EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Business & Finance
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports October 2019

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.
keeping your data safe

WHEN YOU DOWNLOAD an app, share a digital photo, or set up a smart speaker in your home, your personal data is at risk of being exploited by tech and other companies. Most of us have no idea that we’re vulnerable to such intrusions—even if we spend hours reading long, dense “terms of service” agreements and privacy agreements. Consumer Reports is committed to helping you take back control of your personal data. This month, we’re sharing a variety of tips you can put to use immediately, such as managing your passwords, changing your smartphone settings, and stopping the routine sharing of your data that happens when you conduct a web search. It’s also why we’ve created a new Digital Lab to advance and protect your rights in the digital age. In recent…

4 min.
building a better world, together

Stopping Surprise Bills WHAT’S AT STAKE When you go to a hospital that’s in your health insurer’s network, you might assume that your care will be covered. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case: You can end up with a sizable surprise bill if an out-of-network doctor assists during surgery or is on duty in the emergency room, or when your sample is sent to an outside lab. You don’t control these things, but you can pay mightily for them. “It is fundamentally unfair to get hit with out-of-network bills when you’re treated at healthcare facilities covered by your insurance,” says Dena Mendelsohn, senior policy counsel at CR. HOW CR HAS YOUR BACK CR has been a leader in advocating for laws to protect patients from surprise medical bills. New York’s governor is soon expected…

7 min.
your feedback

Our August 2019 article “Safety Systems That Could Save Your Life” examined crucial new car technologies. Readers raised important questions and shared their experiences. To join in, go to CR.org/safecar1019. AS A DRIVER SAFETY instructor with 20_years’ experience, I have been tracking the introduction of safety related systems in cars. Your article provides the first “real world” data I have seen about the positive impact advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are having on driver safety. I will for sure be including information from the article in future classes. There was one key point that I did not find: Adverse weather conditions (snow, ice, rain, etc.) can adversely affect their functioning. Every driver of a vehicle with ADAS needs to know this. —Peter Eddy, Bainbridge Island, WA EDITOR’S NOTE Many situations could cause a…

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

Countertop Microwaves Under $100 WE TESTED: 12 models WE TEST FOR: Speed and evenness of heating, defrosting evenness, noise while microwaving, and ease of use. We also measure a model’s usable capacity. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 55 Range: 46-67 Speedy Heat & Even Defrost Danby DMW11KNLBD (12x21x16 inches) $90 Stainless Steel & Quiet Magic Chef MCM1110ST (12x20x17 inches) $80 Countertop Space Saver Avanti MO7191TW (10x18x13 inches) $70 Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators WE TESTED: 21 models WE TEST FOR: Thermostat control, temperature uniformity, energy efficiency, and ease of use. We also measure a model’s usable capacity. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 73 Range: 40-89 Large Capacity LG LDCS24223S $1,300 Cool Price Kenmore 69313 $900 Cabinet Depth, With In-Door Water Dispenser Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF170WDRUX5 $2,300 Ask Our Experts Which has more freezer space: a top-or bottom-freezer fridge? WHILE BOTTOM-FREEZER REFRIGERATORS offer the convenience of keeping more fridge items at eye level, “they tend to have smaller freezers because of the space lost to organizer bins…

3 min.
how critical is it that i rotate my tires regularly?

This common maintenance task—which should typically be done every 5,000 to 8,000 miles—isn’t one you should ignore. It may seem minor, but remember: Tires are the only thing that comes between your two-ton vehicle and the road. Well-maintained tires will help you travel safely for tens of thousands of miles. Without rotation, tires may not wear evenly. Front tires play a larger role in braking, and on front-wheel-drive vehicles they must claw for traction, which means they wear out more quickly. Plus, minute variations in suspension and alignment can introduce uneven wear patterns. All of this can impact your car’s ride and noise level, as well as the tire’s longevity. “Spreading wear around all four tires ensures even tread depth and grip,” says Chris Jones, a certified mechanic and tire technician for…

8 min.
insights

In the Know The Right Way to Sit Behind the Wheel Tell the right time. Your hands should be placed at 9 and 3 o’clock, with a slight arm bend. This helps with control, and your arm is less likely to be injured by a deploying airbag. It's all in the wrist. You should be able to rest your wrist on the top steering wheel rim. Use steering wheel tilt and telescoping adjustments to accomplish this. Keep the wheel 10 inches from your chest so that the steering wheel airbag can absorb crash forces without causing significant injury. Fancy foot work. Your feet should easily reach the pedals, allowing you to brake fully and firmly. Get a head start. Line up the top of the head restraint with the top of your head, or at least…