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Help

All the help you need to discover more about us and use our website

On this help page you'll find FAQs on:

 

Need something else?

If you can't find what you're looking for then please get in contact us by email [enquiries-at-ethicalconsumer.org] or over the phone on 0161 226 2929 or fill in the contact form on our Contact Us page.

 

Subscriptions

As a subscriber you get:

  • six issues a year of the magazine in print and/or digital format
  • the full score table for each shopping guide
  • all the stories behind the tables in the shopping guides
  • brand and company information and ratings
  • the ability to customise ethical ratings
  • downloadable back issues of the magazine
  • our regular email newsletter

How do I subscribe to Ethical Consumer?

Subscribe online or call us on 0161 226 2929 to pay over the phone, 10am - 4.30pm.

You can subscribe if you are based outside of the UK also. For overseas print subscriptions this will cost £45.95 a year.

How does the 30 day trial work?

You buy a subscription and have full access to the website and receive a print and/or digital copy of the magazine.

If you don't want to continue with it, you can cancel any time within the first 30 days to receive a full refund. To cancel just telephone us during office hours on 0161 226 2929 or email shop@ethicalconsumer.org with your name, address and username stating that you wish to cancel.

Can I change my subscription from PDF (online) to print magazine, or vice versa?

Yes, if you are based in the UK you can do this at any time. You will need to contact our subscriptions team via this contact form and we will alter your order for you. There is no cost for a change in either direction.

If you are based outside of the UK, you will need to contact us to arrange for an additional charge for international postage.

How do I cancel my subscription?

Please contact our subscriptions team via our contact form to cancel your subscription.

How do I renew to Ethical Consumer?

There are three options for renewing your subscription, you can pay by card via blink, by Paypal or by Direct Debit.

To set up a Direct Debit payment you can fill in your details online, download a Direct Debit form to send to us by post, or phone us on 0161 226 2929.

Subscribers can log in to their account and monitor how long they have left of their subscription on the 'My Account' page on our website, there should be an option there to renew your subscription. However, if your subscription has already ended and you cannot use the renew option, you will need to purchase a new subscription. As long as you renew within 1 year, we will process this as a renewal.

Print subscribers may receive renewal reminders up to 4 months before the end of their current subscription. This is because they may be on their penultimate print magazine at this point. Renewing early will not affect your renewal date and will stop any further renewal reminders being sent to you.

My account says my subscription is not due to expire for another 2/4 months - why are you contacting me to say it's expired?

As our print magazine comes out every 2 months, to ensure that you do not miss any issues we send out reminders when you receive your penultimate and your final magazine to remind you to renew. You can still access the website up to the end of the full expiry period. Renewing early will not affect your renewal date and will stop any further renewal reminders being sent to you.

How do I change my personal information or postal address?

Log in to the website and click on ‘My account’. Once the new page has opened click on the 'Account details' section and your personal information will appear.

Once you have updated your details, click on ‘Save my details’ to update. You do not need to email us to confirm.

Please note: you cannot update your username on your account, in order to do this you will need to contact the subscriptions team via the contact form.

Signing in and Passwords

Can I change my Password?

Yes. Log in to the website and click on ‘My account’. Once the new page has opened click on the 'Account details' section and your personal information will appear.

Once you have updated your password, click on ‘Save my details’ to update. You do not need to email us to confirm.

I've lost, or can't remember my Password or Username.

Password

Please use the ‘Reset Password’ under ‘Sign in’ on the home page. You will be emailed a reset password link. If the email does not come through, you can email us via the contact form or call us on 0161 226 2929, and we will be able to reset your password for you.

Username

Please email our subscriptions team via the contact form or call us on 0161 226 2929.

When signing in I get the message 'Already logged in.'

This is because your account is already signed in to the site on another browser, for example on your work computer or mobile phone. Or because you've given someone else your login details. In order to sign in you'll need to sign out from the other device, or wait for 60 minutes when it should log out automatically.

Direct Debit

I've renewed my subscription by Direct Debit, why hasn't the renewal date on my account page changed?

We take all Direct Debit subscription payments on the 18th of the month. Depending on when in the month you have signed up, your collection date can be either in the following month, or the one after. This means there will be a gap between the start/renewal date of your subscription, and the date your payment is collected. Once the payment has been taken from your account, the renewal date on your account page will change to the correct date. In the meantime, you will still have full access to all our online content.

I want to subscribe to Ethical Consumer by Direct Debit. How can I do this?

Please fill in your details online.

Or you can download a Direct Debit form and send it to Ethical Consumer, Freepost (NWW 978A), Manchester, M15 9EP, or you can call the office on 0161 226 2929.

When will my Direct Debit be taken?

Direct Debit payments are taken annually. You will be notified by letter when your first Direct Debit is due to be taken.

No notification will be sent prior to second or subsequent collections. This is in the nature of Direct Debit payments, which you can find out more about on the Direct Debit website. If you are unclear when your Direct Debit date is due please contact our subscriptions team via this contact form.

If you would like a reminder for when your subscription is due to end, you can pay by any other payment method and we will send reminders.

I want to cancel my Direct Debit. What should I do?

Please email our subscriptions team via this contact form and we will cancel your Direct Debit on our database, or you can call us on 0161 226 2929.

In addition we advise you to contact your bank and cancel your Direct Debit, but please do contact us as well to confirm for our own records.

Gift subscriptions

I have a problem activating my gift subscription. Who can I contact?

Please email the subscriptions team using the contact form and we can look into this for you. Or you can call us on 0161 226 2929 in office hours.

I've been given a gift subscription but when I created my account, the website says I don't have a subscription. What has happened?

Check the email or letter that has been forwarded with your account. If the email address is different, then your gift subscription won’t link up with your account. To correct this, you can contact our subscriptions team via this contact form.

Please note: If you have an email address with Google, our system treats emails ending in @googlemail.com and @gmail.com as different email addresses.

I want to buy a gift subscription for a specific date, and/or I don't want it to be sent right away. What can I do?

That is not a problem, when you are purchasing a gift subscription, on the order page there is a blank box titled “Additional notes that may be of use to this order:” for you to add any notes or offer codes. You can include an instruction for which date you would like the gift subscription to be sent and we will send as instructed. If you miss this box, you are welcome to contact us via this contact form.

Please avoid filling in the gift form by repeating your own contact details, this can confuse our system and will mean that the giftee won’t be able to create their own account correctly.

I want to give someone a gift subscription but I don't have an email address. What can I do?

That is not a problem. You will need to call the office on 0161 226 2929 and we will process the payment over the phone and create a gift subscription with the relevant information. We will send a letter instructing them to contact us to set up their online account. Please do not put in your own email if you do not have the giftee’s email address as it will not create the account correctly.

If I purchase a gift subscription what does the giftee get?

The giftee gets all the same benefits as a normal subscription, plus sponsorship of an organic olive sapling in Palestine, through the Palestinian Fair Trade Association. Your gift recipient will receive a certificate of sponsorship.

How can I renew a gift subscription online?

In order to renew a gift subscription you will need to log into your own account and go to purchase a new gift subscription. As long as you use the email address we hold for the giftee, we will process this as a renewal on our end. If the giftee has changed email address, they can log in to their account and update this in their account.

When do gift subscriptions for Christmas get sent?

We aim to send all gift subscriptions a couple of days before the final posting day before Christmas for second class post. This is with the hope that your gift will arrive in time for Christmas.
Please note that over the Christmas period, particularly in recent years, there has been significant delays with the post and whilst we would hope that gift subscriptions arrive before Christmas, this is not always possible.

I would like to pay for a gift subscription by Direct Debit, how can I do this?

If you would like to set up a Direct Debit to pay for a gift subscription each year, please call the office on 0161 226 2929 and we can set this up for you.

Suggested companies and brands to research

There is a brand or company I would like you to rate, will you rate it?

If you would like us to research a specific brand or company that we have not already rated, let us know in an email. That way if we are updating a guide (for example to shoes) in future, the author of that guide will take a look at the list of suggested brands and decide whether or not to include the one you have suggested. Unfortunately, we rarely have time to rate new brands or companies if they are not part of a guide we are working on, though if you sign up to our email newsletter we do occasionally invite readers to vote for a brand or company they would like us to research.

Will you add my company/brand to one of your guides?

Unfortunately we are not currently accepting unsolicited additions to any of our online shopping guides. If you would like your company's policies and practices assessed by one of our trained researchers that is something we could do.

We would ask your company to complete a questionnaire and then assess your company's policies and practices against our ethical rating system. Your company would get a bespoke report in return which will detail all of our research, it will highlight areas where you are doing well and any areas where you are not meeting our best practice standards. This report will help guide your company towards creating better policies and practices, but would not result in your products appearing on our website.

Email screenings@ethicalconsumer.org for more information.

Using our shopping guides

See our quick guide

Understanding our rating system

See our rating system pages

The score and rating looks different to the one in the printed magazine? Is there a reason for this?

Ratings can sometimes be updated in between full guide updates. Please check the website for the latest information.

Why is the product score in a guide different to the company score?

We score each company out of 14, but products in our shopping guides can gain extra marks for company ethos and also various sustainability factors relevant for that product and so may be slightly higher (up to a maximum of 20).

Although you can use the search function to find a company on our website, we recommend viewing brands within our shopping guides. We aim to fully update all companies in our guides on a 1-3 year cycle, and you can see how the company compares to others in that product sector.

About Ethical Consumer Research Association

How are you funded?

Through a variety of sources: subscriptions, ethical consultancy, ethical advertising and screenings work, grant fundraising and donations.

How can I support Ethical Consumer?

You can help Ethical Consumer in a number of ways:

  • Subscribe

By subscribing you'll be helping to fund all our research and you will also get access to all our online information.

  • Become an investor member

Through their investments our members help to fund significant projects such as the development of this website, and they also receive 3% interest on any money invested. Click here for more information.

  • Volunteer

If you live in the Manchester area and can spare some time we are always on the look out for enthusiastic volunteers to help out around the office or with specific research tasks (depending on experience). Click here for more information.

Do you provide speakers for events and conferences?

We are able to visit events but we do ask for travel expenses and a fee for the organisation (to be negotiated). Please make any requests via our web contact form.

Can you help me with my school, college or under-graduate project?

Ethical Consumer gets many requests from students of all ages. Many of the questions can be answered by searching the site and directly quoting what we have written, please do this before sending any questions. In addition due to the volume of requests and the size of our team we cannot respond to all requests.

Can you help with post-graduate or academic research?

If you would like to survey our readership then we recommend the best course of action is to buy ad space on the site or in the magazine.

If you would like to question a member of the team we recommend that you fully search the site first and if you cannot find what you are looking for please get in touch via our contact form.

Who built this website?

Digital strategy, content development and marketing is by Orange Tree Digital

Visual design is by Raging Trifle.

Web hosting is from Bandicoot - business and internet solutions.

Web site build and development by Agile Collective

Weekly email newsletter

Visit the email sign up page to subscribe to our weekly email. Keep up to date with the latest articles, updated guides, campaigns, and be in with a chance to win an ethical giveaway! New email subscribers will receive a free digital issue of our magazine.

Sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Need something else?

If you can't find what you're looking for then please get in touch by email [enquiries - at - ethicalconsumer.org] or over the phone on 0161 226 2929 or fill in the contact form on our Contact Us page.