Consumer Reports tests itself

Last reviewed: July 2011

It’s easy to cast stones, but how is our own customer service? We had a freelance reporter ask Consumer Reports an easy question: What’s the best deal on a one-year subscription to the magazine? The lowest posted price was $26. Here’s what happened:

By phone

An automated system picked up after one ring and offered three options: “1. Change an address”; “2. Subscribe”; or “3. All others.” She pressed 2, and a human picked up so fast that she couldn’t tell what song had been playing. The rep said there were no discounts but offered 10 issues for $20.

By e-mail

Our reporter couldn’t find her answer among the 30 FAQs at She then clicked on the “send us an e-mail” link under “contact us” and submitted her question. The site says to allow at least five business days for an answer. Within three days, she received a response similar to the one she got on the phone.

Facebook and Twitter

Queries posted on our Facebook page and tweeted to us in early May hadn’t been answered by the next week.