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 VOL. 8, ISSUE 2 - FEBRUARY 2015

In This Issue

Raw Honesty:
What Consumers Want in Pricing

Diamond Certified Preferred
Consumer Card

One Way to Prepare for Emergencies

Consumer Feedback:
Steve Roberts Painting

Diamond Certified Directory: Digital Edition

Savvy Tips of the Month

Locking in Your Utility Rate with Solar

How to Get Your To Do List Done

Supercharge Your Credit Score

Diamond Certified Quick Links






Read this newsletter and prior issues at Diamond Certified Newsletter Twitter

Raw Honesty: What
Consumers Want in Pricing

Financial transparency has been shown to increase consumers’ attraction to a brand.

A few weeks ago, when I called an appliance repair service to fix a problem with my refrigerator, the technician was extremely clear about the cost of his services. The minimum for a house call was $89, and after that, he billed in 15-minute increments for his labor. He would not be charging for his travel time. However, the parts were extra, and at that point he didn’t know if any would be needed to fix a freezer with a layer of ice building up underneath the ice cube trays. I appreciated his direct approach and transparency. Upon arrival, he quickly diagnosed the problem and made the tricky repair. The total bill of $170 didn’t surprise me, and I was thrilled to have the fridge working in time for the holidays.

In the retail sector, I’ve noticed how a few companies (like online retailer Everlane) are taking a novel approach and disclosing variable production costs for individual products. Everlane sometimes posts information and images about their suppliers, too. Sharing cost breakdowns is a form of “intimate disclosure” that’s well-received by consumers, according to a Harvard Business School (HBS) paper titled “Lifting the Veil: The Benefits of Cost Transparency,” by Bhavya Mohan, Ryan Buell and Leslie John. They say transparency only backfires when cost disclosures lead to the perception that prices are out of sync with the norm, so consumers have the perception of being ripped off.

I believe—and research backs this up—that savvy consumers appreciate having costs explained to them. Transparency increases our attraction to a brand and makes us trust it more. In fact, the HBS researchers found that when a business reveals everything that goes into a product or service, we tend to value the product more. I’m all for raw honesty. How about you?

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 Winter Diamond Certified Directory Update! Visit to get started.

One Way to Prepare for Emergencies

At a recent disaster preparation training seminar, we were advised to do a few small things right away. One particularly valuable suggestion was to post basic medical information on your refrigerator for emergency responders. The Vial of Life Project makes it easy. You fill out a simple form listing your prescription medications and doctor information. The form goes into a baggie, and you place a decal on the front of it and paste it onto your refrigerator. The baggie might also include a copy of your photo, a recent EKG, a living will and DNR (do not resuscitate) documentation. You should place it at eye level. Some people like to add a second pouch on the front door.

Making this information easy to find can mean the difference between life and death, especially for seniors and those with serious medical conditions. The Vial of Life Project, a nonprofit organization, makes this kit available free of charge.
Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers

Dear Diamond Certified:

If I could give Steve Roberts Painting 10 stars, I would. I reviewed various painting contractors and bids, including Steve Roberts Painting. I had an instant trust in Steve the first day I met him. His experience, knowledge of paints and customer service are exemplary. Steve’s job was to paint my home’s interior and exterior, which included a large deck and old wrought iron stair rails.

My realtor and I were logistically juggling several contractors at once to complete certain jobs before the rain came. Steve and his “dream team” were instrumental in their various recommendations, and they made life incredibly easy and less stressful for us. They were able to work around the other contractors and transformed my 1948 “plain Jane” cottage into a beautiful looking home, inside and out. I was very happy!

For all the detailed work that had to be done, Steve and his team got it done on time and on budget. I’ve worked with many contractors over the years, and I must say that Steve Roberts Painting is the contractor standard of professionalism, integrity, thoughtfulness and customer service. I highly recommend Steve Roberts Painting to anyone who needs interior or exterior painting work.

—J.H., Contra Costa County

Diamond Certified Directory: Digital Edition

Did you know that as a Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer, you have instant access to the digital Diamond Certified Directory? As part of your membership, you received the print version of the Winter 2015 Diamond Certified Directory Update in your mailbox last month. Just click on your region below to download a free digital version to your computer, phone or tablet.

Alameda County
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Why do so many people trust Diamond Certified companies? It’s because our ratings process is the most accurate and rigorous in the Bay Area. We only survey real customers that are randomly sampled to avoid “cherry picking” good reviews. We typically survey 400 past customers from each company, which ensures our results are statistically reliable and accurate. In fact, most companies can’t pass our test, so you can feel confident knowing only those rated Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction earn Diamond Certified.

Every Diamond Certified company must continue to deliver on its promises to you, the consumer. That’s why we conduct ongoing customer satisfaction research and credential-based ratings, monitor each company’s performance, and back you up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee.

To start finding hundreds of top rated local companies, simply browse the Winter Directory Update by business category. All the information you need to get connected with outstanding local companies is at your fingertips.

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