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Consumer Reports

4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)

Cover Price: $83.87
Price: $29.00 ($2.23/issue) & shipping is always free.
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Issues: 13 issues / 12 months
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Product Description

Product Description

Consumer Reports' editorial focus is to provide thorough product information to consumers. It evaluates a vast array of products ranging from automobiles to microwave ovens, from frozen dinners to insurance policies, to provide a fair assessment for individuals seeking to purchase.

Amazon.com Review

The resolute research team at Consumer Reports has broken, melted, disabled, and jacked-up almost everything that's been offered for sale in the last few decades. If you want to know, for sure, if a product lives up to its claim, Consumer Reports has the answer. In addition to providing unbiased detailed analysis of goods ranging from chainsaws to televisions to washable wool sweaters, the canny staff offers common sense advice. Consider this classic, their take on the efficacy of conditioning shampoo: Shampoo is meant to be rinsed out, any conditioner in a good shampoo will go right down the drain. --Edith Sorenson

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Product Details

  • Format: Magazine
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • Publisher: Consumer Reports
  • ASIN: B00005N7PH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • This magazine subscription is provided by Synapse

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative magazine with no competition, but . . . November 17, 2001
Subscription Term Name:1 year
Consumer Reports is in a league by itself. Where else are you going to find reliable information and comparisons on consumer products without the conflict of interest of paid advertising? However, it's a small monthly magazine; so don't be surprised if (1) several issues review no products you're interested in and (2) the item you're thinking of buying was last reviewed six years ago and the information is completely out-of-date.
A less serious problem is that the magazine's reviews occasionally give a product a mediocre rating for reasons that I find picky or insignificant. However, their criteria are clear, so it's not hard to know when this is the case. From time to time, they also seem to miss the point. For example, a faucet-mounted water filter is said to clog easily, when in fact it's designed to cut off after so many gallons. Removing the filter cartridge and reinserting it--which the manufacturer understandably advises against--takes 10 seconds and returns the flow to normal.
Nevertheless, I like the idea of what Consumer Reports offers and represents. That alone might be a reason to subscribe, if you have some disposable income for a good cause.
I don't subscribe and as someone who lives and earns modestly by choice, I probably never will. Instead, I consult Consumer Reports at my public library whenever I'm considering a purchase that the magazine might be helpful with. This has two advantages: (1) I save the price of a subscription and (2) I feel less disappointed and frustrated when it offers no useful information on a particular product (about 60% of the time).
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149 of 170 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Useful July 15, 2003
Subscription Term Name:1 year
A friend of mine once remarked that CR seesm like a great magazine "until they write about something you actually know a bit about..." and that's the problem with CR. They're great when it comes to quantifiable things like repair frequency, reliability, warranty information and so forth. They're much less useful when it comes to reporting on subjective things, or on technical matters.
That's a problem with trying to review every possible consumer item; you can't be an expert on everything. Sure, CR has their own labs and testers, but they're as likely as not, when confronted with something they can't quantify, to come up with some arbitrary measure and then rate products on that. For example, I've read some hilarious HiFi reviews that never involved actually *listening* to units. Instead, they take some statistic they consider to be critical and rate all units on that. Computer reviews often are very superficial- you'd do far, far better with PC or a similar magazine. And some of their financial advice on life insurance, mortgages and investment has been rather narrow, preaching single solutions for all.
So yeah, read CR when you're buying that next vacuum cleaner, or toaster, or popcorn popper, but before making any major purchasers or investments I'd look a bit further than the pages of CR.
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138 of 160 people found the following review helpful
Subscription Term Name:1 year
As a 25-year reader of and current subscriber to Consumer Reports (CR), I find the magazine quite informative and money-saving, despite some flaws, which I discuss below. CR covers a wide range of consumer goods such including automobiles, small and large home and garden appliances, consumer electronics, groceries, and more. They also cover a variety of services such as car insurance, hospital billing, mutual funds; and issues such as consumer privacy and safety. I enjoy their clear writing style, informative photos, charts that pack a lot of information into an easy to understand format, and helpful index of products covered in the past year's back issues. Each month I first check their "selling it" section on the inside back cover, where they chronicle "excesses in the world of marketing" with photos and delightfully sardonic yet understated comments.
I consider CR's product testing and research of tangible consumer goods to be among their strongest assets. When I bought my car and digital camera, CR was the first place I turned for market research. The product tests, comparisons, and recommendations are first rate. Also, CR gave this tool-clueless read a good education on cordless drills. :-) CR buys all consumer goods themselves and doesn't accept gifts or advertising, which helps them maintain impartiality.
CR does have some biases though. They're very luke-warm toward any type of alternative medicine. Several years ago, I laughed when they pronounced acupuncture, practiced successfully for thousands of years, a sham. Overall, they're quite mainstream, not taking into account purchasing factors increasing numbers of people now consider, such as whether an item is made with slave labor or tested on animals.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A resource of limited value, sometimes worth reading December 18, 2005
Subscription Term Name:1 year
If you want the unbiased FACTS on the things you are considering buying, I say go with CR. It is the most venerable consumer review source with the deepest pockets and largest audience and most experience, and has scruples. It does not accept advertising in its pages, a rarity today. I refer to CR before making any major purchase and find its articles entertaining and informative and written with common sense and far-sightedness.

I do have some beefs with CR, which is a nervous Nelly Yankee publication with obnoxious eccentricities that need to be weeded out.

1. Their marketing dept. likes to mail people to death with offers for their online service, renew subscriptions, etc. etc. Give it a rest already! CR needs to quit wasting membership fees on junk mail. I have received at least 12 envelopes from CR in a year's time. And I have a 5 yr subscription already! NO excuse for that kind of wasteful misuse of funds.

2. CR just considers a limited number of brand names for items such as plasma or LCD or CRT tv's. Go to any store, you will see a dozen brands that CR has NO rating for. Inexcusable really.

3. CR's focus is totally on cars. Each issue, about 1/4th the magazine is blown on new cars costing $25,000 - $75,000. That's real sweet if you're in the upper middle class and buy new cars every few years. For those of us who prefer used cars it's just a waste of space. Why not leave the car ratings for the annual report? Why put a new car review in every cotton-pickin' issue?

4. CR says "no advertising" but in reality it spends space advertising its OWN products such as "Put CR in your Will" (a program where you leave your money to CR, obscene really) and the car-rating thing and the online service and then an annuity for seniors.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
We've kept this subscription up for decades. In my opinion, there is no more valuable publication.
Published 10 days ago by April Schmitt
5.0 out of 5 stars They also review all things in the household for our information and I...
My reference on anything I am about to buy including a car. I just recently bought a brand new car and I consulted Consumer Reports first. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Norah E. Sempelsz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great product! Great price.
Published 17 days ago by John E. Balog
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Only magazine that I'll subscribe to.
Published 17 days ago by Timothy C. Van Zandt
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon makes life easier when renewing a subscription.
So easy to extend a subscription. No worries....continued without a pause.
Published 21 days ago by Toni Calabrese
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
some issues contain useful informations but some others are just useless...
Published 21 days ago by mammoth bear
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 22 days ago by james j.
1.0 out of 5 stars Be careful of their add-on offers
I just renewed my online subscription to Consumers Report. When it was confirmed, I received a pop-up stating I could add the printed subscription for $15 more per year. Read more
Published 1 month ago by NormT
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
The older magazine was easier to read and find ratings.
Published 1 month ago by Jeff Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great birthday gift for the husband
Husband loves this. It's an annual birthday gift, and one that he enjoys for the entire year.
Published 1 month ago by Liz Baggs
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Topic From this Discussion
Cheaper Elsewhere, I think so.
CR's own site is offering new auto-renew subscriptions for $29 (same as Amazon), but if you already subscribe to their online service ($6.95/mo or $30/yr), you can add the magazine for $12 (as of 5/25/14).
May 25, 2014 by AJR |  See all 2 posts
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