Local Services: Consumers’ Checkbook

Sincere advice backed with real consumer reviews of local services. Nonprofit and does not accept advertising. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area they cover, take their advice and support them how you can.

Products and Services: Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports Online reviews all sorts of consumer products, taking pains to remove the influence of manufacturers (for example, they anonymously buy cars with their own money for full reviews, though they do sometimes accept loaner cars for previews and test drives). They have their own biases, but at least they try to disclose them. And they have perhaps the largest collection of member-provided reliability data collected over many decades. This data has its own limitations (which we’ll cover in another post) but it’s an extensive dataset gathered over a long period to facilitate comparisons. Very helpful.

Cars: TrueDelta

Real data from real car owners, with thoughtful in-house reviews. There’s no substitute for real data, and TrueDelta does a good job of soliciting feedback from car owners about what they’ve really experienced. Join the site and you too can contribute, so please do.

Skepticism: Doubtful

We love a good skeptic, and Sharon Hill does a great job writing about, well, being skeptical. It’s consumer advocacy applied to basically everyone trying to sell you on crazy unlikely phenomenon. Occam would approve.