03 June 2013

Letter to the Editor at Consumer Reports

I was very pleased to see your very positive review of the new Tesla Model S in the July issue.  I note that you've commented occasionally on the effects of climate change, and that you include information about energy efficiency in your appliance reviews. 

I wish you would go a couple of steps further and investigate additional environmental and social impacts of the products you're reviewing.  In a review of flooring materials, for instance, you include "Ecotimber" (and you give it a positive rating).  I would find it very helpful to have additional information about the relative environmental impacts of the various surface materials.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like information on where the appliances you review are manufactured, and what kinds of safety records the various manufacturers have in their supply chains. 

Finally, I don't know how much gas mileage is weighted in your automobile reviews, but if you don't already boost cars with better mileage, perhaps that would be a valuable shift in your metric.

I realize that providing this kind of information has not historically been part of your mission, but as a well-respected organization with a wide reach, you have great potential to educate consumers and encourage social change.

Thank you for your time.

Update: I got a reply from CR -- a step or two up from boilerplate:

Dear Ms. Estes,

Thank you for taking the time to contact Consumer Reports®. I want to express how much we value your choice of our products and services to help you make informed purchasing decisions.

We appreciate your writing to us regarding the environmental and social impacts of the products we test. Please be assured that our readers' feedback plays a strong role in the work that we do. Because of this I have taken the liberty of sharing your feedback with the appropriate members of our staff for their review and future consideration.

Consumer Reports is committed to making your experience positive and informative.

Sincerely,

Patrick Burns
Representative
Customer Relations Department