Which? Connect FAQs

What is Which? Connect?

Which? Connect is an exclusive, online research panel, made up of over 30,000 Which? members who each month, are invited to give their opinions on a number of different topics through online surveys. These opinions form the basis of our magazine articles and online content, as well as feeding into our campaigning activities and wider policy work.

The insight Connect members provide via their participation in online surveys enables us to recommend 1000’s of best buy products and services - and, of course, those products/services to avoid. And telling us how you choose and use the products you own, helps shape how we test and judge the performance of different types of product so we can ensure our reviews get right to the heart of what’s important to consumers.

How big is the panel and how many people participate in Connect surveys?   

The size of the panel fluctuates but it’s usually around 30,000 Which? members. The panel is invaluable to our research, as without your views, we wouldn’t be able to conduct the depth of research that we do. To ensure we don’t send you too many surveys, we apply various sampling techniques which means that some surveys go to everyone (so we can get the widest brand coverage possible), whereas others are more targeted (i.e. we might only invite members who we know subscribe to a particular magazine or who have told us in the past they’ve bought or are thinking of buying/using a certain product). The average number of members completing a Connect survey can range from 100 to 20,000.

What are Which? Connect members expected to do?

To become a member of Which? Connect, you will have to complete a short registration questionnaire. Shortly after you have registered you will be invited to participate in your first survey. Most members receive around two/three surveys a week but it is up to you how many surveys you choose to complete (although to stay an active member, you must complete at least one survey within 6 months of joining). Our surveys cover various topics and we try to only send your surveys that are relevant to you. All we ask is for your honest feedback on the products and services you have bought to inform our research at Which?

Do I need special computer hardware of software to participate?

Which? Connect activities are designed to run quickly and easily on most computer systems. All you need is:

• Access to a recent version of one of the common internet browsers.
• An email account.

What reward do I get for being a Which? Connect member?

Although there is no direct financial reward for taking part in our surveys, your participation helps shape our online and editorial content, and enables us to work with companies/manufacturers whose products are falling short of expected standards, as well as feeding into our campaigning activities to make the consumer as powerful as the organisations they have to deal within their daily lives.

How do I get in touch with Which? Connect?

If you have enquiries about any of our surveys or if you would like to make any suggestions to improve our surveys, please contact us at connecthelpdesk@which.co.uk. To ensure a swift resolution, please tell state the subject of your enquiry, and provide us with as much information as possible such as survey topic, date received invitation etc.

The support team is only able to deal with questions about the Which? Connect website or Connect related surveys. Please direct technical issues with the Which? website, or customer services issues, to the Which? customer service team by emailing which@which.co.uk

How quickly will someone respond to a message I send?

We make every attempt to respond quickly to member enquiries, and are committed to maintaining a high level of service. On average, we try to respond to messages within 48 hours if an enquiry is submitted during normal office hours and on the next available working day, if the enquiry is submitted at the weekend, or on a bank holiday.

How do I join Which? Connect?

You can apply for Which? Connect membership if you are a Which? member and you have received an invitation from Which? to join the panel or alternatively you can email us connecthelpdesk@which.co.uk

What is the minimum age for registering with Which? Connect?

You have to be 18 years of age or above to join the panel.

Do I have to live in the UK to join Which? Connect?

Yes, the Which? Connect panel is only available to residents of the UK in order to be able to review and provide feedback on services received in the UK.

After I receive an invitation to take part in a survey, how soon do I have to complete it?

We usually ask that a questionnaire is completed within 3- 5 days. However, some surveys may have a shorter turnaround time, and others longer, depending on the complexity and subject matter of the survey. Sometimes we have to extend completion deadlines especially if we haven’t got the response we were hoping for. The e-mail invitation to participate in the surveys will tell you when the survey is expected to close. If you have trouble completing a questionnaire on time, don't worry, you can always participate in the next one.

What if I am on holiday or have nothing to contribute to a particular survey?

There may be times when you are either unable to, or prefer not to, complete a survey. Even though we occasionally send a reminder saying there’s still time to complete a particular survey, there is never any pressure to respond to a survey. If however, after six months, you have not completed any surveys, we’ll get in touch to ask if you want to remain on the panel. If you say no, we’ll automatically unsubscribe you from the panel, but if you say yes, your account will be reactivated. Of course, you can also unsubscribe from the panel at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the survey template. 

Why does your survey take longer to complete than the time stated on the invite e-mail?

We’re sorry if you find that completing a Connect survey take longer than you were expecting. After launching our survey to a small number of people, we look at average completion time and add this into all other survey invitations going out for that particular survey. As not all questions will be relevant to everyone, this is the best indicator we can give, but we appreciate that some panellists may take longer to complete some surveys than others. Surveys will vary in length, but will typically take between 10, 15 and 20 minutes to complete.

Why do I keep getting surveys that aren’t relevant to me?

You may not qualify for a survey for many different reasons (e.g. you may not own the products/experienced the services featured in our survey, or you may not fit our demographic criteria if, say, we are targeting members who are have experienced a particular consumer detriment such as not getting compensation they may have been entitled to). We always make sure that we place key questions that could disqualify our members from the survey at the beginning. It’s very important that we don’t invite everyone to complete all surveys – otherwise we’d exhaust our panel and we wouldn’t be able to report on the products/services we’re researching.

I’m sometimes unable to complete a survey because I’ve been told I do not qualify. Why?

This is because we've placed 'screener' questions at the start of a survey to identify members whose experiences are relevant to the scope of the survey. For example, we may only be looking for people with a specific type of bank account or who've travelled to a particular destination. Screening enables us to filter who should actually complete the survey so we do not waste sample unnecessarily.

At the end of a survey can you give me a sneak preview of the results?

The nature of a live survey means that we cannot preview any results primarily because the data hasn’t been cleaned and more importantly, we often don’t know how exactly the survey results will shape an article or our wider research until we’ve had sufficient time to digest the findings and look at how they fit with other evidence we gathered to inform the research. However, we have started to make more prominent use of headline findings in the Connect newsletters so members can have a sneak preview of some of the interesting trends that have emerged.

At the end of the survey I always say I’d like to be re-contacted but you never get in touch. Why?

Where appropriate, we do get in touch with members depending on how they’ve answered certain questions and we need to ask your permission to do this as we’re often not sure which members we need to talk to, until the survey results come back. When we do get in touch, members often end up telling their story in the magazine or online.

In your surveys, why are you asking me about the products I buy and use? Surely it is best to ask an expert?

Though product experts write our articles, Which? readers are also keen to know how everyday consumers rate particular products and services. Therefore, the views of Which? Connect members are extremely important. Moreover, by asking large numbers of people, we can rank multiple large numbers of products and service providers in tables so members can see which are the best and which are the worst to buy/use, and we also use this information to lobby companies to improve their products/services for consumers.

Where can I find feedback about the surveys I participate in?

The Which? magazines and the Which? website are the best places to see how we’ve used the data we’ve collected from panel members. If you are interested in the results of a survey not featured in these publications, you can always search the Which? website to see how the findings were used in an article.  

Why can’t I open surveys?

Please note that not all internet providers allow users to click on links within their email. If you are unable to gain access to our survey please try the following:

• Copy and paste the link from your email into the browser address box and press enter. This will take you directly to the correct page.
• Ensure you copy the entire web address into the browser as sometimes the link can spread over two lines.
• Make sure when you copy the link it does not contain any line breaks as this will also stop the link from working.
• We recommend that you use Chrome or Internet Explorer to take our surveys as they may not be compatible with other browsers.

Why don’t all your surveys work on my iPhone?

Most of our surveys are compatible with PCs, tablets and iPhones. However, because of the complexity of how are surveys are designed, some of the questions may not show up correctly on a tablet or mobile. The introduction of the survey or the invitation e-mail should specify whether the survey works across all devices and will advise you to use a PC when necessary.

Why is there no back button?

It is standard practise in market research not to have a back button in surveys. This is partly because of design issues that sit behind complex surveys, and partly because we place a high value on getting initial reaction to questions and a back button mitigates this opportunity. However, we are aware that sometimes mistakes occur that cannot be rectified without a back button and so if this happens, please contact the helpdesk on connecthelpdesk@which.co.uk so we can delete your old entry and you can start the survey again.

Will my personal information be given out to anyone without my permission?

No. The information you provide to Which? Connect is for market research purposes only. In some questionnaires we will ask whether you are willing to be recontacted about the content of that survey. If you say yes, we may pass your email address and responses to that survey to a Which? researcher who will either ask your permission to print your name/location (if they haven’t already done so in the survey) or they may print your comment anonymously. We will always make it absolutely clear when your email address/responses or any identifiable information will be used in our publications, and seek your permission for this. In all other cases the information you provide is confidential. You will receive no advertising or solicitations from third party providers as a result of your participation. For more information, visit our Which? privacy policy page

What about privacy? What rights do I have as a Which? Connect member?

We value member participation in Which? Connect, and therefore we are committed to your right to privacy. You may want to read the Privacy Policy for more information on how we protect your privacy.

Will my answers to surveys be used anonymously?

Your answers will be combined with those from other panel members, and reported at an aggregate level (e.g. 20% of panel members think x). The only time we would quote you personally is if a Which? researcher follows up your survey response with your permission (see above), and you agree with the researcher to be quoted. In all other cases, comments will only be used anonymously.

How do I unsubscribe?

We’re always sorry to see members unsubscribe from Which? Connect. If there is anything we can help you with before deciding to unsubscribe, please contact us at connecthelpdesk@which.co.uk.

I have a question that does not fit into any of the above categories. Who can I contact?

Please note that the support team is only able to deal with questions about Which? Connect. Suggestions about the Which? website, and suggestions for the Which? customer services team, need to be emailed to editor@which.co.uk

However, if you are having problems which are not covered by the previous categories, please email our support team by clicking which@which.co.uk

If you have any other questions regarding Which? Connect, please email connecthelpdesk@which.co.uk.

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