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Online Shopping Help From Consumer Reports

Boot Camp feature for Monday, November 15, 1999

What you want to know about online retailers and what they want to know about you. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. When it comes to buying online, you'd like to know what you're getting into before you type in that credit card number. Now, there's help from Consumer Reports Online. Director of new media, Nancy Macagno... .

"Well what we're doing is we have evaluated and actually rated shopping sites in the different categories of their policies and that covers things like security and privacy and shipping and returns and then usability. And that covers how easy it is to browse at the site and also how efficient it is to search for something specific that you have in mind."

Remember, Consumer Reports, online and in print, accepts no advertising. So much of the information on the site, including the eRatings, is available only to subscribers. The price is 3.95 a month or 24 dollars a year. The site is consumerreports.org When it comes to what online shops want to know about you, the Gartner Group is offering a new tool at a site called cpulse.comGartner VP John Geyer...

"We're referring to it as the Internet satisfaction monitor. And the idea behind it is people running web sites want to take their customers' pulse on a regular basis."

Cpulse provides a pop up window for customer interviews. The tool is being offered initially for free.