22 Facts About Consumer Reports


Consumer Reports, formerly Consumers Union, is an American nonprofit consumer organization dedicated to independent product testing, investigative journalism, consumer-oriented research, public education, and consumer advocacy.

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Consumer Reports joined the organization in 2014, following her work with the Ford Foundation, with the goal of expanding its engagement and advocacy efforts.

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Consumer Reports has hundreds of thousands of online advocates who take action and write letters to policymakers about the issues its advocates take on.

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Consumer Reports was a sponsor of the Safe Patient Project, whose goal was to help consumers find the best quality of health care by promoting the public disclosure of hospital-acquired infection rates and medical errors.

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Funding for Consumer Reports has recently been provided by USPIRG Education Fund, the Kentucky Equal Justice Center and the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network among other advocacy organizations.

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Consumer Reports publishes reviews of its business partner and recommends it in at least one case.

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Consumer Reports says its secret shoppers purchase all tested products at retail prices on behalf of the organization, that they do so anonymously, and that CR accepts no free samples in order to limit bias from bribery and to prevent being given better than average samples.

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Consumer Reports pays a rental fee to manufacturers when using these press samples and does not include the products in its ratings.

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Consumer Reports uses outside labs for testing, including for 11 percent of tests in 2006.

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In 1998, Consumer Reports launched the grant-funded project Consumer Reports WebWatch, which aimed to improve the credibility of Web sites through investigative reporting, publicizing best-practices standards, and publishing a list of sites that comply with the standards.

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Also in 2005 Consumer Reports launched the service Greener Choices, which is meant to "inform, engage, and empower consumers about environmentally-friendly products and practices".

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Consumer Reports published a kids' version of Consumer Reports called Penny Power, later changed to Zillions.

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In 1936, Consumer Reports was founded by Arthur Kallet, Colston Warne, and others who felt that the established Consumers' Research organization was not aggressive enough.

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Nader wanted Consumer Reports to focus on policy and product advocacy, while Karpatkin focused on product testing.

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Consumer Reports has helped start several consumer groups and publications, in 1960 helping create global consumer group Consumers International and in 1974 providing financial assistance to Consumers' Checkbook which is considered akin to Consumer Reports for local services in the seven metropolitan areas they serve.

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At the start of 2009, Consumer Reports acquired The Consumerist blog from Gawker Media for approximately $600,000.

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The reason for the name change was that the name of "Consumer Reports" was more familiar to the public than the name of "Consumers Union".

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Nevertheless, the next year, these models included a lighter weight steering wheel rim and a steering damper, and Consumer Reports reported that the previous instability was no longer present.

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Consumer Reports has been sued several times by companies unhappy with reviews of their products.

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In 1988, Consumer Reports announced during a press conference that the Suzuki Samurai had demonstrated a tendency to roll and deemed it "not acceptable".

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February 2007 issue of Consumer Reports stated that only two of the child safety seats it tested for that issue passed the organization's side impact tests.

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In 2006, Consumer Reports said six hybrid vehicles would probably not save owners money.

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