5 responses to “Dear Consumer Reports: an Open Letter”

  1. sachmet

    A response, of sorts, from CU:

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/retail/consumer-reports-will-link-readers-to-billshrinkcom/1166405

    “We went through a lot of hand-wringing, but decided this helps us reach more consumers with a more complete experience without compromising our integrity,” said Lauren Hackett, a spokeswoman for the magazine and testing lab, which has refused to accept advertising or free samples for decades.

    The magazine gets a flat fee from each sale generated through partnerships for general merchandise with pricegrabber.com, vehicle sales through zag.com and now BillShrink.com. The sites are free to use and require no purchase, but typically get a flat-fee commission from retailers and service providers for each transaction they deliver.

    Consumers Union discloses the arrangement, but not the amount of the fees, all of which helps underwrite its publishing mission. It says it’s not endorsing the sites, just providing quick and easy links to them from main pages on its own site where shoppers begin searches for specific product information and recommendations.

    Consumers Union says the partnerships do not compromise its objectivity because it has no direct financial relationship with the actual service providers or retailers.

    1. sachmet

      Re: A response, of sorts, from CU:

      PS: I agree with you here; as a subscriber to both print and mobile, I’m kinda disturbed by this.

  2. coffeechica

    That makes me sad.

  3. piratepirate

    Damn the Man!

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