Paula-Loves-Marla's Blog

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Consumer Reports – Soooooo Not Reliable

When we bought our house 13 years ago, there were appliances which needed to be replaced. We’ve bought all new “domestic devices” for the laundry room and the kitchen. Even the water heater is newish.

We have made purchases in the past based on personal recommendations and word of mouth about reliable products. Since we were buying big ticket items for our home and hoping for quality and longevity of said items, we turned to Consumer Reports. They’re experts, right? They do in depth research and offer reliable advice on the best stuff to buy, right?

Uh, no. They really don’t.

We found this out the hard way.

Our first purchase was a Kenmore refrigerator. Consumer Reports rated it very well. It lasted 6 years before it died. It was no longer under warranty and the extended warranty had also expired.

We went out and bought a different refrigerator without CR’s input (still a Kenmore, tho). So far, so good.

The dishwasher we procured based on Consumer Reports is not an engineering marvel. About every fourth time we run it, the cycle fails and it needs to be rerun. The tech who responded to this service call said that it’s a flaw in the gasket design and there is no fix for it other than to prime the water gasket – yes, I must masturbate the dishwasher in order to get it to run properly and sometimes even that doesn’t work.

We are putting up with this problem for now, but we will have to replace this unit at some point too. Also, the interior design sucks – the bowls have to be placed in the unit backwards. Otherwise they block the water on the top shelf and the cycle doesn’t run properly. The silverware tray many times blocks the bottom shelf from rolling in properly.

It’s your basic nightmare.

Finally, the thrid appliance which we purchased based on published information from Consumer Reports was our dryer. Within two years of this purchase, we were finding burn marks on our clothes. The Sears technician I called in to fix this problem informed me that the dryer was only made to last five years. What?!?!

I thought maybe he was just trying to drum up business by saying that the dryer was crap, but two years later, we had burn marks appearing on our laundry once again. There were other issues as well so off to Sears we went.

I was pretty pissed at this point. The unfortunate sales guy who had to deal with my wrath about crappy dryers did not have a good day. To his credit, this current dryer seems to be working pretty well.

When we bought our second refrigerator, the sales guy came right out and told us that refrigerators are built to last an average of seven years, otherwise many of the sales guys wouldn’t have jobs. As you can imagine, I was not pleased with this logic. When I pay $1,300+ for something, I expect it to last a good long time.

These days stores play the extended warranty game. Can’t we pay a fair price (without this stupid ploy) for quality products? You know, like back in the good old days? Emptying our bank accounts and filling up the landfills is a big waste of resources when our country was built on manufacturing quality products.

Sooner or later you will need to buy an appliance. Do yourself a favor and talk to other people about stuff they’ve had good luck with or flip a coin. Either way you will be better off than taking the sketchy advice of Consumer Reports. In my experience their track record is about 50/50.


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