Thread Number: 72768  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
CR Downrating Front Loaders
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Post# 961431   10/9/2017 at 03:02 (348 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

I own about a half dozen old issues of Consumer Reports where they've tested washing machines over the years. My oldest issue is from 1950 and the last one, in the late 80's. BTW the top rated machine in that 1950 issue is the Bendix Economat with the rubber bladder tub! These were all not TOL models tested.

I wanted a front loading White-Westinghouse for the whole 9 years I was in college and never could afford one. I consoled myself with the fact that I loved the two GE's that I had over those years. But I never could understand, after reading a bunch of CR's covering washers and those little ratings books they put out for some years, why they always placed the front loaders at the bottom.

Looking at my Aug '62 issue, the bottom two machines were the Ward's and the Westinghouse front loaders; CR stated their washing ability was considerably poorer than any of the top loaders. This occurred more than once over the years. They would also down-rate the front loaders because they had one speed instead of two. In the Feb '88 issue they simply passed over front loaders, stating that while the Euros liked them, that Americans just want bigger machines.

Question: were those earlier-generation machines, whether washers or combos, really worse at washing? I know they weren't as energy-efficient as today's, but they were still more efficient (particularly with detergent) than the top loaders. Was there some design change that has completely reversed CR's opinion of front loaders? We all know that CR is notorious for getting a certain paradigm and sticking with it, and I'd just like to know what, in the washing/rinsing action itself, might account for such a reversal.

Post# 961436 , Reply# 1   10/9/2017 at 04:44 (348 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

1) CR tests washers using the designated 'Normal' cycle at the longest wash time (or soil level setting) for that cycle. Today the test is conducted in 'cool' water (around 80 degrees) with their highest-rated detergent.

2) The longest wash time on a 1950s-1980s front-loader (many of which were made by Westinghouse / White Westinghouse and rebadged for various brands) was 12-15 minutes. Today, the wash tumble time on the Normal cycle at the heaviest soil setting is 30-60+ minutes. The detergent solution is also significantly more concentrated than it was in vintage front-loaders because today's machines use less water per fill. All of this explains why the cleaning scores of today's front-loaders is so much higher than those of yesteryear.

3) The final spin on today's front-loaders is more than double the speed and three times the length of vintage machines. This increases their energy-saving scores because clothes spend less time in the dryer. The spin speed of my 1987 Frigidaire front-loader (again, a rebadged White-Westinghouse) was probably 450-500 rpm lasting about 5 minutes. My last front-loader, a Maytag 8100 (circa late 2015) had a top spin speed of 1400 rpm lasting 11 minutes. NOTE: The machine did not spin at 1400 the entire 11 minutes. You'd hear it gradually ramp up from around 1100 rpm during the last few minutes.

These improvements helped boost the overall scores of front-loaders to the point where they now surpass most top-loaders (HE or otherwise).

4) There was a period of a few years, roughly 1990-1993, when no front-loaders were being produced for the US market. Electrolux had purchased White-Westinghouse, shut down production of front-loaders, and designed the first generation of Electrolux-based machines. Maytag was also busy designing the first Neptune front-loaders. These were a great improvement over the White-Westinghouse washers, but not as good as today's machines.

Post# 961440 , Reply# 2   10/9/2017 at 05:27 (348 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

The high-sudsing detergents of the time did not help either. They cushioned the "drop" of the garments into the water and didn't do much for clear rinses either. I saw many a housewife remove sudsy clothes at the end of a cycle. Most had not bothered to measure it either.

The CR does not have to follow or guarantee the advice it gives. If they give out bad advice they certainly are not going to be there to give back the money. Much of it has made little sense over the years IMO.

Post# 961448 , Reply# 3   10/9/2017 at 06:04 (348 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
White Westinghouse LT800E

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Was actually very highly rated by CR in 1987 according to my copy of buying guide.

Machine scored tops across the board for water efficiency, unbalanced load handling, and linting. Only negatives were for extraction and brand repair frequency.

CR goes on to note that the machine required a special low sudsing detergent, but we know that already.

They also had some niggles about the permanent press cycle being shorter than most, and that machine didn't offer more than one speed for washing(most front loaders then or now still don't), but did have a second lower spin speed.

For some odd reason CR claims the two tested front loaders (Westhinghouse and a cousin sold under the Gibson brand name) had less capacity than standard top loaders tested. But since they used less water it all balanced out in the end.

Overall don't see any down grading by CR of front loaders. In fact those ratings were streets ahead of early Bendix and other front loaders that CR nearly universally panned IIRC.

Truth to tell CR gets a hair across their behinds about this or that until it proves popular or something, then you hear a different story. For years CR really didn't like front loading washing machines (going by their reviews). Then as various forces intervened and changed the market place, now H-Axis washers can do no wrong, and it is top loaders with central beaters on their hit list apparently.

Post# 961450 , Reply# 4   10/9/2017 at 06:34 (348 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Just to balance things out...

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For much of the 1980's CR rated Maytag (710 and 712) as their number one choice for top loading washing machines.

Post# 961455 , Reply# 5   10/9/2017 at 06:55 (348 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
CRs Rated The First Bendix Combo

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As a great cleaning machine, they also were generally very pleased with most of the dozen different combos they tested in 1960 in terms of cleaning ability.


Westinghouse built their 3 belt FL washer from 1959 through the end of 1988. In June of 1989 a redesigned version of this machine reappeared in both free standing and stack-able models.


This new machine was rated as the best performing AW washer by CRs, but in a year or so when all the repair problems appeared CR only recommended them with caution.


John L.

Post# 961466 , Reply# 6   10/9/2017 at 08:19 (348 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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CR....unbiased my @SS!!!.....

I know people who read this and obey it like it was the Bible.....that magazine isn't worth buying, you run into the store, flip through the pages, take note of anything worth reading, take that advice like a grain of salt, and toss it....

for all of their history, there is not one thing they stay dedicated to and on track something is bad, tomorrow, the same item is the best ever...what the heck is all this flipping back and forth......

I gather the idea of new millennials taking over as time goes on, but if you work for places like this, and if the subject of washing machines comes up, they should go back and re-read what they posted from past issues....that might change their minds on what their reporting....the job of any good journalist is research...

people in general can't form an honest opinion.....thats human nature.....if a person is set on a GM product, you wont convince them that a Mopar item is superior....and so goes the people who write these articles...

Post# 961469 , Reply# 7   10/9/2017 at 08:45 (348 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Early tumbler washers had relatively small drums and that, combined with the poorer cleaning ability of early low-sudsing detergents, led to poorer performance unless the loads were kept smaller. One of the things that CU said about the combos was that washing ability was better than with tumbler washers because the drum was larger. The best cleaning combos, beginning with the Duomatic and continuing through to the big 33" Kenmores heated the wash water and really hot water was even more important with older detergents, but is still a factor in good cleaning and prevention of gunk growing in the machines as we have seen in modern HE washers. I have read the CU issue with the letter from the subscriber asking if tumbler washers were still being made in the US since she had not seen any tested in many years. CU gave a host of reasons why they had not tested them, but they were not good reasons.

Through the 50s and into the time when Westinghouse introduced the flat front machines in the 60s CU did not like tumbler washers and after that point, it was grudging approval. They admitted in a test sometime in the 1940s that even though their testing showed the performance of the first Bendix Home Laundry showed it to give inferior performance compared to that of the non-automated methods and machines, women loved the convenience of the machine and sales were high. I think this sort of put CU's nose out of joint for tumbler washers because people were flocking to a machine that CU did not like.

I can tell you, though, from growing up in the 50s when there were many Westinghouse washers in homes because they were sold by the Georgia Power Company and they could be paid for on the monthly power bill and many of the Bendix Automatic Home Laundries in homes, that their owners were not hanging out less than clean laundry. They might not have scored as high on CU's reflectometer tests, but the laundry coming out of the machines was clean.

Post# 961471 , Reply# 8   10/9/2017 at 08:50 (348 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Yogi- my honest opinion is that its deeper than that. CR is manufacturer propaganda masquerading as independent unaffiliated opinion. I see a lot of down playing and over playing to level the field, then a little boost on one side to seal a person's opinion. It creates this perception that there is true neutrality, with a mental take-away that makes the consumer feel like they made up their own mind with raw facts. Nothing is further from the truth, everything is baked in a manner where you like what they want you to like and dislike what they want you to dislike. The illusion of free will and free opinion.

Post# 961477 , Reply# 9   10/9/2017 at 09:12 (348 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
It's that way everwhere

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I have friends in Germany who are certain that Stiftung Warentest is really the marketing division of the major manufacturers, all housed in one building.

ÖkoTest, until a major overhaul in the early 1990s, rated the packaging materials higher than the washing machine's performance - Seriously.

I imagine it is not easy to set up fair tests that actually mean something to consumers, but my impression of CR beginning in the early 1980s was that they'd dumbed down so far as to basically be worthless.


Post# 961482 , Reply# 10   10/9/2017 at 09:35 (348 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Worthless to us. Meaningful to those who put their faith in CR. Few know the truth like the folks on this site. :)

Post# 961491 , Reply# 11   10/9/2017 at 10:37 (348 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

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CR may be free from "commercial" bias but that does not mean they are free from any other sort of bias.


Example, in the 80's they could not get enough of Japanese cars. If it has a Jap name on it, it was golden. Period.  End of story.


I recall when they rated the Toyota Starlet, some time in the early 80's. The fact it had a manual choke did not seem to matter (given that nearly every other make was either TBI or an electronic feedback card with automatic choke)


The summary on their so called "predicted repair incidence" data, new model but like other Toyotas, we expect it to be reliable.


Now find an review of an American car that is a new model, doesn't matter GM, ford, or Mopar. CR will say with regard to 'predicited repair incidence" no data new model but previous _______  have been unreliable.


Tell me that is not bias and I have a bridge I can sell you cheap.

Post# 961505 , Reply# 12   10/9/2017 at 12:48 (348 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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They were right about that Toyota Starlet though. One of the most reliable cars ever!

Post# 961508 , Reply# 13   10/9/2017 at 12:52 (348 days old) by HiLoVane (Columbus OH)        

A word I've heard used to describe Consumer Reports is "persnickety."
And, yes; even when they're right, there is still an element of bias.
Their testing of washing machines, dryers, and "condiments" (detergents;
fabric softeners; etc) does not seem to reflect the real world, as I've also
seen evidenced by many of the regular contributors to this site.

Post# 961514 , Reply# 14   10/9/2017 at 13:33 (348 days old) by Maytag85 (SoCal )        

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I never really cared for Consumer Reports period. Whenever you watch their washing machine buying guide video on YouTube, they seem to overload their test machines (they use a couple of Kenmore 80/90 series washers) and you will notice that they will try to wash a large load on a small/medium water level. Clothes won't get clean in a top loader if you don't use the correct water level. In one of their "Best Ways to Stop Flushing Money Down the Drain" they say "if you are hanging on to a old washing machine because it still works, you may be wasting as much as 40 gallons of water per load" but not every top load washer uses 40 gallons of water (some top loaders use 40 gallons of water). I can't believe that they are basically saying "get rid of your old washing machine that still works", well if it still works and gets clothes clean, I have no reason to get rid of it!

Post# 961515 , Reply# 15   10/9/2017 at 13:37 (348 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I agree with you guys.....

I just laugh when someone mentions CR as any sort of guide to making a purchase...

I have a brother-in-law who goes by every single word they type, as if this educated person can't make a simple decision on his own...and apparently he can't...

there was criticism from them back in the 80's over a car I loved owning, the car may have not the best reviews, but their comments of the car was that it 'talked' to the owner, they felt it was childish and forward to 2000's, and their over whelmed with the praise of cars today that 'talk' and have 'voice commands' from their owners.....

an honest opinion for any car like this, it may not be your cup of tea, but offering feedback can show beneficial information for the drivers habits...

but at the same time, my opinion of that car, it verbally alerted me to a few malfunctions I may not have caught at an early stage before damage to said vehicle....

your mileage may vary....

Post# 961536 , Reply# 16   10/9/2017 at 15:52 (348 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

CR only surveys its subscribers, not America "at large". It makes sense that more of their readers have Toyotas than Rolls Royces.
When salespeople see customers walk in with a copy of CR in their hand, they are already thinking "idiot". Sometimes they are lucky and the "checkrated" item pays a big "spiff" to the salesperson.

Post# 961543 , Reply# 17   10/9/2017 at 16:15 (348 days old) by Maytag85 (SoCal )        

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It seems like Consumer Reports reviews products that seem to have poor build quality, and products that seem to have a short life span. Only the gullibles will fall for whatever Consumer Reports says is the "Best Buy", and in reality it is the WORST buy! Reliability is the most important thing when buying something new.

Post# 961545 , Reply# 18   10/9/2017 at 16:22 (348 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

They also have a bias against 4 cylinder engines, calling cars with them "underpowered," "rough running" and other similar terms. The kicker for me was when they said that a short tub Maytag was not overcrowded with a 12 pound load and a standard tub Kenmore was. This was in the early 60s at the start of the capacity wars. Consumer's Research said that the AMP had a capacity of 5 pounds of dry fabrics, but CU said it held as much as others. They also hit the combos that heated their wash water, but never correlated the hotter water in the machines that heated it with their superior washing performance.

Post# 961555 , Reply# 19   10/9/2017 at 16:55 (348 days old) by agiflow2 ()        

Just look at the overwhelming good reviews with Speed Queen top loaders. Many disagree with CUs criticisms and rightly so. The fact you don't need an extended warranty on a SQ plus the parts and labor warranties should be plusses. A machine that is truly "HEAVY DUTY" and not "commercial technology" or some other happy horse s##t terminology.

You would think a machine that let's YOU control how you want to wash would be a plus. I'm sorry but sometimes technology doesn't go forward. Now you need locking lids and special washer cleaners and overly long wash cycles...and yet this is called progress. Regression is more like it.

Post# 961559 , Reply# 20   10/9/2017 at 17:19 (348 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
CR bias

I agree with 'panthera' about the shift in CR in the 80's. We saw it in the car magazines also. It was almost like once they started fooling more with colorful colors on the covers (and then later on the inside) the focus changed. The early CR magazines were such fun to read because they were so very serious! I can still remember as a kid, reading their testing of foods where they'd report how many insect parts and hairs were in each sample. They didn't waste a bunch of time on the car testing showing photos. They would tend to test models of different items that weren't necessarily the most expensive or fanciest, and often tested the 'economy' models.

By the 90's they were 'yuppified', testing and rating many things based on style and/or status. They still do. In the earlier decades anyone could go to CR and glean good information, regardless of their social demographic. These days? Definitely aimed at middle-middle class and upper, certainly college-educated and upper.

Perhaps it's allowed them to stay in business, but something was lost, too. With so much less 'word' content in each issue, as a prior posting said, I'll tend to flip through it at the grocery store, scan anything I want to see, and put it back.

And thanks to all here for your great comments!

Post# 961571 , Reply# 21   10/9/2017 at 18:09 (348 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Cannot tell you how many have complained

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Not only about how skimpy CR's coverage in print magazine is now, but that even after paying for a subscription you are required to pony up *more* money for online access. Since large parts of the meat and potatoes of reviews are now online it is rather galling CR hits one up to pay for something many feel they should have gotten in the first place.

Post# 961582 , Reply# 22   10/9/2017 at 19:02 (348 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I gave up on CR at least 20 years ago. Like others have already stated there was a time many years ago, probably you have to do back at least 40 years ago, when CR really seemed to go in depth product evaluations that were more aimed towards people that were senislble and hoping to get good value. Now they seem to direct their skimpy, product biased reviews to the more affluent, not the more practical.

My sensible maiden aunt, code for Lesbian school teacher used to subscribe to CR, and reading them at her home in the late 50's and early 60's was my first exposure to CR. The reports and reviews were no nonsense and gave lots of info that was based on testing that they explained. I believe that the consumer had a better opportunity to make an informed decison on a prospective large purchase based upon CR reviews.

Then by the early 80's the quality and depth of CR reviews declined steadily. And their recommendations began to not make a lot of sense sometimes. Now, with the access to multiple reviews and manufacture websites there isn't much need for CR, and their biased opinions.

I'll do the research myself, and if I make a poor decision on a purchase, its on me.

This post was last edited 10/09/2017 at 19:30
Post# 961595 , Reply# 23   10/9/2017 at 20:31 (347 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I lost faith in Consumer Reports probably about 1990 when they compared two stereo receivers--a plain Sony, and a Sony ES (upscale Sony line)--and concluded the ES model wasn't worth it--or worse--because the measurements were the same. I felt that the comparison was hugely unfair because none of the geniuses at Consumer Reports apparently bothered giving a fair listening test.


Post# 961657 , Reply# 24   10/10/2017 at 06:01 (347 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

CR is one source of information available to us when making purchases. I maintain that their testing methods for appliances and cars have improved and become more, not less accurate, than even ten years ago. Name another US-based source that tests as many brands and models using standardized criteria.

I am one of the people who almost always checks in on CRs ratings when making purchases. So far, their track record for predicting the performance of products I've purchased has been remarkably accurate.

The GE double oven I bought brings water to a boil very quickly, has a superior self-cleaning cycle, and doesn't bake quite as evenly as the Frigidaire it replaced.

My Speed Queen washer uses a lot of water, is very good (but not excellent, as was the Maytag 8100 front-loader it replaced) at cleaning, has a shorter cycle time than most HE washers, and doesn't extract as much water as most HE machines (especially front-loaders).

The 2014 Ford Fusion I purchased handles well on the highway, has a fairly quiet interior, and is a bit tight for floor space in the driver's compartment. It shifts smoothly and has a rather old-school 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine that sounds raucous in pedal-to-the-metal situations. The voice-activated features ("Read text message"; "Call Steve") are frustratingly hit-or-miss.

Some of the purchases I've made (the Maytag 8100 pair, for instance) were at or near the top of CR's ratings.

Although a recently-acquired top-loading SQ washer was in the middle of the pack (the dryer further down the list, a rating I absolutely agree with) the set of criteria I had for this purchase did not emphasize water/energy consumption. I don't care for impeller / agipeller-based top-loaders, so SQ was the obvious choice for me. Everyone here knows I prefer HE front-loaders, but circumstances involving installation on an upstairs wooden floor where laundry room noise intrudes on the other three upper level apartments led me to a top-loader this time.

Naturally, my purchases also involve checking out the opinions of AW members. While opinions vary widely about particular brands even here, I certainly put more stock in the user reviews at this site than, say, the ones at Lowe's or Home Depot. On top of that, several people here actually service appliances for a living, so we are privy to insight/information not available to the average consumer.

Anyway, no one should expect CR to be the be-all and end-all of information about products. It's simply one of any number of resources you can consult when making purchases.

Having said all that, will I be washing all my loads in cold water? No. No I won't.

Post# 961672 , Reply# 25   10/10/2017 at 07:38 (347 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Too much narrowness in CR's mission is related to the ever-declining quality in today's product...

And the fact, that everyday goods are mainly 'cell phone-this' and 'computer-that', meaning that that along w/ cars and appliances, those are where laws of perfection greatly apply...

So while Consumer Reports wants to maintain themselves as a credible source, although quite a fall from being THE Credible Source, you have to realize there are a lot of other tools for researching and determining quality of an item you are planning to purchase by just going to sources on the Web... A few consumer guide type places have turned up online, which are more reliable, tested by an actual public and in most cases, Free...

Word of mouth goes farther than it used to, even some brick-and-mortar retailers that if there's knowledgable help even know, usually by the commerce of selling their product and making determinations on returns, repairs and customer complaints, while based on how much of that item sells...

-- Dave

Post# 961682 , Reply# 26   10/10/2017 at 08:49 (347 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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I think our 'Which?' Magazine is in the same boat.

You only need to look at the old issues from the Sixties and Seventies, to find a wealth of information sadly lacking from today's versions.

One thing that has bugged me for yonks, is 'Which?' recommends an appliance, as 'best on test', etc.

The faithful readers then buy said machine(s). The machines's deficiencies are then revealed in all their glory - warts and all.

Why the hell didn't their 'tests' pick up on that at the time?

Post# 961696 , Reply# 27   10/10/2017 at 09:52 (347 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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the best source for any machine, auto, or product....the 'Mechanic'....

the guy who works on these will give the best opinion, as he can tell you which has the most issues, which he sees less of, which are built better than the others....which will perform better than another....

even a Pharmacist will give you better input, and for the most part, more trusted information, than most doctors ever will.....

I always found it funny, ask any Maytag Repairman, he is anything but bored and lonely!...

Post# 961697 , Reply# 28   10/10/2017 at 09:57 (347 days old) by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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I have little respect for Consumer Reports. I always feel like they could easily be bought off by corporate America.

Post# 961727 , Reply# 29   10/10/2017 at 12:02 (347 days old) by fisherpaykel (BC Canada)        
Color/less accuracy Less info in print

johnrk, Launderess et al, you are so right! I had the same thought re more colourful pages and less information, less logic and more agenda focus, ie cold water washing. And just where are the rinse efficiency tests? I want all the test results for all items tested in the print magazine to see it all in one place, and I can keep it for future reference, and yes why do I need to pay extra for online access. I don't know if still the case but in past online info was only archived for a set time period. To be fair, recently they mentioned possibility of cold only washes requiring some sort of maintenance-would be better if they had photos of an inner tub coated in stenching sticky grey biofilm when fed cold only and liquid only detergent and softener, but then that might hinder their pseudo-enviro agenda. Save a bit of water but replace your broken appliance in 3-5 years because it is more cost effective? All costs? Bunker C polluting ships bringing the lastest colour washers from China and South Korea. Fantastic!

Post# 961734 , Reply# 30   10/10/2017 at 12:32 (347 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

But Martin, even then, mechanics and service people can harbor biases for products that let them overlook faults that would drive someone else to distraction.

Post# 961738 , Reply# 31   10/10/2017 at 12:41 (347 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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I highly doubt that they are being "bought". Just imagine legal nightmare that would ensue. Say cars for example.. how could any of the big manufacturers "buy" a good rating?  Look at the years and years Suzuki had them in court because of a bad rating which they eventually lost..CR was able to prove repeatedly to the court that their test was not biased by running the exact test over and over and getting the same result.   And with all of these company's owning each or part of each other off and on over the years,, they'd know.  Remember they're not for profit. they make a lot of money from donations and subscriptions  .   Lastly,,, you would think after what 80 years.. and the hundreds or thousands of people they've employed in that time that some of them were shall we say "disgruntled" as there are in every workplace.. If shenanigans had or were going on you can be damn well assured that it would come out, be leaked, by one of them.. And it hasn't.   

Post# 961752 , Reply# 32   10/10/2017 at 14:15 (347 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Okay, Suzuki & Rollovers, there's also the Ford Explorer and Firestone... Lawsuits ensuing there just as badly, and people needing help as numbers of injuries and deaths rose from each event...

Consumer ("You know who/what") Reports just as much got caught in the crossfires of--along the lines of 'reporters of the Clark Kent/Jimmy Olsen/Lois Lane-breed', only no Superman could save them, there...

-- Dave

Post# 961759 , Reply# 33   10/10/2017 at 14:28 (347 days old) by brucelucenta ()        
consumer reports

Consumer reports attempted to guide in the purchase of items they tested. They could not really test the longevity of many things that were new on the market, such as automatic washers. They did test them on how well they did their job though and were pretty accurate. That was small consolation when someone bought a Norge washer in the 50's because it was rated so highly and it broke down so frequently for instance. As far as front load washers, the early ones all rotated in only one direction and were small capacity in comparison to many top load machines. They were very good for sediment and lint disposal, but not that great at cleaning really grimy items. They were fairly poor at water extraction too. I also think that the early front load machines needed service more frequently too. It was not until much later, probably the late 80's or early 90's that front load machines changed drastically and had larger capacity, reversed rotation and spun water out far better that they were rated highly in consumer reports. Now they are the clear choice when buying a new machine because of the superior job they do with a minimum amount of water and energy.

Post# 961775 , Reply# 34   10/10/2017 at 15:24 (347 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
re 'frigilux'

Regarding online surveys and input on products--all those years that I was in health care, we knew that one characteristic would invariably factor in on feedback from the public and our patients: people are roughly ten times more likely to complain than commend. I could count on hearing from someone who was unhappy about some aspect of their experience much more often than someone who had a pleasant one. With Lowe's, HD, etc., I take that into account.

As a manager of people working with the public for a few decades, I'd recommend giving good feedback whenever you can, to take the trouble. I called the owner of my local appliance dealer a couple of weeks ago, after his employees did a fine job of installing my new SQ pair. If I need plumbing or a/c work, any of that type of service--if the guy coming does good work, is pleasant, etc., I call his employer or business and report it. Please just don't assume that they know this guy is doing a good job--let them know it.

Post# 961778 , Reply# 35   10/10/2017 at 15:38 (347 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I couldn't agree with you more! I too was a supervisor for the last 16 years I worked for the Human Service Dept. People always want to call and complain, but they will seldom give a commendation for good service. I have made it a point all my life to give credit where credit is due. When someone does a good job for me I always call the appropriate party and make sure that the worker gets recognition for a job well done. Having worked with the public all my working life I know how meaningful it is to hear something good about an employee or to be an employee commended for a job well done.

And as a supervisor I never let an opportunity go by to give praise. Its human nature to live up to recognition for good work, and conversely, to sink in performance if one believes that no one cares that they are doing a good job. People live up or down to how they are preceived.

For this reason I believe its always a good idea to take some negative reviews with a grain of salt.

This post was last edited 10/10/2017 at 15:56
Post# 961834 , Reply# 36   10/10/2017 at 20:36 (346 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

If all I had to choose from was a 1953 Bendix Combo I would be just fine. Just need some Dash detergent or All.No problem.

Post# 961860 , Reply# 37   10/10/2017 at 23:08 (346 days old) by Losangeles (Muscle Shoals, AL 35661)        
Cr Downrating Front Loaders

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When I retired from the Naval Submarine Service I upgraded from a Lg capacity WP with the Super   Surgilator agitator.  I bought a 2006 WP Duet pair.  Rather invested.  It was the most expensive appliances in the house.  It has been and continues to be a great machine.  It has washed its way through two kids  in college, loads and loads of nursing uniforms, miles of sheets, towels, quilts jeans and even my grimy garden clothes and even the sheerest curtains and has not given me so much as a sneeze of trouble.  I have had one water valve replacement but it was still under warranty.  It is now 11 years old and still going strong. If I could have changed anything in the washer it would have been the tilted tub.  Washing a load of jeans or towels is a tangling nightmare.  I frequently have to pause before the final spin to detangle so the machine will balance and go into the final high speed spin.  And the 1200 RPM final spin. WOW, What a finale!  My mother-in-law had a Westinghouse slant front that was the same with tangling as my WP.  You would think that WP would have learned that tilted tubs were a mistake.  BTW what was the thinking behind the tilted tub.  Anyway, I did not consult CR before buying.  I relied mostly on word of mouth.  Again, is there a reliable source of information/ratings for washer coming on the market in 2018?  Thanks for listening.

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