Business & Finanz
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports July 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.

United States
Consumer Union
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1 Min.
about consumer reports

We are the world’s largest independent, nonprofit consumer-product-testing organization, based in Yonkers, N.Y. We survey hundreds of thousands of consumers about their experiences with products and services. We pay for all the products we rate. We don’t accept paid advertising. We don’t accept free test samples from manufacturers. We do not allow our name or content to be used for any promotional purposes. TO SEND A LETTER TO THE EDITOR Go to CR.org/lettertoeditor. Or Write to us at Consumer Reports, 101 Truman Ave., Yonkers, NY 10703, Attn.: Letter to Editor. NEWS TIPS AND STORY IDEAS Go to CR.org/tips. EMAIL SUBMISSIONS For Selling It send items to SellingIt@cro.consumer.org or call 800-333-0663. See page 67 for more details. MEMBER SERVICES Go to CR.org/magazine or call 800-333-0663. See page 5 for more details. RATINGS Overall Scores are based on a scale of 0 to…

2 Min.
what the fee?!

“YOU GET what you pay for” is an age-old adage, but it doesn’t exactly ring true anymore. “You pay more than you expected to” is more apt today. With greater consolidation across industries, from banking to airlines to cable providers, we see both the prices we pay and the profits reaped by corporations rise as a result. We’re now experiencing an unprecedented number of fees levied on us in unexpected ways. Hidden in the fine print, or disclosed just before—or even after—we make a purchase, these charges can exact an enormous toll. In 2018 alone, the U.S. airline industry hauled in nearly $4.9 billion in baggage fees, while American banks extracted just over $11.5 billion in overdraft fees from their customers. And that’s before you get to the cable companies, rental…

3 Min.
consumer reports

President and CEO Marta L. Tellado Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer Leonora Wiener Vice President, Chief Content Officer Gwendolyn Bounds Editor in Chief Diane Salvatore Executive Editor Kevin Doyle Features Editor Natalie van der Meer Design Director Matthew Lenning Creative Director, Brand Young Kim Associate Design Director Mike Smith Art Directors Ewelina Mrowiec, Michael Solita Photo Editors Lacey Browne, Emilie Harjes, Karen Shinbaum Senior Director, Content Development Glenn Derene Deputy Directors, Content Development Christopher Kirkpatrick, Ellen Kunes Associate Directors, Content Development Scott Billings, Althea Chang Senior Director, Content Impact & Corporate Outreach Jen Shecter Editorial Director, Digital Erle Norton Special Projects Joel Keehn, Director; Lisa L. Gill, Rachel Rabkin Peachman, Deputies; Ryan Felton, Writer Senior Director, Product Testing Maria Rerecich CARS: Patrick Olsen, Content Lead Editors/Writers: Keith Barry, Jeff S. Bartlett, Jonathan Linkov, Mike Monticello, Jeff Plungis Auto Test Center: Jake Fisher, Jennifer Stockburger, Directors Product Testing: Michael Bloch,…

4 Min.
building a better world, together

Calling for Safer Trucks WHAT’S AT STAKE When cars collide with bigrig trucks, they can become violently wedged beneath the larger vehicle—a phenomenon known as an “underride.” Though these collisions cause catastrophic damage to cars, they often fail to trigger standard safety features such as airbags—and, as a result, all too often lead to horrific deaths and debilitating injuries. So-called underride guards for trucks are a low-tech upgrade that can prevent some of the worst carnage. These bumpers hang from tractor trailers, preventing cars from sliding underneath during a collision. Many trucks already have rear-facing underride guards, but safety advocates say the standards requiring them are not strong enough, and that side and front guards are necessary as well. HOW CR HAS YOUR BACK CR has long advocated for underride guards. In our August 2018…

7 Min.
your feedback

Our May article “Mad About Robocalls?” addressed the nearly 50 billion calls placed each year—and how you can fight back. Readers shared their outrageous anecdotes and smart tips. To join in, go to CR.org/robo0719. YOUR ARTICLE about robocalls was helpful and informative, but as you note, thus far financial penalties for the perpetrators have proved to be ineffective. The examples you cited indicate that the perpetrators were often unable to pay the fine but are still walking around. It would seem that advocating imprisonment might prove to be a more effective deterrent. —Ira Keith Austin, Briarcliff Manor, NY IT SHOULD BE no surprise that robocalls are not going away. Every one of “A Rogues’ Gallery of Robocallers” was given a fine, which in several cases was suspended due to inability to pay. Until…

1 Min.
ask our experts

WHETHER ON NOT you should choose a straight- or curved-shaft string trimmer will probably depend on your height and what your yard is like. Straight trimmers, which make up a majority of the market, are often more comfortable for tall people, who can use them to get at low spots without bending down. “That’s especially good if you have a bad back,” notes Misha Kollontai, a CR tester. But we have found that a very good curved model, such as the Remington above, can provide better handling for shorter users because it’s easier to keep the head of the tool perpendicular to the ground. A curved shaft can also easily trim around or behind objects if your yard has obstacles and hard-to-reach spots.…