Monday, December 26, 2005

Consumer Reports = Useless

While trying to research vacuum cleaners I purchased a subscription to It was a waste for five dollars. Here is the letter that I wrote to them:

I am extremely disappointed with your website and the complete lack of value that I received from paying $4.95 to your company. I was shopping for a vacuum cleaner, however instead of giving me information so that I could make my own, hopefully informed, decision your website tried to tell me what I should be looking for in a Vacuum! This is completely backwards! You are supposed to give me information so that I can form opinions. Not instruct me on what is important, and then give me your opinions. I am extremely angry, your website is deceptive, uninformative, and a ripoff.

If you want to see what a real product review looks like I suggest the (free) digital camera review web site

I was hoping that you would provide me with that type of information about vacuum cleaners. I was sorely disappointed. Let me be specific, you _supposedly_ measured the decibel output of various vacuum cleaners, instead of listing your measurements you list the "noise" on a scale with five choices from Excellent to Poor! How can I believe that you made any measurements if you don't give me the measurements that I am paying for, and don't tell me the conditions under which the measurements were made. You must tell your clients what the results of your noise test were, in decibels, so that they can form their own opinions about weather the noise level of a particular vacuum cleaner are excellent or poor.

Every single one of your ratings were presented in an equally obtuse manner: with out facts, or testing information. I have no reason to trust your opinions. The motivation of your corporation is clearly to make money, not help consumers. I am simply astonished by your audacity at trying to sell undocumented corporate opinions! You misrepresented your website and the information that I would find inside it; please refund my money and cancel my subscription.

Vacuum Facts = Elusive

I have been trying to find information about vacuum cleaners, Gretchen and I need a new one. And have found almost no factual information.

For example if I want information about a digital camera I'd go to Phil Askey has created in depth reviews and his testing methods and the results are clearly documented. He does include his opinion at the end of the review, but readers are encouraged to make their own decisions.

I would expect that at least some websites would have measurements on the decibel level of noise that various vacuum cleaners make... nothing.

If you know of a site that has information please let me know.