EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Business & Finance
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports November 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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Consumer Union
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
coming soon: cr on your tv!

FOR 82 YEARS, we at CR have prided ourselves on delivering the independent, expert guidance that families need to confidently make choices in the face of questions large and small. How safe and reliable is my car? Is this a predatory loan masquerading as a fair deal? Is there a right way to load a dishwasher to get a better clean? How can I safeguard my privacy and security in an age when so many everyday products are internet-connected? Across the generations, tens of millions of Americans have looked to our magazine, our website, and our social media channels for insights and answers they can trust. Now we’re thrilled to introduce a brand-new way that CR will equip people with the tools they need to make smarter choices: our first-ever TV…

4 min.
building a better world, together

Making Cars More Efficient WHAT’S AT STAKE Whether you’re motivated more by concern for the environment or your own personal finances, you should care about an ongoing effort to roll back auto fuel-efficiency standards. If finalized, a Trump administration proposal would result in more greenhouse gas emissions and hit consumers squarely in their wallets. Better fuel economy, of course, means drivers spend less at the gas pump over time. How much less? A 2017 Environmental Protection Agency analysis projected that the so-called CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards—now at risk of being dismantled—would save consumers almost $100 billion. A separate CR study found that buyers will save $3,200 per car and $4,800 per truck or SUV over a vehicle’s life if manufacturers meet the standards by model year 2025—even after considering the added cost…

7 min.
your feedback

Our September story “Sick of Confusing Medical Bills?” explained why unexpected charges happen—and what you can do to protect yourself financially. To join the conversation, go to CR.org/medbills1118. I READ YOUR ARTICLE with great interest. For the past 30 years, I have been a medical biller for a physical therapy practice, so I’ve seen where medical billing was 30 years ago (much simpler) and where it is now (totally confusing and ever-changing). You were spot on with regard to how confusing it is for both consumers and medical providers, and your recommendations were very good. As both a consumer and provider, I’ve seen mistakes made by insurance companies with claims processing. I’ve had insurance representatives give me the wrong benefits on a patient. I’ve seen an insurer process a claim incorrectly…

1 min.
how important is it that i descale my coffee maker?

DESCALING, SOMETIMES CALLED decalcifying, is a deep cleaning. It gets rid of residue and mineral buildup that can affect taste, slow down brewing time, or even clog your appliance, causing it to malfunction and require a repair that may not be covered under warranty. “It’s especially important to descale if you have hard water, because the buildup happens faster,” says CR test engineer Ginny Lui. Some models indicate when to descale (such as the Mr. Coffee model above). If yours doesn’t, consult your manual. Descaling is easy, says Lui. Simply run equal parts of water and white vinegar through your appliance. Some manufacturers suggest a different ratio or a specific cleaning solution. After descaling, run at least one or two cycles of plain water before brewing your next pot of…

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

Humidifiers WE TESTED: 18 models with a range of 300 to 499 sq. ft. WE TEST FOR: Daily output, ease of use, energy efficiency, noise, and how the unit works with hard water. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 68 Range: 37-86 Best Overall Performance Vicks V5100NS $50 86 OVERALL SCORE Dual Misting & Antimicrobial Hunter 33520 $70 80 OVERALL SCORE Bargain Buy Honeywell HEV320 $35 77 OVERALL SCORE Drip Coffee Makers WE TESTED: 89 models WE TEST FOR: Performance, including brew temperature and coffee concentration; convenience, including controls and more; carafe handling; and brew time. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 64 Range: 39-84 Thermal Carafe Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew BVMC-PSTX95 $80 72 OVERALL SCORE Built-In Bean Grinder Black+Decker Mill & Brew CM5000B $70 57 OVERALL SCORE Makes Espresso, Too DeLonghi BCO 320T $150 63 OVERALL SCORE Fitness Trackers Under $200 WE TESTED: 13 models WE TEST FOR: Ease of use, interaction and pairing with another device, step count and heart-rate monitor accuracy, water resistance,…

3 min.
my husband and i need to transport our car south this winter. how can we get a good deal?

Saving on car transport is like saving on airline tickets, says Tobie Stanger, senior money editor. Popular routes tend to be less pricey on a dollar-per-mile basis. Reserving in advance costs less than booking last-minute; peak season is pricier than off-peak. And flexibility helps: “If you don’t need to have your car delivered by a certain day, the carrier may reward you with a lower rate,” Stanger says. “And if you’re okay ‘going standby’—having your car available at the carrier’s convenience—you can save hundreds of dollars.” Be aware that door-to-door delivery can cost more. If the truck can’t travel local roads, you may pay extra to have your car towed or driven those last few miles, notes Drew Wash, owner of TransportReviews.com, which gathers prices and reviews of auto transporters. Rather,…