Parents aren’t getting the advice they need to select and fit the safest car seats for their children, a new investigation by Which? reveals.
While many parents buy car seats online to get a cheaper deal, Which? suggests that this isn’t the best way to choose a seat that’s right for their children and fits properly in their car. At one council ‘seat fitting’ clinic, all the seats bought online were unsuitable for the car, inaccurately fitted or simply wrong for the child.
Which? visited the websites of 12 major stores to test the quality of their advice. It looked for guides on the different ranges and types of seats and in particular, information on fitting seats correctly, including advice on common problems.
Asda performed the worst with no buying or fitting advice and some poor product descriptions – it scored just 4% compared with Halford’s score of 72%, the highest score achieved. Tesco also offered little useful advice, the survey indicated.
Halfords, John Lewis and Mamas & Papas were among the most helpful websites identified by Which?, offering more helpful product descriptions and specification information to help parents find the right product, as well as buying and fitting advice, and in-store fitting services.
Which? has five top recommendations for retailers looking to improve the quality of the information they provide to consumers on this issue. Firstly, product descriptions must be consistent and include key information about how they seat should be used. Secondly, the website must feature clear signposts to buying and fitting guides.
There must be information on relevant legislation and an explanation of how to tell whether a seat will fit the car. Finally, the manufacturer’s phone number and car seat fitting lists for the model should also be provided.