Which? has identified dud deals that should be avoided this Black Friday, including a pair of child car seats, a terrible TV and energy-guzzling fridges and freezers.
The consumer champion gives Which? Don’t Buy labels to products that its rigorous, independent lab tests expose as falling well short on quality. These products could be a waste of money for shoppers – at a time when many can ill afford it during the current cost of living crisis.
Which? experts analysed Black Friday deals from retailers, including Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys and Little Angels Prams, and found items with various red flags.
Which? found a child car seat for sale which scored poorly in its side crash test and could expose children to risk of injury. The Graco Logico L is in the Amazon sale at a discounted price of £40 from its pre-sale price of £50 but is a Which? Don’t Buy. The seat meets legal safety requirements under R44 regulations, but due to its poor side-impact protection, Which? does not recommend it. Which? has a more rigorous test than the minimum legal requirements. Where the standard only requires front impact testing, Which? tests side impact too.
Another Don’t Buy child car seat, the Maxi Cosi Beryl, performed poorly in Which?’s side crash test. This car seat meets legal safety requirements under R44 regulations, but Which? still thinks no parent should risk buying it. The product’s sizing is not quite right, meaning children weighing 25kg are slightly oversized for the seat, leaving them exposed. The Maxi Cosi Beryl was found available for sale at Little Angels Prams – sold at £270, reduced from £319.
One of the worst televisions Which? believes it has ever tested is on sale at Argos. Which?’s TV expert described the Don’t Buy Hisense 50A7100FTUK as ‘absolutely abysmal’. Poor motion control ruins action with shaky visuals, while still scenes are marred by dark contrast and a palette that skews too red. This apparent bargain at £249, down from £349, is not worth shoppers’ hard-earned cash.
Which? experts also found fridges and freezers with poor energy efficiency. These take a long time to chill or freeze food and drink and risk adding significant costs to their owners’ bills.
The Hoover HBFUP 130 NKE freezer, available for £289 at Currys from an original price of £369, launched with an F energy rating and is a Don’t Buy. Which? estimates it will cost households almost £50 extra a year to operate under the current energy price guarantee. It also has inconsistent temperature control and is slow to freeze food.
The Amica FDR2213C Retro fridge-freezer, a Don’t Buy reduced to £399 from £479 at AO, is energy inefficient and so slow to refrigerate food that it could lose freshness.
Another Don’t Buy product in the Black Friday sales is a dishwasher which is likely to need its filters constantly cleaned. Which? tests found that the filters on the Hisense HV651D60UK would probably have to be cleaned every third cycle. It also earned bottom marks for quietness and could be disruptive for people using it. The dishwasher typically sells for £399 and is £379 in the AO sale.
When it comes to laptops, Which? recommends that consumers avoid the Fusion5 T90B+ Pro, which has both terrible performance and short-lived guaranteed security support. The Don’t Buy laptop is on sale for £160 at Amazon, down from £200.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services, said:
“Our research has found so-called Black Friday bargains that could end up being a big let down and money down the drain for people who buy them.
“The cost of living crisis makes it even more important that people can make their money go further with savvy purchases in the sales. Only buy products if you really need them and do your research so you don’t end up with a certified dud.”
Notes to editors
- Check Which?’s Black Friday insider’s guide to find out the pick of the genuine bargains as they are announced.
- Which? recommendations and reviews are written by experts after putting products through rigorous, independent laboratory tests. These help to separate the best from the rest — and help shoppers avoid what Which? calls a Don’t Buy.
- All prices were accurate on Friday 18th November 2022.
- Which?’s top 15 shopping tips for the Black Friday sales.
- Know your rights when seeking an online return.
Which?’s top tips for shopping in the Black Friday sales
Don’t impulse buy – Work out what you need or want to buy and how much you’re prepared to spend before you start shopping in the sales.
Don’t panic – Don’t worry about missing out on a good offer as our research has revealed that you could be better off waiting until after Black Friday anyway.
Do your research – Look at the price on previous days, using sites such as PriceRunner, to make sure you really are getting a good deal.
Be careful with reviews – It’s always worth checking product reviews before choosing what to buy, but make sure you use a trusted source such as Which? to avoid being caught out by fake reviews.
Don’t be afraid to hit the shops – As long as you have a data connection on your smartphone you can be in Currys and on Amazon at the same time. Having access to websites means you can reference prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal in store.
Know your rights – For those buying in store, check the returns policy as these vary. Buying online gives consumers more rights: depending on the goods they buy, they usually have 14 days from the date of delivery to cancel an order and a further 14 days to return it for a refund.
Use Which? – Experts will be scrutinising the Black Friday sales to pick the deals that really are worth a look. Check Which? for a pick of the best bargains out there, as well as the duds to avoid.
Which? is the UK’s consumer champion, here to make life simpler, fairer and safer for everyone. Our research gets to the heart of consumer issues, our advice is impartial, and our rigorous product tests lead to expert recommendations. We’re the independent consumer voice that influences politicians and lawmakers, investigates, holds businesses to account and makes change happen. As an organisation we’re not for profit and all for making consumers more powerful.
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