Click to view this email in a browser
The Diamond Certified® Consumer Report Twitter link Facebook link
 VOL. 5, ISSUE 5 - MAY 2012

In This Issue

No Diamond Certified Companies?
Now What?

Diamond Certified Community Giving Project

Ask Chris

Consumer Feedback:
Mike Testa
Plumbing, Inc.

Savvy Tips of the Month

Boost Your Credit Score

Signs of Problem Pruning

How a Notary Protects Personal Information

Diamond Certified Quick Links






Facebook - Twitter Twitter link Facebook link

Read this newsletter and prior issues at Diamond Certified Newsletter Twitter

No Diamond Certified Companies? Now What?

Last month, I needed to hire a moving company to ship some large furniture from Arizona to California. Normally, choosing a mover would have been a matter of simply checking the Diamond Certified Directory for providers in my area, calling for estimates and then selecting a provider. But Diamond Certified isn’t an option for an interstate move originating in Arizona, so finding a quality company became a time-consuming guessing game instead.

First, I tried moving company referral services. After putting a description of my move online, I got bombarded with sales calls and emails for hours and days on end. One company representative who stuck out seemed knowledgeable and sincere. I was impressed that his estimate arrived quickly and that he listed many credentials and a license number…until I dug a little deeper.

First, I checked the Department of Transportation license number, which didn’t match the company name on the paperwork. When I clicked on the license number to open the file, the status was listed as “not operational.” I also discovered the company had its insurance revoked in 2008. Different names and different websites came up for the same license number. The end of the line was when the rep wouldn’t return my calls and emails when I started asking about these irregularities.

After hours of searching and vetting, I still wasn’t satisfied with my options. Fortunately, I remembered the name of a great mover I used for a local relocation in Phoenix years ago. I called and asked him to recommend an interstate mover, and the company he suggested was outstanding. The estimate was straightforward, the packers were on time and professional, and the delivery to my home in California was completely trouble-free.

This whole experience reminded me how hard it can be to find reliable, trustworthy service providers, and how lucky we Bay Area consumers are to have such a fantastic source for quality referrals in the Diamond Certified Directory and website.

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!

Ask Chris
Dear Chris,
When solicitors come to your home

I recently received a suspicious-looking letter that appeared to be from the State Controller’s Office—it stated that a company I did business with in 2007 is holding a refund of $246.65 that belongs to me. I couldn’t recall doing business with the company listed on the form, and when I called the customer service number on the letter, they asked all kinds of personal questions and wanted a credit card number or my bank account number. That made me nervous. The letter says if I don’t take action before June 1, 2012, the entire amount will be turned over to the state. Am I about to be scammed? —M.M.

Dear M.M.,
My best advice is to confirm the customer service center’s legitimacy on your own by doing a Google search. Check to see if the phone numbers and addresses match up with what’s stated in the letter. If they’re different, call the corporate customer service line you found online and explain the situation to them. The State Controller’s Office’s Unclaimed Property Division offers consumer advice on how to claim property that has already been turned over to the state ( You don’t have to pay a third party to investigate whether the state is holding money, stock or safe deposit box contents in your name…you can do it yourself. —Chris
Need advice on a consumer problem? Send your questions to me at Due to the volume, I cannot respond to each question personally.

Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers
Re: Mike Testa Plumbing, Inc.

Dear Diamond Certified,

I wanted to let you know how pleased I am with Mike Testa Plumbing. From the moment they answered the telephone, they were personable, professional, sincere and wanting to help. Their price was fantastic and the job was done in under an hour with a discount for “older people.” Mike Testa’s bill was reasonable and they were open to coming back if I had any problems. I congratulate Mike Testa Plumbing on the way they do business. I have given their name to the Marin Water District and many friends who have had good results. Thank you for your book.


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

Twitter link Facebook link