Pointless post CHOICE, since I (and others) can’t access the findings. I feel like CHOICE is quite elitist in the way they allow access to results. It doesn’t encourage and educate the masses, it simply puts me (and many many others) from bothering with anything CHOICE posts because of the cost to view. Bah Humbug.
*NB this post was transferred from another topic
The link I posted was to a free article - a buying guide that contained the information needed to answer the original question posted. Our detailed product reviews (including robot vacs) are for those with membership, which comes at a cost of $23.95 per quarter.
We understand in the age of ‘free’ content that people find any payment for access to content as onerous, and we appreciate you sharing your feelings about this issue with us. However, our membership costs also allow us to maintain free of advertising and completely independent, which is among the core values of our organisation. Our apologies that this does not represent value for you, and thanks once again for the feedback.
." Join for immediate access OR unlock this review now for $5 …"That is what came up when I Googled for Choice tests of wide screen monitors . I think that may be what the poster was referring to @BrendanMays . The fact that we get to see the findings of the reviews for free because we are members and non members are charged for the privilege . I asked some friends about the $5 charge to view results . They all said it was excessive and would not pay . I may be wrong in my interpretation of the post . So my friends get the “good oil” on reviews and consumer campaigns I pass my Choice mags to them when I have finished with them . Some have joined Choice because of this .
Thanks @vax2000, I’ve added a link to original post for clarity. Thanks for the feedback also, much appreciated.
As far as I’m concerned the cost of membership is nothing compared to what you save in the end from buying the right products.
We joined up just before we were about to buy a vacuum cleaner…and I’m glad we did.
Plus we save money on buying the right consumables for around the home.
Yes, and our membership fee also pays for the functioning of this site.
I paid for a membership once, then realised at the end (just before it auto renewed) that I had only looked at the site a couple of times. There’s only so many times you need a review site to find out what appliance to buy. (Unless you’re furnishing a whole house I guess, but I never need to know more than one or two things in a twelve month period - I don’t buy that many appliances / or review worthy products.) I’d rather do a pay per view thing - so I pay for the review I’m after, at the time I’m after it.
There’s nothing wrong with free content, you sound like you don’t like it. Each to their own. Thanks for your reply.
I think if you are referring to @BrendanMays reference to ‘free’, I don’t think that he meant he didn’t like free content but was rather referring to the illusion that much content that is said to be free isn’t. I am sure that @BrendanMays can if he wishes respond to whether that is the case or not.
Most free sites and advice sadly these days are paid for by advertising in almost endless variety. Almost everytime you visit a site you get targeted by advertising companies that collect the data about you over multiple sites. Then you get targeted ads in your emails and your site visits. Your data gets sold on to other agencies/companies/people without your knowledge or explicit agreement.
Many newspaper sites now require payment before you can view their sites/articles, and there are more and more pay to view sites appearing all the time, but at the same time they still bombard you with linked ads. On this site you don’t get bombarded by ads, there are a couple of cookies (one to measure site traffic) but for the most part your visits here are without an added hidden burden. This is paid for by the generous members of Choice who pay their dues.
I am not a Choice member but the advice and support here are provided to me without cost as it would be to you. When we who are non-members seek to review information that Choice makes available only to it’s members we are invited to pay for the view or enter into membership with Choice. At times there have been reviews that Choice as a community service has made freely available to all.
The choice (no pun intended) is ours whether we wish to avail ourselves of all the benefits of membership or if we wish to only have partial access to Choice’s services but even if we choose to not pay for further access the benefits that can be gained here I think outweigh any detriment.
That’s correct @graholl, I did mean it in the sense you mentioned above. From my personal experience, I believe there is always a transaction occurring when a product is being exchanged (content in this case), and whether money is exchanged at the time, in many cases the situation will lead to direct and indirect financial transactions in the future. There are obvious examples such as paid content, but it also goes to a much deeper and more complex level. This is not necessarily always a bad thing, but if you’re party to a transaction it’s a good thing to be aware of it.
@anon22758496 - thanks again for your frank and honest feedback, we do appreciate it greatly.
Yes, and also keeps Choice independent of the manufacturers and service providers. There is lots of free content on the web but many product comparison sites are ‘sponsored’ by the companies whose products they are reviewing. Even if I don’t buy a reviewed product in a particular subscription period, I I feel I am helping keep companies honest.
I must agree @andrew.p. The independence of Choice is paramount. To be honest I don’t use the reviews that often but it is great to know that should I decide to make a purchase I can go to a very comprehensive, rigourous testing regime to help assist me in making my purchase. The last purchase I used Chioce for was to select a slide out rangehood. The recommended model has proven to be very effective and far better that the one previously installed. By paying for the subscription service, even if you don’t use it that often it dilutes the costs for others and helps keep the subscription fees down. Then everyone wins! Cheers. Albie.
I have subscribed to Choice magazine for nearly 30 years on the understanding that Choice is independent and free from advertising. My interest in Choice is not only in product reviews but also consumer advocacy. Choice has made me a much smarter shopper in that it teaches me how to read labels and look out for dodgy products. I have found membership to be of excellent value and I am somewhat offended by people who think they should be given Choice content for free. It’s a small price to pay to be an educated consumer.
Hey @anon22758496 Choice is an organisation that is funded by subscriber and therefore the organisation has the right and a responsibility to ask non-subscribers to pay.
With regard to the cost of subscription it is very fair pricing and when one considers the content quality, independence and detail on subjects it further reinforces the value.
I think the charges are reasonable both in amount & that Choice uses a subscription model. They provide a service & that service has to be paid somehow; as others have said the independence is a key attraction & they can’t do that by recouping costs from advertising or other commission based models.
Personally I only subscribe when needed; when I do, I sub for 3 months. My only comment there is I really really wish they would provide a “one-off” option for it & not force auto-renew with no option. My way around that is to unsub a day or two after I pay - but it is annoying.
The only reason I don’t sub annually is I don’t “need” the service on a regular basis & I don’t seem to find the time to just browse or review regular offerings on an ongoing basis.
IMO they also give a fair amount of information for free.
I, too, have been a Choice member for over 30 years, in fact more like 40, and, despite now being retired and on a part pension, am most reluctant to cease my membership. I value not only their reviews and independent advice but also their consumer advocacy. I have made no major purchases without consulting their reviews and my three daughters ask me regularly what Choice recommends before they buy. Keep up the good work Choice, we value your independence!
Like you I have had a subscription for umpteen years. I have rarely benefitted financially ie - made use of the reviews. I still keep subscribing however because of consumer advocacy and I enjoy reading the magazine, as I do this website, which is excellent.
On the few occasions I have wanted to read the tests etc online it has been disappointing that Choice has asked that I pay extra as I feel I have been a loyal supporter for so long and surely a few reviews/tests per year could be accessed for free.
We appreciate the feedback we’re receiving in this thread, and I’ll be sure to pass it on to the relevant internal departments.
I am afraid I do not share your feelings about Choice. Nobody likes to part with their money, but Choice is independent from commercial interests and the government and for them to conduct all the testing and to represent the consumers interest surely costs a lot of money.
How exactly do you envisage all this could be funded in another way, but for people to pay either for results or subscription?
The dedicated people working for Choice do have my " thumbs up " anytime!
I think $24 /month is excessive
I agree with you ianandchez, it is NOT just the reviews, but the consumer advocacy. There are many things that Choice has Instigated that have changed our shopping experience. I stopped buying car magazines as the reports were influenced by the advertising that appeared in those publications. I also use Whirlpool as a source of information as they attract a good group of tech heads.