'Which?' offers consumer power via the Net
Saturday 25 May 1996
The Consumers' Association, publishers of Which? magazine, are setting up an Internet site called Which? Online to be launched in the Autumn offering a range of products.
If, for example, someone wants to buy a particular make of car they will be able to get together with other potential buyers to exchange information to discover the cheapest dealer and make a joint approach to himto get the best price.
Users will also be able to exchange information about faults or problems with appliances.
"So if you are living in Grimsby and you need a plumber you will be able to go online and find out from other members in the area who will give you good and cheap service," said Paul Kitchen, Which? Online's managing editor.
Electronic trading has been available on the Internet for some time but aimed at companies which want to buy or sell industrial goods.
But individuals have been wary of the practical and legal problems of dealing with strangers. The Consumers' Association hopes that its image as the champion of consumer rights will overcome this fear.
The association is also planning its own credit card with its name and logo displayed, in the hope that retailers will be encouraged to give good service.
Of its 750,000 members, the association expects 50,000 to be able to go online. It is hoping to attract new members in the 25-35 age group.
The association will also put online its vast library of reports on consumer goods and services including household appliances, holidays, cars and financial services.
"Consumers will no longer be passive receivers of information," said Mr Kitchen. "They will be able to use it to get in touch with experts and interact with other consumers."
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Terrorism explanation 'cannot be ruled out', says CIA
Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: One of the largest mobile advert...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client specialises in creati...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Private Cli...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residential...