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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Living Smart: Take this consumer quiz: How do you rate?

By Angie Hicks




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) The home, landscaping and other pros who earn your repeat business are the ones who get the basics right. They return calls and emails promptly, show up on time and do what they promise.

But this street should run two ways. Consider this season of resolution-making an appropriate time to consider whether you, the consumer, are holding up your end of the contractor-customer relationship.

To find out if youíre a conscientious consumer, ask yourself these five questions:

1. Are you as responsive as you expect others to be?

I always recommend getting multiple bids. So, as you work through your contractor selection process, be sure to inform everyone about where you are in the hiring process. At the very least, let unsuccessful bidders know when youíve made your choice.

You wonít be offending them. Service providers tell me theyíd much rather be informed so they can move on. They donít want to waste time thinking theyíre still in the running for a job.

Itís totally up to you, but if you have the time and inclination, consider sharing any details that losing bidders might be able to use to improve their chances of landing the next job.

2. Do you clearly state your expectations?

Service providers arenít mind readers. If there are things you want, or rules you want followed, say so. Do you want workers to use a particular bathroom and not another? Do you want your driveway left clear?

Being specific at the start of a project reduces the odds that youíll have to have an awkward conversation later.

3. Are you aware that change orders have consequences?

I always recommend that consumers get all relevant details in writing. Your contract is your best friend in making sure youíre happy with a project.

But change is a constant, and itís likely you will want to alter your original plans. Just make sure you talk to your contractor and get all changes in writing.

In addition, make sure you have a clear understanding of how any agreed-upon changes will affect the final price and timeline.

4. Do you treat contractors with the same courtesy you expect?

The interaction between contractors and consumers is, in many ways, a negotiation. Thereís often a lot at stake, but thereís always time and space for courtesy and respect.

If you find that you repeatedly experience conflict with people you hire, consider that the problem may be mostly on your end. If you havenít always practiced the Golden Rule, this is your golden opportunity to resolve to start practicing it.

5. Did you say thank you?

This time of year, many consumers offer tips or gifts to service providers they regularly use, such as housecleaners, handymen and landscapers.

These treats have their place, but if you really want to give a business owner or employee a boost, write an email or send a letter saying why you appreciated their work. Even better, write an online review that delivers the power to help them attract new business.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

To comment or ask a question, please click here.

Since 1995, Angie Hicks has been dedicated to helping consumers get the real scoop on local service companies and health providers. Inspired by the frustrations her co-founder had trying to find reliable contractors in suburban Columbus, Ohio, she started Angie's List to help homeowners find who they should hire and who they should avoid.


Previously:


What to Do about That Neighbor’s Pesky Tree
When to hire a handyman vs. a contractor
Why you should invest in a home sprinkler system
Tips for holding estate sales and auctions
Stained, Faded Carpet: Clean, Replace or Dye?
Consumers flush with choices when replacing a toilet
Bathroom remodeling trends
Energy-efficiency tax credits
Insulation
Furnace maintenance
Child-safety precautions
Preparing your home for fall weather
Clogged gutters
Tree care
Those black streaks running down your roof aren't just unsightly
Want to get organized?
Keeping a lid on toilet-repair costs
Plan ahead: Home generators
Lawn Grubs
Solar panels' green savings
Tips to keep your appliances in good shape
Curb appeal is key in selling a house
The right and wrong ways to use (or abuse) your garbage disposal
Lawn Mower Tune-Up Time
Carpet Cleaning
Hardscaping: Homeowners upgrading outdoor areas
Dryer vent cleaning
Home automation
Central Vacuums
Know signs of a qualified locksmith
Mold Testing and Remediation
Most water softeners are fully automatic
Property sealing your home's envelope
New thermostats can 'learn' home's routine

© 2013, http://www.angieslist.com/ Distributed by MCT Information Services

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