questionswhat do you think about consumer reports (is it…

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vote-for6vote-against

Worth what? I rely absolutely on their car buying guides when I'm looking at cars. They have never steered me wrong (heh), and I always wonder who those people are who buy the cars that they rate the worst of the year. I don't currently subscribe, but if I'm making a big dollar purchase, I will always try to check out a buying guide to see what they say.

vote-for8vote-against

I think it depends on what stage of life you are in. It wasn't worth it to me until we started having kids. We used it often to check out safety ratings. We use it very periodically for car ratings. We used it again heavily while buying electronics for our kitchen. Now that I think about it, I look at it around christmas time too.

vote-for8vote-against

Any time I'm looking to do a major purchase - car, garden tractor, appliance - I check out the last addition that addresses that subject. Always been a positive thing.

I also go back and look at what is said down the road (i.e. purchase a vehicle and see what's said about it 3-4 years later) and validate what I've done.

vote-for7vote-against

I subscribe to the magazine and online too. I always check the ratings before I make a purchase. I don't rely 100% on what they say but it does help steer me in the right direction.

vote-for4vote-against

I have a subscription but I find that they don't have a very comprehensive selection of products tested in most categories. Wish they tested more products/off brands.

vote-for7vote-against

It depends. For the most part, it's good for getting an idea of any potential issues with something you may be looking to get. However they do on occasion seem to have a certain amount of bias towards/against some products, so like any other resource, take they're advice with a grain of salt.

vote-for4vote-against

@woadwarrior: I always wondered if they pick favorites. Everyone subconsciously tends lean one way or another on most issues. CR claims to have a very unbiased reviews of the things they test. I wish I knew more details about how they test each product.

vote-for5vote-against

I only use the online service. It's helped with car tires, car purchase, appliances, etc. I read it with a grain of salt, with other info online, but it is typically helpful.

vote-for6vote-against

I've been a subscriber, since 1975 (yeah, that makes me old). CR doesn't always get it right, but they do a pretty good job.

vote-for5vote-against

I subscribed for a year and used it for any high dollar purchases I made.
I then realized I wasn't using it much so I cancelled. Cool thing is, if you are planning a high dollar purchase you can always sign up for a month, do your research, and then cancel again later or keep it for a year and then cancel.
It has helped in purchasing tv's, receiver's, used cars, etc...

vote-for5vote-against

CR is a piece of the puzzle for me when I'm buying something valuable

vote-for3vote-against

I use it from time to time and I have found it helpful. My most recent use of the online version was about their testing of protein shakes and powders (like the popular MuscleMilk) for harmful contaminants (like lead, mercury, and cadmium). I was shocked and disturbed by the results and was disappointed by the less than straight-forward response to the test results by the manufacturer. I stopped taking the product.

Recently on NPR there was an interview with the person in charge of Consumer Reports. I was impressed. Consumer Reports accepts no funding from manufacturers or advertisers. Their income comes from subscribers and donations. They don't even allow manufacturers to send them products. Consumer Reports acquires products for testing by buying the product just like any normal consumer does. They even have secret shoppers to make sure the manufacturer can't "rig" a product for a consumer report test. Essentially Consumer Reports is geared to be "for consumers", "by consumers".

vote-for4vote-against

Also, Consumer Reports does not allow manufacturers to mention good results from Consumer Reports tests in their advertisement.

As an additional bonus, my local library provides free full access to the Consumer Results online version/database if you have a library card.