The washing machine packed up this weekend. My sister-in-law is staying with us at the moment so my wife and I went on an impromptu date to the electrical store this evening while my SIL babysat. It is the first time we have ever bought our own washing machine. Prices varied between about £200 and £900. Most were A, A+, A++, or A+++ energy rating. Most were white, though some were grey or even black. Some had 1 year guarantees, some 2 and some 5. We were confused.
We were starting to take an interest in a particular model when a women approached. "I would never buy a [major brand] if I were you. I've had them out to mend mine three times now. Eventually I told them just to take it away. They gave me a better model and the same thing happened to that as well". In the confusing situation of purchasing a washing machine any advice which led to eliminating certain options seemed helpful. No one came up to offer a contrary opinion. It would seem almost rude to have have ignored this unsolicited piece of advice. We have ended up choosing a another brand.
It is interesting to reflect on how (and even why) we accepted this advice. We had no opinion and she offered one.
In the complicated process which is university choice I wonder whether negative advice from random people can actually be the most influential factor.