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249 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 54739 20-Dec-2009 19:08
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I'm getting increasingly frustrated with Consumer.  Last month they published a review of out-of-date and unavailable video cameras.  This month they promised a review of BBQs and instead produced a review of gas cookers for outdoor use, which they now seem to have replaced with the update review of video recorders that they should have got right in the first place.

I think the standard of their reports and the variety of subjects that they test has been getting progressively poorer.  Anyone else agree?


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Geek


  Reply # 284234 20-Dec-2009 19:49
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yes they are shocking. they re-use overseas electronics reviews and the models are different here. and too many silly errors. these guys really need to pick up their game

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  Reply # 284242 20-Dec-2009 20:33
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manta: I'm getting increasingly frustrated with Consumer.  Last month they published a review of out-of-date and unavailable video cameras.  This month they promised a review of BBQs and instead produced a review of gas cookers for outdoor use, which they now seem to have replaced with the update review of video recorders that they should have got right in the first place.

I think the standard of their reports and the variety of subjects that they test has been getting progressively poorer.  Anyone else agree?



Where did they promise a review of BBQs? The back cover of Nov mentions portable gas cookers and that is what turned up in Dec.

The problem with the video camera review was addressed in the comments on the online version

"Today, it seems the life of a model is measured in weeks. It’s the same with cameras, camcorders etc, and we admit it’s a constant struggle to keep anywhere near up to date. But – we should have done better.

Ironically, the camcorders report was, in part, the result of us trying to be too clever, using computers to do our market research, trying to ensure we had an up-to-date list of models that were to be found in shops. Clearly – that approach has failed us, and we have gone back to the tried and true – using real people, phone calls and shop visits.

We don’t plagiarise other organisations, we pay to share in their test programmes. We simply cannot afford to produce the amount of test results that we do without sharing tests with other consumer organisations, and much of this is up to date and is relevant – particularly in large appliances, where our good working relationship with Choice in Australia enables us to pick models that are particularly relevant to NZ. "

Why not give them direct feedback?



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 284271 20-Dec-2009 23:50
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Bung:
Where did they promise a review of BBQs? The back cover of Nov mentions portable gas cookers and that is what turned up in Dec.

The problem with the video camera review was addressed in the comments on the online version

"Today, it seems the life of a model is measured in weeks. It’s the same with cameras, camcorders etc, and we admit it’s a constant struggle to keep anywhere near up to date. But – we should have done better.

Ironically, the camcorders report was, in part, the result of us trying to be too clever, using computers to do our market research, trying to ensure we had an up-to-date list of models that were to be found in shops. Clearly – that approach has failed us, and we have gone back to the tried and true – using real people, phone calls and shop visits.

We don’t plagiarise other organisations, we pay to share in their test programmes. We simply cannot afford to produce the amount of test results that we do without sharing tests with other consumer organisations, and much of this is up to date and is relevant – particularly in large appliances, where our good working relationship with Choice in Australia enables us to pick models that are particularly relevant to NZ. "

Why not give them direct feedback?


First up, I have given them feedback, directly.

Second, see below for their promise of a review of BBQs

Third, if you want to have a look at their stunning and highly useful review of Portable Gas Cookers don't bother following the link below because they've taken the review off the website...  Perhaps the review was so popular their servers got overloaded?

Consumer membership costs $85 a year; I for one don't pay for them to 'be too clever'; I just want good honest reviews of current models of items that people actually want to buy.  Incredible the number of times you see in a review 'This model may no longer be available in stores' or words to that effect.

Bung, you go and have a look at the comments left for Consumer under their last BBQ 'report' - not review - that they did in Jan this year. If that's not feedback then tell me what is!

Then read the report yourself and tell me how useful it is.

Here's a preview if you can't wait to go and read the report

'Igniters
Electric or battery igniters are easier and safer. More expensive models have an igniter for each burner.'

Wow!

Here's the word from Consumer:

Reply 1: Posted by: Consumer Staff 28 Oct 2009 3:43pm

UPDATE

Hi,

My apologies, due to an internal misunderstanding, I thought that BBQs were on the testing schedule for December but we actually have no current plans to test them. Our recently completed portable gas cookers article may be of interest to some of you - http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/portable-gas-cookers.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Kind regards,

Benjamin Telfer
Online Content Coordinator

--

Hi Gilda,

Our full BBQs test report is scheduled to be published in December.

Kind regards,

Benjamin Telfer
Online Content Coordinator


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  Reply # 284276 21-Dec-2009 01:23
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I personally have found them not very useful, not current and their feedback very poor.
End of story




GZMCC. Nokia Lumia 1020,Galaxy Note 5, Microsoft Surface Pro 4 i5 4Gb Ram,128gb, Cam Am Spyder F3 LTD.  GoPro 5 Black, Samsung Gear 3


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  Reply # 284279 21-Dec-2009 06:05
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manta:

Third, if you want to have a look at their stunning and highly useful review of Portable Gas Cookers don't bother following the link below because they've taken the review off the website...  Perhaps the review was so popular their servers got overloaded?

Consumer membership costs $85 a year; I for one don't pay for them to 'be too clever'; I just want good honest reviews of current models of items that people actually want to buy.  Incredible the number of times you see in a review 'This model may no longer be available in stores' or words to that effect.



The link works if you lose the full stop at the end.

I know what you mean about the reviews but that seems to be a problem with all review sites. Dpreview.com is one of the better camera review sites but is always lagging behind the market. As well as the short life of some products there is another problem. On National radio recently there was a program on price matching and one hardware chain representative mentioned that to avoid having to meet competitors prices it was common to arrange for model variations specific to that chain.

as for BBQs it seems that Choice, Consumer's Aus equivalent did do BBQs in Dec issue but the models probably aren't sold here unless they have other names



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 284301 21-Dec-2009 09:09
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Good one, thanks for the BBQ info!

The gas cookers link was pasted directly from their site...!

I went into Bunnings the other day to buy some double plug sockets; I needed 20 of them and they were $15 more expensive for the *identical* item advertised in a NI store but their 10 character store code didn't match exactly with the manufacturers code of the other item so they were reluctant to match the price. It was only when I produced the printout of the item and showed them that it could not be anything other than the identical item that they reluctantly price matched, and only then after phonecalls to head office and getting the manager involved. I then reminded them that at that time their promotion was to beat their competitor by 15% so they were not best pleased, but it was a result for me the consumer :)


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  Reply # 284303 21-Dec-2009 09:40
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I was a member for a while in the 80s. Even back then it was somewhat annoying that by the time a review of something came out the models referred to were not available. These days there are a magnitude greater number of makes and models so it will be much worse. The model churn rate isnt the CI's fault - but as a member the obsolete info isnt that helpful.

The other thing that used to annoy me, was that reviews and product information seemed to hit the media before the magazine arrived!

They probably need to move to a totally electronic format - maybe they do. I would see that you would need to (for example) test a bunch of TVs and publish (electronically - email/website whatever) within a day or so of completion.

I tend to use the internet for product research these days - but of course models change in different countries and you tend to notice a huge amount of 'cut and paste' between websites....




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  Reply # 284327 21-Dec-2009 11:00
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manta: Good one, thanks for the BBQ info!
I went into Bunnings the other day to buy some double plug sockets; I needed 20 of them and they were $15 more expensive for the *identical* item advertised in a NI store but their 10 character store code didn't match exactly with the manufacturers code of the other item so they were reluctant to match the price. It was only when I produced the printout of the item and showed them that it could not be anything other than the identical item that they reluctantly price matched, and only then after phonecalls to head office and getting the manager involved. I then reminded them that at that time their promotion was to beat their competitor by 15% so they were not best pleased, but it was a result for me the consumer :)


I have noticed that many retailers are now stating the "price match guarantee" is for an identical item stocked by a local* retailer
*Local defined as being within 30KM.

I have often found Bunnings to be more expensive in most cases and rather than haggle over prices, I'll just take my business somewhere else.

Was it an HPM product? There are two that look identical but are different, one is a "basics" line and the other a standard HPM line but they seemed identical in every way to me. (which reminds me, I need to get 10 2-wire phone jacks to replace this mess of master/master wired as slaves here)



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 284356 21-Dec-2009 12:59
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Ha ha; yes it was HPM but not the basics line!

I think that if places offer price-matching etc then they should stick by that and not put every obstacle in your way; it's the principle of the thing! Same with Consumer; I don't think they're giving value for money at all at the moment.

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  Reply # 284359 21-Dec-2009 13:05
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paradoxsm: Was it an HPM product? There are two that look identical but are different, one is a "basics" line and the other a standard HPM line but they seemed identical in every way to me. (which reminds me, I need to get 10 2-wire phone jacks to replace this mess of master/master wired as slaves here)


Maybe the standard product has shuttered phase and neutral and the basics one doesn't.

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