5 Things You’ll Find On Sale During August

5 Things You’ll Find On Sale During August

Our deal-hunting colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports don’t just keep track of which products perform the best in their tests, but they also track prices on items to figure out what’s the best time to buy. What do they say are the best things to buy during the month of August? It’s a great time to pick up an air conditioner, a backpack, a dehumidifier, or a snow blower. Wait, a snow blower? [More]

(Kyle Magnon)

Know The Possible Problems Before You Opt For Run-Flat Tires

If you’ve bought a new car or replacement tires for your old car lately, you may have had the pricey option of run-flat tires. The sales pitch for them is easy: while some people may enjoy changing tires or waiting for roadside assistance, most people don’t. Run-flats aren’t a foolproof way to avoid tire trouble. [More]

What You Should Know About Rent-To-Own Retail Models: Extra Costs, High Interest Rates

What You Should Know About Rent-To-Own Retail Models: Extra Costs, High Interest Rates

Rent-to-own stores offer cash-strapped consumers the ability to take home a new refrigerator, living room furniture set and hundred of other items by allowing them to pay a little each month. But, as we’ve reported in the past, what seems like a convenient years-long payment plan often adds hundreds – even thousands – of dollars to the price tag of a product. To ensure potential customers of rent-to-own stores know what they’re getting into, our colleagues at Consumer Reports put together a helpful video spelling out the potential dangers of such retail models. [More]

(The Joy Of The Mundane)

Consumer Reports: Nearly 1.5M Vehicles Have Higher-Than-Average Oil Consumption

When I first started driving, I remember being told to change my car’s oil every 3,000 miles. More than a dozen years later – and after several advancements in vehicle production – most cars can go 5,000 miles to 10,000 miles before they need a fresh dose of oil. But according to a new analysis from Consumer Reports, those mileage markers may be a bit too optimistic, as many new cars actually require additional oil between changes – and that’s not really acceptable. [More]

SCOTUS Ruling Means Millions Of Americans No Longer At Risk To Lose Health Insurance Subsidies

SCOTUS Ruling Means Millions Of Americans No Longer At Risk To Lose Health Insurance Subsidies

The Affordable Care Act scored a major victory today as the Supreme Court upheld provisions allowing the government to provide tax subsidies for consumers who purchased insurance through the program, although their states don’t have an official insurance exchange of their own. [More]

Bernard Walker

White House Makes Push For Private Sector To Help Curb Dangerous Overuse Of Antibiotics

Today at the White House, representatives for some 150 organizations, including Consumer Reports, and private companies gathered for a forum on how to rein in the rampant, and potentially deadly, overuse of antibiotics in everything from hospitals to farm animals. [More]

Survey Says: Everyone Still Hates Comcast’s, TWC’s Customer Service

Survey Says: Everyone Still Hates Comcast’s, TWC’s Customer Service

Comcast keeps promising that this is the year their legendarily bad customer service gets an overhaul, but consumers don’t seem to be buying it. A national survey asking consumers about cable and internet companies has, once again, dropped Comcast and Time Warner Cable right at the very bottom of the heap. [More]

Are There Any Non-DEET Insect Repellants That Work?

Are There Any Non-DEET Insect Repellants That Work?

For half a century, DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) has been the most commonly used ingredient in insect repellants. While DEET does work to keep the tiny critters off, it can also have some ugly side effects, including rashes, disorientation, and seizures. People looking for equally effective but safer insect repellants haven’t had much to choose from, but new tests show that some non-DEET products can offer the same level of protection. [More]

(saramarie)

Nearly 70 Million Americans Had Their Personal Information Compromised In 2014

Given the sheer number of high-profile data breaches in recent years, and the varying levels of personal information stolen, it can be difficult to quantify how many American consumers were affected. A new survey tries to answer the questions of how many people have had their info stolen (a lot) and what consumers are doing to protect themselves (not much). [More]

Your New Apple Watch Might Look Nice, But Will It Get Scratched?

Your New Apple Watch Might Look Nice, But Will It Get Scratched?

How many of us are toting around smartphones with cracked and scratched screens? No need to raise your hand; we can’t actually see you. Now imagine that your phone screen was continuous exposed to the elements in a position on your body where it can easily get scratched, and you’ve imagined the life of an Apple Watch. So can the pricey accessory take a licking and keep on… well, not ticking exactly, but you get the idea. [More]

Consumer Reports Rates Brinkmann Patio Grill ‘Don’t Buy’ For Now

Consumer Reports Rates Brinkmann Patio Grill ‘Don’t Buy’ For Now

Here in the Northeast, there are now mere weeks until grilling season begins. Safety is very important when you’re lighting an actual fire a short distance from your house, and our fire-roasted colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports test the gas grills that they review for their cooking power and their safety. One grill this season failed one of the safety tests, and for now they’ve given the Brinkmann Patio 810-6230-S a “Don’t Buy” rating. [More]

(Kenny Lannert)

Putting Your Phone In Your Back Pocket May Also Be Bad For Your Butt & Back

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last year, it’s that some phones can bend if put under enough pressure. But in addition to possibly putting an unwanted curve or crack in that expensive telecommunications device, stashing a phone in your back pocket may result in a literal pain in the butt. [More]

Walmart, Pathmark, A&P, Waldbaum’s Bring Up Rear In Latest Supermarket Survey

(Ben Schumin)

Walmart may still be the nation’s most shopped-at supermarket chain, but it’s far from the most beloved. In fact, in the latest ratings of 68 supermarket chains published by our colleagues at Consumer Reports, Walmart had the worst satisfaction score from readers. [More]

(Chodhound)

Authorities In Five States Suing Magazine & Newspaper Subscription Service Accused Of Fraud

The attorneys general of five states have filed a lawsuit against a company they say is peddling magazine and newspaper subscriptions it isn’t authorized to sell, and charging highly inflated prices for them to boot. [More]

5 Costco Kirkland Signature Products May Be Just As Good As Name Brands

5 Costco Kirkland Signature Products May Be Just As Good As Name Brands

Costco members know they can often get a decent price on name-brand kitchen staples by shopping in bulk at the warehouse store. But if you’ve been ignoring the company’s store-brand Kirkland Signature line of products, you might be passing up on a chance to save even more without sacrificing quality. [More]

5 Food Prep Tips For Reducing Pesticide Risks

5 Food Prep Tips For Reducing Pesticide Risks

When you buy a sack of potatoes with dirt still clinging to the spuds, you know they’ll need a wash before going into your dinner. But those completely clean-looking apples, peaches, and strawberries may carry a less-visible danger in the form of pesticide residues. [More]

Who’s Making The Money When Your Smart TV Watches You Back?

Who’s Making The Money When Your Smart TV Watches You Back?

We’ve heard plenty of times in the past few years that if you have a smart TV — one that’s internet-enabled, for all that app goodness — that it might be watching you just as much as you watch it. Samsung in particular generates a lot of questions about how secure your data is with your TV, as do LG and Vizio. But there’s a missing piece to the equation. If your TV is watching you, why? Who stands to gain (in the sense of cold hard cash) from your data? [More]

(Great Beyond)

Have A Question For The CEO Of General Mills? Ask Away

From cereal to cake to frozen veggies to soup to whatever labels you would put on Chex Mix or Hamburger Helper, General Mills is responsible for a large number of the biggest brands in your pantry, fridge and freezer, but you may not know much about the company whose roots go back nearly 150 years. Now you’ve got the chance to take your questions directly to the CEO of General Mills. [More]