The New York Times’ “Haggler” column is a standard consumer problem-solving column like many newspapers have, but backed with the brand recognition and vast readership of the NYT. A recent column about a financing dispute between a Texas woman and an appliance store could have just been a mundane account of a dispute over interest payments on a refrigerator, but the company refused to talk to the Times. At all. [More]
The concept of a portable air conditioner implies that the device is portable, and that you can cool a room with it. They would be a wonderful tool if this were were true, but tests by our breezy and cool colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports show that they compare unfavorably to window-mounted air conditioners in pretty much every way, and you might be better off with no air conditioner at all. [More]
Reader Christopher decided that it was time to buy a new dryer, largely because Best Buy had a great sale and offers free delivery for appliances. It sounds like that might be, indeed, the best buy. Only when he put all of the needed parts in his virtual cart, he noticed something strange. He had to pay an extra delivery charge…for the power cord. [More]
Maybe my standards are low, but I do expect my home appliances not to explode. When that happened to one Missouri couple, they called up Samsung for help. Since the couple had owned the machine for 14 months, the warranty was up and Samsung didn’t particularly care. They had spent $1000 on the machine, and expected more from Samsung. [More]
Do you eat toast? Our lightly browned colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports spend a lot of time testing things that you might not think of to test. For example: the quality of toast produced in toasters vs. that produced in toaster ovens. Turns out that you’re better off with a plain old toaster, unless the “oven” part is important to you. [More]
Did people in Australia not watch Punky Brewster growing up? Because surely if one Aussie man had seen the episode where Cherie gets stuck in a refrigrator during hide-and-seek (spoiler alert: SHE ALMOST DIES!) he never would’ve climbed naked into a washing machine and expect any kind of positive result. [More]
If you live in a part of the country that gets snow, you might be thinking about buying a snowblower…um, sometime in the next few hours if you live in the Northeast. Fortunately, our bundled-up colleagues over at Consumer Reports has already done the heavy plowing for you and picked out the best machines on the market. [More]
There might be a perfectly shaped little spot for a gallon or half-gallon of milk in your refrigerator, but that doesn’t mean you should keep it there. The door and the very front of refrigerator shelves are the warmest parts of the fridge, since the parts closest to the door make the most contact with warm air. Keep milk and eggs toward the back. [Consumer Reports]
Kitchen appliances make our lives more convenient and our meals more delicious, but they’re also dangerous. Dangerous? Ordinary appliances start tens of thousands of fires in United States homes every year. Our colleagues down the hall at ShopSmart rounded up some common causes of appliance fires and warned us all.
If you’ve never bought your own appliances before or the dryer you bought during the Carter administration finally died, you might find the array of features available on modern washers and dryers daunting and scary. The problem is that the machine with the most features isn’t necessarily the best one. [More]
We can tell when a heat wave strikes this great nation, because classic Consumerist posts on calculating what size air conditioner you need suddenly surge in popularity. There are handy charts that give you a rough guide, but surely those calculations aren’t the same for someone in Miami and someone in Boston. Enter Econofy. [More]
Our venerable sibling publication Consumer Reports gave a dehumidifier from Soleus Air their “Best Buy” rating. Now it’s off the list and off store shelves after the manufacturer sent a stop-sale notice to retailers. There’s no consumer recall yet, but Amazon did reach out to customers and let them know about the issue. [More]
Mary’s GE washing machine began to dance around the room, but not in a lighthearted, anthropomorphic-appliance sort of way. It was more of an irritating, the-washer-is-broken situation. Fortunately, the solution was simple. All the technician had to do was take the washer off the pedestal that’s meant to raise the appliance and make loading and unloading easier. Great, but, um…what about the dryer?
It’s a good thing there are go-getters out there willing to not only put some elbow grease into running a successful business, but then also offer up tips for anyone else who might want to become an entrepreneur in the same vein. To wit: A guy who’s managed to develop a profitable career buying and selling appliances on Craigslist. And he’s willing to share how he does that. [More]
Laurence was disappointed that he dropped a few hundred dollars on a microwave, and didn’t get to enjoy it for very long. He isn’t sure exactly how long a microwave that cost a few hundred bucks should last, but figures it’s somewhere between “two years” and “forever.” Right? [More]
Gary’s household bought a washer and dryer made by LG, and the dryer has never worked correctly. That’s what customer service and repair services are for, though, right? So he came to an agreement with LG about splitting the cost of a technician visit and any repairs, with the company paying for parts and Greg covering the cost of labor. Then the technician came, and the company promptly changed its mind, leaving Greg to cover the whole repair cost. Greg is not pleased.
Lots of people happily hand-wash their dishes because they don’t want a dishwasher. That’s not the case for one California man, who has washed his dishes by hand for more than a year even though he wants and can totally afford a dishwasher. In fact, he, um, had a dishwasher the whole time. It’s just that when he bought it from Sears, they sort of half-installed it and wandered off, and he couldn’t get anyone at Sears to help him.
Matthew bought a gas dryer, but needed one that runs on liquid propane. He only discovered this after installation. No big deal: you can get a little tiny converter, which fits in a small padded envelope. Or would, if Sears were willing to mail it. Which they are not.