The Diamond Certified® Consumer Report Twitter link Facebook link
 VOL. 4, ISSUE 6 - JUNE 2011

In This Issue

Why is Choosing So Hard?

Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card

Consumer Feedback:
Weeks Drilling & Pump Company

Pre-Road Trip Checkup Keeps You Rolling

New Diamond Certified

Savvy Tips of the Month

Sewer Lines Without Trenches

Technical Design Tips for a More Functional Kitchen

No More Whining Over the Wine Tab

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Dear Savvy Consumer:
The Art of Choosing

I was shopping for a razor in a drugstore recently and found myself overwhelmed by the many choices. Modern razors come in all kinds of colors and have ultra-thin blades—as many as six for the closest shave possible. Picking out a razor used to take a few minutes; now, it’s an ordeal.

This got me thinking: Why is choosing so hard? According to Columbia University business professor Sheena Iyengar, it’s because three mental exercises are involved in choice. In her book, The Art of Choosing, she says we first have to know what we want. Next, we have to know what our options are. Finally, we need to size up the tradeoffs.

What Ms. Iyengar found in her research is that too many choices paralyze and frustrate us. She tested this by conducting a “jam study,” where shoppers were offered an assortment of jams. When people were showed 24 flavors, only 3 percent of them made a purchase. When the other group was presented with six jams, 30 percent bought a jar. Ms. Iyengar replicated this experiment with 401(k) plans and Medicare prescription drug plans and had similar results.

So what’s the right number of choices for us? Since the 1950s, brain research has shown that we’re only able to keep track of five to nine choices. With this number, we can evaluate what’s available and sort through the tradeoffs for those particular items. Narrowing choices makes consumers feel more confident and happier with their buying decisions.

That’s the great part about using the Diamond Certified Directory and website: The list of companies in a given category has been narrowed down to the top-rated businesses in your county. Shopping and choosing become less overwhelming because you’re provided with key information that helps you make an educated choice. And to help you feel even more confident in your buying decision, transactions with Diamond Certified companies are always backed by a money-back performance guarantee. Read more about the guarantee here.

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Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer
Chris Bjorklund

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Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers
Re: Weeks Drilling & Pump Company
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I called your office about two hours ago. It’s a Sunday and tomorrow is a holiday. Charlie was here within the hour and fixed the problem. We now have water! He is the most knowledgeable person. He answered all our questions and offered suggestions as well. What a genius! We couldn't be happier. I can't wait to brag about your company at my networking meeting next week. He also gave me a sticker to put on the tank and a magnet for the fridge. You guys rock! Thanks so much, you made our month!—K.B.

Pre-Road Trip Checkup Keeps You Rolling
The summer driving season officially began Memorial Day weekend, when AAA estimated 3.5 million Californians would hit the road.

There’s still a lot of summer left. If you plan to travel by car, schedule an auto checkup to avoid spending part of your vacation by the side of the road.

Here are the main things to have checked:
  • Tires: Are they wearing evenly? Is there enough tread remaining? Are they inflated to the recommended air pressure? Consider carrying a real tire as a spare rather than the small, temporary wheel designed to just get you to the nearest service station.

  • Cooling and air conditioning systems: Check the radiator, water pump, hoses, belts, cooling fans and other parts of the cooling system to prevent overheating. If you’ll be traveling to high-temperature areas, have your air conditioning system serviced first.

  • Fluids and basic mechanics: Check all the fluids, including oil, transmission, power steering, brake, antifreeze/coolant and windshield washer—and check for leaks. If you’re approaching the due date for an oil change, a new air filter or other regular service, take care of that before your trip. Have the brakes inspected. Make sure all bulbs are working—headlights, tail lights, brake lights, fog lights and turn signals. Are the battery connections clean? Replace the wiper blades in case you get caught in a summer storm.

Consult a professional—mechanic, auto technician or other auto pro—for those parts of the checkup you aren’t confident doing yourself.

Diamond Certified ® Only companies rated Highest in Quality earn Diamond Certified Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified

First Choice Abbey Carpet,
Danville ‑ (925) 303‑4256

Above & Beyond Catering
San Francisco - (415) 326-3429
Puma Moving Company,
San Francisco - (415) 326-3164

Sonoma county
Boden Plumbing, Inc.
Sonoma ‑ (707) 376‑8588
American Ratings Corporation - Diamond Certified • 504 Redwood Blvd. • Suite 210 Novato, California 94947 • (877) 312-1307
©2011 American Ratings Corporation  
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