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 VOL. 8, ISSUE 8 - AUGUST 2015

In This Issue

No-Nonsense Customer Service

Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Auto Insurance Discounts

Consumer Feedback:
Acme Auto Repair

Diamond Certified Companies

Savvy Tips of the Month

But Baby, It’s Hot Outside

Residential Solar power: The Basics

Tech Support: How to Care for Your Computer

Diamond Certified Quick Links






Read this newsletter and previous issues at

No-Nonsense Customer Service

  For Chris, a recent trip to the tire shop turned into a lesson in great customer service. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2015)

Recently, when I needed a new set of tires for my Toyota Avalon, I got just what I wanted: no-nonsense customer service.

I called a tire shop and scheduled an appointment for the next day. When I arrived, the salesman waited on me right away and gave me a straightforward explanation of my options with no upselling. When I asked him to find out where the tires were manufactured (Consumer Reports had recommended against some brands made in China), he had the answer for me in a few minutes. The salesman suggested staying nearby while the tires were installed because it would only take about 30 minutes. He even directed me to an excellent place for coffee.

When I returned, my car was ready as promised. But I had one more question: Could he check my spare tire and let me know if it was in good condition and safe to drive on? After a quick inspection, he assured me that it was fine.

Over the past few weeks, my husband and I have experienced the same kind of no-nonsense customer service from an estate planning attorney. We had a free 30-minute consultation where our trust, will and medical directives were reviewed. In that session, the attorney noted how laws have changed in recent years. He found several errors in our existing documents and offered good remedies. Next, he explained his fees and what was included in that price. He made it simple for us to understand, and once again, there was no upselling. Instead of trying to close the arrangement and get us to write a check, he advised us to go home and think about whether we wanted to hire him, and he would wait to hear back from us. That gave us confidence that we had found the right firm.

Why don’t more service providers adopt this philosophy? If the potential customer thinks the business is hiding something or isn’t clear, they logically become suspicious and adversarial. However, consumers and businesses both have everything to gain from a straightforward, transparent, honest statement of what to expect and what it’s going to cost.

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 2015 Summer Diamond Certified Directory Update! Visit to get started.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Auto Insurance Discounts


Review your auto insurance policy to make sure you’re getting the best value. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2015)

It’s a good idea to review your auto insurance policy every so often to see not only what you’re paying for, but also to find out how to reduce the premium. Many consumers miss out on discounts simply because they don’t know about them. For example, did you know that many insurance companies will lower the premium for students with good grades?

Here are some other common discounts to inquire about the next time you talk to your agent (discounts will vary from company to company):

• Insuring more than one vehicle with your provider
• Using the same company to insure your home
• Taking a defensive driving course
• Driving fewer miles a year than the average policyholder
• Having a clean driving record for more than three years
• Installing anti-theft devices

Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers

Dear Diamond Certified:

Acme Auto Repair was recommended to me by another auto repair shop since they were so busy. I was satisfied with all of the work they performed on my wife’s BMW. The work would have cost two or three times as much if I had brought it to the dealership. I liked their honest quotes and excellent steam cleaning of the engine. I would recommend Acme Auto Repair to everyone.

Thank you,
C.R., Contra Costa County
Diamond Certified ® Only companies rated Highest in Quality earn Diamond Certified

Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified

BR Electric

Pleasanton – (925) 922-7371

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Richmond – (510) 275-3708

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GBA Realty

San Francisco – (415) 829-7711

Trew Tree Experts, Inc.

Santa Rosa – (707) 235-3914

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