Consumer Reports used to post their complete articles on AOL at one time, but now you have to pay. They are Old Skool in that they still sell the results of their surveys. The article on Yahoo is to pimp sales of the magazine.
Are you aware that Consumer Reports accepts no advertising and they do not allow their research to be quoted in anyone's marketing at all? They do not accept freebies, and every single product they test is purchased at full retail price. They only make money through subscriptions and through the purchase of their articles by consumers. This is so their research can remain completely objective. I think they're an amazing organization.
Yes, I am aware of all that you wrote. In fact, I started reading Consumer Reports when they used to test Stereo-Hi Fi gear back in the 60's and printed detailed and boring technical specifications using the same test and measurement equipment on all equipment so that the results would be truly comparative. I also credit my irritating habit of lampooning hype by businesses to these boxes that CR used to run, making fun of misleading advertising. Now they are engaging in pimping themselves.
I recall that CU did publish for free quite a bit about the articles they got newspapers, radio, and blogs to pimp for them for free. So I did a little research and it seems we can discuss the survey without getting sued. First, CU published the results of four out of five categories on their website: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/august/food/fast-food/how-good-are-the-chains-main-dishes/index.htm
The burger survey is clearly labeled as a "summer repeat" from the October, 2010 issue. We even had a thread about it here: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Consumer-Reports-Readers-Rate-Best-Burgers-m609636.aspx
That story was also pimped in the media. A google search indicates local media often gave the ratings of their regional chains in addition to the "top line" ratings in their pimp article. But, I guess CU is not spending the money to sue users of their ratings anymore. Walk into any Home Depot and note the posters proclaiming their Behr Premium Plus Ultra was highest rated by a consumer organization. Retailers got smart, and most people now understand that when well known brands refer to a leading consumer publication, they are talking about Consumer Reports.
Anyway, this site published the rankings of all the burgers from the October 2010 survey report: http://www.biteofthebest.com/the-worst-burger-in-america/
There may be others; don't have the time to look.
OK, so now we have the results without having to run down to the library and without getting sued.
My comment on the survey: I trust the posts by the regulars here more than the surveys compiled by CU. I don't know what kind of person responds to CU's survey requests any more. They don't seem to have the same Geschmack (taste) as I do.
ADDENDUM 3 hours later: My local newsstand just got the August 2011 issue of Consumer Reports. The hardcopy lists the same exact four new results of chicken, pizza, sandwich, and Mexican fast foods joints. I think the burger listings are the same as those listed in the biteofthebest article, but I did the scan from memory and there may be a discrepancy or two.
post edited by David_NYC - 2011/07/02 22:07:07