Now that we're contemplating which appliances to buy, I'm planning to sign up for Consumer Reports.
They have free "Buying Guides":
Though to get the full report (recommendations, ratings & reliability) one has to subscribe:
But we're thinking that for less than Php 270 (US $5.95), it might help us save a few thousand by lessening our chances of buying a dud. As everyone knows, refrigerators and washing machines are not synonymous with low price tags.
For those who are not familiar with this organization, the information below is from their website:
Consumer Reports (CR) is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. The organization was founded in 1936 when advertising first flooded the mass media. Consumers lacked a reliable source of information they could depend on to help them distinguish hype from fact and good products from bad ones. Since then CR has filled that vacuum with a broad range of consumer information. To maintain its independence and impartiality, CR accepts no outside advertising and no free samples and employs several hundred mystery shoppers and technical experts to buy and test the products it evaluates.
It is a member of Consumers International, a federation of more than 220 consumer organizations from over 115 countries working to protect and empower consumers throughout the world.
Consumer Reports's No Commercial Use Policy: ensuring fair, objective, independent reviews
At Consumer Reports, we believe that objective, impartial testing, reviews and Ratings are critically important for consumers. That is why we have a strict "No Commercial Use Policy" preventing the use of our name and information for any promotional or advertising purposes. The policy helps ensure we avoid even the appearance of endorsing a particular product or service for financial gain. The policy also guarantees that consumers have access to the full context of our information and are not hearing about our findings through the language of salesmanship.
Why It's Important
For consumers, our No Commercial Use Policy provides piece of mind that the information they are receiving is free of influence, bias or commercial interference.
For manufacturers, service providers and other retailers, adhering to the policy bolsters their own reputation for honesty and integrity. Our more than eight million subscribers to our information products and services recognize and support our organization because it allows them to make their own purchasing decisions based upon expert, independent, unbiased reviews and recommendations.
Information on how they test products can be found here.