Savvy Consumer Tips
|Your Spring Garden “To Do” List
It’s not too early to get your planting soil ready for a spring garden by spreading compost, fertilizing, and turning over the soil, according to Alan Kostelnik, owner of Gardens of the Wine Country, a Diamond Certified company. A few veggies, such as peas, lettuce,…
Click to continue »
STOP THIEF! Be Careful What You Discard
I will be the first to admit that I have never thought twice about throwing any and all pre-approved credit card solicitations into the trash. David Rhoads, Vice President of SureShred, a Diamond Certified company, warns against… Click to continue »
Comparison Shopping for Custom Cabinets and Closets
When you make a substantial investment in custom cabinets or closets, it’s important to get several bids, but it can be tricky. Customers trying to comparison shop may not realize that in order to do an apples-to-apples comparison, they need to... Click to continue »
Read more Savvy
Dear Savvy Consumer:
What’s been your experience with consumer review sites? I recently used one to find an esthetician in San Francisco. One salon had more than a dozen glowing reviews. I booked a facial and came away underwhelmed; the service was average. I began to wonder, “Who is writing those reviews?”
Out of curiosity, I looked up another service on the same website—my doctor for the past 12 years. You couldn’t ask for a more committed professional and competent diagnostician. Yet, she and her office had some negative reviews along with the positive ones. Again, I asked myself, “Who is writing these reviews? And more important, can they be trusted?”
I’ve had good experiences with poorly rated businesses, and average to bad service at highly-rated businesses, so I’ve concluded that many consumer review sites are unreliable. What’s much more useful for consumers is an objective rating system based on a sound and proven methodology, like the one used to rate Diamond Certified companies.
At the heart of Diamond Certified’s ratings are live interviews with real customers, not friends, relatives and/or competitors. The Diamond Certified Program is the only one that verifies a person actually purchased from a company. Surveys are random and the sample size is large, so the results accurately extrapolate to the company’s entire customer base. You can feel confident that a highly rated company is really a good company, and you’re likely to have a good experience with a Diamond Certified company for this reason.
To see more details about the thorough Diamond Certified ratings process, visit www.diamondcertified.org. Companies who’ve earned Diamond Certified are rated on an ongoing basis, and their performances are backed by a money-back guarantee.
Which brings me back to my opening question: What’s been your experience with consumer review sites? Send me your answers via Twitter @asavvyconsumer.
The Savvy Consumer
Join me on Twitter & Facebook
P.S. Encourage relatives and friends to order the just-released 2011 Diamond Certified Directory, and keep your copy with your other phone directories.
Opt-Out Site for Yellow Pages Directories
The city of San Francisco has been making its way toward passing a ban on the unwanted distribution of commercial phone directories, also known as “Yellow Pages.” The purpose of the ban is to reduce the number of books that go directly from doorstep to landfill, now that the Internet has become the go-to source of information for many, if not most, consumers.
Regardless of where you live or whether or not the San Francisco legislation passes, eco-conscious consumers who want to stop receiving Yellow Pages directories can opt out at www.yellowpagesoptout.com, a site developed by the Yellow Pages Association and the Association of Directory Publishers. It only takes a minute to register and choose which directories you no longer need, or you can opt out of all of them with a single click on the option toward the bottom of the page.
Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers
Re: Reliable Glass
I wanted to thank you for the great job you did on my windshield last week. You were ready when you said you would be, did the job in the time you said it would take, and charged me what I thought was a fair price.
As you know, I found your company through the Diamond Certified network. I use their companies for most of my needs and am very comfortable with companies associated with them.
Companies Recently Earning
Catamount Design, Berkeley, CA
Magallanes Automotive, Richmond, CA
Midas of El Cerrito/Richmond, El Cerrito, CA
George McGill's Body Shop, Inc., San Lorenzo, CA
Amigo Rooter and Plumbing, Livermore, CA
Automobile Collision Center, Hayward, CA
Silmar Flooring, Pleasanton, CA
Contra Costa County
Simply Superior Auto Body, Concord, CA
Kelly Plumbing & Heating, Novato, CA
Avenue Body Shop, Inc., San Francisco, CA
Santa Clara County
Ruth Z. Barron, State Farm Insurance, Saratoga, CA
HPS Palo Alto, Inc., Los Altos, CA
Earl L. Whetstone II, DDS, Palo Alto, CA
Love Your Floors, San Jose, CA
Sequoia Carpet Rug & Upholstery, Mountain View, CA
Howard M. May, DDS, Los Gatos, CA
San Mateo County
Pacific Plumbing, Redwood City, CA
Advanced Auto Glass & Detail, Santa Rosa, CA
REACH Air Medical Services, Santa Rosa, CA