The Diamond Certified® Consumer Report Twitter link Facebook link
 VOL. 5, ISSUE 11 - NOVEMBER 2012

In This Issue

Sneaky Car Rental Practices

Diamond Certified Community Giving Project


10 Timely Turkey Tips


Consumer Feedback:
On Time Builders


New Diamond Certified
Companies


Savvy Tips of the Month

Stuff About Squash You didn’t Know

How to Reduce Pesticide Use in Your Home

Your Car’s Blind Spot May Be Bigger Than You Think


Diamond Certified Quick Links

SAVVY CONSUMER TIPS

DIAMOND CERTIFIED
PREFERRED CONSUMER


DIAMOND CERTIFIED
COMPANIES


PERFORMANCE
GUARANTEE


DIAMOND CERTIFIED
DIFFERENCE


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Read this newsletter and prior issues at Diamond Certified Newsletter http://www.diamondcertified.org/consumer-resources/tips http://www.diamondcertified.org/user/register http://www.diamondcertified.org/ http://www.diamondcertified.org/diamond-certified-performance-guarantee http://www.diamondcertified.org/about-us Twitter


Sneaky Car Rental Practices

watch the fine print

Nobody, and I mean nobody, likes to be “had.” I’m still fuming from something that happened a few weeks ago, but venting about it here will help both of us.

When I rented a car recently, I expected the usual sales pitch from the agent. “Would you like to pre-pay for gas?” No. “Would you like to rent a GPS?” No. “Would you like to upgrade to a bigger car?” No. “Would you like to buy the collision damage waiver (CDW)?” Definitely a big NO—I never buy the CDW because my own insurance company covers my husband and me while driving anywhere in the United States and Canada. “How about a pre-paid toll tag for the new toll road?” Well, yes, we do want that.

After rejecting everything but the toll tag, the agent asked my husband (the primary driver) for his license and signature in a number of places. He signed and thought he was agreeing to exactly what had just been discussed. Truthfully, we didn’t re-read the agreement right then—we were tired, busy getting directions, and inspecting the vehicle for pre-existing damage so we wouldn’t get penalized for any dents or dings. We threw the contract into the glove compartment and forgot about it for the next five days.

Upon returning the rental car, we signed a credit card receipt and ran to catch our flight. It wasn’t until I reviewed the papers on the plane that I realized we had been charged an extra $14.95 per day for the CDW that we didn’t want in the first place! I complained to customer service, and sure enough, they had my husband’s initials, showing he had accepted the insurance which we had verbally rejected. Customer service refused any adjustment on our bill, claiming we had benefited from having the coverage while renting the car, and discounted my claim that we specifically said we didn’t want that extra coverage. The agent had tricked us.

By the way, on that same trip, we rented a second car in another city from a competing rental agency. It was the same sales pitch, but this time, we both re-read the agreement, clearly rejected the CDW, and the sales agent didn’t do anything sneaky. That’s the company I’ll choose next time.


Chris Bjorklund signature
Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer
Email: chrisbjorklund@diamondcertified.org
Twitter: twitter.com/ASavvyConsumer
Blog: blog.diamondcertified.org

Chris Bjorklund
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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 Pets Unlimited, Marin Humane Society, and Parents Helping Parents, 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 www.diamondcertified.org, a double Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee and more. Join now by calling (800) 313-1009 or visiting www.diamondcertified.org/donate. 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!

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10 Timely Turkey Tips
  1. turkey time!
    Look for an additive-free turkey. Additives aren’t allowed in fresh turkeys or those cut into parts. Processed turkeys can contain additives such as MSG, salt or sodium erythorbate, and those ingredients are listed on the label in descending order.
  2. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says you shouldn’t rinse raw turkey before cooking it to reduce chances of spreading bacteria around your counters and sink.
  3. Both “hen” and “tom” turkeys are equally tender. The only difference is toms are larger.
  4. Product dating is up to stores and turkey processors. Look for the words “Best if Used By” for the best flavor or quality.
  5. The best way to thaw a turkey is slowly—one day for every four to five pounds.
  6. If you thaw your turkey in a microwave, cook it right away.
  7. When cooking turkey, the internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.
  8. For “optimum safety,” cook stuffing outside of the turkey instead of inside. (That’s a tough one for some of us.)
  9. Leftover turkey will last three to four days in the refrigerator and about four months in the freezer.
  10. Call the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline if you have any questions: 1(888) MPHotline. You can also send them an email—they’ll be open on Thanksgiving Day.
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Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers

Subject: On Time Builders

Dear Diamond Certified,

We just completed a small project and we’re totally happy with the price, the work and the people involved. This company has our recommendation for outstanding work. —J. & A.M.

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


Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified


ALAMEDA county
Mark's Transmission Service
Fremont - (510) 255-4678


CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
Construction Republic

Concord - (510) 545-9588

Qualtech Heating & Cooling
Danville - (925) 263-9202


san francisco
American Clover Construction
San Francisco - (415) 891-0366


SAN MATEO COUNTY
Construction Services

Loma Mar - (650) 735-3387


SOLANO COUNTY
Sonoma Auto Tech Inc.
Vallejo - (707) 469-3926

SONOMA COUNTY
Automotive Excellence

Rohnert Park  - (707) 652-9793
Autobahn Anything Detailing
Santa Rosa - (707) 666-0220

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