In This Issue
Diamond Certified Resources

 

Savvy Consumer Tips


Dear Savvy Consumer,

A few weeks ago, I went to see a doctor for a consult about a medical procedure.  This was the first time I had been to this specialist, and he had been highly recommended by another doctor whom I trust.

What struck me first was that he called me from the waiting room himself.  I have not seen this in a lot of medical offices, have you? He greeted me by name and showed me to his office. When we got into the details of why I was there, he asked questions that encouraged me to share even more information with him. If we both started talking at the same time, he deferred to me. “You go ahead,” he would say, and let me continue my story.

The other striking thing was the doctor’s ability to explain a plan of action for me. He took the time to walk me through step by step what I might expect if I chose to have the medical procedure. And he gave me the sense that “we’re in this together” as partners. I left feeling confident in his abilities and reassured.

I think the doc displayed a lot of the qualities that many of our outstanding Diamond Certified company owners do. They’re personal, and at the same time professional.  They educate their customers/clients/patients. They anticipate the questions you might have – even before you have them – and they patiently answer all the ones you have on your list.  And they “partner up” with you, sharing the responsibility with you for a successful experience.

If you’re looking for a true partnership, refer to the list of Diamond Certified companies for your area. You can find the complete list at www.diamondcertified.org, or you can request a free directory from the website.

Sincerely,

Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer

Send the Kids Back to School with Green in Their Backpacks

According to the Nielsen Company, parents and students will spend just under $1.6 billion on back-to-school supplies this year. Spending even a portion of that on “green” products would have a meaningful impact on the environment.

When buying paper, check the labels and choose the product with the highest post-consumer waste (PCW) content. (That’s the waste paper from our homes and offices.) Treecycle.com and Green Paper Company are two of the online retailers that make it easier to buy tree-friendly back-to-school supplies.

You’re going to need pens and pencils to go with that paper. Forest Choice #2 cedar pencils are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council “to have originated from environmentally well-managed forests.” Biodegradable cornstarch pens and other green writing tools are available from Green Earth Office Supply.

Once your kids are back in school, encourage them to start their own classroom recycling program.


Lock Out ID Thieves and Hackers

The passwords to your computer and online accounts are like the keys to your safe deposit box. In the wrong hands, they can be used to steal your money and your identity. Strong passwords—those that are virtually impossible to recreate, even using a special decoder program—will keep your assets and information safe and secure.

A strong password is one that appears to be a random string of characters, including letters, numbers and symbols. The longer your password is, the harder it is to decipher—so, a seven-character password is stronger than one that has only five characters, but not as strong as one with 12 characters.

When creating a password, don’t use personal information such as your birth date or dog’s name. And don’t use real words. Do consider creating a password derived from a “passphrase” that is easy for you to remember. For example, “My favorite number is 13” could be converted to MfaV#=13!. And use a different password for each account to avoid having all your accounts at risk if one password is compromised.

Learn more about password dos & don’ts, and how to keep track of your codes, from ConsumerReports.org and Microsoft.com.


Kudos from Diamond Certified Customers

Dear Chris,
 
Just wanted to forward a comment about Carrasco Construction:

We needed a driveway removed/installed. We contacted several contractors, and accepted Frank Carrasco's bid as being the most fair…not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either. Plus Frank's understanding and ability to explain what we needed done and why gave us a good feeling he'd get the job done right.

And he did! We're very pleased with the result. Got the work done on time and on budget, and it looks great.

Thanks Frank…and Diamond Certified.

Justin Davis
Pleasant Hill

Save $$ on Tickets to South Bay Home & Garden Show

September 5 – 7, the South Bay Home & Garden Show will be coming to the Santa Clara Convention Center. This is a great opportunity to meet and compare the many companies offering solutions to your projects around the home. With over 25 Diamond Certified companies displaying their services, you know you will be able to find companies that offer quality and customer satisfaction to their customers. Learn more about Diamond Certified at www.diamondcertified.org. Purchase your tickets for the home show and save at www.southbayhomeshow.com.

Companies Recently Earning
Diamond Certified®

Alameda County
CWD Windows Baths & More, Livermore
Gill's Electric Co., Inc., Oakland

U Call - We Haul, Berkeley

Contra Costa County
Ron Roberts Plastering, Pleasant Hill
The Floor Store, Dublin

Zoo Crew Construction, Inc., Antioch

Marin County
Clearly The Best, Sausalito
Integrity Electric, Inc., San Rafael

The Floor Store, San Rafael
Woody's Restoration Services, Inc., San Rafael


Monterey & San Benito Counties
McLaughlin Painting, Salinas
Stowe Contracting, Marina

Santa Clara County

Evergreen Landscape & Designs, San Jose
Zayer Quality Construction, San Jose

Santa Cruz County
Nazak Construction, Soquel

San Francisco
Luminalt Energy Corporation, San Francisco
White Building Maintenance, San Francisco


Solano County
Benicia Floor Company, Benicia
Chase's Blinds, Benicia
Exotic Autobody, Vacaville

Read this newsletter and prior issues at www.diamondcertified.org