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Consumer Reports - Magazine vs. Online site
Old 01-08-2018, 01:19 PM   #1
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Consumer Reports - Magazine vs. Online site

I have been a subscriber to CR for many, many years and still consider it one of the best resources, overall, for purchases. Yes, there are areas where, IMHO, they have goofed, but I would not give up those 9 great recommendations just to avoid the 1 poor recommendation.

In the past I would get the magazine and the see things pop up on their Facebook site about what is covered in the magazine. Always the magazine have at least equal information, and often better information.

That seems to be changing. I noticed that the current magazine covers automobile tires. But, if you want their recommendations and comparisons you really have to go to the on-line site.

Does anybody else get the feeling that the magazine is being de-emphasized as emphasis is being shifted to the online site?

FYI, the magazine subscription does not come with the online access. It is a separate subscription though magazine subscribers do get a discount.
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:22 PM   #2
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CR made some major changes to the format of their print magazine a year or so ago and I'm not a fan. When my current magazine subscription expires I'll probably not renew and stick with a subscription to their website.
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:30 PM   #3
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I haven't noticed that the magazine is being de-emphasized but admittedly I don't do a close comparison to the online site. I've subscribed to the magazine since ~1979 and have never been disappointed after buying a product that they recommended.

That they don't take advertising and have gone to court when sued for their reviews establishes huge credibility with me. For example, you will never see Car and Driver magazine say "This car is a POS. Don't buy it." Consumer Reports will, and has.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:16 PM   #4
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I signed up for a year and just toss the magazine in the re-cycle bin.

Stupid me.

Yeah, maybe I'll dump the magazine and go online version. What good is a resource you can't reference? Like I'm gonna save a stack of crap for when I need to buy something?
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:41 PM   #5
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I had been a CR magazine subscriber for many years. I started also paying for their website subscription 4 or 5 years ago. As the website matured and seemed to have more content, I let my print subscription expire almost 2 years ago. It's also a lot easier to search the website than the print version.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:53 PM   #6
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Been a CR online user for the past 5 years, I like it much better then the print version.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:12 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear that their print magazine has gone downhill. It used to be very nice, years ago. Right now the website is more convenient for me so that is all I have.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
For example, you will never see Car and Driver magazine say "This car is a POS. Don't buy it." Consumer Reports will, and has.
They used every possible word aside from "POS" and "Don't buy" in this report on the Mini Cooper: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews...m-test-wrap-up
Quote:
Most disappointing of all, this kind of aggravating Mini experience isn’t a new one for us. It’s an echo of the quality we *witnessed during long-term tests of a 2009 John Cooper Works Convertible and a 2011 Cooper S Countryman. This story should be a discussion of the Mini’s rough ride, its animated engine, the inflated price, and its spry handling. But we can’t write that story because, for 21 months, we were antagonized by maddening noises and the accompanying headaches. Despite that, there’s still some lemonade to be made: Our 2014 Mini Cooper S never left anyone stranded.
I'm basically agreeing with you. C&D rarely talks quality, but when they do, watch out. When C&D is "antagonized" by a car, you know it is bad!
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:38 PM   #9
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I dumped the print magazine a while back because we weren't buying any big ticket items. But we had a dishwasher die last week - so I did a quick 1 month subscription to their online site so I could figure out what make/model to buy. And bonus - Lowes had one of their recommended make/models on sale!!!

I'll let it lapse till I have a need to buy a big ticket item again and need their reviews.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:43 PM   #10
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Was online for many years then for some reason stopped subscribing. Recently stated again as newer autos are in our future.
Their past recommendations regarding autos have done very well for us.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:56 PM   #11
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We get Consumer Reports on line for free. It is a feature of our local library site. Perhaps you library offers the same service.
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:55 PM   #12
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I echo the sentiments that the printed magazine is worth a lot less than it used to be. It is shortchanging product reviews and adding long articles that are on "consumer advocacy" topics. These are interesting, but I subscribe to CR for the reviews and the reviews that are printed are nearly worthless. I broke down and paid for the online service and that's a lot more helpful regarding reviews. DW suggests that when our print sub runs out that we don't renew - I have subscribed to CR for decades.

Interestingly, I got an email from Marta L. Tellado, the CEO of CR, thanking me for "being a supporter". First I have seen something like this in decades - maybe they only care about online subscribers. I plan to write her and speak my mind.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:08 PM   #13
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I have an online subscription and find it a good value. I still read the magazine now and then at the library or bookstore and have to admit that I haven't appreciated a down trend over the years.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:18 PM   #14
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I agree with the OPís observation. I think the print magsí days are numbered.

More than 10 years ago I briefly had an online subscription while remodeling our kitchen, but let it lapse when the project was done. Ever since then I have not received their annual product survey, even though I was still a print subscriber. Clearly the print subscribers are not worthy of their efforts.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:22 PM   #15
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When I need to read Consumer Report, I go to the library.

That pretty much only happens when I want to read car reports, or major appliance reviews.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:23 PM   #16
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We get Consumer Reports on line for free. It is a feature of our local library site. Perhaps you library offers the same service.
That's what I've been doing for years, my library lists every CR magazine online all the way back to 1985. What I like is that they separate each of the featured articles in the monthly magazine into it's own PDF you can save or print out just the articles that interest you.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:19 PM   #17
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I've been a magazine subscriber "forever". They've pushed the online subscription on me real hard, but I've never 'bit', and don't plan to. The idea that the online might be available thru the library is something I need to investigate if there's "online only content".
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:20 PM   #18
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Online subscription only, and for many years. It has paid dividends with our car purchases so I kept the subscription alive. Have never had the paper magazine. Because I am Live in Canada?
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Old 08-04-2018, 07:51 AM   #19
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Just checked Amazon itís $1.92 an issue. I might do that.
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:29 AM   #20
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I was a print subscriber since I was 13 years old but I did not renew about two years ago. I used to save years of old magazines in case I ever needed to go back and read a review of a product I was shopping for. But in today's world where information is so readily available on the internet, and product lifecycles are much shorter, it became obsolete to store old printed magazines.

I usually wait until I need to buy a major appliance and then sign up for the annual online subscription, but at present I'm not a subscriber. I trust their advice on cars and major appliances, but I usually ignore their advice on consumer technology as there are so many other sites available to read about that stuff.

They have also done some reviews of air purifiers over the years which have been very questionable and received a lot of criticism over. So I ignore those reviews too.
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