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Consumer Reports Score vs Feedback

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  • Nov 12th, 2017 5:30 pm
[OP]
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Dec 31, 2007
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Richmond Hill

Consumer Reports Score vs Feedback

Does anyone else find Consumer Reports really hard to trust?

I'm browsing through some of the top scored appliances, but user feedback on a lot of the high ones have been fairly poor.

For example, the LG fridge LFXS32766S scored 87, but user reviews place it 1.9/5.

So I'm having a hard time figuring out which appliances are actually good.

It's not better than walking into a store and letting the sales walk all over me.

I'd have better luck trusting amazon reviews at this point.
7 replies
Deal Addict
Feb 29, 2012
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Richmond
Consumer Reports is just one of the sources you should check. They do their best to come up with a useful set of criteria and test the most popular models in that category against their criteria. If they notice something especially bad or good in the test, they'll mention it. At the same time they ask subscribers to send them long-term feedback, and if they get especially negative feedback about a particular model, they will publish an update downgrading it or pulling their recommendation.

The main problems are:

- Their criteria may not be the same yours. They may be putting undue emphasis on things you don't care about, while missing something that you do care about. Therefore their overall score and ranking will not match yours. You have to read carefully to determine this.

- They are usually doing a short-term test, during which they can't really determine long-term issues of livability or reliability, both very important for appliances. For some things they do long term tests, but it's not really practical for appliances.

- They can't tell you what kind of support you are going to get locally. Is the local store really helpful? Is there a local service and parts depot? Are they competent and reasonably-priced? What are the manufacturer's policies? Do they stonewall you if you get a lemon, or do they try hard to ensure customer satisfaction?

So do consult Consumer Reports, but also read other reviews, read user forums, ask other people, and go examine the appliance yourself. Think about your own criteria in relation to what others are saying.
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Feb 11, 2007
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First off, make sure you check each product on amazon using https://www.fakespot.com/

As for CR, they're mostly only useful for functional reviews, like how well it works on initial usage. All they have on reliability is the brand historical stats.
The feedback from users is mostly negative, because only people who've had problems are motivated enough to go around leaving bad reviews, which massively skews the results.
The length of warranty a product offers you should tell you a lot about the quality of the product. Sadly most of them are only 1 year which is pathetic for major appliances.
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May 10, 2005
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engineered wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 11:31 am
First off, make sure you check each product on amazon using https://www.fakespot.com/

As for CR, they're mostly only useful for functional reviews, like how well it works on initial usage. All they have on reliability is the brand historical stats.
The feedback from users is mostly negative, because only people who've had problems are motivated enough to go around leaving bad reviews, which massively skews the results.
The length of warranty a product offers you should tell you a lot about the quality of the product. Sadly most of them are only 1 year which is pathetic for major appliances.
That is a very important thing to remember about all reviews, regardless of product. People are far more apt to complain or point out faults than praise.
Is it solipsistic here? Or is it just me?
[OP]
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Dec 31, 2007
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Richmond Hill
Pete_Coach wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 3:59 pm
That is a very important thing to remember about all reviews, regardless of product. People are far more apt to complain or point out faults than praise.
Good point.

I wonder if they have access to statistics like # of sales, # of returns. This would give a bit more insight into things like % that are satisfied with the product.
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Nov 18, 2005
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engineered wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 11:31 am
As for CR, they're mostly only useful for functional reviews, like how well it works on initial usage. All they have on reliability is the brand historical stats.
The feedback from users is mostly negative, because only people who've had problems are motivated enough to go around leaving bad reviews, which massively skews the results.
That comment on CR reliability stats is not really true. CR surveys are about your experience for all sorts of products you own whether you had good or bad experience. It is quite extensive and lengthy. It is much less prone to the "complainer bias" that feedback forums are. And those same forums have a lot of positive reviews from people trying to accumulate fake internet points ("just got it, works great. 5*)
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JWL wrote:
Nov 11th, 2017 1:37 pm
That comment on CR reliability stats is not really true. CR surveys are about your experience for all sorts of products you own whether you had good or bad experience. It is quite extensive and lengthy. It is much less prone to the "complainer bias" that feedback forums are. And those same forums have a lot of positive reviews from people trying to accumulate fake internet points ("just got it, works great. 5*)
I've been reading CR reports on laundry machines lately using my public library access and all I've seen is a review on how well the machine works in their test, and posted reviews from users that are unsolicited. It seems that survey info is only used for generic brand info, not for specific models. ie. It shows LG is most reliable washer brand, but not specific to a model.
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Nov 18, 2005
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engineered wrote:
Nov 11th, 2017 11:24 pm
I've been reading CR reports on laundry machines lately using my public library access and all I've seen is a review on how well the machine works in their test, and posted reviews from users that are unsolicited. It seems that survey info is only used for generic brand info, not for specific models. ie. It shows LG is most reliable washer brand, but not specific to a model.
That is true that any reliability predictions are brand-only (except for cars which are model specific)

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