Looking at Consumer Report data more closely


Consumer Report surveyed 90,000 customers. If we assume that this 90,000 is representative of the actual laptop and tablet market, that would be around 2,000 people maybe less? I’m not sure what percentage of the market Microsoft has but all the information I could find had them lumped into the “other” category with the largest broken out by itself was around 5% so It obviously has to be lower than that.

Given that fact that Consumer Report does nothing to verify if the people actually own the device, their user base probably skews older and more than likely is not representative of the actual market , I really question how accurate their results could be with this type of product. Just curious what others think or if I missed somethng?

Comments (10)

10 responses to “Looking at Consumer Report data more closely”

  1. Mark Hancheroff

    This has always been an issue with Consumer Reports. If the data isn't open, it can't be verified.

    I stopped trusting them years ago.

    • Sprtfan

      In reply to mhanch:

      I think their methods might work better for something like washers and dryers than it would for laptops and computers.

      Listening to a pod cast I think someone mentioned that Touch Screen responsiveness might have been one of the survey questions. With everything else being equal, if a laptop doesn't have a touch screen it would probably end up rating higher than one that did since it can't have any issues with something that it doesn't have.

  2. evox81

    I tend to think Consumer Reports is fairly reputable. Although I've never used them for a buying decision, their methodologies are typically sound. I have to believe they had a suitable sample size on which to base their conclusion. Any company would rightfully tear them apart if they didn't.

    A more likely explanation is the reality that dissatisfied customers are more likely to talk about their experiences.

    • Sprtfan

      In reply to evox81:

      This was my biggest question with the report. Is the sample size large enough? They don't actually say the number of people that owned a Surface device and had no way of verifying. If the percentage of those surveyed that owned a Surface device is small enough, the results would no longer be valid. I'm sure someone would tear them apart if this was the case but they don't tell anyone their numbers so no one could tell.

      Surface has a pretty small market share from what I can tell. I think this type of surveying may work for some products when the companies being compared offer products that are about the same and each have a reasonable sized market share.

  3. ErichK

    I have to admit I don't know what my own personal anecdotal experience means. Maybe it's just that -- anecdotal. I had the original Surface RT that I had to exchange after about a year because of a power supply that would no longer charge. But it couldn't have been simpler -- I just went to the Microsoft Store and got a new one.

    I guess the point is that customer service makes up for quality issues in some cases as far as how we perceive a brand.

  4. rameshthanikodi

    i'm sure CR's methodology is sound to an extent, but I think it's wrong to issue a blanket un-recommendation for all Surface products. I mean, they recommend the Galaxy S8 after the whole Galaxy Note 7 disaster.

  5. Edward Grego

    I wouldn’t be trying to defend MS, they have been producing shit products since the Surface RT, I know, I’ve owned all of them. And all of them had to be replaced at least once! Frankly, I’m surprised the rate is only 25%, seems low to me.

    • Sprtfan

      In reply to Edward_Grego:

      This really is not about defending MS, its about how sound this type of surveying is for these types of products. MS products very well could be unreliable. I just question if the survey done by Consumer Reports proves it.

      I can weigh 2 pieces of wood and then declare that one board is longer than the other based on the results. The board I picked might be longer than the other but that doesn't mean that the test was valid.

      • Edward Grego

        In reply to Sprtfan:

        True, but in this scenario, you're measuring the wood and not trusting the size of one piece and questioning the measuring capability of the ruler. MS makes shit, lets not start shooting the messenger. I'm glad they are finally being taken to task over the sub-par product they have been charging a premium for and not delivering on sales pitch. We have ALL had problems with these devices, maybe not all hardware failures, but I don;t think anyone has been able to escape the software issues, which at the end of the day, have the same affect on the end user.

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