The Diamond Certified® Consumer Report Twitter link Facebook link
 VOL. 4, ISSUE 11 - NOVEMBER  2011

In This Issue

The Opposite
of Up-Selling

Enter for a chance to win a new Digital SLR Camera

Free Foreclosure Prevention Guide

Consumer Feedback: Anchor Auto Body

New Diamond Certified

Savvy Tips of the Month

Does Your Pet Need to Go on a Diet?

Home Inspectors Should Look High and Low

Renovate or Relocate?

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Dear Savvy Consumer
I’m sure you’ve had this experience: You head out to the store for a particular item, and while there, you’re talked into buying more things than you’d planned. For example, I’ve gone to a make-up counter solely for mascara and walked away with foundation, eyeliner, lip gloss and powder. This practice is known as “up-selling”—it’s when a salesperson induces you to buy more expensive items, add-ons and upgrades that may not be in your best interest.

The Opposite of Up-Selling

Most people are so used to up-selling that the opposite approach, “underselling,” can be unsettling. When I brought my Honda in for an oil change recently, the service manager asked why I had come in for that. As it turns out, I was tracking mileage rather than the “oil life” gauge on the dashboard. He pointed out that my oil life was still at 80 percent, and the manufacturer didn’t recommend service until it was at 15 percent. Similarly, my husband’s regular, old-school German VW Bug mechanic regularly talks him into less radical or costly ways to address problems.

The end result of both examples is the development of a deeper trust in these repair shops—we know they won’t try and sell us unnecessary services in the future. I was ready and willing to pay for an oil change that day, but the shop didn’t think it was in my best interest. They took a restrained approach and undersold me because they wanted to build a foundation of trust, which is the basis for long-term, profitable relationships with customers. This dealership is already the first place my husband and I think of when considering a new car purchase.

In my opinion, consumers need to understand what salespeople are trying to accomplish by over- or underselling. When you’re shopping for a product or service and the salespeople are pitching, pushing and/or educating, don’t be afraid to step back for a moment and ask yourself: “Is this recommendation in my best interest?” If they help you understand what’s in your own best interest, then you know you’ve found a quality, trustworthy provider.

Chris Bjorklund signature
Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer

Chris Bjorklund
Enter for a chance to win a new Digital SLR Camera

We’ve officially launched our "Picture Yourself with Diamond Certified" contest! By entering on the Diamond Certified Facebook Page, you’ll be eligible to win a new Digital SLR Camera (valued at $700). This contest will run from October 11 to November 26, and the winner will be announced on December 5.

Here’s how to enter:

Step 1: Go to and click on “Like.”
Step 2: Go to the “Contests” tab and click on “Enter Contest.”
Step 3: Click “Allow” when it says “Request for Permission.”
Step 4: Fill in the entry form and upload a picture of yourself, a family member or a friend with the Diamond Certified Symbol.

Feel free to be creative. Good luck!

Free Foreclosure Prevention Guide
Foreclosure Prevention Guide

Families across the country are still being hit with foreclosures, and California is one of the states categorized as "hardest hit." In response to the ongoing crisis, Consumer Action, a national nonprofit consumer education and advocacy organization with headquarters in San Francisco, just published a comprehensive foreclosure prevention resource. The guide, which can be read online or downloaded for free, lists a range of government and private foreclosure prevention programs, eligibility criteria, and contact information. While the information contained in the guide is available to anyone who can find it, this resource puts it all in one spot, saving homeowners many hours of research.

What's the single most important piece of advice housing and consumer advocates give homeowners in financial straits? Don't wait! Contact a housing counselor today.

Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers
“I just want you to know that my experience with Anchor Auto Body was excellent. They explained everything really well and it was all so smooth and easy. They even helped me with the rental car. They also finished the work way ahead of schedule—it was supposed to take a week and they completed the job in just three days. They were great.”J.M, Santa Clara, CA

Diamond Certified ® Only companies rated Highest in Quality earn Diamond Certified

Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified

Diablo Auto Specialists,
Walnut Creek - (925) 398-3557
Viking Pavers,
San Pablo - (877) 296-0817

DC Tile and Stone
Petaluma - (707) 840-5865, (415) 830-8780

American Ratings Corporation - Diamond Certified • 504 Redwood Blvd. • Suite 210 Novato, California 94947 • (877) 312-1307
©2011 American Ratings Corporation  

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