Diamond Certified Blog

Tag Archives: contractors

Is there a “Right Way” to Give Feedback?

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.

Talk to management before posting on social media.

Bob had a puzzling exchange with an electrical technician who charged him to flip a breaker. Bob and the technician couldn’t reach an agreement. After paying his bill, Bob posted a lengthy narrative of his experience on Yelp. He also contacted Diamond Certified and the Better Business Bureau. Continue reading “Is there a “Right Way” to Give Feedback?” »

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Posted in Consumers, Customer Service | Tags: ,

Savvy Consumer Tip: Hiring Licensed Contractors

Do you know how to spot an unlicensed contractor? Watch this video for some helpful tips.

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Avoiding the "Con" in "Construction"

If you subscribe to my e-mail newsletter, The Diamond Certified Consumer Report, you may have heard my interview with Kia Ricchi, the contractor who wrote Avoiding the Con in Construction. She describes many of the shady practices that plague the construction industry. Ms. Ricchi emphasizes that “The con artist will always be with us. Consumers need more tools to find better contractors.”

I agree. Diamond Certified ratings are definitely one of those tools. Contractors listed for your county have had to go through a rigorous review process, which includes credential verification and consumer surveys, to earn Diamond Certified.

Ms. Ricchi has a useful checklist in her book to help you find better contractors. Rather than getting a list of references, she suggests asking for the names of people for the contractor’s last three jobs, so he can’t “cherry-pick” the ones he gives you. Another good strategy is to carefully define the scope of you work before gathering estimates. That way you’ll be comparing “apples to apples” instead of “apples to oranges.” This takes more work on your part in the beginning of a project, but can pay off big-time in the long run. Estimates will vary, according to Ms. Ricchi, but in general, they should not vary by more than 10 to 15 percent.

One of her last suggestions is a good one. If you can possibly visit a contractor’s job site, do it. Is it clean and orderly? Do the employees have up-to-date tools and equipment? Are safety precautions being taken? It will give you a lot of information about how the company conducts its business.

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