Diamond Certified Blog

Category Archives: Customer Service

How to Use the Diamond Certified Directory

The Diamond Certified Directory Report Page

The Diamond Certified Directory features report pages for top rated companies throughout the Greater Bay Area. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2017

Last month, we mailed the brand-new 2017 Diamond Certified Directory to more than 810,000 households throughout the San Francisco Bay Area (if you didn’t get your FREE copy, click here). Whether you already rely on the Diamond Certified Directory to find top rated local companies or you’ve never heard of it before, we figured it’s a good time to get (re)acquainted.

Every April, American Ratings Corporation publishes 10 versions of the Diamond Certified Directory, covering all of the Greater Bay Area (including Monterey). Continue reading “How to Use the Diamond Certified Directory” »

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Posted in Consumer News, Consumers, Customer Service, Diamond Certified News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

How To Choose a Contractor

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. You can check contractors’ licenses at cslb.ca.gov. Continue reading “How To Choose a Contractor” »

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Posted in Consumer Events, Consumer News, Consumers, Customer Service, Diamond Certified News, Home improvement, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

Giving Thanks

Practice gratitude, any time of the year. Photo: Clough Construction, 2016

Practice gratitude, any time of the year. Photo: Clough Construction, 2016

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude. So, we put the question to some of our Diamond Certified Experts: What are you thankful for? Here’s what they said:

sergiu-deac

Sergiu Deac, president of Best Construction: “I’m thankful for this country adopting me. I’m thankful for every day that I’m an American citizen. I can do what I like and I’m thankful for being healthy. I thank God for my family.” Continue reading “Giving Thanks” »

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Posted in Consumer News, Consumers, Customer Service, Diamond Certified Experts, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Five Steps for Negotiating a Speedy Partial Refund

Have you ever hired a service provider to perform a repair and found that while certain elements of the performance were acceptable, other elements weren’t performed correctly? Here are some tips for speaking with the manager/owner to request a partial refund.

1. Prepare your mind
Be rational when asking for a partial refund—it shows the other party that you’re realistic and makes an implicit promise that a speedy fix is within sight. Separate what you know to be true (the service contract, industry requirements) from what you believe to be true (your subjective assessment and intuition).

2. Temper your approach
Try to gradually escalate pressure in your tone, language and body language. In order to achieve this, you have to be deliberately relaxed in the beginning. Breathe and be cordial. State what your expectations were before work began and clearly explain where they fell short. Continue reading “Five Steps for Negotiating a Speedy Partial Refund” »

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Posted in Customer Service, Savvy Tips | Tags: , , ,

Visit us at the Sonoma County Fall Home Show!

Where
Sonoma County Fairgrounds

When
Friday, Sept. 18: 12pm – 7pm
Saturday, Sept. 19: 10am – 7pm
Sunday, Sept 20: 10am – 5pm

For more details, visit fall.sonomacountyhomeshow.com.

Brandi Brush, American Ratings Corporation

Visit our new event manager, Brandi Brush, at the Sonoma County Fall Home Show this weekend. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2015

This weekend, our new event manager, Brandi Brush, will join a few old hands at the Diamond Certified booth at the Sonoma County Fall Home Show. Please stop by and say hi!

Home and garden shows are terrific resources for anyone beginning, finishing or just dreaming about a home improvement project. With hundreds of exhibitors, they usually feature just about every kind of home improvement contractor you can imagine. Continue reading “Visit us at the Sonoma County Fall Home Show!” »

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Posted in Consumer Events, Consumers, Customer Service, Home improvement | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Have a Nice Day, Y’all!

chris-image-bon-appetitI was lucky enough to spend 10 days in Richmond, Virginia a few weeks ago for our son’s wedding. Everywhere we went, we encountered warm hospitality. For example, one morning in the hotel, as I left my room and walked toward the elevator, I heard the maid down the hall call out, “Have a nice day, y’all!” I turned around to see to whom she was speaking…and realized she was talking to me! I heard that phrase again and again during our stay.

People of all ages held open doors for each other and offered unsolicited help with directions. The waiters and bartenders spent extra time explaining local foods and menu recommendations. They seemed to enjoy and took pride in offering quality service and making a connection with customers. I don’t know when I’ve seen so many smiles all around town. Continue reading “Have a Nice Day, Y’all!” »

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Posted in Consumers, Customer Service | Tags: , , ,

Consumer Response to the 2015 Diamond Certified Directory

We’re so excited about the publication of our 2015 Diamond Certified Directory! (If you haven’t received your FREE copy in the mail yet, click here.) The 11 county-specific versions began arriving in Bay Area mailboxes last month, and the response has been great. “It arrived the same day that a tree fell in my yard,” writes Louisa K. in Albany. “I found a tree service professional who came out right away.” Calvin G. in Palo Alto keeps the Diamond Certified Digital Directory on his smartphone so he can always find a quality service provider, and Cassandra C. from San Francisco says, “I love the directory. I don’t trust anybody but Diamond Certified to work on my house.”

Tip Rated Local Businesses Continue reading “Consumer Response to the 2015 Diamond Certified Directory” »

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Posted in Consumer Events, Consumer News, Consumers, Customer Service, Diamond Certified Experts, Diamond Certified News | Tags: , , , , ,

Battling Water Conservation Fatigue

A good water-saving measure is to replace your lawn with drought-resistant plants, like these decorative artichokes recently installed by Reilly Designs, a Diamond Certified company.

A good water-saving measure is to replace your lawn with drought-resistant plants, like these decorative artichokes recently installed by Reilly Designs, a Diamond Certified company.

For more information on water conservation, visit our drought resource page here.

We’ve been encouraged to cut back on our water use for many months now, yet we’re still not conserving enough. So now the governor is ordering mandatory water use reductions with the specifics yet to be worked out by the individual water agencies.

Why have we been so slow to make changes in our water consumption habits? They say, “Replace your lawn with drought-resistant plants. Take shorter showers. Only do full loads of laundry. Get a rebate for a water-efficient toilet.” At some point, you wonder if we won’t change our behavior until our water bills skyrocket. The truth might be that most of us (myself included) are suffering from water conservation fatigue. Continue reading “Battling Water Conservation Fatigue” »

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Posted in Consumers, Customer Service, Personal Stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

My Husband and The Butcher

Consumer news, butcher

Recommendations from the butcher made for a delicious dinner. Photo: Chris Bjorklund, 2015

When my husband Patrick goes grocery shopping, the first place he heads for is the meat counter. He likes talking to butchers (any butcher), asking questions about which cut to buy and getting tips on how to prepare a particular dish. Many of them love food and love to cook.

On one of his recent shopping trips, he needed extra assistance because he didn’t know his way around the store. Continue reading “My Husband and The Butcher” »

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Posted in Consumers, Customer Service, Personal Stories | Tags: ,

Raw Honesty: What Consumers Want in Pricing

ImageForFeb newsletterBLOG.pngA few weeks ago, when I called an appliance repair service to fix a problem with my refrigerator, the technician was extremely clear about the cost of his services. The minimum for a house call was $89, and after that, he billed in 15-minute increments for his labor. He would not be charging for his travel time. However, the parts were extra, and at that point he didn’t know if any would be needed to fix a freezer with a layer of ice building up underneath the ice cube trays. I appreciated his direct approach and transparency. Upon arrival, he quickly diagnosed the problem and made the tricky repair. The total bill of $170 didn’t surprise me, and I was thrilled to have the fridge working in time for the holidays. Continue reading “Raw Honesty: What Consumers Want in Pricing” »

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