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Violated Trust

Everyone has trusted people and sources in their life they go for information. A recommendation by a friend, a family member etc. You seek out places and people who have reliable and preferably unbiased knowledge For years people have placed Consumer Reports on that list as well. This was really where Consumer Reports made their mark. I need a new air conditioner–> check out Consumer Reports. I am looking for a new car–> check out Consumer Reports. But what do you do when a trusted source goes away?

Over the last several years I have seen a general decline in the magazine. Products that were reviewed were outdated or not available. Testing seemed to be different - although I can not tell you what changed. It felt different.

A year ago Consumer Reports tested the iPhone 4 and would not give it a recommendation due to antenna issues. This became know as Antenna Gate”. While your particular issues with the phone varied based on your location and case and grip it was deemed unacceptable. As a result of the report there was a lot of coverage and PR generated by the story. Some accurate some a little less so. Regardless of the report I believe was the biggest selling phone.

A couple of weeks ago Apple released the new iPad (3rd generation). It has chip in it with a Quad Core GPU and a beautiful retina display. A few people noticed that it could run a little warmer than the previous model. This was quickly picked up by the magazine who did a review of the product and basically said it runs HOT. In fact HOT was mentioned several times during the review. It does run warmer in certain situations (none that I have ever experienced) but it is not nearly as HOT as my 15″ MacBook Pro used to run. That machine ran so HOT that if you were wearing shorts you ended up with a burn on your thighs.

9to5mac posted an article titled Consumer Reports: Forget what we said before, new iPad is the best we’ve ever seen” - while not a retraction it certainly backs away from the initial comments that made all the press.

Responding to consumer comments on the new device, and to coverage from other reviewers, we also carried out further tests that confirmed the new iPad is warmer in its hottest spots than the iPad 2. But we didn’t find those temperatures to be cause for concern. In addition, further tests of observations we made that the new iPad was not recharging when playing a demanding, intense video game, showed that the problem was limited to times when the device was playing a demanding game with the screen fully bright.

Again more press was generated from this statement. But the cynic in me feels that this was more of a PR ploy and page view grab for the website. So is this still a trustworthy site? Was this merely an attempt to generate ad revenue from the web site? Did they get a lot of new subscriptions? Did they violate your trust? What do you do when that person or service makes you not want to go to them anymore?

I know based on the the earlier points I made I am no longer a customer.

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