In This Issue
Diamond Certified Resources


Savvy Consumer Tips

Dear Savvy Consumer,

When I experience bad service, I am often surprised at the different approaches companies take in responding to my problem. I may walk away annoyed, angry and frustrated, OR I could be singing the company’s praises. It all depends.

Recently we ordered sandwiches at the Lone Pine Café, a small diner, on a busy Saturday afternoon. The food arrived 45 minutes later, and even though the waitress apologized, we were still fuming. Our mood changed radically when the waitress, instead of delivering the bill, set down a tray of hot fudge sundaes. This simple, inexpensive apology completely changed our impression of the place.

In business lingo, this is called “service recovery.” What does a company do to recover from a service failure that disappointed or angered a customer? The truth is some businesses work hard at identifying customers with issues and then address those issues to the customers’ satisfaction to keep them coming back.

We consumers cannot expect that problems will not arise in our various transactions. But we should carefully evaluate how a business responds when things go wrong. Do your providers take a positive approach to complaint handling? Does the company try hard to win you back and regain your confidence? Is the resolution speedy and fair?

Businesses that systematically promote customer satisfaction will have a plan in place for what to do when things go awry. They teach their employees why it’s important to place themselves in your shoes. They will find creative ways to retain your business, and who knows, you could come away singing their praises.


Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer

Xeriscape: The Green Way to Garden

Fall is the best time to plant in Northern California, allowing new transplants to benefit from the expected winter rains. But what happens if the rains don’t come? As anyone who’s lived in California for more than a few years knows, the occasional drought is as sure a bet as the rains.

So, the next time you go to the nursery, shop with water conservation in mind, making selections that require little or no watering when established. Two great guides for picking the right plants for your plot are the Sunset Western Garden Book, published by Sunset Books, and the California Gardener’s Guide (Volume II), by Nan Sterman. Nursery staff can also steer you toward drought-tolerant plants.

As the cover of Sterman’s book illustrates, xeriscape — landscaping designed specifically for its ability to resist drought — doesn’t mean giving up lush greenery and flowers.

Let’s Talk Turkey

Deep-fried turkey has won many devotees over recent years. But deep-frying is a potentially hazardous process that can result in burns and fires. To see exactly what can happen when dunking a large bird in a big vat of hot oil, watch the cautionary video posted to YouTube. If that doesn’t dissuade you, at least follow the safety tips offered by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which tests and certifies products for public safety. (UL has not certified any turkey fryer as safe.)

For a much safer Thanksgiving, go retro and cook your turkey in the oven, just like mom used to do.

Kudos from Diamond Certified Customers

Dear Diamond Cerftified,

Thanks for the service you do for the consumer. I want to let you know that I consulted Jim Allen, manager of one of your vendors, Allen Heating & Sheet Metal in Marin county, about air conditioning my house. Instead of selling me an expensive job that would not be satisfactory, Jim was honest with me about the fact that my house had too many features antithetical to effective air conditioning.

I really appreciate Jim's forthrightness with us and will recommend them to others. I really like doing business with families that have been in business a long time.


Linton Page

Companies Recently Earning
Diamond Certified®

Alameda County
Genesis Stoneworks, Fremont

Contra Costa County
Paramount Technology, Concord

Marin County
Diego Bros. Inc., San Rafael
HouseSavers / DeckMasters, San Rafael
Wine Country Cabinetry & Design, Petaluma

Monterey & San Benito Counties
Jim Russo Insurance Agency, State Farm Agent, Monterey

San Francisco
Alan J. Moore, San Francisco

San Mateo
Dave Dennis Painting, San Carlos

Santa Clara County

American Kitchen and Bath - Bathrooms by Hans, San Jose
Daddario Roofing Company, San Francisco
Driven Auto Care, Mountain View
North Star Construction, San Jose
Paine Financial & Insurance Services, Inc., San Jose
Pirie Jensen, BSN, Agent State Farm, San Jose

Dryer Vent Wizard of the Greater North Bay Area, Cotati
K & L Construction Co., Inc., Penngrove

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