Which? Awards 2012 winners announced

Car manufacturer Kia and retailer Lush become first time winners at the Which? Awards 2012

Launched in 2007, the Which? Awards publicly recognise and celebrate the very best businesses in the UK, that consistently get it right for consumers.

Each year the Which? Awards ceremony features a high profile speaker and, in previous years, speakers have included Business Secretary Vince Cable MP and Chancellor George Osborne MP. The Which? Awards 2012 featured a keynote speech from Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP on responsible business.

This year car manufacturer Kia, never previously shortlisted for an award, scooped the Which? Best Car Manufacturer award after scoring highly in our survey for both customer satisfaction and reliability. Retailer Lush also became a first time winner receiving the coveted Which? Best Retailer award.

The Positive Change Award, introduced last year to recognise a company that has made significant changes to give its customers a better deal, was awarded to The Co-operative Energy in recognition for its simple pricing policy, clear information and advice to customers and for introducing a new market leading tariff to win The Big Switch auction.

First Direct won Which? Best Financial Services Provider for delivering consistently high levels of customer satisfaction, good products and services, as well as clear information for customers.

Aldi beat supermarket rivals to receive the Best Supermarket award for its exceptional value and outstanding product quality.

Which? Chief Executive Peter Vicary-Smith said:
“As consumers feel the pinch, they are becoming more discerning. They are looking for the best deal, on the best product or service they can afford, provided by the best business. When we asked consumers what single behaviour they most associate with a good business, excellent customer service came first.

“The economic outlook remains challenging but, as this year’s Which? Award winners have shown, it is possible to succeed in difficult times, when you stay focused on the needs of your customers.”

The Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP said:
“Lack of trust in established institutions poses enormous challenges in creating an economy that works for working people. It is massively in our country’s interest to restore trust and I’d like to pay tribute to Which? and today’s award winners who do great work in this area.”

Notes to editors:
1. The full list of Which? Awards 2012 winners are:

o Best Supermarket: Aldi

o Best Car Manufacturer: Kia

o Best Financial Services Provider: First Direct

o Best Technology Services Provider: O2

o Best Audio-Visual Brand: Samsung

o Best Home Appliance Brand: Bosch

o Best Photographic Brand: Canon

o Best Retailer: Lush

o Positive Change Award: Co-operative Energy

o Which? Local Business of the Year: Advanced Cleaning (London)

o The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year: Van Zeller

2. We recognise businesses that have achieved positive change and deliver excellent products and services that score highly in our research and testing. We award businesses across a wide range of sectors from cars to retailers, banks to energy companies, and home appliances to local businesses. The Which? Awards are completely independent and businesses can’t put themselves forward to win an award.

Visit the Which? Awards website.

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