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Author Topic: Consumer Reports just makes me mad.  (Read 1679 times)
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Tebunker
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« on: August 10, 2006, 09:30:48 PM »

I don't know if anyone here reads Consumer Reports, but this magazine has an impact on my industry, not a major one, but enough of one to make you notice.

Anyways, they test multiple products from many different vendors and then they rate them. The biggest problem is that they don't share their testing methods, rating methods etc. So when a report comes out stating that our top end product isn't as good as competitor X's it bothers me, mainly because every other Independent Industry Testing and Rating firm clearly puts our brand in general leagues beyond the competition. So it just makes my life harder than need be.

So I was just wondering if anyone actually finds Consumer Reports reliable at all? I have a hard time buying into what they say because what the experts in my industry say is completely different from what Consumer Reports reports.
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2006, 09:42:13 PM »

I assume you read the article?  I used to subscribe and seemed to remember them talking about their testing methods.  Maybe they stopped talking about that?
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Kobra
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 09:44:44 PM »

ConsumerReports IMO has gone down the trash.

When they rated a really lousy Hoover Vacumn higher than the Dyson DC14, I knew they were a shill company and unsubscribed that day.
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2006, 10:03:42 PM »

Quote from: "Kobra"
ConsumerReports IMO has gone down the trash.

When they rated a really lousy Hoover Vacumn higher than the Dyson DC14, I knew they were a shill company and unsubscribed that day.


Agreed, not a fan of consumer reports.
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gameoverman
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2006, 10:34:41 PM »

I used to read them way back when having a modem was a big deal.  Now I just get my info online, straight from people who actually use the stuff, so I haven't look at their materials in a long time.
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Kobra
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2006, 10:37:55 PM »

Quote from: "gameoverman"
I used to read them way back when having a modem was a big deal.  Now I just get my info online, straight from people who actually use the stuff, so I haven't look at their materials in a long time.


Good point, I think places like AmazonReviews, Epinions, Blogs, and other stuff really makes ConsumerReports obsolete.  Go straight to the source, the folks using the stuff, and see what they say.  Its free too!
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Tebunker
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2006, 11:35:56 PM »

I've read the article, and ConsumerReports clearly does not reveal the methodology of testing.

Just in case you didn't Know I am in the Paint Industry.

A great example is durability of Paint, when we test paint durability, or any independent firm in that works for the Paint Industry, you generally use a test that you apply porduct some multiple samples and then have a mechanical scrub brush rub the surface. When teh paint fully dissapears is considered it's scrub strength. No one know how Consumer Reports determines strength of a product.

they don't even describe application conditions and methods, merely stating that they use what they think the general public would do.

It's really more frustrating than anything. I know my company, the number 1 paint manufacturer in the Country and number 2 in the world, shoot we have one of the 5 most recognizable logos in the world, makes amazingly good products, we've been doing it for almost 150 years. People swear by us and build their companies along side of us. Then I have that one or two people I run into that I have to explain this all to because Consumer Reports says our products don't match up the home center products, when ALL industry testing proves otherwise. It makes me think that Consumer Reports panders to the companies that pay them money and it would be my Companies best interest to never let them rate our products again.

In all honesty I really have no reason to complain or hold a grudge or really be mad. I know that they're wrong, it just causes a little more frustration in my life that I don't care for.
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Kobra
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2006, 11:48:34 PM »

Which paint?  I swear by Sherwin Williams these days, I have tried a lot of other paints, and found nothing that compares. But I have been meaning to try Benjamin Moore, I hear it is pretty good.

Whats your take on the paint situation these days?
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Tebunker
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2006, 12:08:17 AM »

Quote from: "Kobra"
Which paint?  I swear by Sherwin Williams


You brought Tears to mine eyes, I'm a Sales Rep for SW, been having a rough day today and needed to lash out at something and the latest Consumer Reports was an easy target.

Oh, and Ben Moore makes good paint, IF you're okay with having to do Two coats and take out a small loan to buy one gallon.
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Kobra
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2006, 12:23:22 AM »

I'll stick to my beloved Sherwin Williams Super Paint then.

Why change something that has worked flawlessly for so many years?  biggrin
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2006, 12:39:30 AM »

When I buy paint it will be Sherwin Williams!*




*Note that there is no way in hell my lazy ass is tackling that kind of job.  Painting is hard work.  But I'll try to make sure that's the brand that the "will work for food" guy buys.  Though knowing Shakey he'll probably buy the cheap stuff (ironically rated higher in Consumer Reports) and spend the rest on rotgut whiskey.  Cest la vie.
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2006, 01:50:13 AM »

It may help to write to Consumer Reports about your complaints, asking about their methodology as well as explaining your point of view and the reports of those other industry tests and the standards they use.  I wouldn't expect them to change their printed opinion or anything, but you can try to inform them for future product testing.  At the very least it might make you feel better about the situation.
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2006, 02:18:52 AM »

Painting is hard but I love it, one of the few home improvement jobs I love.  I've become masterful at it from doing it so much, if it wasn't so hard, I might do it on the side for $$.  

Good paint, and a good paint job really show in a house imo.  I've seen some pretty messy jobs and it detracts from a home in a big way.
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2006, 04:25:10 AM »

Quote from: "Kobra"
Quote from: "gameoverman"
I used to read them way back when having a modem was a big deal.  Now I just get my info online, straight from people who actually use the stuff, so I haven't look at their materials in a long time.


Good point, I think places like AmazonReviews, Epinions, Blogs, and other stuff really makes ConsumerReports obsolete.  Go straight to the source, the folks using the stuff, and see what they say.  Its free too!


That's exactly what I do, and it tends to bring me pretty good results.

Except when I tried buying a TV from Dell.  Went through two, they both sucked ass because they were defective right out of the gate (first one was fully DOA, in fact).

Spent the next year in Dell Hell since they mixed up one of the returns and kept insisting I pay for the TV they thought I had.

I'm never dealing with Dell again.  :evil:  Hell, I'm STILL trying to get my credit report fixed since their damn delinquency notes have yet to be removed from it.  I'm sorry, I refuse to pay for a product that I don't have, especially since their incompetence up to that point certainly wasn't giving me any confidence that they would ever refund my money if I paid up in the meantime.

Hey...anyone here good at working on fixing a credit report?  frown
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2006, 06:22:08 AM »

My mom used to live Consumer Reports. I haven't read one in years.
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2006, 09:52:23 AM »

Quote from: "EngineNo9"
It may help to write to Consumer Reports about your complaints, asking about their methodology as well as explaining your point of view and the reports of those other industry tests and the standards they use.  I wouldn't expect them to change their printed opinion or anything, but you can try to inform them for future product testing.  At the very least it might make you feel better about the situation.


It would be a lot simpler to just buy ads space at the magazine in exchange of getting a second article that praise tebunker's product. I'm sure the competitor did the same thing and that was how they got the magazine to praise theri product.smile
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2006, 02:32:01 PM »

Quote from: "Victoria Raverna"
Quote from: "EngineNo9"
It may help to write to Consumer Reports about your complaints, asking about their methodology as well as explaining your point of view and the reports of those other industry tests and the standards they use.  I wouldn't expect them to change their printed opinion or anything, but you can try to inform them for future product testing.  At the very least it might make you feel better about the situation.


It would be a lot simpler to just buy ads space at the magazine in exchange of getting a second article that praise tebunker's product. I'm sure the competitor did the same thing and that was how they got the magazine to praise theri product.smile

Consumer Reports doesn't run ads.
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2006, 06:03:33 PM »

Quote from: "Tebunker"
Quote from: "Kobra"
Which paint?  I swear by Sherwin Williams


You brought Tears to mine eyes, I'm a Sales Rep for SW, been having a rough day today and needed to lash out at something and the latest Consumer Reports was an easy target.

Oh, and Ben Moore makes good paint, IF you're okay with having to do Two coats and take out a small loan to buy one gallon.


Tbunk, where do you rep?  Do you stick with architectural type stuff or do any industrial wood?
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Austin
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2006, 06:08:14 PM »

Quote from: "Kobra"
Which paint?  I swear by Sherwin Williams these days, I have tried a lot of other paints, and found nothing that compares. But I have been meaning to try Benjamin Moore, I hear it is pretty good.

Whats your take on the paint situation these days?


Benni Moore is good stuff from what I hear.  I actually don't usually care that much when it comes to house paint.  Often you can get some good stuff from the smaller independent regional manufacturers.  Rodda in the North West comes to mind.  They are getting bought up and assimilated like crazy and are getting harder and harder to find.

T-bunk... when I see your logo I can't help but want to tack, "in blood" at the bottom. :lol:  I mean it's one of the worst ideas for a logo when you think about it, but it's worked and it would be dumb to change it now. Tongue
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Victoria Raverna
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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2006, 06:09:58 PM »

Quote from: "ChrisGwinn"
Quote from: "Victoria Raverna"
Quote from: "EngineNo9"
It may help to write to Consumer Reports about your complaints, asking about their methodology as well as explaining your point of view and the reports of those other industry tests and the standards they use.  I wouldn't expect them to change their printed opinion or anything, but you can try to inform them for future product testing.  At the very least it might make you feel better about the situation.


It would be a lot simpler to just buy ads space at the magazine in exchange of getting a second article that praise tebunker's product. I'm sure the competitor did the same thing and that was how they got the magazine to praise theri product.smile

Consumer Reports doesn't run ads.


Then they make money from what? Is the magazine very expensive and highly circulated that they can survive without ads? Or maybe instead of ads, they accept payment for a good review/report (Unofficially).
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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2006, 06:48:11 PM »

Quote from: "Victoria Raverna"
Quote from: "ChrisGwinn"
Quote from: "Victoria Raverna"
Quote from: "EngineNo9"
It may help to write to Consumer Reports about your complaints, asking about their methodology as well as explaining your point of view and the reports of those other industry tests and the standards they use.  I wouldn't expect them to change their printed opinion or anything, but you can try to inform them for future product testing.  At the very least it might make you feel better about the situation.


It would be a lot simpler to just buy ads space at the magazine in exchange of getting a second article that praise tebunker's product. I'm sure the competitor did the same thing and that was how they got the magazine to praise theri product.smile

Consumer Reports doesn't run ads.


Then they make money from what? Is the magazine very expensive and highly circulated that they can survive without ads? Or maybe instead of ads, they accept payment for a good review/report (Unofficially).

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/aboutus/adviolation/index.htm
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CONSUMERS UNION
NO COMMERCIAL USE POLICY

We accept no advertising and we are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports and other publications and information services, and from noncommercial contributions, grants, and fees. Published information from Consumers Union, including our Ratings and Reports, is intended solely for the benefit of our subscribers and other consumers, in order to help them make informed choices and decisions about consumer products, services, and other consumer matters. Such information may not be used by others in advertising or to promote a company’s product or service. In addition, this policy precludes any commercial use of any of Consumers Union’s published information in any form, or of the names of Consumers Union®, Consumer Reports®, or any other of Consumers Union’s publications or services, without our express written permission. If Consumers Union learns that this policy has been violated, it will take all steps necessary to prevent the misuse of its names or of any of its materials, including legal action where appropriate.


You can also check out their annual report and financial report: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/aboutus/annualreport/index.htm

They've been doing this since the 1930's.  If they weren't above-board it would have certainly come out sometime in the past 70 or so years.
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« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2006, 07:02:29 PM »

I usually have good luck with using CR as a buying guide.  They are good for framing what the issues are -- that is, what components/elements I should be looking for and why.  I'm only bought one lemon on their recommendation -- a grill that died after a year.

My main complaint is the way they, and the companies they rate, use model numbers.  If you are looking for some higher-end consumer item, frequently by the time a CR rating is published and you get around to using it a month later their top-rated model A-1234 is nowhere to be found, even on web sites, and what is available is A-1245 or A-1267.  Which one of those is most like the one CR recommended? You can't trust the sale's drone's word on it.
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« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2006, 07:17:42 PM »

Can you do something about changing SW's logo?



I got press releases from you guys all the time when I was working for a woodworking magazine, and it always kind of creeped me out. It always gave me visions of some Bond-esque villian hatching a plan to cover the entire world in a layer of paint while laughing maniacally.
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Tebunker
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« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2006, 10:28:46 PM »

Quote from: "Austin"
Quote from: "Tebunker"
Quote from: "Kobra"
Which paint?  I swear by Sherwin Williams


You brought Tears to mine eyes, I'm a Sales Rep for SW, been having a rough day today and needed to lash out at something and the latest Consumer Reports was an easy target.

Oh, and Ben Moore makes good paint, IF you're okay with having to do Two coats and take out a small loan to buy one gallon.


Tbunk, where do you rep?  Do you stick with architectural type stuff or do any industrial wood?


Austin I am out here in the Mid-Atlantic, I've been blessed to have training in everything from our Architectural Line, Industrial Products and Chemical Coatings. In one day I've recommended house paint and primers, Looked at and recommended sandblasting for coated steel flooring and then visited a Cabinet Shop and talked Laquers, Clear coats and the like. I'm definately strongest in the Industrial and Architectural lines.

As for our Logo, it was created late 19th century, we used to have a Chameleon(which was very cool) and then someone decided mascots sucked. Like I said it's one of the top 5 most recognizable logos in the world, and we're only behind ICI/Dulux in terms of being the largest manufacturer in the world. We own North and South America and are slowly moving into European territories that are dominated by Dulux.

It's a great company, has taken care of me for almost 5 years, and I can see myself making a strong career here.

And enough about me... tell me more about the industrial woodworking you are doing, and when can I take the next order ;-)
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« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2006, 02:54:57 AM »

For being one of the "top 5 recognized brands world-wide" I sure as hell couldn't recognize it.  Maybe one of the top 5 recognized paint brands.
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« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2006, 04:38:10 AM »

I haven't read CR in years.  They always used to go into detail about their testing methods, but I have no idea what they're like these days.

I also had a job painting houses one summer.  I never want to paint a house again.   I will glady pay someone to do it for me.  We always used Sherwin Williams paint though!!!!! (Actually I'm just trying to make you feel good, I don't remember what we used smile )
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« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2006, 04:44:09 AM »

Quote from: "Mr. Fed"
I usually have good luck with using CR as a buying guide.  They are good for framing what the issues are -- that is, what components/elements I should be looking for and why.  I'm only bought one lemon on their recommendation -- a grill that died after a year.

My main complaint is the way they, and the companies they rate, use model numbers.  If you are looking for some higher-end consumer item, frequently by the time a CR rating is published and you get around to using it a month later their top-rated model A-1234 is nowhere to be found, even on web sites, and what is available is A-1245 or A-1267.  Which one of those is most like the one CR recommended? You can't trust the sale's drone's word on it.


Agreed.

I also detest the unnecessarily-huge junk mail they send out.
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« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2006, 06:52:40 AM »

Quote from: "Kobra"
ConsumerReports IMO has gone down the trash.

When they rated a really lousy Hoover Vacumn higher than the Dyson DC14, I knew they were a shill company and unsubscribed that day.


I'll disagree with you.  Parents have a Dyson and I have their "Best Buy" - a Eureka Boss Vac - and my vacuum  ($350 less than theirs) is much better.  So far every report I've received from them on reliability and other things have been dead on.
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« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2006, 07:03:55 AM »

Quote from: "jpinard"
Quote from: "Kobra"
ConsumerReports IMO has gone down the trash.

When they rated a really lousy Hoover Vacumn higher than the Dyson DC14, I knew they were a shill company and unsubscribed that day.


I'll disagree with you.  Parents have a Dyson and I have their "Best Buy" - a Eureka Boss Vac - and my vacuum  ($350 less than theirs) is much better.  So far every report I've received from them on reliability and other things have been dead on.


My Dyson Animal is the only thing that I've found that can remove the dog hair from our carpets.  We tried the highest powered Kirby in the store to no avail.  You can imagine the look when we drug a carpet into the store...
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« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2006, 03:17:49 PM »

Quote from: Tebunker on August 11, 2006, 10:28:46 PM

Quote from: Austin
Quote from: Tebunker
Quote from: Kobra
Which paint?  I swear by Sherwin Williams

You brought Tears to mine eyes, I'm a Sales Rep for SW, been having a rough day today and needed to lash out at something and the latest Consumer Reports was an easy target.

Oh, and Ben Moore makes good paint, IF you're okay with having to do Two coats and take out a small loan to buy one gallon.

Tbunk, where do you rep?  Do you stick with architectural type stuff or do any industrial wood?

Austin I am out here in the Mid-Atlantic, I've been blessed to have training in everything from our Architectural Line, Industrial Products and Chemical Coatings. In one day I've recommended house paint and primers, Looked at and recommended sandblasting for coated steel flooring and then visited a Cabinet Shop and talked Laquers, Clear coats and the like. I'm definately strongest in the Industrial and Architectural lines.

As for our Logo, it was created late 19th century, we used to have a Chameleon(which was very cool) and then someone decided mascots sucked. Like I said it's one of the top 5 most recognizable logos in the world, and we're only behind ICI/Dulux in terms of being the largest manufacturer in the world. We own North and South America and are slowly moving into European territories that are dominated by Dulux.

It's a great company, has taken care of me for almost 5 years, and I can see myself making a strong career here.

And enough about me... tell me more about the industrial woodworking you are doing, and when can I take the next order ;-)

Ho ho!  You guys still have a mascot.  His name is Campy and he's a beaver.  (on your Campbell line)  My company actually competes with yours, although we're private and only really do industrial wood and some metal.  We're the largest privately held industrial wood coatings manufacturer in the US.  I'd say for just wood coatings we're up there with you Akzo, PPG and Valspar though.  Mid Atlantic eh?  We sell a heck of a lot through distribution in the mid-atlantic.  I'm sure we bump into each other all the time but not in the architectural side of things.
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