Our campaigning forced banks to scrap unfair fees on unarranged overdrafts, charge a single interest rate on planned and unplanned overdrafts and work to protect those stuck in a cycle of debt.
Our campaign secured auto-compensation for poor broadband and a crackdown on misleading ads that promised speeds far beyond the reality most customers experienced.
Together we convinced the regulator to take action on misleading supermarket pricing tactics, such as multi-buy deals that were more expensive than the combined price of individual items.
Which? was created in 1957 to empower and inform consumers. Our founders wanted to make the average shopper in the street just as powerful as the companies they bought their goods and services from – and we’ve been fighting your corner ever since.
Again and again, we’ve achieved major campaigning victories, changing the direction of governments and industries.
From lead-free paint in children’s toys in the ’60s to seat belts in cars in the ’80s, our campaigning has been leading the fight for consumer protection for sixty years.
Whether we’re exposing dangerous products, enforcing hygiene and safety standards or intervening to fix broken markets and reduce costs, our collective vigilance ensures that people are protected and empowered.
Buoyed by a big increase in membership, Which? moved to investigate and tackle some wide ranging issues that hadn’t been challenged before.
Following our investigations and warnings, the government bans toxic lead paint from children’s toys and introduces new rules to make electric blankets safer.
We carried out our first full test of child car seats in 1967. Since then, we’ve maintained our position as the only UK organisation carrying out extensive crash safety tests of child car seats.
The 70s was the decade when we began to take a much more active campaigning role. We campaigned strongly for law changes and over this decade important new rights for consumers came in.
The government creates a new Minister for Consumer Affairs post, after extensive campaigning from us – Geoffrey Howe is the first to take on the role.
Our campaign helped persuade the government to introduce the Unfair Contract Terms Act, which put an end to many of the problems caused by small print.
The 80s was a decade of rapid technological and economic change, which brought us the first home computers and handheld mobile phone. For Which?, it was a decade of strong membership growth with some landmark victories.
The Competition Act came into force, ensuring companies could no longer monopolise markets and consumers get the fairest price for goods and services.
Front seatbelts become compulsory after our long running campaigning on the issue.
The government passes the Financial Services Act, after we pressure them to regulate the financial services industry.
The 90s were an era of rapid technological expansion and we were surfing the wave from the start– launching our website in 1996 (before even Google existed). But we also won victories closer to home in automotive safety and food standards.
Car seatbelts in the front and back are made compulsory for any car carrying children – another important win in our product safety campaigning.
We co-founded the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP). Hundreds of thousands of lives are claimed to have been saved since its foundation.
The Independent Food Standards Agency is created in light of our demands following the BSE crisis.
The new millennium saw us building on past successes – and winning again and again on nuisance calls, debit and credit card surcharges, unarranged overdraft fees and many other campaigns.
We campaigned against the introduction of fees for using cash machines. The banks swiftly dropped their plans.
‘The impact of your work has been profound. Your campaigns and magazines have transformed the world in which we live, improving products and services in the public and private sectors. I know that you will use this platform to achieve even more for consumers in the future.’
–Gordon Brown, Prime Minister (2007-10)
After years of campaigning, we secured auto-compensation for poor broadband and a crackdown on misleading ads.
We won our campaign against nuisance calls, the government rolling out a law that can inflict fines of up to £500,000 on anyone found responsible for nuisance calls.