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How To Choose a Contractor

Posted on October 09, 2018 by Joy Lanzaro

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Home Improvement Project, in 8 Easy steps.

Today we’re republishing one of our most popular (and useful) posts from Joy Lanzaro, Director of Mediation & Compliance.

Here are eight steps you can take to hire a reputable remodeling contractor:

  1.  Obtain multiple bids (if possible). Getting multiple bids is a great way to ensure you’re making an informed choice. If you sign a contract, you have exactly three days to rescind in writing. Upon rescission, the contractor must return your deposit. If your area has been declared a disaster area, the three-day Right of Rescission extends to seven days.
  2. Check license information. By law, anyone who undertakes to improve your home or property must have a contractor’s license if the cost from start to completion will exceed $500.
  3. Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumer News, Consumer Events, Consumers, Customer Service, Diamond Certified News, Home Improvement
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What Should Be on Your “Do Not Pack” List

Posted on August 28, 2018 by Chris Bjorklund

A couple of summers ago, I was flying to France to stay with friends who had visited San Francisco in the past and fell in love with our foggy city. I thought I had found the perfect hospitality gift when I bought a fog globe featuring the Golden Gate Bridge. A fog globe is similar to a snow globe, but when you shake it up, instead of snow falling, the bridge disappears in gray fog. Because it was breakable, I carefully packed the globe in a carry-on bag, and that was my big mistake. It never occurred to me that airport security (TSA) would confiscate the gift because it contained too much liquid. I have since learned that fog and snow globes about the size of a tennis ball are allowed if they can fit in a clear, Read more

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Posted in: Holiday Related, Consumers, Customer Service, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Best Practices for Giving Feedback to a Company

Posted on August 13, 2018 by Joy Lanzaro

Delivering feedback to a company is like landing an airplane on an old runway—it can be bumpy or smooth depending on how much work has been put into maintaining the area. Without the proper approach, asking a company if you can give some feedback can prompt a defensiveness that redirects your desired change into the weeds.

Unfortunately, some people’s definition of “feedback” is simply venting without consideration of the receiver’s good intentions. On the other hand, accurate and timely consumer feedback can be a company’s free ticket to a competitive advantage in the market. Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumers, Customer Service
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The Power of the Pen

Posted on July 24, 2018 by Chris Bjorklund

When was the last time you took the time to write a hardcopy letter of commendation after receiving outstanding service? I always respond to consumer surveys and offer feedback. I’ve written reviews on TripAdvisor and Airbnb. Recently, I received such good service over the phone that I asked to talk to the representative’s supervisor so I could share my appreciation for the employee’s patience and professionalism. But writing an actual letter and mailing it? It’s been a long, long time.

When my husband told me about his interaction with one of the California State Automobile Association’s (CSAA) field offices over dinner one night, we both agreed that the employee should be recognized for her effort. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Customer Service, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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How to Use the 2018 Diamond Certified Directory

Posted on April 19, 2018 by Jennifer Chan

Two weeks ago, we mailed the 2018 Diamond Certified Directory to more than 800,000 homes and businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area (if you didn’t get your FREE copy, click here). We’ve made some exciting changes to the Directory this year, so it’s time to get reacquainted!

Every April, American Ratings Corporation publishes 10 versions of the Diamond Certified Directory, covering all of the Greater Bay Area (including Monterey). Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumer News, Consumers, Customer Service, Diamond Certified News
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Is there a “Right Way” to Give Feedback?

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Joy Lanzaro

Delivering feedback isn’t always easy. Before deciding to speak up, you may wrestle with competing goals of personal and social responsibility versus a desire to avoid conflict. At some point, every service provider has needed constructive feedback to better serve their customers. In speaking to thousands of consumers over the years, I’ve found that some people prefer to silently move on and not use that company’s services again. In those cases, everyone loses. Armed with the following tips, you may feel empowered to turn an unsatisfactory situation around and experience increased goodwill and satisfaction. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Customer Service

Happy Customer Highlights

Posted on June 29, 2017 by Jennifer Chan

While we love receiving all kinds of feedback from consumers about Diamond Certified companies, we particularly love hearing the kudos! Here’s what some happy customers have to say about their recent experiences with Diamond Certified companies.

Linda emailed to tell us she’s been using the Diamond Certified Directory for years. She hired Atlas Landscapes last fall and says “…they were exceptional in every way and truly surpassed my expectations. The customer service and quality of work were what I thought I’d get and more.” Read more

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Posted in: Consumer News, Consumers, Customer Service