EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Business & Finance
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports May 2020

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

2 min.
taking care in a time of crisis

AS THIS MONTH’S ISSUE goes to press, the world remains gripped by the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. Families across the country and around the world are grappling with questions: What can I do to keep my loved ones safe? Should I cancel my upcoming travel plans? How much longer will this pandemic disrupt our lives? Though not every question is answerable yet, here at CR we are working hard to deliver the best, most scientifically rigorous guidance to help you through the uncertainties that lie ahead. As the outbreak evolves, our coverage will as well—and you can access our insights at our coronavirus resource hub, at CR.org/coronavirus. We are offering wide-ranging advice on how to prepare and protect yourself, including how to get the best possible in-home medical care if…

3 min.
building a better world, together

Shining Light on Hidden Fees WHAT’S AT STAKE CR has scored a hard-fought victory in the long-running battle over hidden fees. The latest skirmish centers on cable TV companies, which are notorious for advertising low prices and then, after consumers sign up, adding a long list of confusing fees to monthly bills. In fact, a recent CR analysis of nearly 800 pay-TV bills sent to us by consumers around the country found that the typical cable customer pays $450 a year in company-imposed fees—in effect, a 24 percent surcharge—on top of advertised prices. HOW CR HAS YOUR BACK We shared our findings with members of Congress this past October, and CR senior policy counsel Jonathan Schwantes testified at a Senate hearing a few weeks later, calling for a crackdown on hidden fees and for more…

7 min.
your feedback

I ENJOYED your wide-ranging mattress report, but what about the cost of a box spring? In my experience, the box spring is as expensive as the mattress. Does the manufacturer’s warranty require you to buy a box spring or, specifically, the company’s matching box spring? —David Wolff, South Windsor, CT EDITOR’S NOTE Prices for a box spring usually start at a few hundred dollars. Some mattress companies have warranties that require you to buy the brand’s matching base. Others don’t, but they might specify in the mattress warranty what qualifies as a proper base and frame. So check to see whether your existing support meets the mattress company’s criteria. THERE IS ONE REASON that I buy a new mattress every few years: They all develop a depression where I usually sleep. My…

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

For the latest ratings of these and other product categories, readers with a Digital or All-Access membership can go to CR.org. Hand Mixers WE TESTED: 13 models WE TEST FOR: How fast a mixer makes whipped cream; how proficient it is at mixing cookie dough; ease of use, including controls and beaters; noise while on the highest speed. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 71 Range: 49-82 Magnificent Mixer Cuisinart Power Advantage HM-50 (wire beaters) $40 82 OVERALL SCORE Quick & Quiet KitchenAid KHM926 (wire beaters) $100 79 OVERALL SCORE Digital Display for Less Toastess Delfino DLHM-564 (center post beaters) $35 75 OVERALL SCORE Smart Speakers With Screens WE TESTED: 52 models with screens and without WE TEST FOR: Sound quality of the speaker; ease of setup and controls; and versatility, including the presence or absence of useful features. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 56 Range: 25-76 A Big Screen & Much More…

3 min.
isn’t it critical to wash chicken before you cook it?

According to a survey published in the Journal of Food Protection, 68 percent of people wash their raw chicken—but that doesn’t make doing so right. “Washing raw chicken doesn’t remove bacteria if it’s there,” says James E. Rogers, Ph.D., director of food safety research and testing at CR. “In fact, washing may increase your chances of getting food poisoning.” Why? A recent study from the Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service found that people who washed or rinsed their raw birds were leaving a trail of bacteria around the kitchen. Sixty percent had bacteria in their sink afterward, and 14 percent still had bacteria in the sink after cleaning it. Plus, 26 percent of home cooks who washed the raw chicken also ended up transferring bacteria to a salad…

8 min.
insights

77 OVERALL SCORE IN THE KNOW A SMARTER WAY TO WATER YOUR LAWN JUST AS SMART thermostats have revolutionized the way homes are heated and cooled through automation, smart sprinkler controllers aim to change the way you care for your lawn. These devices, which cost $100 to $300 and replace the existing programmable timer on your sprinkler system, use WiFi to pull weather data from the internet to determine watering schedules. So instead of just being on a timer, your sprinkler can also follow the forecast, saving you water—and money—if it starts raining. Plus, if you buy a WaterSense certified model (the EPA’s label for watering efficiency and conservation), it can save the average U.S. home almost 7,600 gallons of water per year. “Smart sprinklers are helpful but can be intimidating at first, due…