Posts Tagged ‘survey’

Mums, eh? In reality they’re all drinking too much and wishing they could ditch the kids and be rock stars. But in the world of retail, they’re benign fluffy wuffy ciphers in Emma Bridgewater aprons, making Bake-Off style goodies and smiling happily while holding brightly coloured spatulas.

mum in kitchen John Lewis is Mums favourite brand, apparently

Some women are obviously buying into it, though, because John Lewis has topped a Mumsnet poll to become the favoured brand of Mums. That’s followed by Waitrose (because we’re ALL about making the dinner!), Amazon (steady on, ladies, reading books can lead to ideas), Apple (wait, you’re not WRITING A BOOK ARE YOU?) and M&S (phew).

John Lewis targets Mums more effectively than a cannon containing George Clooney and a cupcake. And as it’s Britain’s most trusted brand, Mums are going mad for the My John Lewis loyalty cards, which target prospective parents with offers and discounts in their nursery section.

‘Mumsnet members are rightly picky about brands,’ said Rachel Swift from John Lewis. ‘Our customers have busy lives and a huge amount of choice about where they spend their money, so activity through My John Lewis has been focused on giving new mums in particular a really tight edit of what we think they need, to make this special time in their lives as hassle-free as possible.’

BLAH BLAH BLAH. Is it time to open Mummy’s Special Wine Box yet?

Fife is the noisy neighbour hotspot of the UK

March 18th, 2014 No Comments By Lucy Sweet

Fife, on the East coast of Scotland, is not only a hotspot for Buckfast drinking, Edith Bowman and the Proclaimers, but it’s also now the place that sees the most complaints about disruptive neighbours in the UK.
noisy neighbour Fife is the noisy neighbour hotspot of the UK

That’s according to Churchill Home Insurance, which raided documents under the Freedom of Information act and found that 53 out of 1000 people in Fife had officially complained to councils about neighbours playing loud music and generally being anti-social nutjobs. That amounts to 19,070 ear shattering, dog barking complaints.

Second was Newcastle upon Tyne, with 45 statutory complaints per 1000 people, and third was the peaceful London borough of Westminster, which numbered 40 complaints for every thousand people.

Martin Scott from Churchill said: ‘These findings present a worrying picture of the effects other people and properties near our homes have on our lives.It’s a reminder to all of us to consider that our parties, pets and general property maintenance may be causing our neighbours undue amounts of stress.’

(What he really means is: ‘don’t be a dick and KEEP IT DOWN.’)

But if you don’t want to hear the bassline of ‘Blurred Lines’ thumping through your central heating pipes at dawn, then there is a solution. You could move to the Isles of Scilly, which only generated ONE complaint in the first 9 months of 2013. And that was probably about a slightly bushy leylandii.

Spread a little happiness on Facebook

March 13th, 2014 No Comments By Lucy Sweet

A smile really is better than a frown – even on the Internet. Yes, it’s now officially been proven that positive social media posts have more reach than negative ones. Other people’s happiness is contagious, both in real life, and online.

smiley face 300x300 Spread a little happiness on Facebook

That’s according to researchers at the University of California, who studied more than a billion Facebook updates over a three year period (POOR THEM) and found that happiness spread further, while misery generally gets two likes and a ‘u ok hun?’ from someone called Janice. Obviously, you can spread your negativity around, too, but it’s not as powerful as happiness.

They worked this out by contrasting data from cities in which in rained a lot, and compared it to data from cities where the weather was good. (Weather is known to affect people’s moods and levels of negativity, as anyone who has been to Glasgow knows).

In the cities where it wasn’t raining there were more positive posts. A positive post generated an average of 1.75 other positive posts. But a negative post from the damp stragglers in the rainy cities only generated a further 1.29 negative responses.

James Fowler, professor of political science at the University said:

‘We have enough power in this data set to show that emotional expressions spread online and also that positive expressions spread more than negative. It is possible that emotional contagion online is even stronger than we were able to measure.’

WHO WANTS TO START A BAND CALLED EMOTIONAL CONTAGION?

*no likes*

EE are the best British mobile network

March 13th, 2014 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

EE 4G cities 229x300 EE are the best British mobile networkWho is the best British mobile network? Well, if you can read headlines, you’ll already know that the best British mobile network is EE.

Says who? Well, this was decided in an independent study of mobile performance across the UK by mobile analytics firm RootMetrics, which you will agree, is impossibly exciting. And the results are more surprising that EE simply coming out on top.

That’s because EE topped every single category, which included network reliability, call quality, mobile internet, texts and network speed. Remarkably, Three came in at a strong second, even though their customers seem to do a huge amount of complaining on social networks about their coverage.

RootMetrics’ results were based on more than 840,000 samples taken across the whole of the UK and president Bill Moore said: “These results give UK consumers and businesses the most accurate view of mobile performance in the UK that has ever been made available. From nation to neighbourhood, people now have access to data showing them the best network in their area.”

“No other study of this size and scale for mobile performance has ever been carried out before in the UK, and it has, for the first time, shown consumers the true services they are receiving from their network provider.”

The runts of the pack were Vodafone and O2 who lagged behind EE and Three.

We may have muffin tops that could obscure the sun, but give us some hard cash and we’ll lose it like a shot. We’d also quit fags if we could be quids in. Because it turns out that even pitifully small amounts of money talk louder than any government health initiative.

fat and happy Want to lose weight? You’ll probably do it for £3

That’s according to researchers at Newcastle University (a haven for booze, fags and stotties), who found that people were happy to improve their health for financial incentives. They looked at 16 previous studies and discovered that we’d get off our collective arses for as little as £3.

Research Associate Emma Miles said: his was an interesting finding and we were surprised at just how strong the effect was.

‘People who took part in these reward or penalty schemes were much more likely to adopt healthy behaviours, and if they continued they would have more chance of remaining healthy for longer.’

Unfortunately there’s no research to show how long we’d stay healthy, and whether eventually we’d spend our £3 on a Mars Bar and a can of Monster. And it’s difficult to know how to implement it.

But Jean Adams, senior lecturer in public health at Newcastle University says as we’re all dropping like flies, it’s worth a try.

‘We try all kinds of techniques to try to help people to quit smoking or otherwise live healthy lives, so why not try this? It is about nudging people to healthier behaviours. There is a chance this could save the taxpayer money in the long run.’

Personally, I’d lose weight for about £7.50. But I’ll also need someone to run in front of me with a bag of Wotsits on a string.

Got a leaky tap? Roof caving in? Are your carpets emanating Eau de Dead Rat? Generally living in squalor?

derelict houses 300x200 Renters too scared of ‘revenge eviction’ to complain

Well, many tenants who have approached their landlords about repairs haven’t just been getting short shrift – they’ve been slapped with eviction notices for daring to speak out.

According to a survey by Shelter, tenants are increasingly suffering ‘revenge evictions’ after asking for repairs or help from their landlords. The survey asked 4,500 private renters about evictions and the amount of people who had been evicted for complaining was one in 50 (2%).

If multiplied over the whole of the UK, that amounts to over 200,000 people who have been given their marching orders just for asking for home improvements.

8% of those asked said they were too scared to approach their landlord about repairs. The survey also painted a gloomy picture of the state of rental properties in general, with 41% of tenants complaining of mould, a quarter dealing with leaking windows and roofs, and 16% living with dodgy wiring.

Shelter are so flabberghasted by the state of rental property and the amount of revenge evictions that they’ve launched an online campaign for new laws to protect tenants.

Sign it here and show those nasty, rogue landlords what for.

Then go and scrape those mushrooms off your windowsill.

WHICH! are the best vacuum cleaners?

March 10th, 2014 6 Comments By Lucy Sweet

You don’t have to pay loads of money to pick up your fluff and crumbs – Which! has found (as they’re increasingly doing these days) that a cheaper vacuum cleaner can be as good as an expensive one. 11 cheaper models hoovered up praise in their survey, whereas the most pricey one – a Miele Hybrid, costing £450 – scored the same as a cheaper Miele version costing just £150.

bosch vacuum 300x300 WHICH! are the best vacuum cleaners?

The best was a Bosch BSG8PRO1GB Home Professional Cylinder Vacuum (with a bag), costing £263, and was particularly good for allergy sufferers and getting rid of animal hair. A cheaper version of the Bosch scored highly too – costing only £148 and scoring 77 out of 100 in the test.

Which! vacuum cleaner experts said: ‘While you can pay up to £450 for a vacuum cleaner, our testing shows that there is currently no real increase in quality once you go beyond £300, so don’t pay more than that if you can help it,’

They added: ‘The range in prices of similar quality vacs can be astonishing. You can save £322 by not buying the £450 model that gets a test score of 77 per cent and spending £128 on a vac which gets 76 per cent. The difference between the two is tiny, with the cheaper model getting one star less in a couple of areas.’

So don’t splurge more than £300. But don’t go under the £100 mark, either, because that’s when they really start to suck. (Or not, as the case might be.) The big clangers in the test were the Vax Pets and Family upright, (£79.99) and the Asda Value cylinder (£25) – together, neither of them could hoover the Dorito dust from your belly button.

Which! airport train service is the worst?

February 25th, 2014 4 Comments By Lucy Sweet

Getting a train from the airport to a nearby city is usually an expensive business, but it’s over to everyone’s favourite consumer gods, Which! to tell us which one sucks the most.

gatwick express 300x300 Which! airport train service is the worst?

And the accolade for the crappiest airport train service goes to…THE GATWICK EXPRESS, which scored 60/100. Why? Because, as anyone who has ever been on it can testify, out of all the airport train services, it’s bad value for money at an always shocking £19.90 each way for a journey that lasts about half an hour. And they don’t even put on nice shiny trains.

The Heathrow and Stansted Express also scored low for value for money – but while the Stansted Express is a terrifying £23.40 each way, it scored higher marks for luggage space and comfort.

The best, easiest and cheapest London journey by far was the Docklands Light Railway from London City Airport. (And the DLR is also good because you can sit in the front seat and pretend to drive it.) But then, only business class types and golden gods can afford to fly from City airport.

Outside of London, regional airports scored highly for their train services, with the top spot occupied by Virgin Trains, whose cheap as chips and highly efficient rail service from Birmingham costs only £2.40.

Which! say that passengers need to complain more about the standard of train services from the big London airports, otherwise we’ll continue to be fleeced. Ricardo Lloyd spat:

‘There are unacceptably wide differences in the levels of customer satisfaction for airport trains, with many people especially unhappy about the high cost of some express services. Train companies must do more to listen to travellers’ views, which is why we’ve launched a campaign to Get Trains on Track, calling for a better response to complaints.’

Another Which! campaign. Don’t these people ever SLEEP?

If you want to get on the property ladder without breaking the bank, you could do worse than to search for houses on rude sounding streets. According to a survey by some website or other called needaproperty.com, houses with ‘ooh, you are awful’ saucy addresses can be £84,000 cheaper than ones on say, Acacia Avenue or Bluebell Drive.

slag lane 300x239 Looking for a cheap house? Look no further than Crotch Crescent…

So get yourself down to Fanny Hands Lane in Lincolnshire, or snap up a SEMI in Turkey Cock Lane. (GEDDIT? Yes, I’m sure you do). And there’s a bargain to be had on Slag Lane in Lancashire. That was pinpointed in the survey as the second most embarrassing-sounding street to live on, with 26% of the 2000 people saying they didn’t want a Slag in their address.

The most embarrassing street name in Britain, however, goes to Minge Lane in Worcestershire, which quaintly shocked 31% of respondents.

But even though ordering a pizza to come to Minge Lane or Cockshoot Cresecent might be a bit of a MOUTHFUL, the price differences might change your mind. A detached house on Minge Lane is £253, 389, compared to a whopping £325,000 in nearby street called Longfield. And Slag Lane houses go for around £20,000 less than those in the innocuous sounding Fieldfare Close, up the road.

And Annie Gray, a proud resident of the Fanny Hands Lane, says it’s worth living there for the LOLZ, anyway. In fact, the name was the reason she bought a house there in the first place.

‘If you’re ever ordering anything and tell people your address, as soon as you say ‘Fanny’, they know exactly where you mean.’

Do you know how to apply for a rail refund?

February 21st, 2014 3 Comments By Lucy Sweet

Most of us have no idea what our rights are when it comes to applying for a refund after a cancelled or delayed train journey. Do we get compensation? Is it worth bothering to fill in a million forms only to be given a £5 voucher for your next soul-destroying adventure?

train 287x300 Do you know how to apply for a rail refund?

A report from the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) found that 75% of us know ‘not very much at all’ about the refund process or what compensation – if any – we’re entitled to. It also found that 74% of passengers felt that train companies do bugger all to provide information about compensation.

Passengers suggested a poster campaign and more prominently displayed information about compensation on websites, somewhat naively thinking that the rail companies might have our best interests at heart. At the moment, half of the 1000 passengers surveyed said they wouldn’t know where to find information on compensation even if they looked for it.

The ORR are now planning to develop a code of practice on clearer and more freely available information about rail compensation by the end of 2014, saying that passengers are ‘at the heart’ of the rail industry and are ‘crucial to its growth.’

Whether that will make rail companies treat us more like human beings rather than doomed pigs on the way to the abbatoir remains to be seen. But you never know – furious customers demanding compensation might be just the ticket to get trains running on time.

60% of drivers Eat and Drive

February 20th, 2014 6 Comments By Lucy Sweet

Most of us might not risk drinking or driving, but it turns out that over half of us are not averse to stuffing our faces at the wheel – putting ourselves and everyone else at risk of Krispy Kreme related car accidents.

eating in the car 60% of drivers Eat and Drive

That’s according to a survey by road charity Brake and Direct Line, who found that three in five drivers have admitted to driving while scoffing some form of tasty service station treat. And 2% of us have actually almost caused an accident while trying open a Big Bag of beefy Hula Hoops.

Experts contend that eating at the wheel is just as distracting as using a mobile phone, which of course, is illegal.

But it turns out that we don’t just use our car as a banqueting hall. 15% of the 1000 drivers surveyed also admitted to personal grooming while driving.

Deputy chief executive of Brake, Julie Townsend said:

‘Driving is the most complicated and risky thing most of us do on a regular basis, so it is vital we give it our full and undivided attention. We can’t afford to treat our cars as an extension of our kitchen or bathroom.’

(You mean we can’t shave, have a bath, do the washing or make a stir fry? BORING).

However Edmund King, president of the AA, rather amusingly said that the problem wasn’t that bad, and that people needed to take the results of survey ‘with a pinch of salt.’

On top of a KFC chicken bucket that you’re eating with a knife and fork in the fast lane of the M6.

One in four of us feel less secure in our jobs

February 17th, 2014 5 Comments By Lucy Sweet

Despite the economic recovery that everyone is being told is happening, a survey by Legal and General has shown that 4 in 10 of us feel even less job security now than they did at the height of the recession.

Job Centre3 One in four of us feel less secure in our jobs

Perhaps as a result of being battered round the head continuously for the past few years with frozen wages, high cost of living and dismantled public services, it seems that it’ll take more than some blah blah-ing about economic recovery to help us feel better.

L&G’s Job Security Index revealed that only 1 in 10 workers felt more secure in their job since economic growth returned, compared to 37% who said they felt more insecure. 46% of people said that the economic climate had nothing to do with their job security – but they probably filled in that box really quickly while they were busy slopping out pigs/working in Greggs.

Mark Holweger from Legal and General said:

‘It’s interesting to see that despite the reports of green shoots in our national economy, and significantly lower unemployment rates in recent months, this hasn’t quite filtered through into how many UK workers feel about their own job. It’s clear that it will take time for economic improvements to result directly in increased confidence.’

Maybe it’s because we’re still not seeing any MONEY and we’re living on Fray Bentos pies from Poundland?

Witness the fitness (in Leeds)

January 30th, 2014 7 Comments By Lucy Sweet

When it comes to buying fitness equipment, you would think that neurotic Londoners would be the biggest spenders. But no. It turns out that the good folk of Leeds, when they’re not eating pies and singing ‘On Ikley Moor Bah tat’ are buying up cross trainers, diet supplements and pedometers faster than Billy Whizz from the Beano.

fitness1 Witness the fitness (in Leeds)

The study, commissioned by PriceSpy, studied online purchases of sports equipment by region and found that the top three fittest areas were Leeds, Cardiff and Gloucester, closely followed by Manchester.

The most slovenly city in Britain, however, was Wolverhampton, which wallowed at the bottom of the table like a manatee wearing a Noddy Holder hat.

PriceSpy admitted that there was no guarantee that all this fitness equipment might be gathering dust by February. However, the findings were generally in line with another recent survey which pinpointed levels of sports participation in Britain.

So, Wolverhampton – get off your arses and into some lycra. The nation is watching you…

Cost of bringing up kids rises by £5000

January 23rd, 2014 6 Comments By Lucy Sweet

People are putting off having kids because they’re so bloody expensive to keep in nappies, booze and iPads. Now it costs an average of £227,226 to bring up one of the little buggers until they’re 21– and even then they probably won’t be able to afford to leave home and will sit forever on your sofa, smoking pot and killing hookers in Grand Theft Auto.

ChildrensMenu CruisesForFamiles tcm12 8617 300x165 Cost of bringing up kids rises by £5000

According to a survey by LV= one in five would-be parents are delaying having children because they just can’t afford them. In fact with the sky high cost of living, and the ridiculously inflated cost of childcare – not to mention child benefit cuts – it’s a wonder we haven’t all gone down the clinic to get our tubes tied.

Anyway, if you are already a parent, I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear that EVERY SINGLE cost involved in bringing up a child has increased.

If you are going to have a kid, though, here’s a top tip – move to Wales. Welsh children are cheaper to raise for some reason, at £210,715. But whatever you do don’t bring them up in London, where visits to Giraffe and Boden togs for little Atticus and Boudicca will set you back an eye-watering £224,997.

Hmm, looks like it’s vasectomy time, guys!

Energy customer satisfaction at an all time low

January 20th, 2014 3 Comments By Lucy Sweet

The larger energy companies are once again failing their customers, according to Which!, who have found that overall customer satisfaction has slumped even further – from 49% to 41%.

bill shocker 300x175 Energy customer satisfaction at an all time low

All the Big Six companies are languishing at the bottom of the table like large, unflushable turds, despite the fact that they account for 90% of the energy market. NPower is the worst turd, with 31% customer satisfaction. The others don’t fare much better, with the best of a bad bunch being E-On with 45%.

Rising to the top full of fibre and vigour are the little energy companies that could, with the clear winner being Good Energy, who have managed to top the Which! table for two years in a row. In joint first place is teeny weeny supplier Ecotricity – both scored 82%.

But the energy market as a whole is on its knees, and as you can imagine, Ricardo Lloyd from Which! is blowing a fuse about all this. He said:

‘Once again the biggest energy companies have been beaten by the smaller suppliers but there are no winners in a broken market that consistently fails consumers. We want to see radical solutions to improve competition and keep prices in check, like the biggest energy companies being forced to separate wholesale generation from the retail arms of their business.’

Don’t mess with Richard. Just…DO WHAT HE SAYS, OK?