Happy Thanksgiving 2012 to you all
Sewing machine research is my best consumer experience this week, while a huge rain storm causes problems

Consumer Reports offers this year’s list of good and bad company policies and practices

This week, Consumer Reports unveiled its third annual Naughty & Nice List of company policies and practices.

The companies cover a wide range of industries, including automotive (BMW, Honda) apparel (Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Forever 21), and hospitality (Drury Hotels).

The annual Naughty & Nice list isn’t an overall Rating of a company; it’s a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on a specific policy or practice. Companies not included on the list may have similar policies, Consumer Reports said in a statement.

This year, Consumer Reports is asking consumers to join the effort by submitting their own personal Naughty & Nice nominee via Facebook and Twitter (#CRNaughtyNice).

For the first time, Consumer Reports will also be setting up a booth at the Holiday Market at Union Square in New York City, offering visitors an in-person opportunity to submit their list and receive 24 hours of free access to www.ConsumerReports.org.

The Naughty & Nice Holiday List is based on input from Consumer Reports' reporters and editors who cover shopping, travel, hospitality, and telecommunications and visitors to the Consumer Reports Facebook page.

The following highlights some of the companies from the 2012 Naughty & Nice list:

Naughty

  • Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster will mail you your tickets for free if you have 10 to 14 days to wait for them, but if you need them any sooner you’ll have to pay for expedited shipping. You’ll even have to pay $2.50 per order just to print them yourself.
  • Time Warner Cable. It joins a list of other providers to charge a monthly fee – in this case, $3.95 – to lease a cable modem.
  • BMW. Some BMWs don’t come with a spare tire or jack. The carmaker’s models now come with run-flat tires or a Mobility Kit, which can get you to help after a minor puncture. The disappearing-spare syndrome is spreading to include even economy models from Hyundai, Chevrolet, and others.

Nice

  • Home Depot. Buy a new appliance from Home Depot, and it’ll take your old one off your property without charge. The delivery crew will also uncrate, set up, level, and test your new one.
  • Oxo. The housewares manufacturer backs every product it sells with a no-exceptions pledge: If for any reason you aren’t satisfied, return it for replacement or refund.
  • PNC Bank. In Consumer Reports’ survey of 10 large banks, PNC was the only one to offer a free basic checking account. In addition, it doesn’t require customers to maintain a minimum balance to keep the free account.

The full Naughty & Nice lists from this year, 2011, and 2010 are available online at www.ConsumerReports.org/CRNaughtyNice.

Copyright 2012, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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