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 VOL. 7, ISSUE 8 - AUGUST 2014

In This Issue

A Brazilian, a Popcorn Machine and Customer Satisfaction

Diamond Certified Preferred
Consumer Card

Cars and Your Teenage Driver

Consumer Feedback:
Mister Sparky

New Diamond Certified

Savvy Tips of the Month

Preparing for a Road Trip

How to Prevent Gum Recession

Oak Tree Maintenance: The Basics

Diamond Certified Quick Links






Read this newsletter and prior issues at Diamond Certified Newsletter Twitter

A Brazilian, a Popcorn Machine and Customer Satisfaction

  popcorn machine
For Amazon, the long-term satisfaction of a customer was worth more than the cost of a popcorn machine.

We’ve developed a culture of consumer activism and engagement in this country that ends up rewarding companies that pay attention to the quality of their service. As consumers become more aware of what they can ask a company for (and expect better service as a result), the companies that provide higher quality service are the ones getting repeat customers and a bigger market share, both of which lead to higher profits. We take this for granted in the United States, but if you’ve ever traveled, you’ve likely found that this mentality simply doesn’t exist among many consumers and businesses in most other countries.

Take Brazil, for example, which I was fortunate to visit in June with my family for the World Cup. A young woman I met there was eager to tell me about her experience buying a popcorn machine for her mother for Mother’s Day. She ordered it from and had it shipped to friends in Los Angeles, who brought it down to Brazil. The family was crestfallen when they opened the box. The machine was dented and missing parts, so it didn’t work. She told me that in Brazil, she wouldn’t have any options—there was no possibility of a replacement or refund, so complaining would have been pointless. But since Amazon is a U.S. company, she decided to write an email that described her mother’s disappointment and included pictures of the damage. To her amazement, Amazon responded within 48 hours. They told her she would get a full refund, and additionally, she didn’t even have to ship the machine back from Brazil. Based on this experience, you know she’s going to use Amazon again.

The point is that companies will never respond unless consumers consistently speak up. Amazon knew she had no recourse under the circumstances, and they didn’t have to give her the money back, but they valued her future business more than the cost of a damaged popcorn machine. When you take the long view, it just makes sense to provide customers with lifelong, quality service.

Chris Bjorklund signature
Chris BjorklundChris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer

Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card

Diamond Certified® Preferred Customer Card

Have you signed up to become a Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer? 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 to get a free copy of the 2014 Diamond Certified Directory! Visit to get started.

Cars and Your Teenage Driver

  Diablo Motors showroom
If you’re looking for a car for your teenager, newer, low-mileage vehicles are best. These ones are available at Diablo Motors Auto Sales, Brokerage, Consignment, Service.

Do you know what kind of car you should look for if you’re buying one for a new teenage driver? Many people give their teens an old “third car”—a backup vehicle that’s just hanging around. That’s how my son ended up driving a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle to high school after he got his license. Other parents figure that because the vehicle will probably end up ruined, it’s better to go with a cheap, older car. However, according to Dave Kusa, owner of Autotrend Diagnostics, a Diamond Certified company, that’s not a good strategy.

Dave recommends purchasing the newest, lowest mileage car you can afford, mainly because of the safety features. “A lot of newer vehicles have all-wheel anti-lock brakes, multiple airbags, active suspensions and crash avoidance systems,” he explains. If you decide to go with a used car, have a mechanic review its service records and give it a thorough check-up before you finalize the transaction.


Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers

Dear Diamond Certified:

David from Mister Sparky performed a service at my home today and was knowledgeable and efficient. I took his name and number for any future electrical needs I may have. I was extremely satisfied with his service.

Thank you,
J.P., Santa Clara

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

Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified

Big O Tires – Pleasanton

Pleasanton, (925) 201-6396
Integrity Protective Services, Inc.

Oakland, (877) 312-3301

Golden Gate Moving Co.

South San Francisco, (650) 239-6048
McDecor Inc.
San Mateo, (650) 239-6049

Alcal Specialty Contracting, Inc.

Santa Clara, (877) 312-3532

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