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Charles Watson says:
1 November 2016

The Delamination of New Michelin Tyres

I have a serious problem with my new tyres on my Volvo coming apart. Unfortunately I am in Portugal where the tyre retailer, although acknowledging there is a problem with Michelin tyres, washes his hands and tells me to complain on line to Michelin. Six weeks and no response. Three weeks ago I sent a snail mail to the CEO of the Michelin Group by registered post. No response. I know I am not alone and worry that, in the wet, these tyres, if unnoticed could cause a fatal accident. It would seem there is a production line problem and a recall should happen. What to do?
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0
aphill67 says:
2 November 2016

homebuyers surveys for apartments

We recently helped our daughter buy a flat in Leeds, receiving a recommendation from the bank to take a homebuyers survey (£400+). The survey and report was superficial and generic. It missed important aspects (windows wouldn’t open, broken door in fitted kitchen, holes in ceiling where light fitting should have been, no flush mechanism on the toilet). These things, though small, were numerous and all add up and have been expensive to repair properly. The response from e.surv was to reject any form of responsibility on their part.

Idea: how about a less expensive survey targeted at relatively new build apartments – otherwise this is just money for old rope from recycled pre-filled reports offering nothing beyond gratuitous advice.

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1
4 November 2016

Cartel

We were supposed to get cheaper prices and competition when OUR services were sold off to private companies. Now there is no competition as thay all act as a cartel raising prices in unison or offering cheaper deals only to announce huge increases within 3 months, to take you back to where you were before you switched. The whole illegal CARTEL needs a public enquiry.
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4
Robert Masters says:
4 November 2016

I suggest a Which campaign to force organistions to provide a postal or email contact.
Many insurance companies, ulility companies, internet companies etc (and HMRC for some depts) only provide a telephone number.
This means a) you ususlly have to wait on hold for some time, b) you then have to locate the correct person to deal with your issue, c) you do not have a written record of what they say (although they usually record the conversation) and c) you cannot consider their reply quietly and calmly.

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5
6 November 2016

Large Companies Cherry Picking Customer Reviews On Their Sites (Investigation Needed)

I have recently puchased items from Tesco Direct and Machine Mart.
Unfortunately, both items didn’t come anywhere near their 4/5 star top billings on the respective web site review pages.

So much so, that I felt I had to warn other potential customers, and I left (very fair), 2 star, negative reviews on both sites.
Niether of my negative reviews ever made it on to the Tesco or Machine Mart web sites, even though I emailed both customer service departments to enquire why they had been omitted. On both occasions I was just fobbed off with the stock answer – ‘We have the right to withhold reviews’ . . . blurb and a link to their Terms & Condition’s pages. (In both cases I had complied fully with the T&C’s, however, niether reviews were ever posted)

I feel the whole point of having customer reviews is to help potential buyers make an informed decsion whether, or not to purchase an item. Cherry picking only the very best reviews is more than a little underhand in my opinion, and I think more and more companies are deleting 1, 2, and even some 3 star reviews just to protect their sales figures, which is obviously not in the best interests of the buyers.

I was wondering if any of the Which? members have had similar experiences with these, or other companies censoring unfavourable comments from genuine, confirmed purchasers?

As the very busy Christmas and New Year on-line sales periods are approaching fast, I think this is something the good people of Which? should be investigating as a matter of urgency. Don’t you?

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1
7 November 2016

Freesat From Sky Is Anything But Free

Freesat from Sky currently costs £175 for a box, dish, viewing card and instalation, which is fair enough. Right? Wrong! “For security reasons, Viewing Cards may be inactivated from time to time. In this situation, if you wish to continue to receive all encrypted Free to View channels, you will have to purchase a new viewing card at the Sky applicable standard charge at the time”. (Their words, not mine, and they are £25 at the moment) Not looking so good now eh?
In addition to this, if you want to record programmes on your lovely, new, Sky box, (who wouldn’t?) you will be required to stump up another £10 per month for the pivilege. Sounds more like a veiled subscription, doesn’t it?
This is Sky’s feeble attempt to compete with Freesat, where you can pop to your local electical retailer, purchase a box that doesn’t need a viewing card and you can then watch & record as many programmes as you like totally free.
I think the name ‘Sky Freesat’ should really be changed to
‘Sky Reduced Subscription With Additional Hidden Charges Sat’
Not quite as catchy though is it?
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0
che_rri says:
15 November 2016

Virgin Broadband Utilisation issue

Virgin Broadband are offering 50 and 100 Mb broadband services where they know they cannot provide them.
In the Epsom area and many others around the UK, Virgin have known “Utilisation” issues.
This causes the broadband speeds to degrade dramatically at “peak” times.
In my experience, that can actually be at any time of the day, but certainly much worse week day evenings.
I paid for a 50Mb service and over the course of a year received an average of just under 18Mb download and 2.12 upload.
This is based on taking 60 separate speed test readings throughout the year at different times of the day.
22 of these tests resulted in download speeds of between 1 and 9Mb.
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1
brewery says:
16 November 2016

Do tire sealants damage pressure sensing tire valves?

Having just bought a vehicle with pressure sensing valves and not being a lover of the can of fluid to be pumped in when and if there is a puncture I have been looking at Puncture safe. Some comments say that it stops the valve from working. But if I have to pump in the sealant supplied with the car not only does it ruin the tire but does that ruin the tire valve?
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0
21 November 2016

Broadband speeds

Rural area depending on copper telephone wires for broadband we are lucky to get 2mbps very occasionally. Yet we pay the same as areas nearer town who get speed in the high teens. Surely there must be systems to charge users for the speed which can be obtained. Friends in the USA get just that, they pay for what speed they can get. BT a huge provider, must have the means to make payments more fair and charge for what they can supply to the consumer .
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0
home says:
22 November 2016

BT broadband

Our broadband speed, initially about 45Mb/s, dropped to 30 for some weeks and then to 14 -16. Having a nasty suspicious mind I concluded that they were trying to see how low we would tolerate so I arranged a switch to Virgin. BT now want to charge us over BP80 to leave and have offered 55Mb/s if we stay. Is this a common experience?
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0
23 November 2016

I wonder if any member has had experience of seeking advice from ‘Kauefer Portal’?

They vet firms on behalf of the general public and charge a fee to the firms to whom they grant approval. If they are truly independent they could be a help to Which members, but not if they can be bought. I have come across them when looking on the internet for a stairlift, and they seem genuine but I wonder what which convo members’ experience might have been?
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1
Mike Pezet says:
24 November 2016

Samsung ecobubble washing machine – design fault?

I am interested if people are encountering this issue. In sept 2013 we purchased a best buy Samsung ecobubble and were very pleased.

Two and half years after purchase, June 2016, and 5 times a week use it started to emit a banging noise. It happens on any spin cycle and now has become so loud and distributing that the machine sounds like it is about to either explode or break through the wall.

In November a local repair service said plastic grommets on the bolts holding the motor have disintegrated. They have had three similar call outs in the last few months and believe the grommets should be rubber, not plastic.

Due to design of the motor and drum both the front and rear drum needs replacing, quoted at £370.00 (or a new machine).

Samsung won’t look at the machine as it is out of warranty (I forgot to fill in the paper warranty and so missed the 5 year offer, frustrating despite proof of purchase).
Are other people experiencing the same design issue with Samsung ecobubbles?

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