Consumer Reports – September 2008

Consumer Reports has asked me to eliminate the content of my summaries and any other references to the content of Consumer Reports. I have complied.

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  1. Sheila says:

    Thanks for bringing back the CR post. The list of fruits and veggies suggested for organic buys is great.

  2. Laura in Atlanta says:

    yes, THANK YOU! I love your reviews, and have sorely missed these!

  3. Mathieu says:

    Sweet, thanks for bringing back the Consumer reports! I swear by Comet too for the bathtub, it’s dirt cheap and it does the job so well.

  4. dave says:

    for credit card junk mail, you can always opt out of the prescreened mailed offers and such. this cuts down on junk mail greatly as companies are no longer able to send you mail based on a prescreen of your credit report. also, it is wise to shred all these offers as well.

  5. Paul says:

    Thank you so much for bringing back the CR reviews. I missed them so much since I cancelled my subscription.

  6. Matt R. says:


    Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports or access it via the Library? If you subscribe, do you see it as a good investment?

  7. Mike says:

    SO glad you brought these back – I used to look forward to these! Thanks!

  8. Robyn says:

    Gotta love Consumer Reports. Just love that you can get this stuff on the internet now.

    Restaurant Coupons, Freebies and More.

  9. PeterR says:

    “I don’t know if it’s helped, but they’ve not had their identity stolen.”

    I know what you’re saying but it made me chuckle because of the old joke about a man selling an elephant repellent. His sales pitch boiled down to, “Well you don’t see any elephants here do you?”

    I wouldn’t spend the money on software to do this, I would simply educate anyone who may not be web-savvy about those types of scams. Software may not be 100% effective and if someone puts their faith in the product blindly they’re not being vigilant enough. There’s a new ABC rule (salesmen say “Always Be Closing”)… Always Be Checking (the address bar when you click on links to make sure you are where you expected to be)

  10. Trent Trent says:

    I subscribe. It’s a perennial Christmas gift from a relative.

  11. Jesse says:


    I’ve recently converted the majority of my cleaning products over to environmentally friendly and in my opinion healthier alternatives. One of the indirect positive side effects of using such cleaners that you make yourself is in the price. The best cleaner I’ve found for scrubbing the tub is just plain old Borax — you’ll never see a shinier tub. I’m not exactly sure of the price comparison between comet and Borax, but I’m willing to bet the latter is cheaper.

  12. Chris says:

    Just wanna say thanks for bringing back the consumer reports reviews. I personally always learn at least one new thing from it.

    I hope you’re bringing back the money magazine reviews too.

  13. gr8whyte says:

    Re. credit card junk mail, the pages with identifiable info, i.e, everything with strings of numbers on it, should be shredded. You can also opt out of receiving pre-screened offers online on Cookies must be enabled and you’ll need to print out and send a paper form which is just a scheme to deter you from completing the process. I did it and offer-free is bliss.

  14. Deborah says:

    Thank you so much for bringing these back! I have access to Consumer Reports at work, but I don’t always seek it out. Your posts always let me know if there’s something I want to look at.

  15. CB says:

    Bon Ami is the cleanser that gets good reviews for environmental purposes. It is good for cleaning pots and pans, too. Need to add
    it to my list to buy more.

  16. Derek says:

    Thanks for the CR reviews, Trent. I’ve missed them!

  17. Stephanie says:

    Hi Trent,

    I’ve been reading for a few months and this is the first CR article that I’ve read of yours. I loved it! Keep them coming!

    – Stephanie

  18. Sara says:

    Great post! I am looking forward to future CR reviews.

    Regarding the credit card junk mail, my rule of thumb is to throw away anything with a presorted standard stamp, but open (and usually shred) anything with a first class stamp. Generally, the presorted standard pieces don’t seem to have any personal information that could be used for identity theft. Is this a good way to do it, or am I wrong about the presorted standard pieces?

  19. Kate says:

    You can do better than just shredding credit card mail. I tear off any part with personal identification, tear it up and put it in my compost bin. It breaks down very quickly.

  20. Battra92 says:

    Trent, in checking your old post about your TV dying a slow death, well if it has a blue spot in the corner it could be just that you let a magnetic field (from an unshielded speaker or otherwise large magnet) pass near it. It’s a relatively easy fix and with the right tools (a coil of wire and some wits about you) you can do it yourself. (see online instructions for degaussing a TV)

    If plugging in and holding a coil of wire isn’t your thing call some electronic repair places and tell them you need your TV degaussed (describe the symptoms and they should know what it is). If they are good and worth their salt it shouldn’t cost much at all (honestly, for the 10 minutes it takes them and no parts cost they shouldn’t charge you all that much.

    Hope this saves you some money. :)

  21. Penny Squeaker says:


    Thank you so much for bringing back the customer report. I’d love your quick reviews.

  22. Mel says:

    Comet is so bad for the environment and your bathroom fixtures, I can’t believe you would use it; it’s the most abrasive cleaner on the market. Try Method bathroom cleaner, it works great and wont ruin the finish on your tub/shower/sink. Plus, it smells better and you don’t have to wear 2 inch thick rubber gloves to use it.

  23. st says:

    just in case….note that Comet with Bleach is a product. Don’t mix Comet with bleach, because you might keel over!

  24. Josh says:

    Thank goodness CR reviews are back. I missed them

  25. Grant says:

    A home remodel may not increase the value of your house, but it will probably help you sell it faster.

  26. Cleaner says:

    What about the Magic Eraser ?, I swear by those things as they clean sink and tiles better than anything I have ever used. Even soap scum.

  27. gr8whyte says:

    Wow. Bummer.

  28. Trent,
    Don’t let Consumer Reports bully you on this one. There is such a thing as fair use. Besides, CR is unable to legally claim a copyright claim on the ideas alone.

    As a lawyer myself, I would have left the content on and invited CR to escalate so that I could gladly blog about the lawsuit. Their claims seems merit-less in my opinion.

    If their case was valid, then every movie review, every book review, and every written expose on Earth would be a violation of some form. Obviously, that is not the case.

  29. Trent Trent says:

    Money Blue Book: Legal posturing is not something I have any interest in wasting my time on.

  30. cio says:

    Trent, I will like you to be known for good original posts rather than recycling a existing magazines. People can go to public libraries and read those.

    Keep up the good work.

  31. sc says:

    I agree that it sucks, but he’d have a hard time fighting fair use when various posts throughout this blog are littered with comments basically saying “The consumer reports posts are great! You give me all the important stuff so I don’t have to pay for a subscription!”.

    Anyway.. bummer. :(

  32. Roger says:

    Hunh, that certainly does suck. And while I certainly understand your desire not to escalate matters legally with a major organization, it does seem like these reviews will be missed. (And, for what it’s worth, reading this posting and your thoughts on the articles therein was the first thing that ever made me thing about subscribing to Consumer Reports. I’m probably in the minority, but being able to see what sort of issues CR addresses, I was inspired to subscribe. Now, though, I’m more on the fence. Just my two cents.)

  33. Andy says:

    Agreeing with Roger here. Trent’s CR coverage nearly compelled me to purchase a subscription a few times now. I think this is going to hurt them more than help.

  34. I don’t know if this is common, but I’m able to access Consumer Reports online through my library. I think most people (especially students) would be amazed at the number of popular magazines and academic journals available legally online through statewide library subscriptions.

  35. Liz L. says:

    This is idiotic on CR’s part. The only issues of CR I have bought in recent years have been because of your reviews.

  36. st says:

    I have to say, I have always been surprised at the level of depth, and of the length, of the reviews of Consumer Reports on this site, and also of most of the books — so much information, and all the important conclusions, were included, that I usually felt like I didn’t need to buy the magazine or the book. It was all so well covered right here. Too well covered, maybe.

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