Consumer Reports Reviews

Updated June 29, 2015
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43 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Good place, lots of turmoil recently, future will depend on choice of outgoing president's replacement early 2014

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Consumer Reports full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great mission, outgoing President Jim Guest has great heart and prodigious intellect, but has had trouble balancing heart and soul of organization vs. quest for financial results sometimes seeing it as zero sum--or at least hiring leaders with that view and outsized egos--understandable given publishing environment, but disappointing ultimately. Leaves great legacy though future will depend on leadership that is left in place after he leaves.

    Cons

    Magazine publishing industry turmoil and CR quest to stay relevant have resulted in great turmoil. While some of the people lost or ousted should be gone, some losses are painful and will hurt down the road as it will be harder to find way back to original mission while moving forward to meet demands of the digital age while combating "all info wants to be free" mentality with you get what you pay for, so offer real value.

    Advice to Management

    Mind the money AND lead with the heart--imbue all with philosophy of caring for consumersand providing real value


  2. Helpful (5)

    From good place to very bad place

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yonkers, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yonkers, NY

    I worked at Consumer Reports full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits, which are directly related to Guild collective bargaining agreement; had higher starting pay, due to now, long-gone annual step-up raises; good food in cafeteria; onsite gym and building is partially surrounded by wood and wildlife; relaxed dress code

    Cons

    Layers, upon layers, upon layers of managers, many of which have no staff/few staff reporting to them; extreme brown-nosing of middle managers to more senior managers; bullying and abuse of some Guild members by their immediate supervisor(s); clueless & extremely callous senior management; ever-expanding and useless HR department that is a revolving door; cries poverty to rank-and-file, but keeps promoting and rewarding poor managers who have absolutely no leadership skills; almost every manager has the title of Associate Director or higher; some managers do nothing all day

    Advice to Management

    Cut managerial staff by over half; listen to the people who are actually doing the work and are the stake holders; cut the HR department; hire managers who actually are true leaders and don't abuse some of their staff; retire managers who can't adapt to latest technology; treat everyone equally


  3. Helpful (2)

    This is a place to end your career not propel a young career.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Consumer Reports full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Very good benefits. Good corporate mission. Some really good people. Good work-life balance.

    Cons

    No professional growth or upward mobility opportunities since senior staff doesn't leave. Lack of strong and decisive leadership. Very bureaucratic and decisions take a long time to make. The leadership values mission over the business so there is a lack of recognition for business achievements. Union environment and senior leadership makes progressive change difficult.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Helping Others

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yonkers, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yonkers, NY

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great mission, great work/life balance, competitive compensation, smart people, interesting fringe benefits (auction, store), get to participate in some testing even if you aren't in Tech.

    Cons

    The company's future is perhaps harder to make out than for other companies - a lot of change going on and it won't be good for everyone.

    Advice to Management

    Sharpen focus - too many competing plans to guide us into the future.


  6. Helpful (4)

    From Good to Bad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Stats in Yonkers, NY
    Former Employee - Stats in Yonkers, NY

    I worked at Consumer Reports full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Non profit mission is positive. The unique position of the company in the marketplace.

    Cons

    Revenue model cannot be sustained. Constant downsizing and layoffs. Lack of innovation and ability to make money outside of a paid web site and tradiional magazine. No job training or advancement; it's up to the employee to not loose his or her skill set. Strict divide between Union employees and managers. Benefits eroding. Location in Yonkers, NY.

    Advice to Management

    Better integrate union and management. Decide whether the organization wants to make money or be a true non profit. Temper the behavior of going from extreme management style, such as layoffs and constant re-orgs, to country club mentality during better times. Hire smart people, re-org the Board of Directors, be transparent about how the organization will change and what the role of employees will be. Re-train versus lay-off.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Dinosaurs trying to adapt in the Digital Age

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yonkers, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yonkers, NY

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The benefits are very good - health, sick days, vacation, etc.
    Salaries are not at the top of the scale, but definitely competitive in this economy for those skilled in technology.
    Good work/life balance for families.
    Great staff, very nice/smart people to work with.
    CR is your grandparents magazine - they'll be very happy that you work here.

    Cons

    The management here is lacking - trying to adapt to the Digital Age, but many simply can't.
    Senior management hires only brown-nosing middle managers that have no leadership skills. This only serves senior managers because they're afraid to make decisions on their own.
    The atmosphere is melancholic due to layoffs (they've been losing much money).
    Very little room for advancement.
    No feeling of job security.
    The travel to Yonkers.

    Advice to Management

    Hire managers that are truly qualified and also secure in their abilities. If they have real leadership skills they can make decisions and get things done!


  8. Very good.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yonkers, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yonkers, NY

    I worked at Consumer Reports

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Honorable mission, helping the everyday consumer.

    Cons

    Management sometimes out-of-touch with how much work each employee was assigned to do.

    Advice to Management

    Please reward people who have worked hard and well and take a close look at those who have been there a long time and who are slacking off (even if they're in the Union).


  9. Helpful (1)

    Easy environment, very slow growth.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Lab Tech in Yonkers, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Lab Tech in Yonkers, NY

    I have been working at Consumer Reports

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Its a family oriented place to work. No pressure when you have a doctors appointment or your child needs to be picked up early. Very balanced between personal and work life. Good benefits. Relaxed atmosphere. Theres also an onsite lunchroom so you dont have to leave to pick up something to eat. This is really the place to be when you want to slow down in your career...great for when youre late 40s and up.

    Cons

    Takes forever to be promoted in the Electronics Department, the "bread-n-butter" of this company. By the time this happens, a decade has gone by. I've seen very eager, dedicated workers get everything squeezed out of them until they realize theres no intention from management to help you develop your career. Attitudes change for the worse, people become disgruntled and eventually give off a "dont give f" attitude. it might be different in other departments though I hear they have their own issues. People have to leave or die to advance. Another bad thing - the pay is based on length of employment and not merit. Lazy Joe will make the same amount of $ as you even if you are clearly a better worker. Testing - No innovation. Slow to catch on with whats new. Again, this ideal for those who want to slow down in their career and not bust their butts. No good those looking to grow.

    Advice to Management

    Put the program into effect! Career-growth path for those who have shown interest and have the potential. There is a so-called program that no one uses. Management is very disconnected from the workers in the trenches.


  10. Helpful (2)

    A great place to work for today, but a lot of uncertainty tomorrow.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Leader in Yonkers, NY
    Current Employee - Project Leader in Yonkers, NY

    I have been working at Consumer Reports

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Consumers Union is probably one of the best places to work for if you work in the press. Employees who join CU rarely leave (due to layoffs or their own volition). The company has a great mission, excellent benefits, interesting people, and a casual work environment. The work week is only 35 hours (not including lunch). For some job titles, wages are probably above average in the industry. The jobs are highly stable; in this recession, there has been only one layoff so far.

    Cons

    Career development is an issue - since people rarely leave CU there are fewer opportunities for moving up the ladder. I think that certain job titles, in particular the Tech/engineering positions, are paid below average to our peers, making it harder to attract and retain talent. The company is located outside of New York City with no direct access to public transportation (a shuttle is provided from the subway but it's frequently crowded). Management has been pressuring its employees to produce more content quickly, while holding employees more accountable if they mess up. As a result, our company is becoming less of a research and testing lab and more of a factory that produces ratings tables.

    Advice to Management

    First, I would like to say that management has done an excellent job of maintaining fiscal constraint and allowing the company to whether the current financial downturn largely unscathed. We are the envy of our competitors when it comes to places in the media to work for today.

    That said, perhaps the biggest problem facing Consumers Union is its long-term prospects. While its flagship publication, Consumer Reports, has a highly devoted readership, the average reader is over 60 years old and getting older. Its online site, Consumer Reports online, has a slightly younger readership base (50 years old and getting older), but it's plagued with problems and is behind its competitors in terms of web development. The initiatives that management have put in place only serve the needs of its existing readers and does nothing to appeal to younger readers. Unless management changes its priorities to appeal to a younger readership (probably at the expense of its older readership), younger readers will most likely flock to newer and more web-savvy competitors.


  11. Consumers Union

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Consumer Reports

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Consumers Union for the most part is a good place to work. It's mission, the people and the work are satisfying. The benefits & vacation are great.

    Cons

    Salary is not competitive and can do better to help retain employees.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more attention to the works and reconsider what the union is doing for the company and employees. Times are changing but the union is still operating under the rules set years ago. It protects people who are not always productive.



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