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(The Consumerist)   Consumer Reports shuts down Consumerist. Reading the Editors Twitter, they were shut down for "failing to meet subscription goals." FARK: they aren't subscription based   (consumerist.com) divider line
    More: Asinine, Payday loan, dodgy payday lenders, secretive cable companies, Consumer debt, Consumer, The Work, Loan, English-language films  
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2605 clicks; posted to Business » on 30 Oct 2017 at 5:40 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-10-30 4:27:23 PM  
I'm ok with this.
 
2017-10-30 4:32:10 PM  
Think subby may have misunderstood the conveyed message.  Consumerist may not be subscription based but CR sure as hell is.
 
2017-10-30 4:33:03 PM  

FTJones: Think subby may have misunderstood the conveyed message.  Consumerist may not be subscription based but CR sure as hell is.


Or they were referring to advertiser subscriptions.
 
2017-10-30 4:40:41 PM  

derpes_simplex: FTJones: Think subby may have misunderstood the conveyed message.  Consumerist may not be subscription based but CR sure as hell is.

Or they were referring to advertiser subscriptions.


Ah. You're probably right.
 
2017-10-30 4:54:51 PM  
I found the acquisition of Consumerist by CR to be really weird.

CR is very button-down and very old-school liberal.

Consumerist is all about snark and a weird combination of populism & dog-eat-dog laissez faire capitalism - depending on who writes the article, I suppose.
 
2017-10-30 5:40:37 PM  
Consumer Reports = Rust-belt liberal
Consumerist = West Coast progressive

CR's advocacy and research have been valuable through the years, but it's gotten as dull as tap water at a time when we need younger critical consumers. Consumerist deftly skewered robbing hoods like Eddie Lampert as he destroys Sears, and snickered at Walmart's brain-dead pricing fifteen-year-old MP3 players higher than new iPhones. CR has little to offer Millennials and post-Millennials behind their paywall.
 
2017-10-30 5:51:58 PM  
Probably too many articles about people who think having to show their receipt on the way out of a store is the equivalent of Soviet Russia.

Plus, it was surprisingly easy to get your account shut down if you comment that they hire a proofreader.
 
2017-10-30 5:52:02 PM  
And nothing -- absolutely nothing, the most profoundly vast absence of something ever assembled -- of value was lost. At all.
 
2017-10-30 5:54:55 PM  
Have you heard of the consumerist?

You won't.
 
2017-10-30 5:59:28 PM  
Dear God...this is better news than the Trump Train going off the rails.

The Consumerist was probably the single worst non-political web site on the internet.
 
2017-10-30 6:18:25 PM  

Bimmer Jones: Consumer Reports = Rust-belt liberal
Consumerist = West Coast progressive

CR's advocacy and research have been valuable through the years, but it's gotten as dull as tap water at a time when we need younger critical consumers. Consumerist deftly skewered robbing hoods like Eddie Lampert as he destroys Sears, and snickered at Walmart's brain-dead pricing fifteen-year-old MP3 players higher than new iPhones. CR has little to offer Millennials and post-Millennials behind their paywall.


As millenial home ownership increases, CR will be more valuable for unbiased reviews of durable appliances, whose reliability isn't captured well in user reviews based on just short-term use after purchase. I just bought a month's access to get the reliability ratings on central AC systems, since other sources were very short term and HVAC contractors are hopelessly biased.
 
2017-10-30 6:18:30 PM  
Well knock me over with a feather, I had no idea there was any connection between staid but reliable Consumer Reports and annoying but often entertaining consumerist
 
2017-10-30 6:18:37 PM  

derpes_simplex: Or they were referring to advertiser subscriptions.


Consumerist had no advertising. And nobody calls advertising buys "subscriptions".

They were not turning enough Consumerist readers into Consumer Reports subscribers.
 
2017-10-30 6:40:14 PM  
Consumerist was started as a Gawker property, and sold to Consumer Reports almost a decade ago.
 
2017-10-30 6:48:45 PM  

Magorn: Well knock me over with a feather, I had no idea there was any connection between staid but reliable Consumer Reports and annoying but often entertaining consumerist


Consumer Reports hasn't been staid or reliable in years.  Resorting to making odd public statements and acting more like buzzfeed on twitter than performing fact based research.

/consumer reports should shutdown along with consumerists
 
2017-10-30 7:09:38 PM  
Okay, so The Consumerist content is going to get pulled behind  a paywall.  Well, it was a fun ride.
 
2017-10-30 7:13:02 PM  
Subby here. So, I've followed Consumerist for a long time, all the way back to when they had a comments section (which was usually as insightful as the original Yahoo comments sections). So,this morning the staff at Consumerist were told they had to get on a conference call with CS leadership. They were then told during the call effective immediately, they were done because they did not meet subscription goals and other metrics, metrics which the Editor in Chief said didn't exist. As in, Consumerist is free, they operate without ads or subscriptions. None were offered the opportunity to join CAR, all we're terminated effective immediately. The Editor in Chief and most of the staff have now been blocked from following Consumerist and Consumer Reports on Twitter. It's all very backhanded and strange.

Consumerist wasn't the greatest spot for info(their obsession with receipt checks is weird), but damned if they weren't at least partially entertaining to read. And Consumer Reports stopped being useful a long time ago. They are the BuzzFeed of product reviews.
 
2017-10-30 7:14:22 PM  

Spermbot: As millenial home ownership increases, CR will be more valuable for unbiased reviews of durable appliances, whose reliability isn't captured well in user reviews based on just short-term use after purchase. I just bought a month's access to get the reliability ratings on central AC systems, since other sources were very short term and HVAC contractors are hopelessly biased.


On the flip side, long-term reliability ratings don't hold as much water as they used to. No matter how good your accelerated wear testing is, it's not going to tell you how long firmware support will last or spare parts will be available. Most "manufacturers" are actually rebranders or assemblers whose past record isn't an indicator of future performance; this of course means there is value in detailed teardowns, but this isn't really CR's wheelhouse.
And a big issue I've noticed with appliances lately is that US models are significantly behind the feature curve, to the extent that I'd expect obsolescence well before failure even for mediocre products. If I want the washer I buy today to be gone in ten years in favor of an all-in-one washer-dryer, if I want the stove I buy today to be gone in ten years in favor of one with a convection-steam or superheated-steam oven and a multielement induction top, if I want the water heater I'm installing to be replaced with one which lets me dial a bath temperature as I finish dinner, then knowing whether today's will last fifteen or thirty doesn't help me.

Then there's the separate problem that that last water heater will finally make the CR review shortlist five years after its introduction in the US mass market, and will receive a single black half-circle rating for the user-unfriendliness of having to be toggled on combined with the safety hazard of being able to set it to 55 and potentially forget.

~Millennial~ relevance would be carving through the "1,000 aliexpress listings, 10 actual products, 1 is jarts-level unsafe, 1 is an RC car motor in a stand mixer housing, 3 are 5:01PM runs by assemblers for western brands, 3 are aftermarket spare parts arbitrage, and 2 are legitimate pitches to the Chinese middle class" problem. But that does nothing for the concerns of the people who are actually paid subscribers, and would absolutely devour budget.
 
2017-10-30 7:38:38 PM  

Prof. Despair: "1,000 aliexpress listings, 10 actual products, 1 is jarts-level unsafe,


LOL I went to see my parents last weekend.  Look what I found in the garage:

i.imgur.comView Full Size


i.imgur.comView Full Size


i.imgur.comView Full Size


Really?  Giving 3" steel spikes on projectiles is a bad idea?
 
2017-10-30 7:43:04 PM  
The Consumerist was a joke. Countless posts that either treat rogue customer service agent statements as company policy, or lambast companies that do their best not to fall into bankruptcy (OMG they decreased the size of the package!! Boycott!!).
 
2017-10-30 7:43:29 PM  

Prof. Despair: Spermbot: As millenial home ownership increases, CR will be more valuable for unbiased reviews of durable appliances, whose reliability isn't captured well in user reviews based on just short-term use after purchase. I just bought a month's access to get the reliability ratings on central AC systems, since other sources were very short term and HVAC contractors are hopelessly biased.

On the flip side, long-term reliability ratings don't hold as much water as they used to. No matter how good your accelerated wear testing is, it's not going to tell you how long firmware support will last or spare parts will be available. Most "manufacturers" are actually rebranders or assemblers whose past record isn't an indicator of future performance; this of course means there is value in detailed teardowns, but this isn't really CR's wheelhouse.
And a big issue I've noticed with appliances lately is that US models are significantly behind the feature curve, to the extent that I'd expect obsolescence well before failure even for mediocre products. If I want the washer I buy today to be gone in ten years in favor of an all-in-one washer-dryer, if I want the stove I buy today to be gone in ten years in favor of one with a convection-steam or superheated-steam oven and a multielement induction top, if I want the water heater I'm installing to be replaced with one which lets me dial a bath temperature as I finish dinner, then knowing whether today's will last fifteen or thirty doesn't help me.

Then there's the separate problem that that last water heater will finally make the CR review shortlist five years after its introduction in the US mass market, and will receive a single black half-circle rating for the user-unfriendliness of having to be toggled on combined with the safety hazard of being able to set it to 55 and potentially forget.

~Millennial~ relevance would be carving through the "1,000 aliexpress listings, 10 actual products, 1 is jarts-level unsafe, 1 is an RC car moto ...


Central AC units haven't changed all that much in the past ten years, and they're unlikely to in the next ten.  CR reliability ratings for this appliance count for a lot in this case.  In the case of other major appliances, the 20 repair shops I called throughout my state all said, "They don't make 'em like they used to.  Buy the longest extended warranty you can get."  I don't need much in the way of fancy features (except extra sound muffling on the dishwasher), so reliability is a key criteria for me.
 
2017-10-30 8:03:25 PM  
I finally found out where my boss moonlight. (I.e. sets goals / metrics that have no elements within the control of the person being evaluated... or no relevance to the position.)
 
2017-10-30 8:11:14 PM  

Spermbot: Prof. Despair: Spermbot: As millenial home ownership increases, CR will be more valuable for unbiased reviews of durable appliances, whose reliability isn't captured well in user reviews based on just short-term use after purchase. I just bought a month's access to get the reliability ratings on central AC systems, since other sources were very short term and HVAC contractors are hopelessly biased.

On the flip side, long-term reliability ratings don't hold as much water as they used to. No matter how good your accelerated wear testing is, it's not going to tell you how long firmware support will last or spare parts will be available. Most "manufacturers" are actually rebranders or assemblers whose past record isn't an indicator of future performance; this of course means there is value in detailed teardowns, but this isn't really CR's wheelhouse.
And a big issue I've noticed with appliances lately is that US models are significantly behind the feature curve, to the extent that I'd expect obsolescence well before failure even for mediocre products. If I want the washer I buy today to be gone in ten years in favor of an all-in-one washer-dryer, if I want the stove I buy today to be gone in ten years in favor of one with a convection-steam or superheated-steam oven and a multielement induction top, if I want the water heater I'm installing to be replaced with one which lets me dial a bath temperature as I finish dinner, then knowing whether today's will last fifteen or thirty doesn't help me.

Then there's the separate problem that that last water heater will finally make the CR review shortlist five years after its introduction in the US mass market, and will receive a single black half-circle rating for the user-unfriendliness of having to be toggled on combined with the safety hazard of being able to set it to 55 and potentially forget.

~Millennial~ relevance would be carving through the "1,000 aliexpress listings, 10 actual products, 1 is jarts-level unsafe, 1 is ...


AC coolant changed from R22 to R-410a.  R22 units cannot be charged after 2020.  Significant change.
 
2017-10-30 8:55:45 PM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: Spermbot: Prof. Despair: Spermbot: As millenial home ownership increases, CR will be more valuable for unbiased reviews of durable appliances, whose reliability isn't captured well in user reviews based on just short-term use after purchase. I just bought a month's access to get the reliability ratings on central AC systems, since other sources were very short term and HVAC contractors are hopelessly biased.

On the flip side, long-term reliability ratings don't hold as much water as they used to. No matter how good your accelerated wear testing is, it's not going to tell you how long firmware support will last or spare parts will be available. Most "manufacturers" are actually rebranders or assemblers whose past record isn't an indicator of future performance; this of course means there is value in detailed teardowns, but this isn't really CR's wheelhouse.
And a big issue I've noticed with appliances lately is that US models are significantly behind the feature curve, to the extent that I'd expect obsolescence well before failure even for mediocre products. If I want the washer I buy today to be gone in ten years in favor of an all-in-one washer-dryer, if I want the stove I buy today to be gone in ten years in favor of one with a convection-steam or superheated-steam oven and a multielement induction top, if I want the water heater I'm installing to be replaced with one which lets me dial a bath temperature as I finish dinner, then knowing whether today's will last fifteen or thirty doesn't help me.

Then there's the separate problem that that last water heater will finally make the CR review shortlist five years after its introduction in the US mass market, and will receive a single black half-circle rating for the user-unfriendliness of having to be toggled on combined with the safety hazard of being able to set it to 55 and potentially forget.

~Millennial~ relevance would be carving through the "1,000 aliexpress listings, 10 actual products, 1 is jarts-level un ...


Mea culpa.  I'm properly p0wned.  I was thinking in terms of consumer features and design.
 
2017-10-30 9:57:11 PM  
Can't they just offer more content for $5 a month?

Maybe for just half that, they could send out magazines without those flyers or subscription cards that fall out when you check your mailbox.
 
2017-10-30 11:17:08 PM  
Half the time Consumer Reports just regurgitates the marketing press releases put out by various companies. I'm pretty sure that Amazon is their main competitor.
 
2017-10-31 12:56:55 AM  

jayphat: (their obsession with receipt checks is weird)


So is WalMarts, to be fair.

kevlar51: lambast companies that do their best not to fall into bankruptcy (OMG they decreased the size of the package!! Boycott!!).


On this note, I'll be buying Colombian peaberry coffee for the price of Folgers this upcoming week. What does that say about "big coffee"?
 
2017-10-31 12:59:35 AM  

Spermbot: In the case of other major appliances, the 20 repair shops I called throughout my state all said, "They don't make 'em like they used to.  Buy the longest extended warranty you can get."  I don't need much in the way of fancy features (except extra sound muffling on the dishwasher), so reliability is a key criteria for me.


I have actually taught myself to do appliance maintenance for myself and family. I've saved a refrigerator and a newish washing machine for as much money in parts as it would have cost for a technician to even LOOK at one of those machines. The refrigerator took a bit of "work" but I mean, it beats buying a new one.
 
2017-10-31 3:39:01 AM  

Earguy: Prof. Despair: "1,000 aliexpress listings, 10 actual products, 1 is jarts-level unsafe,

LOL I went to see my parents last weekend.  Look what I found in the garage:

[i.imgur.com image 850x637]

[i.imgur.com image 850x637]

[i.imgur.com image 850x637]

Really?  Giving 3" steel spikes on projectiles is a bad idea?


You can hurt someone with a horseshoe just as easily.
 
2017-10-31 6:13:27 AM  

Pocket Ninja: And nothing -- absolutely nothing, the most profoundly vast absence of something ever assembled -- of value was lost. At all.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2017-10-31 7:51:18 AM  

Earguy: Prof. Despair: "1,000 aliexpress listings, 10 actual products, 1 is jarts-level unsafe,

LOL I went to see my parents last weekend.  Look what I found in the garage:

[i.imgur.com image 850x637]

[i.imgur.com image 850x637]

[i.imgur.com image 850x637]

Really?  Giving 3" steel spikes on projectiles is a bad idea?


Thanks for posting the Jarts pictures. My father and his friend loved to drink and play Jarts in our backyard, back in the 1960's or maybe 1970's. Unfortunately, they had to spend most of the game chasing us kids out of the backyard, so no one would get hurt.

And they had to hide the game when they were finished, because otherwise we'd sneak it out and play it.

It really looked like fun! And it must have been, for them to go through all that trouble just to play it.
 
2017-10-31 8:31:58 AM  
This whole thread reminds me of a consumerist product review (or any online review, really.)  Half of you say the site was garbage, the other half say it was useful, with a few assorted unrelated comments thrown in.  So now I'm still left wondering, was this a good product(site) or not?

/hate reading product reviews
//never know what you're buying these days
///so you have to read product reviews.. ahhh...
 
2017-10-31 10:18:47 AM  

Spermbot: Prof. Despair: Spermbot: As millenial home ownership increases, CR will be more valuable for unbiased reviews of durable appliances, whose reliability isn't captured well in user reviews based on just short-term use after purchase. I just bought a month's access to get the reliability ratings on central AC systems, since other sources were very short term and HVAC contractors are hopelessly biased.

On the flip side, long-term reliability ratings don't hold as much water as they used to. No matter how good your accelerated wear testing is, it's not going to tell you how long firmware support will last or spare parts will be available. Most "manufacturers" are actually rebranders or assemblers whose past record isn't an indicator of future performance; this of course means there is value in detailed teardowns, but this isn't really CR's wheelhouse.
And a big issue I've noticed with appliances lately is that US models are significantly behind the feature curve, to the extent that I'd expect obsolescence well before failure even for mediocre products. If I want the washer I buy today to be gone in ten years in favor of an all-in-one washer-dryer, if I want the stove I buy today to be gone in ten years in favor of one with a convection-steam or superheated-steam oven and a multielement induction top, if I want the water heater I'm installing to be replaced with one which lets me dial a bath temperature as I finish dinner, then knowing whether today's will last fifteen or thirty doesn't help me.

Then there's the separate problem that that last water heater will finally make the CR review shortlist five years after its introduction in the US mass market, and will receive a single black half-circle rating for the user-unfriendliness of having to be toggled on combined with the safety hazard of being able to set it to 55 and potentially forget....


Add to that the introduction (in the US anyway) of ductless split systems, multi-stage and variable speed compressors, ultra high-efficiency equipment, smart controls, etc.  A lot has changed in the AC field over the past decade, but most people don't take notice since what matters is if they are warm/cool.  HVAC systems go pretty unnoticed outside of the industry until something breaks.
 
2017-10-31 10:22:46 AM  

puffy999: Spermbot: In the case of other major appliances, the 20 repair shops I called throughout my state all said, "They don't make 'em like they used to.  Buy the longest extended warranty you can get."  I don't need much in the way of fancy features (except extra sound muffling on the dishwasher), so reliability is a key criteria for me.

I have actually taught myself to do appliance maintenance for myself and family. I've saved a refrigerator and a newish washing machine for as much money in parts as it would have cost for a technician to even LOOK at one of those machines. The refrigerator took a bit of "work" but I mean, it beats buying a new one.


DIY appliance repair is my bread and butter, and the Mrs has been suitably impressed so far (we bought our first house last year) with my repairs/maintenance on the dishwasher, microwave, boiler, etc.  I worked in appliance repair for some time back in the day, and the one set of appliances I refuse to work on is the washer/dryer so we got the extended service contract for those.  I just can't be bothered to strip off all of a unit's skin just to replace a control board, especially since they are a stacked pair and I'd have no way of getting the dryer back on the washer on my own anyhow.
 
2017-10-31 10:26:04 AM  

sigdiamond2000: Dear God...this is better news than the Trump Train going off the rails.

The Consumerist was probably the single worst non-political web site on the internet.


You spelled "BoingBoing" wrong
 
2017-10-31 12:19:00 PM  

Gorf the Magnificent: Earguy: Prof. Despair: "1,000 aliexpress listings, 10 actual products, 1 is jarts-level unsafe,

LOL I went to see my parents last weekend.  Look what I found in the garage:

[i.imgur.com image 850x637]

[i.imgur.com image 850x637]

[i.imgur.com image 850x637]

Really?  Giving 3" steel spikes on projectiles is a bad idea?

Thanks for posting the Jarts pictures. My father and his friend loved to drink and play Jarts in our backyard, back in the 1960's or maybe 1970's. Unfortunately, they had to spend most of the game chasing us kids out of the backyard, so no one would get hurt.

And they had to hide the game when they were finished, because otherwise we'd sneak it out and play it.

It really looked like fun! And it must have been, for them to go through all that trouble just to play it.


Part of the fun was throwing  the Jart straight  up, as high as you can, and seeing how deep you can bury the tip into the ground.  If one of your friends wasn't paying attention, well, we narrowly avoided tragedy.
 
2017-10-31 12:21:17 PM  
I'll miss Mary Beth Quirk's articles about women's lingerie and anything remotely sexual. She was Consumerist's full-time freak.
 
2017-10-31 12:59:30 PM  

ssaoi: Probably too many articles about people who think having to show their receipt on the way out of a store is the equivalent of Soviet Russia.

Plus, it was surprisingly easy to get your account shut down if you comment that they hire a proofreader.


You too huh? Laura was the worst about this. Every story she wrote was full of typos. You could tell she didn't even proofread her own work or even bother to run it through a spellchecker.

Still, it had the occasional good story, and the way Consumer Reports has handled the situation is pretty damn low. They fired *everybody*, blocked them from even seeing CR's Twitter account, and basically shut the site down within 15 minutes.

I get the feeling they pissed in someone's cornflakes, or the CEO of CR (MLTellado) was pressured into doing it (or maybe they just pissed HER off.. I'm sure we'll get more info on it eventually).
 
2017-11-01 12:37:25 AM  

Seussie: This whole thread reminds me of a consumerist product review (or any online review, really.)  Half of you say the site was garbage, the other half say it was useful, with a few assorted unrelated comments thrown in.  So now I'm still left wondering, was this a good product(site) or not?

/hate reading product reviews
//never know what you're buying these days
///so you have to read product reviews.. ahhh...


Product reviews are difficult when they cannot disentangle the fact they hate a certain feature or bug that you have no use for, or brag about some feature or use you have no interest in. Sometimes I'm like Milhouse asking when Itchy and Scratchy are going to reach the fireworks factory when they are busy lambasting something I don't care at all about, waiting to see if they product actually meets MY weirdo needs.
 
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