The Diamond Certified® Consumer Report Twitter link Facebook link
 VOL. 5, ISSUE 2 - FEBRUARY  2012

In This Issue

When a Deal Isn’t Really a Deal

Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card

The Risks of Radon

Consumer Feedback:
All American Fence Corporation

New Diamond Certified

Savvy Tips of the Month

Give Your Dry Cleaner All the Facts

Why Did My Computer Get a Virus?

Roofing Warranties: Exceptions, Conditions and Exclusions

Diamond Certified Quick Links






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Read this newsletter and prior issues at Diamond Certified Newsletter Twitter

When a Deal Isn’t Really a Deal

not a deal

I love getting a good deal as much as anyone, so when an offer for 50 percent off a luxury manicure/pedicure floated into my email inbox recently, I couldn’t resist. Heck, I deserved a little pampering!

I called a couple days later. The owner was eager to schedule the appointment and emphasized getting there on time. When I showed up five minutes early, the salon was locked up tight. Ten minutes later, the manicurist dashed in, apologized and started setting up. That gave me time to observe the shop’s state of disrepair and neglect—empty display cases, cotton balls under couches, paintings askew. So far, the atmosphere was less than soothing.

When the owner finally arrived, my manicure was already underway and I was soaking my feet. I learned right away this was a mother-daughter team. The bickering between them was non-stop. I would have walked out but I was stuck. Instead of relaxing, I was making sure the equipment had been properly sterilized.

The last straw was when the owner found out I was a consumer advocate. She started telling me about her pending eviction notice and how she wasn’t sure how long she could hang on. She also complained about how “deal” services charge too much but she was betting the discounts would help her find new customers and thereby save her struggling business.

I left knowing I would never return. I didn’t enjoy the “pampering” and would never recommend the salon. The whole experience made me think about how often we jump at the chance for a deal just because of the price, when there are many other aspects we should also be considering. A deal isn’t a deal if the quality of the service is sub-standard and the overall experience is way below average. In other words, I got exactly what I paid for.

Chris Bjorklund signature
Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer

Chris Bjorklund
P.S. If you have a story to share about your experiences with any of the “deal” services, tell us about it on the Diamond Certified Facebook page.

Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card

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!

The Risks of Radon
Citizen's Guide to Radon - cover graphic

Every major health organization agrees that radon causes many preventable lung cancer deaths every year. What is radon? It’s an odorless radioactive gas that comes from the uranium in rock, water and soil, and it’s especially dangerous for people who smoke. Radon can be found in every part of the United States and in any type of building, but elevated radon levels in your home are the greatest concern.

Radon levels can vary from home to home. Your neighbor’s home may have high levels of radon, while yours may or may not. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the best way to know if your home has a radon problem is to perform a short-term test. You can find low-cost, do-it-yourself radon test kits at hardware stores or through mail order. Short-term tests last anywhere from two to 90 days, depending on the device you’re using. To get a more accurate picture of the radon levels in your home, consider performing a second short-term test (depending on the results of the first test) or a long-term test. The EPA’s website ( has a “Citizen’s Guide to Radon” that will answer most of your questions about radon risks, testing and fixing the problem.

Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers
Dear Diamond Certified,

I just had my fence done by All American Fence Corporation and they did a great job, starting with the phone call to the office and the estimate by Phil Ledic. The work was done on time and on schedule. The workers did a great job of taking the old fence down, and when the new one was done, the area was clean. I give them a 10 for a great job. Thank you again, All American Fence Corporation.

J.I., San Ramon, CA

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

Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified

Alameda County
Sierra Roofing & Solar,
Dublin - (925) 400-9320
Frank’s Auto Service,
Walnut Creek - (925) 344-6763
H.W. Construction and Home Remodeling Inc.,
Walnut Creek - (925) 398-3556

European Performance
Novato - (415) 523-0014

San Francisco
Hammerhouse Construction, Inc.
San Francisco - (415) 484-5043

Joseph C. Styger, D.D.S., Inc.,
San Francisco - (415) 523-0011

Nissi Motors,
San Francisco - (415) 858-0729

Trees Company,
San Francisco - (415) 967-3053

Santa Clara county
B2 Perfection Auto Body
Sunnyvale - (408) 800-1693
Craftsmen's Guild, Inc.,
Cupertino - (408) 785-9925
USA Contractors Group,
San Jose - (866) 903-0077

Santa Cruz County 
Companion Animal Hospital
Santa Cruz - (831) 288-8383

Solano County 
Javco Window & Glass Contractors, Inc.
Napa - (415) 523-0014

Sonoma County
Affordable wall to wall Remodeling,
Santa Rosa - (707) 999-7853
Diadem Finish Carpentry,
Sonoma - (415) 484-5042 & (707) 500-2661
The Hand Group Inc.,
Petaluma - (707) 595-8624

Stanislaus County 
Pinnacle Painting Inc.
Oakdale - (650) 273-5406

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

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