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Consumer Reports should probably rename itself to "Product ratings for rich people". Why CR is bad: It is simply not practical. How many people are really going to spend $700 on a blender? Not everyone is going to open a restaurant! There are lots of outrageous recommendations out there. They should have reviewed more products than what they have done right now. A lot of product ratings are not up to date or simply not given. A lot of products they recommend have very low "customer ratings" on Amazon etc. You can clearly tell that those products are of very low quality. I have seen many products with 3.5 stars or even lower on Amazon. A lot of products they recommend are simply not available for purchase from a reliable retailer.
I subscribed to CR hoping that it can give me simple, worry-free recommendations so that whenever I want to make a major purchase, I just look it up on CR and go ahead and buy it. CR proved me wrong. They are not reliable at all. A universal guide to buying almost anything: search "the best" + product name, e.g. "The best Bluetooth speaker", and usually there will be tens of guides, tests, reviews and recommendations about those products. Read a few, read Amazon reviews (especially bad ones), look at their specs, and MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICE. Forget Consumer Reports.
I have been receiving, via email and via snail mail, day after day, requests for donations. Literature says they accept no advertising and that they "rely on the generosity of friends..." I have a digital subscription and was dismayed to see that a good many of the products that they "review" have affiliate links to Amazon, Best Buy, etc. I am particularly incensed because my family owns a rather large appliance center, and find that this pushing customers to buy from somewhere that Consumer Reports gets a commission is far from fair. This is "Advertising", no matter how you look at it. I contacted their "customer care" line and was told that they do not get a commission, that it was just for our convenience. I found pages on their site that states that they do receive a commission.
I wish I would have read these reviews before subscribing to CR! I went looking for reviews only after reading what the latest issue recommended for the common cold and flu remedies. Tissues for a stuffy/runny nose?! For real??? Needless to say, I now have to question their so called "rating reviews" on everything else. I am truly disappointed in the lack of research Consumer Reports put into the whole subject of nutrition/health. Recommending a flu shot, even when they said themself as I quote from the latest issue January 2017, page 41 "A mercury-containing preservative called thimerosal is in certain vaccines. But it's only a trace amount" No joke!!!
So I have to question every rating and testing they perform. I will be cancelling my subscription by getting a new credit card, so they cannot bill my account, like they have done to so many already! So disappointed!
OnLine Subscription. I strongly suggest you NEVER use this way to use access Consumer Reports. I used it one time when I wanted to decide about which Flat Screen TV to purchase. For 1 month the price was $7.99, which I thought was high since a 1 year magazine subscription was only $20. But I agreed and gave them my credit card.
Unfortunately the part time accountant that I use got all my credit card bills and paid it each month. It took over 6 months before I found out they were still charging me every month!! When I called them to ask for a refund, they refused, even for the current month, saying that I had agreed to an "automatic renewal" which I never knowing did.
The woman said "I can see you never used it again but we never give any refunds even if you didn't realize we would automatically renew your monthly subscription and you never used it again." This happens frequently but we are a business, even though we are "non-profit", and we have to make money." Automatic renewal must have been in extremely small print or camouflaged in some way. It made me furious and I lost all respect for them.
Subscribers to Consumer Reports need to be very diligent when subscribing to and/or renewing yearly subscriptions to Consumer Reports. Why? Because letters/promos for magazine renewals start pouring into your U.S. mailbox months before current subscription deadlines expire. I know because I wasn't keeping a careful accounting of my payment(s) and paid twice in one year. Consumer Reports never notified me of over-payment, of course, and, then, to add insult to injury, additional "notifications" that my subscription was due to expire continued to come. As far as I am concerned, I have paid for two years and expect to get next year (2018-2019) with no additional payment. I have notified them accordingly, but if you think that's going to happen, I've got a bridge in New York to sell you.
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Consumer Reports charged my credit card because they said I was on auto renew which is what all the magazines try to do now. With any other magazine if I noticed this charge they take it off immediately with no questions asked. This woman said she couldn't until it came up for renewal next year. If I had seen all these complaints about this same issue I would never have ordered it. I don't care for the magazine at all because I want information when I want it not when they decide to put it in a magazine. These people should not be in business at all. They apparently don't care about all these complaints against them. What hypocrites. She did finally agree to take off the charge after I was getting very upset.
On March 27, 2017 Consumer Reports started billing my credit card $6.95 per month. One year earlier I had cancelled my prior subscription. I did not notice the discrepancy until July after charges for March, April, May and June had been billed. I called my credit card company to dispute the charges.
In early 2016, I called CR to cancel my membership and stop automatic credit-card deductions. In July of 2016, they charged me $12.00. I called and Abby said that it was a mistake and would never happen again. Now in July 2017, they just charged me $12.00 again. Their business practices are immoral!!!
Received my credit card statement today (6/5/17) and saw an automatic renewal as of 4/27/17 for Consumer Reports. I immediately called Consumer Reports on their 1-800-333-0663 number, displayed on my credit card statement, requested cancellation and asked for a full refund of the $35 charged to my account. I was told in no uncertain terms that they could stop future charges but were unable to credit back my account for the full amount. I said, “Having worked for a bank over 30 years, I know my rights and since you did not notify me when you charged me, you owe the money back.” After a lot of arguing, the customer rep said she could give me a partial credit. They had my incorrect email for notification. I said, “That is not ok since I have not used your service recently.” I still intend to notify my credit card company to reverse the full charge!
I've been a reader of, and subscriber to Consumer Reports two separate times. I cancelled my initial subscription due to the magazine's foray into politics. Some years later I subscribed to the digital service and magazine. I have since cancelled the magazine due to a lack of tolerance to the magazine's interest in political issues. I have today emailed instructions to the CR site, instructing cancellation of my digital account and a purge of any credit card information. This action followed fruitless efforts to delete my stored credit card information. I simply do not trust this organization to provide unbiased information. The CR people have become, it seems, a shill for some businesses and certain government programs. I can peruse the net and find truly objective information. Hey CR... count me out!
I just had a TERRIBLE experience with Delta Airlines, so I wrote a long, detailed review explaining just how badly this airline treated us, and when I get to the end? The "send" button doesn't work! So now CR is jerking me around, wasting my time. And I thought CR would be the LAST people to do that. WRONG!
Subscribers of Consumer Reports are permitted to add their comments/reviews to CR's product pages, but CR disapproves almost all that differ with their findings. I am a long-term subscriber of Consumer Reports and have written four (4) reviews of products discussed on the website. I wrote lengthy, objective product reviews (in some cases differing with CR's assessments) and they disapproved ALL of them. Pretty smelly -- I don't trust CR any longer and find their practices questionable -- trying to hide things from other readers.
Online subscription. Horrible. Used a credit card paid for one year. They continued to charge my credit card, even using an old billing address. I called to cancel it when they charge 35 dollars. Every year they slide in a charge and didn't even send an email saying they were doing this. The customer service rep wanted to argue with me. I asked to speak with a supervisor and he argued for 5 minutes saying he couldn't get one until he know what the problem was. I kept telling him unsatisfied customer. Finally he said, "I'll just let them know what I think you are going to say." Finally they did say they would credit back 35 dollars but I'm sold for the other years. Very shady not to email letting customers know they are charging for another year. Shame on me for not paying attention to detail on the CC bills every February.
I feel betrayed like so many other long time consumers for the fact that once they have your info you can never get away from them, even when you have different banking numbers and have asked them repeatedly to cancel. We went through this just 2 months ago, called CR then Discover and was told that we would be refunded and cancelled. January 15, 2017 our card was charged again. I got a magazine in the mail today, Feb 1st and put it right in the recycle bin, after removing all identification.
I recently called CR to ask about the message I received that I didn't have access to the Digital Content. As I just restarted my subscription and had received the first issue I figured it was a mistake. Imagine my surprise when I was told there is an additional charge for that access! I have filed an complaint with them and hope they will change their mind. I'm quite sure I will not give them access to any Credit Card information!
Recently when shopping for a new washing machine, I signed up for a one month subscription to the Consumer Reports online service. I did my research on their site and went on about my business. Two months later I noticed another $6.95 charge on my credit card from Consumer Reports. When I called their customer support line to complain, their representative informed me that there was a disclaimer right near the button where I signed up explaining that I would have to call and cancel their service after one month. I informed her that it must have been fine print, because I did not see it and I have been doing business online for a long time (essentially since the Internet became publicly accessible) and that I generally don't miss things like that. She informed me that I could cancel the subscription online (which I had already done), but would not refund my money.
I explained to her that this was "cheating" and I was very disappointed that a supposedly reputable consumer advocacy group would resort to "dirty pool" tactics like this to chisel money out of their customers. I explained that had I wanted access for longer than one month, I would have subscribed for a year. And since it was obvious they weren't going to give me a refund, I asked her to forward my complaints/concerns to her superiors. She said she would do so and I said I would post their tactics publicly, which I'm doing right now. My recommendation is if you do business with Consumer Reports, you'd better keep a check on your credit card statement to ensure they aren't charging you repeatedly. My recommendation: don't do business with Consumer Reports.
I have a subscription for myself and one for my relative. I rec'd from CR mail that requested me to renew both. Evidently last year I did this also not realizing that both accounts were current. Now, my account is good until 2020 and my relative's acct. is good until 2018. This is sleazy work in sending 'renewal' mailings to customers who are already not only current but "paid up" two or three years ahead. I don't keep a ledger showing me what subscriptions I have and when they need renewal. I trust the company to send such things when the current script is coming to a close. Shame on Consumer for doing this. I've been a customer for many years. This is shabby and should be changed.
I signed up for a single month to see if this site was helpful. They continued to bill me without authorization. Tried to cancel subscription online, but the site kept saying unable to cancel and to call customer care. I think this is outrageous behavior for a consumer protection group, to behave in such an unscrupulous fashion. Hypocrites.
I just received the 2017 Buying Guide and the used cars reliability presentation is horrible. Everyone is in black and it's difficult to discern the reliability of used cars from model to model. The old reports were clearly identified with red markings and it was very easy to show the various problems.
Yesterday a payment of $30.00 was made to Consumer Reports from my PayPal account. I have an online subscription to the magazine, and have lately received numerous email requests for donation to their company. However, I have not responded in any way, and most certainly did not authorize this payment. I don't even know what it's for, because I haven't gotten an acknowledgement from Consumer Reports. I have filed a complaint with PayPal, but am wondering how they were able to access my account without my knowledge or consent.
I have been a Consumer Reports customer for 30 years but in the last few years, the service has been sub-par and I may not renew again after the current subscription expires in 7/2017. Several times, as recently as 10/16, C/R refused to allow me online access unless I agreed to give them my current charge card number. Since my subscription expires in mid-2017, there should be no reason for C/R to refuse me access but they did and have done that twice before over the past 2 years. This company is so desperate to renew subscriptions, it will withhold access to current members unless they agree to surrender their charge card number. I had to threaten legal action to have the account unblocked. What a shame... C/R once provided a valued service but current management has taken the company in the wrong direction and I question their business ethics. Can see why the company rating is only 1+.
Why, without fail, does Consumer Reports accidentally double bill its subscribers every year when they renew their subscriptions? It's a common practice in the magazine industry, but I would think that CR, of all organizations, would stop engaging in this sleazy practice. This year, without fail, I was billed for a renewal of my subscription and a gift subscription for my sister, which I paid on August 1. The check was deposited by your subscription department and debited to my bank account on August 16.
On August 22, I received a Second Renewal Notice with a request to return the payment by September 1. The intent, obviously, is confuse the subscriber and induce him or her to extend the subscription period by making a double payment. This practice is blatantly unethical, and the reason usually given by the subscription department is that the time period between receiving the original payment and stopping the second notice was too short. I hope Consumer Reports will acknowledge and stop this unscrupulous practice.
I have purchased 3 appliances recently based on high ratings from Consumer Reports. All 3 were unsatisfactory. How independent is Consumer Reports these days? I am wondering how independent Consumer Reports product reviews really are. I will never consult it again. In any case CR seems to have outlived its purpose given the possibility of getting buyer product reviews online. RIP.
I received an advertisement in the mail which looked like a renewal for Consumer Reports magazine. I went online to take advantage of what looked like a good offer ($12 for a year), only to find out it was a subscription offer for Consumer Report.org, their online extension of the magazine. I immediately pressed the cancel button. The account online then said my credit card has been refunded $11. Cheap shot, CR. However, it made me realize I'm not sure I ever disabled Auto-Renewal on my magazine which expires Nov 16. So I went back on-line to do that since I definitely do NOT want to auto-renew. The account access system I found there is completely fouled up. Every time I use the Submit button, I am directed to an Error page. I tried using a different browser. Same result.
I called "Customer Care". After listening to endless irrelevant menus, I reached an assistant who "spoke" English, but only well enough to read from a script. He told me he couldn't access my magazine account because CR computers are down. Right. His supervisor was not surprisingly not available either. The only remedy he would offer is taking my personal contact information so someone could call me back. Seriously? Why on earth would I trust them with my personal contact info that could then be used to add me to a thousand unscrupulous calling lists? Based on comments at this ConsumerAffairs website, I'm a little nervous now that stopping my CR subscription is going to take a lot of time and effort on my part.
Needless to say, I'm finished with Consumer Reports, they are not the company I respected and relied on 30 years ago. Not only will I not recommend them, I will go out of my way to warn people not to subscribe either to the magazine or the online service. I do have some leverage perhaps if my efforts to get the auto-renewal feature disabled go unanswered within a few days: I can notify my bank to disregard any attempts by CR to auto-bill my credit card, and I can contact the legal advocate at our military base. What a sham. Consumer Reports is seemingly protecting us from everyone but themselves.
I signed up for Consumer Report magazine in 2015 and everything was fine 'til time for renewal. I was ready to mail the renewal form when I noticed my Amex had already been charged. Yet they were not sending the issues. So I called customer service in April & was told that "I" called in January to change address, which I've never did, so the issues were being sent to the new address. They stated they would send the old issues and would correct the address. I received the previous issues plus the month of May. Soon after I received July. So I called asking about June issue and was informed it was returned as undeliverable address, but was assured it would be sent to me, much to my surprise, I received two issues - May and July, but no June. Unacceptable. Will be calling Amex to cancel this.
So we pay for an annual subscription to your service for the Consumer Reports magazine, but in order to view the same data ONLINE, we have to pay you MORE money? Just incredible. Especially for a company built upon finding businesses and products that produce great products and services; it may be time to look in the mirror. Quite unbelievable in today's day and age. I'm sure the web will put its final nail in your coffin soon. RIP Consumer Reports.
I was prompted to join hoping to research "Convection Microwave ovens" and continue using the service throughout the year. I was devastated that they had no separate search options for that appliance. As I told the Consumer Reports when asking to cancel, even Walmart offers that separate category. Their subscription options quote both the $30.00 annual fee, and the effective monthly rate (2.50 per month) implying that the fee is deducted monthly rather than a lump sum. First the rep told me I was liable for a pro-rated use of the service! What, fee for a frustrated and UNSUCCESSFUL 20 minute search? Finally relented and credited back the "prorated fee" then gave me the "happy news that I'd have to wait UP TO THREE MONTHS for the full refund???
I am a 79 year old living on the Social Security which I have paid into for WELL OVER 50 YEARS! I have spent 12 of the last 40 days in the hospital and have very limited resources. Since my old microwave went kaput I am severely limited in the kitchen. I will never again feel the respect I used to have for Consumer Reports. I see from other reports on this site that I'm not the only one to get the "up to 3 months" refund scenario. It only took them 15 MINUTES to draft the charge against my checking account. In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined having to say "buyer beware" about Consumer Reports!!!
4 May 2016. I have been charged on my credit card 39 Canadian dollars, I did not receive any notice to renew my subscription. I did not sign anything or check any boxes to be renewed automatically. I am very disappointed on Consumer Reports' billing method.
They have been corrupt for a couple of years now. At least that's when I started noticing a lot of contradictions from their previous "scores" of products/companies. Many companies I know for a fact make inferior products suddenly went to the top or near top of CR's scoring, with overall scores that were WAY better than they deserved. I also noticed that the opposite occurred with companies I know to be quality companies. With so much money (and power) going to so few greedy people, I knew it was only a matter of time. Best to get your info from social media. But even there, beware of the source!
I have subscribed to Consumer Reports in the past with positive satisfaction. Upon receiving a discount I renewed again, however it did not provide online access. Why would you charge an additional fee to access a database you already have in place? It cost considerable more to print magazines and mail them than to allow a client access the web base. As a retired consultant, I can visualize bean counters that do not understand business.
After speaking to family, they could only be amazed at your inept concept of marketing. What good is a magazine full of items you are not interested in? We, as consumers only or mainly seek purchasing advice which is becoming easier to obtain online. I am sorry do not have the time waste on you or your magazine. Financially you should be good for around 5 years if another recession doesn't occur in the interim. Our local newspaper is almost now almost extinct due to a similar practice.
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