Consumer

Sue Chetwin’s Consumer rort

e22e23Consumer Magazine has been one of our flagship institutions for generations.  Need a new heat pump?  What about a fridge?  What is the best phone company?

Our parents as their parents before them turned to the independent and comprehensive advice found in Consumer Magazine.

In the past, at least, you wouldn’t have expected Consumer Magazine to favour one product or service over another based on how much that company paid Consumer in cold hard cash.

But that has changed.  Come with me as I take you on a tour of damning evidence.

Internet providers are doing a worse job with customers more likely to be dissatisfied, according to an annual survey by Consumer NZ.

It said satisfaction in their overall services had dropped 6 percentage points to 68 per cent over the past year, based on a poll of more than 10,000 of its members.

Vodafone and Spark had “a long way to go” before their customers felt satisfied with their services, it said.

Consumer NZ said the feedback showed an overall decline in perceptions of network reliability, but Spark spokeswoman Lucy Fullarton said that did not marry with independent reports from the likes of Wellington testing company TrueNet which indicated Spark’s network was “stacking up really well”.

Spark would nevertheless study the report and was always looking to improve its services, she said.

Vodafone spokesman Brad Pogson said it had invested significantly in its fixed and mobile networks over the past year and in January TrueNet had said its cable customers had the best webpage download times.

2degrees was the “standout” mobile network provider, Consumer NZ said.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin confirmed the company had paid about $20,000 to become accredited as a “Consumer Trusted” business but said that could have “absolutely no influence whatsoever” on its survey findings.

Do you believe Sue?   Read more »

Meat eaters on the rise

The hippies are moaning because there is a global move toward an animal based diet.

Mmmm….meat.

Apparently eating meat is leading to an environmental disaster.

The fast-growing economies of China and India are driving a global increase in meat consumption, cancelling out decreases elsewhere, according to a comprehensive study of global food consumption.

The work, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, takes a detailed look at what people eat, as well as trends from one country to the next. It is also the first time that researchers have calculated humanity’s trophic level, a metric used in ecology to position species in the food chain.  Read more »