Consumer World

Week of August 26, 2019 (see last week)

Top Stories

Your Smart Voice Assistant May Lead You Into a Scam

smart speakers It turns out that smart assistants like Siri and smart speakers that use Alexa or Google Home Assistant may not be so smart after all. In fact, according to a BBB warning, when using them to dial a company for you, they may be tricked into dialing a scam company that is impersonating the real one. Just as you shouldn't Google a company's phone number (go to their real homepage to find it), you shouldn't ask your smart assistant to call it either. Here is Google's response to the BBB's warning.


This (Alleged) Financial Expert Conned Major Media

scam She claimed to be Patricia Russell, a financial expert and certified financial planner ("CFP"). She was quoted in major media like Market Watch, Newsday, Consumer Reports, Business Insider and more. But a savvy reporter at HuffPost smelled a rat. And his instincts were right after doing a bit of web research.


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Hotel Chains Rated

hotels J.D. Power interviewed over 44,000 hotel guests and asked them how satisfied they were with their stay. The wide-ranging survey had questions about the quality of guests' sleep, room temperature, bed quality, check-in/check-out experience, etc. The highest rated chain was the Ritz-Carlton, for the fifth year in a row for luxury hotels. They also ranked economy, mid-range, and upscale hotel chains separately.


Consumer World Original

Mouse Print* -- Otter Pops: 100% Fruit Juice, or Are They?

mouse print Nutrition-conscious shoppers know to look for products with 100% fruit juice because products labeled "juice drink" or "juice cocktail" typically only have a small amount of real fruit juice and a lot of added sugar. Now comes 100% fruit juice Otter Pops that one reader says is labeled in a misleading way. That is our Mouse Print* story this week.


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Bargain of the Week

Everbilt 3/4-HP Garbage Disposal - $109

MrConsumer's old 3/4-hp Sears disposal started making funny sounds, so it was time for a replacement. After reading reviews, some of which were scary for seemingly highly rated disposers (including the Consumer Reports top-rated Waste King 8000), I settled on the Everbilt 3/4-hp model EB750. It has a stainless steel grinding mechanism and comes with a 10 year warranty -- more than most other brands/models. Note this is a plug-in model. It is only sold at Home Depot and is regularly $139, which I reluctantly paid early last week. But it went on sale last Thursday for $30 less (and of course I got the difference back). The lowest price this unit has been was $99. Sale may end Wednesday, but no date is specified.

See also: Hot Deals

Consumer Reports

Should You Wash Raw Chicken?

The answer may surprise you! Consumer Reports says that some 70-percent of home cooks do it but they probably shouldn't. They say there is a greater risk of food poisoning because you inevitably leave a trail of bacteria around the kitchen sink and counter.

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