Where Consumer Reports screws up

Posted by: MrB

Where Consumer Reports screws up - 05/09/13 04:15 PM


I subscribe to Consumers Reports. In the old days I got the printed form and the yearly books they published. I checked it for every purchase.

That is until they Tested 35mm cameras .

Back in the years from '79 to '94 I taught a community education evening Photo course. My syllabus included the choosing a camera, composition, b&w processing etc. I had students who came to the first class who could barely recognize a camera but at the end were print some really nice stuff.

For my classes, I read every magazine I could get my hands on . I subscribed to several. You might remember in those days there were some respected mags. I was knowledgable on a lot of the cameras that were out. I bought several. At least the ones that my students would get, from yashica, Pentax, Ricoh, Mamiya, Minolta, Canon, Nikon etc. I felt that I could advise them on their purchase as they had to have an manually adjustable camera for my class. A point and shoot would not do.

consumers reports "tested" a big batch of cameras, their "best" was then Pentax Me Super at the time. They raved about it. Now it could take good images, but I ddnt like it much and I had personal experience with it. I had borrowed a friends.

What CU does is that they put a value on certain features. I on the cameras they down played features that I thought were important and up played others that, to me wouldn't have that much value. Of course, this was my points view, but I considered myself well read and knowledgable.

Same with cars. As I recall, at one time they took major concern that the trunk lid was intrusive and that the trunk lip was too high. To me, as inconvenient as these may be, they pale to how the seats feel or that the head room made one scoot down, or that the steering was sloppy.

So here, in this piece , they think the Tesla S I about perfect. They take off one point for the fact that its driving range on a full charge is from 208 to 265 miles. Then it takes 6 hours of 240 volts to recharge.

For a daily commuter or around town this might be acceptable. But, my guess it won't get 208 miles all the time. Usually things like this are not what are posted but in any case 6 hours is a long time. Driving this on a family vacation would certainly be tiresome. 200miles in one day just won't do. I'm 600 miles to Dallas, that's 28 hours averaging 60mph.

It's a magnificent car. Handles great, lots of power good seating, but this one problem needs to be given more importance, not just a single point.

This car would be UN acceptable for me and many others.

Buts that's consumers report. Back in 89 I bought a Ford Bronco II a SUV . CU had just tested it to find that at 35 mph on certain roads, if you cranked it sharply to one side, it might turn over. Sure it might. But don't do that. It's not a small coup. It's a high center of gravity off roading 4WD. For their report, ford had them discounted over $3500. I was pleased. Drove that thing for three years. It handled great. Went off road with it. Never tipped it over. But then I didn't drive it like I drove my 88 Mazda Rx7 turbo.

By the way. I had two Mazda Rx7s. The first one I did turn over. Came to rest in the ditch upsidedown suspended by my seat and lap belts. whistle

Posted by: DLC

Re: Where Consumer Reports screws up - 05/09/13 06:22 PM

I subscribe on line and use them only as a Guide... not gospel. Some things (properties) they value highly I don't. Problem is everything is subjective, BUT that said, I do stay away from products they score low.... and they do have some good general guides for overall products when you're new to them.... such as Smart TVs, smart phones, etc.

With cars it's easy for me - Toyota only ! wink
Posted by: MrB

Re: Where Consumer Reports screws up - 05/09/13 08:01 PM

In last couple years I've looked at their ratings for appliances. Micro waves, dishwashers, washing machines. I've found their ratings about useless. They don't seem to test what I've available here. Their ratings don't seem to jive with the comments left on their website or the customer reviews on Amazon.

I went ahead to my store here and just bought one. A microwave and a washing machine. My store is a family owned and run store. I basically asked them if it breaks will they repair it. Not very precise but seems about as good as getting a high rated one on CU but having 50 "one star " ratings from amazon reviewers all indicating the same problem.

Will see. But I don't expect my washer to last the 36 years the last one did. That was a doozy
Posted by: Mike

Re: Where Consumer Reports screws up - 05/10/13 12:42 AM

I've been a subscriber for about 30 years, and I've followed their advice for almost all major purchases, including of course cars.
And I must say that I have not once regretted following their recommendations.