has increased and the quantity of biscuits is reduced, but the boxes look the same of the shelf.
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17 October 2016

Hello MaryV, thank you for sharing your idea. We’ve published lots of stories about shrinking products. Maybe you would like to add your findings there?


In any case, I’ve shared your comment with our Shopping experts for their consideration with future investigations.

Thank you 🙂

2 September 2016

Buy-to-let owners renting out rooms as for hotels


I know Which? Financial Services Ltd runs the mortgage service that offers to arrange buy-to-let mortgages. Is it rather anti-social? Even less properties to buy and now courtesy of AirBnB even less to rent.

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John Ward says:
6 September 2016

Distance Sellers that don’t honour consumers’ rights.

Retailers sometimes provide inaccurate information on the rights to return goods bought on line or by mail order, or they provide no information, or they seek to evade their obligations. Start a Conversation to enable people to report sellers who do not abide by the legislation or who are uncooperative when customers wish to return goods.
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RALFE says:
11 September 2016

Auto Contract Renewal Rip-offs

Feel like you’re being ripped off? I’ve had an email stating my British Gas Central Heating Cover will auto renew. I’ve ‘no need to do anything’ it says. There’s no mention of the actual cost, nor the 12%+ increase I’d be paying this year! I didn’t ask for electronic communications. I didn’t apply for auto renewal. And I certainly don’t welcome the smoke and mirrors associated with the 12%+ increase. How many innocent people get conned annually with this Auto Renewal / Direct Debit / no paperwork scam? Many larger companies are into this dishonourable, conniving practice. It needs to be stopped.
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racitup says:
13 September 2016

Import courier fees

I recently received two parcels from abroad that had at best misleading, at worst fraudulent fees. Couriers specifically charge for use of their Duty & VAT deferment accounts – a free HMRC service for recovery of customs charges. The couriers charge extortionate fees for this and bundle it as “Duty & VAT”: DHL £11 and Parcelforce £8.
More alarming was my finding that couriers are completely unregulated and there is no consumer organisation to sort this problem out!
Help Which!
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15 September 2016

Amazon Sellers Paying for Buyers to Remove Negative Reviews

This idea relates to the recent research by Which about reviews on Amazon. I posted a 3 star review with some negative feedback for a seller on Amazon Marketplace. I was bombarded with emails and telephone calls. Then offered £5 “compensation” for removing the review which would, they said, indicate to Amazon that they had apologised and dealt with the issue. Amazon are complaining to the seller as a result of me contacting their online help service, saying it is not acceptable. Has anyone else come across this form of bribery which is designed to distort star and review ratings?
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Veronika says:
15 September 2016

Amazon refuse to refund an item i never received

I bought 2 items from amazon and I received the package but only 1 item was in it, when I received the package one of the sides was slightly open not enough to arouse suspicion though as me and the courier both though the package looked ok, however when I got in I pulled on this side and it opened and my 1st item come out and the other item was missing I still have the packaging with the seal in tact, I contacted amazon who refuse to sent me proof that both items was in the box and proof that the package was secure when they sent it and they have said that the will not replace or refund the item, I have sent the proof that the package they sent me is still in a sealed condition and that it is compromised from the side they didn’t reply I sent them another 2 emails and nothing, phoned them 6 times and nothing even got 2 managers to sent emails to the relevant department which 1 manager said “you should have an email from them soon and they should send you out a replacement or a refund if it isn’t in stock” no reply to that. today I tried again to contact them and they sent me around in circles by saying that only by contacting that department via their email will you get an answer, but what am I to do when I sent them an email on the 5th of september and again on the 8th and the have refused to reply to any of them.

I don’t understand how a company could defraud me of money and not send me proof that they sent both items etc. all they said is you received the package and it wasn’t damaged so you received both items, while the package didn’t look damaged it was clearly opened from 1 side because they don’t glue the sides down so anyone can have access to your package etc.

any ideas on what to do next? anyone deal with amazon where they ignore you? I tried to find that person who works for a newspaper that does those investigations and get to the bottom of things for you but I have had no luck in finding him / her.

so I’m here looking for help from you guys.

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adamget says:
20 September 2016

Refund of balance on utility bills

I switched provider a few years ago. They were much cheaper and I didn’t track as assiduously as I should. They had a contractual agreement that they would review the direct debit payment every 6 months.

When I came to double check I found another provider at over £250 less – a considerable difference on an annual forecast of £1,300.

I asked for a refund – I was told it would take 28 WORKING days.

I think that this is unreasonable.

They claim it was so that “finance could check” – I don’t think that it is a coincidence that days later I received a demand from G4S to “carry out a safety examination” of my meter – just 3 months after the last one!!!!

I am being unreasonable?


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23 September 2016

Online holiday prices

I contacted several online holiday web sites but each of them stated a more expensive quote than was advertised It states Call between 8- 11p.m. for a quote but nowhere does it sate that the quote may not be held / offered as advertised
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Trakx says:
24 September 2016

Moulded plug tops

Recently my daughter’s Hotpoint Aquarius WML520 washing machine tripped the breaker on the socket circuit. Reset the breaker and wash cycle resumed.
On the next load the same happened, but resetting the breaker failed to recover the machine. At this point it was looking like an expensive repair or replacement!
Her Dad, an electrical engineer for 30 years, tested the lead to the washer and the results revealed a short circuit within the moulded plug top supplying the washer. Dad replaced plug with standard plug, washer recovered successfully.
Online research found that most repairers don’t identify this fault, are consequently unable to repair and condemn the machine.
Not all consumers are electrically competent and won’t attempt to interfere with a manufactured moulded plug top.
A standard plug fitted manually during manufacture could easily resolve this issue.
Or Hotpoint could include the point of checking the circuit of the plug within a “Resolving Problems” section of their Instruction Booklets?
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AWatts says:
24 September 2016

Has anyone else fallen into the trap of paying for new EHIC cards?

This was what happened to my brother-in-law this week.
How to lose £69 in about 3 minutes;
(Typing faster will speed the process up)
I wanted to renew 2 EHIC cards for myself and my other half, which are free
(European Health Insurance Cards)
Google search brings up http://www.ehic.org.uk and also http://www.ehicdirect.org.uk
The first one is (unknown to me) is the Official National Health service site
The second one was my selection. (It just seemed more direct)
Filled in all details for both applications including all personal details – National insurance No’s – Debit card details (Which I thought odd (because they are free) but just assumed maybe some admin charge, I’m thinking it is our National Insurance Service) No mention of any charges – Checked bank this morning £34.50 x 2 short (£69 gone)
I see the site name as a deliberate con to trap the not totally internet savvy people like myself out of their hard earned money. I am fuming that the law can allow stuff like this to be tolerated.

Can this really be allowed to happen?

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myidea says:
25 September 2016


should QVC be refunding the full amount which you pay them including postage. This is according to a letter in the Daily Mail 29 Dec 2015 from a lady who complained to John Lewis, and several other stores re the same thing. She quoted the not very well known Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 in which postage should be refunded automatically for items purchased on line? if so they are conning millions from millions of people?
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Ash2016 says:
25 September 2016

protect consumers from reverse billing to their mobile phone.

It seams a good idea at first. Allowing business by charging against your phone account. But what when it goes wrong, who is responsible. At the moment you would have to direct your complaint through Ofcom (Phonepayplus). However what if your phone service provider are charging you at the request of business you have no relationship with then perhaps it should be the Financial Ombudsman that help.
The crux of the problem is that the Network operators fail to check if you have actively and intentionally subscribed to the said subscription service.
Indeed they fail to check if such subscription service is age appropriate.
It would be easy to introduce a system where the Network checks consent and facilitate the cancellation of services.
However whist the Networks are making a percentage on the charges, they have little interest in managing the problem.
It is currently the case that fraudsters are profiting by reverse charging of mobile phone accounts. Their profit risk funding criminal activity or worse.
This needs to be stopped immediately. The Network operators must stop paying monies to such services with out confirming with the bill payer that the service has been requested and is appropriate.
Imagine if anyone could walk into your bank and ask for £3 every week. Why should they be able to do it to your phone account.
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26 September 2016

Reform ?

Expect many who use this Conversation will have received the concerning letter from Reform and then subsequent emails.

Seems to me there are serious questions that need answering what do others think?

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29 September 2016

To discuss reusable nespresso coffee capsules.

The waste produced from nespresso coffee capsules, either nespresso branded or not, is huge. There are a few metal refillable pods out there, I was wondering if anyone had used them and had any comments, as I am thinking of buying them instead of the standard Nespresso ones.
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