Business & Finance
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports February 2018

Ratings, recommendations, reliability reports, safety and price comparisons from the world’s largest consumer testing center. Helps consumers make better choices for everything from cars to cell phone service. The only magazine of its kind: Expert, independent, nonprofit. 100% unbiased. Consumer Reports accepts no outside advertising.

United States
Consumer Union
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$7.01(Incl. tax)
$33.75(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
your saving grace

WHETHER YOU BELIEVE that it talks, is the root of all evil, or is what makes the world go round, we can all agree on one thing when it comes to money: Having a little bit more of it can make a big di. erence for our families. Finding some extra dollars in your bank account doesn’t always require cutting corners or asking for a raise, though. There are countless everyday ways you can start saving money now that you may not be aware of. This month, we’re cluing you in to the savviest strategies from our in-house experts and researchers, so you can pay less and get better value wherever and whenever you enter the marketplace. From shedding dollars o. your car insurance premium to identifying hidden discounts at the…

4 min.
building a better world, together

Taking Equifax to Task WHAT’S AT STAKE Armed with a petition signed by more than 180,000 consumers, CR advocates pressed executives of credit reporting agency Equifax to do more for the 145?million people whose personal data may have been stolen in last year’s massive data breach. When Equifax announced in September that hackers had potentially gained access to millions of Social Security and credit card numbers as well as other sensitive data, many people wanted to know whether they were among those who were a. ected—and, if so, how to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft. But the company’s initial response was chaotic: Its website crashed, its phone lines were jammed, and when people did get through, Equifax o. ered only weak solutions. HOW CR HAS YOUR BACK That’s when CR called on Equifax…

7 min.
your feedback

In our December 2017 article, “Shop Online With Confidence,” we offered strategies to help readers avoid scams and save money when making purchases online— especially for holiday gifts. To cash in on our information or to join the conversation, go to CR.org/shoptips0218. IN REPLY TO “Shopping for a Worthy Cause” (December 2017), I have used the iGive.com shopping portal for many years. The percentage each merchant agrees to give to your chosen charity is clearly listed—and at the end of the year you get a report on the amount you gave to your chosen cause for the year. —Dennis Faulkner, via CR.org I SAW THAT Sam’s Club’s One Day Sale featured an LG refrigerator at a secret price, revealed to be $799 at 12:01 a. m. EST. The item listed for $1,899.…

1 min.
ask our experts

“FOR ONE THING, with its super-compact design, an immersion blender can easily be tucked away into a cabinet,” says CR home appliance tester Cindy Fisher. It can also save you time on meal prep because, rather than filling up a blender pitcher, you can submerge this slim device directly into the food or drink you’re preparing, such as simmering vegetables in a pot with tall sides. “But,” says Fisher, “these devices can’t truly replace a countertop blender,” which can handle heavy-duty jobs like ice cubes that immersion blenders can’t. So think of your immersion blender as a complementary tool to minimize the effort and mess of smaller culinary tasks. For our immersion blender picks, see above.…

2 min.
what we’re testing in our labs...

Chromebooks WE TESTED: 24 models WE TEST FOR: Display, overall performance, ergonomics, battery life, versatility, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 63 Range: 50-76 Best Overall & Touch Screen Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4, 12. 5" display $500 76 OVERALL SCORE Portable & Nicely Priced HP Chromebook 11-V012NR, 11.6" display $200 69 OVERALL SCORE Best Battery Life Acer Chromebook CB3-532-C47C, 15.6" display $200 64OVERALL SCORE Immersion Blenders WE TESTED: 9 models WE TEST FOR: How well it purees vegetables in water for soup, how well it blends frozen fruit and yogurt for smoothies. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 64 Range: 34-92 Best Overall Breville Control Grip BSB510XL $100 92 OVERALL SCORE Super at Soup for a Lot Less Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-75 $35 76 OVERALL SCORE Longest Warranty (5 years) Electrolux Masterpiece ELHB10B9PS $230 69 OVERALL SCORE For even more ratings of these and other product categories, online subscribers can go to CR.org. Convertible Car Seats WE TESTED: 23 models WE…

3 min.
ask our experts

Green tea, the drink, and green tea extract (GTE), the supplement, both contain compounds called catechins, which have been found to have antioxidant properties that may prevent cellular damage that can lead to cancer and other ills. However, an excess of catechins appears to harm the liver. GTE, sold on its own and in multi-ingredient blends, and often marketed as a fatburner and weight-loss aid, can contain dangerously high amounts of those catechins. A study of postmenopausal women published in August 2017 in the journal Cancer Prevention Research found that participants who took green tea extract supplements twice a day for 12 months (containing a total of about 1,315 mg of catechins) were seven times more likely to have abnormally elevated liver enzymes than those who took a placebo. “Those levels…