Consumer watchdog Which? has named the winners and runners-up of its 2014 Awards.
Which? said its teams of experts chose the best brands of the last 12 months, across 11 categories including retailers and home appliances, ‘that consistently delivered excellent-quality products and customer service’. Brand innovation and value for money were also key factors.
Which? tests more than 2,500 products every year and assesses services by asking tens of thousands of customers to rate them, and by carrying out its own undercover investigations into the quality of advice given. It awards Best Buy or Which? Recommended Provider endorsements to the products and services that achieve the highest results in its comparative testing and analysis. The teams of Which? researchers use these results to help shortlist the best-performing companies in each category.
John Lewis was voted Best Retailer. “There’s not much that doesn’t impress us about John Lewis, part of the John
Lewis Partnership, which also includes Waitrose,” Which? said. “It just keeps getting better according to its customers, with its customer score improving by 5% compared with last year’s high street
shops survey results.” Which? added that the number of Which? Recommended Provider awards it has
earned this year is unmatched among retailers; and it’s been voted the best in 10 of the 13 shopping categories it appears in, performing better than specialist retailers in some areas. Also shortlisted for this award was Lakeland, Lush, Richer Sounds and Screwfix.
Cosmetics chain Lush won the award for best customer service. It recently took the number one spot in the 2014 Which? high street shops survey, and was voted top in the Which? Awards 2014 for its ‘five-star rated customer service; for having knowledgeable and helpful
staff, and for making customers feel valued’. Also shortlisted was First Direct, RAC, Trailfinders, Ecotricity and Utility Warehouse.
Waitrose was named best supermarket, for performing consistently highly for its store and online offerings. “Waitrose continues to be rated an excellent supermarket by shoppers, both in-store and online,” Which? said. “No other supermarket matches its five-star rating for in-store customer service. It gets top marks for quality of produce in-store, too.” Also shortlisted was Aldi, Ocado, Marks & Spencer and Lidl. Ocado was rated as the best supermarket for online shopping.
The best home appliance brand accolade was scooped by Bosch, which has won this award four years in a row. “It’s the king of the kitchen appliances, “ Which? said. “It also makes the quietest vac we’ve ever tested.” In this category, the performance of appliances such as washing machines, tumble dryers, fridge freezers, dishwashers, cookers and ovens were assessed. Bosch, along with Miele, dominates with the most Best Buys currently being sold in UK shops – Bosch has 35 in total. It also has the highest number of Great Value and Energy Saver models compared with any other brand tested by Which? Also shortlisted was AEG, Miele, Neff and Siemens.