How We Survey

The Consumer Reports National Research Center is a research arm of Consumer Reports' National Testing and Research Center in Yonkers, N.Y. and is comprised of highly trained social scientists, using state-of-the art techniques to survey more than 1 million consumers each year for their feedback on a broad range of experiences with products, services, and health care.

The National Research Center effectively expands the reach of the world-renowned Consumer Reports testing labs into the consumer marketplace. Using scientifically valid research methods, the National Research Center surveys consumers about topics that matter to them. Topics range from brands of appliances and electronics that have been most reliable to companies that offer the best services (e.g., cell-phone services, hotels and airlines, and auto and homeowner insurance). We also survey consumers on the best places to purchase products on both the web and in stores.

The National Research Center provides auto owner satisfaction information for hundreds of models based on responses from hundreds of thousands of car owners. We also serve Consumer Reports' health publications and website, surveying consumers on complex health-care topics and treatments for health conditions.

How we survey
Our surveys allow us to capture real-world consumer experiences. Consumers share their experiences with us about the products they bought and repaired, and their interaction with major retailers and service providers. Our annual research calendar includes more than 200 qualitative and quantitative projects.

We conduct many surveys by selecting a random sample from the approximately 7 million readers who subscribe to Consumer Reports and/or to ConsumerReports.org, who are some of the most consumer-savvy people in the nation. Our biggest effort, the Annual Questionnaire, is sent to eligible subscribers each spring. The surveys of our subscribers afford us very large sample sizes and permit extensive and detailed analysis, which allows us to rate a large number of brands for quality of service and for product reliability. The National Research Center also conducts many surveys using national probability samples to accurately represent the entire U.S. population.

Like the rest of Consumer Reports, the National Research Center is free of corporate influence and advertising. Our surveys are not commissioned or financed by industry. Rather, these surveys are designed to gather unbiased, objective information from consumers for the sole purpose of informing and empowering them.