I'll admit I used to think all those recommendations were simply honest and from the heart but then I discovered how easy it is to get someone to share something in return for freebies or hard cash.
But I simply like to share when things are good! British people have a reputation for whinging so there will always be plenty of complaining on social media but it's a much nicer place for all if there's some positivity and good tips on offer. So, back to the title of this blog post, I asked friends which companies they would recommend freely without any need to be paid to do so. Here's what they said:
This department store was mentioned many times as they have excellent customer service. As a company they are also known to look after their staff well. I thought it interesting that the demographic when in store is usually more mature yet younger friends trusted John Lewis and would choose to buy a product there as they could feel confident of the after sales help, even though they were unlikely to need it.
As the leading 'ethical' bank on the UK High Street, the Co-operative had a good reputation - until recently. I was happy with the bank but news of its "near collapse" has left me concerned. I had liked the fact I had a local telephone number for my High Street branch and not an 0845 number to a call centre. I liked the personal service from branch staff but I'll admit I already didn't like the low/zero interest rates.
An excellent place to get independent financial advice is this website set up by, journalist and presenter, Martin Lewis. When I want to compare savings accounts, get advice on pensions or check the best places for insurance quotes this is the first place I visit.
Let's add more honest recommendations to this list. Which companies would you tell your friends to buy from?