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 VOL. 5, ISSUE 4 - APRIL  2012

In This Issue

Managing Your Kids’ Internet Use

Diamond Certified Community Giving Project

How to Block Telemarketing Calls

Consumer Feedback:
Farrar Construction

New Diamond Certified

Savvy Tips of the Month

Smog Check Savvy

Keep Countertops from Losing Luster

How Much Will That Medical Procedure Cost You?

Diamond Certified Quick Links






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Managing Your Kids’ Internet Use

Out in the open

Google Family Safety Center

Recently, you may have read that many young people are sharing their passwords to email, Facebook and other accounts with their “significant others.” Adolescents are aware that it’s risky if the relationship sours, but they do it anyway, in part because parents and other authority figures discourage it.

Many parents want help teaching their children about using technology safely, so Google has created a Family Safety Center to address that need. One section explains Google’s safety tools, including “Safe Search,” which allows you to eliminate sexually explicit content from search results. You’ll also find a detailed explanation about sharing controls and privacy settings for YouTube, Google Talk and Picasa Web Albums.

My favorite part of the site is “Tips From Parents at Google,” where engineers, executives and other employees talk about their own challenges managing their kids’ Internet use. Here are two good suggestions: Keep your home computer in a central place so you can monitor your children’s online activity, and encourage your kids to view content with a critical eye by teaching them how to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources.

Finally, the website’s resource section contains advice from many different groups that work on child safety issues. Some of the topics include cyber bullying, malware, meeting strangers online and sharing too much personal information. You’ll also find free storybooks, animated films and even a digital literacy curriculum for schools.

Chris Bjorklund signature
Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer

Chris Bjorklund

Diamond Certified Community Giving Project

Diamond Certified® Preferred Customer Card

Now when you sign up to become a Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer, we will donate $1 to a local charity of your choice. Organizations include The Marine Mammal Center, Parents Helping Parents and Pets Unlimited, to name a few. Membership is always free and comes with numerous benefits, including a special member hotline, members-only access to additional tools on, a double Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee and more. Join now by calling (800) 313-1009 or visiting Become a Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer today and help us give back to the organizations that have made the Bay Area such a great place to live!

How to Block Telemarketing Calls
Do Not Call logo
Many of you have already signed up with the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry, but if you haven’t, it’s easy to do. Once you register your home phone number at, it remains there permanently. Be patient—it’ll take about a month before you notice a reduction in the number of telemarketing calls. If you change your mind, you can remove yourself from the “do not call list” at any time by calling (888) 382-1222.

Don’t forget to register your cell phone numbers, too. You don’t want to be charged minutes for accepting unwanted sales calls. You can register up to three phone numbers at once, along with your email address. Just remember to click on the confirmation email that’s sent directly to you in order to complete the registration.

Finally, it’s important to know that scammers make calls claiming to be from the National Do Not Call Registry. The FTC doesn’t make these calls and you shouldn’t respond to them.

Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers
Re: Farrar Construction

Dear Diamond Certified,

Farrar Construction recently completed construction of our new deck and pergola. Working with Mark Farrar and his team was a very pleasant experience and the completed project is beautiful. We were particularly impressed that they didn’t subcontract out any of the work—they did it all themselves, employing their considerable construction and carpentry skills.

Demolition of the old deck and pergola was accomplished quickly with all debris removed promptly. Detail improvements to the design of the new deck and pergola (which were personally suggested by Mark) significantly enhanced the look of the new construction. Mark and his team were always prompt, kept me informed, asked for my input on decisions to be made, cleaned up the jobsite and completed the project on time.

Above all, Farrar Construction is a very high-quality, courteous, reliable and professional organization. Though not the least expensive deck contractor, the quality of their work makes the end product a good value.

We will use Farrar Construction for future projects and recommend them to our friends.

J.G., Santa Rosa, CA

Diamond Certified ® Only companies rated Highest in Quality earn Diamond Certified

Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified

Alameda County
A.P.T. Construction,
Fremont - (510) 402-6721

Beverly Claiborne, D.D.S.,
Fremont - (510) 402-6454

Move Pros,
Fremont - (408) 622-0538

Bay Valley Contractors
Walnut Creek - (925) 726-3792

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BB & B Builders Inc.
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San Francisco
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Magic Plumbing,
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Robert Soto, DDS and Albert Kadosh, DDS,
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Stephen Ostwald, DDS,
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San Mateo county
Gava's Auto Body
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RDS Plumbing & Sewer,
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Santa Cruz County 
La Selva Tree Service A division of Copacetik, Inc.
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Solano County 
Water Heaters Express
Vallejo - (707) 927-1024

Sonoma County
All Around Auto Repair,
Windsor - (707) 584-6670
Fine Tree Care,
Sebastopol - (707) 639-8799
Valley Comfort Heating and Air,
Santa Rosa - (707) 927-1023

American Ratings Corporation - Diamond Certified • 504 Redwood Blvd. • Suite 210 Novato, California 94947 • (877) 312-1307
©2012 American Ratings Corporation  

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