Unbiased information to evaluate products and services is a rare commodity on the Internet. The sites below will help you find such information and help you effectively file consumer complaints if you have been wronged by a business. Reliable consumer information can also be found in the Library's magazine article databases.
Web resource Available with Skokie Public Library card Available in Library only
ConsumerReports.org from EBSCO
ConsumerReports.org contains information that enables consumers to make better purchasing decisions on the products they are shopping for. The site provides ratings and reviews, recommendations, and buying advice. Additional information includes brand reliability and user reviews, plus news, blogs, forums, and video content. Searchable sections include Cars, Home & Garden, Electronics, Babies & Kids, Money, Food, and Health.
Consumers' Checkbook evaluates the quality and prices of local service firms and stores, such as auto repair shops, plumbers, dentists, banks, and insurance companies. Chicago-area companies are rated by users and evaluated by Checkbook staff. Consumers’ Checkbook/The Center for the Study of Services is an independent, nonprofit consumer organization founded in 1974 with the help of funding from the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs.
This excellent website provides the "best reviews" on hundreds of consumer products, including summaries of articles from Consumer Reports.
Epinions provides reviews of products and services written by consumers themselves.
FindTheBest has been called a “comparison engine” in that it uses hundreds of specialized online apps that offer users an ultra-detailed comparison of products and services from unbiased, authoritative sources. The apps include searches for things like ski resorts, treadmills, car insurance providers, and smart phones.
Furnace Compare rates over 45,000 models of air conditioners, boilers, furnaces, and heat pumps. It also provides tips on how to purchase such items and choose a contractor.
"The National Database of Nonprofit Organizations" includes information on more than 600,000 charities and nonprofits, news on philanthropy, and resources for donors and volunteers.
Viewpoints gives people who enjoy reading or writing reviews a one-stop outlet for topics ranging from laptops to hotels, blenders, even hospitals and schools. Reviews are included in over 700 categories. Along with reviews, most categories include "Consumer Guides" to help evaluate products.
Check this site from the Illinois Attorney General to see how to obtain free copies of your credit report.
This website provides consumer information, news, alerts, a directory to regional Better Business Bureaus, and more.
This federal government site contains various consumer guides along with information on resolving consumer problems. Valuable contact information is included for corporate consumer affairs offices, BBBs, state and local government offices, federal agencies, and more.