IDG’s Launches New ‘Consumer Advice’ Page

SAN FRANCISCO, APRIL 10 — Today, launched "Consumer Advice" (, a new online section devoted to helping consumers protect their interests. The page brings together the best consumer articles from the award-winning print publication with original online-exclusive columns, features, and news stories. From PC Reliability and Service rankings to the latest in Internet scams, from online shopping to privacy tools, "Consumer Advice" offers a rich array of resources and information.

"PC World and set themselves apart from the competition by being advocates for the consumer," said Bill Snyder, editor-in-chief of "If a reader has a problem with a product or a service, our new online section will give them the tools to complain effectively. In some cases, we'll get directly involved."

Edited by Randy Ross,'s executive features editor, the new page includes the following components:

— Consumer Toolbox: Includes contact information for state Consumer Affairs offices and Better Business Bureaus; links to the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission and other watchdog agencies; sample complaint letters; and more resources for consumers. Coming Up: Alternative consumer complaint Web sites.

— Reliability & Service: Twice a year, PC World surveys thousands of subscribers to rate the best and worst home, work, and notebook PC manufacturers.

— Healthy Computing: Includes information to help computer users avoid repetitive stress injuries and other PC-related hazards, such as stretching exercises, workstation configurations, and the latest OSHA regulations. Coming Up: A review of the best ergonomic Web sites and software, as well as how to use voice recognition software without ruining your voice.

— Letter of the Week: From repair problems to shipping snafus to warranty debates, editors investigate complaints on consumers' behalf.

— Smart Consumer: Includes information to protect privacy and side-step scammers, such as: online-exclusive "Privacy Watch" and "On Your Side" columns; "On Your Side" and "Consumer Watch" columns from PC World print; and regular features on Internet scams, hardware rip-offs, and not-so-free-PCs. Coming Up: The controversy over downloading online music — what's legal and what's not.

— Shop and Invest: Teaches consumers how to buy smart, invest smart, and live well on the Web with the online-exclusive "Dot-Com Shopper" column and new "Web Savvy" column from the print publication.

Coming Up: Buying booze online.

PC World Communications, Inc. is the publisher of PC World ( and WebShopper ( and is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company. The winner of the 1999 and 2000 Grand Neal Award for editorial excellence, PC World is the world's largest computer publication with a circulation rate base of 1.25 million. With more than 1.4 million unique visitors per month (Media Metrix, February 2000), is a leading online resource for PC-product buyers and users. IDG publishes more than 290 computer magazines and newspapers and 4,000 book titles in 80 countries and offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through ( ), which comprises more than 250 targeted Web sites in 55 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related expositions in 35 countries, and research arm International Data Corporation (IDC) provides computer industry research and analysis through 49 offices in 42 countries worldwide. Company information is available at .