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 VOL. 7, ISSUE 1 - JANUARY 2014

In This Issue

How to Make Better Buying Decisions in the New Year

Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card


Your “To Do” Winter Maintenance Checklist

Consumer Feedback:
Bayside Mechanical, Inc.


New Diamond Certified
Companies


Savvy Tips of the Month

Maintaining Wood Window Frames

Controlling Your Digital Legacy

Three Signs It’s Time to Help


Diamond Certified Quick Links

SAVVY CONSUMER TIPS

DIAMOND CERTIFIED
PREFERRED CONSUMER


DIAMOND CERTIFIED
COMPANIES


PERFORMANCE
GUARANTEE


DIAMOND CERTIFIED
DIFFERENCE



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


How to Make Better Buying Decisions
in the New Year

  searching for services
Consumer Action makes it easy to research services online before you buy.

We all can learn to be savvier when it comes to making decisions about how to spend our hard-earned money. One of the best new sources of help is Consumer Action’s free Pre-purchase Resource Guide. The Internet has made shopping for products and services easier than ever, but the numerous options can still be overwhelming. Consumer Action reviewed 38 websites that analyze everything from financial services and energy savings to auto safety and wireless phone services. They describe the educational tools available on each site and highlight the standouts.

When it comes to checking and financial services, for example, the Guide reviews CheckingOptions.com, which allows consumers to compare bank fees, balance requirements and account services. In this category, Consumer Action identifies NerdWallet.com as a standout for its easy navigation and “Ask an Advisor” feature. You can compare credit cards, checking and savings accounts, and investment accounts in one spot.

In the broadband and wireless phone service category, you’ll find information about J.D. Power’s U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study. However, Consumer Action says the standout for consumers is the Wall Street Journal’s new Wireless Savings Calculator, which helps you do a cost comparison between providers. You don’t have to be a WSJ subscriber to use it.

So, make sure you start the new year on the right foot by downloading the Pre-purchase Resource Guide, which Consumer Action says will give you a “leg up” on purchases throughout 2014.

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

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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 diamondcertified.org, a double Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee and more. Join now to get a free copy of the 2013 Diamond Certified Directory! Visit www.diamondcertified.org/user/register to get started.
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Your “To Do” Winter Maintenance Checklist

  Landmark Landscapes
Don’t wait until spring to come up with a landscape plan. This one was designed by Landmark Landscapes, a Diamond Certified company.

Most of us need a few reminders when it comes to home and car maintenance during the winter. Here’s a basic (and doable!) checklist I’ve compiled for you after talking to some of our Diamond Certified experts.

  1. Check your windshield wiper blades. They should be replaced once a year.
  2. Check your tires for tread wear. Worn tires are unsafe on wet roads.
  3. Your ceiling fans should be reversed in the winter after you turn on your heat.
  4. Clear out your gutters and check the downspouts for leaks.
  5. Feel for cold air leaks around windows and doors. You might need to do some caulking.
  6. If you have a fireplace, have it checked and cleaned by a chimney sweep. Creosote buildup needs to be removed.
  7. Have an arborist evaluate any hanging tree limbs and make sure your trees are healthy.
  8. Consider installing an Internet thermostat to keep utility bills down.
  9. Check your dryer vents—if they’re clogged, it could cause a fire.
  10. Don’t wait until spring to develop a landscape plan. Winter is the best time to have an expert help you come up with a design so you’ll be ready to install your plants in March.
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Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers

Re: Bayside Mechanical, Inc.


Dear Diamond Certified,

My mother’s heater went out during the recent cold snap. She’s 82 years old, so I help her with many of her affairs, as she is frequently taken advantage of. I was worried this time because I was out of town and couldn’t immediately help her with this problem. My fiancé sent me to Diamond Certified to find a reputable company. I called Bayside Mechanical, Inc. in San Mateo, gave my mom some tips and their phone number, and let it play out. A couple days later, we heard a glowing report. Two people arrived in a timely fashion and were clean, respectful, efficient, and polite. They immediately made the diagnosis—a broken ignition switch. This made me very happy, as a neighbor had previously come by to help Mom with a pre-diagnosis and came to the same conclusion.

Clearly, we all wanted the opinion of the professional. Bayside came in quickly, correctly made the diagnosis and did the repair at a fair price. They took care of my mom without any attempt to upsell her. This experience has made me a believer in Diamond Certified and a big fan of Bayside Mechanical. On top of that, they saw an insulated heater cover that her handyman recently installed and showed her where it was beginning to brown (meaning burn!). They redid the affected area the way it should have been done for no extra charge. That was a potential fire waiting to happen! They will have all our business going forward because we know we can trust them. Thanks, Bayside, for taking such good care of my mom!

Sincerely,
K.T., San Mateo

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


Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified


ALAMEDA COUNTY
AMM Fencing

San Ramon - (925) 452-7988

Import Motors
Oakland - (510) 972-4906

Montclair Construction & Structural, Inc.
Oakland - (510) 250-2727

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
Pleasanton Heating & Air Conditioning
Concord - (510) 456-0082
Walnut Creek Heating & Air Conditioning
Concord - (510) 456-0082

MARIN COUNTY
Awnco Retractables
San Rafael - (415) 754-3986
Judy L. Husen, D.D.S.
Larkspur - (415) 754-3943
Tree Pros
Mill Valley - (415) 763-5933

MONTEREY
Poulos Moving Systems
Salinas - (831) 704-6925

SAN MATEO COUNTY
Peninsula Parking

San Carlos - (650) 564-3219

SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Sara T. Truong, DDS, APC
Mountain View - (650) 564-3213

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Michal Gerard Construction
Soquel - (831) 296-2839

Scott’s Body Shop
Santa Cruz - (831) 704-6924

SOLANO COUNTY
Wayne’s Repair
Fairfield - (707) 847-6974

SONOMA COUNTY
Empire Optometry
Santa Rosa - (707) 861-0944
Four Paws Pet Ranch
Santa Rosa - (707) 902-3984
Holly & Associates, Inc.
Santa Rosa - (707) 901-7943
JD Building
Cotati - (707) 847-6985

 

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