We are very excited to announce the launch of SQM Picks… a feature about the businesses that SQM has grown to know and love. Our President, David Lipton, has years of experience in a variety of industries, and is very passionate about customer service. He is always coming across great businesses, and he believes that they should get the credit that they deserve. SQM Picks will be posted every Wednesday, so be sure to keep an eye out for our latest picks and some of the President’s top recommendations.
Do you know of a business that deserves a standing ovation and a mention in SQM Picks? We’re always on the lookout for great businesses, and would love to hear about any that you feel should be featured in one of our articles. You can follow us and tweet us at @SQMInc, follow us and send us a message on Facebook at Sensors Quality Management – Mystery Shopping, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope that you enjoy what SQM Picks has to offer. What are you waiting for? Take your pick!
Many of the blogs that I write about are based on my own experiences, and while I try to write stories about my travels and encounters outside of Toronto, I do realize that many of my topics are centered on the Greater Toronto Area.
However, this story is about a Canadian company, and while they are here in Toronto, they’re also right across the country. I’ve written about them in the past, but I feel like it is necessary to mention them again.
For many years, my cell phone and cable provider has been Rogers. One of the reasons behind this is because when I ran into a problem several years ago, I came into contact with a customer representative who was extremely helpful and kind. Ever since then, I’ve kept in touch and she’s always been able to help me out whenever I’ve been in a pickle.
In more recent times, she’s taken on another position within the company but has been thoughtful enough to direct me to employees as kind as herself. Back a few weeks ago, I had a software problem with my phone, which then turned into a hardware problem. I realized I needed a new phone and reached out to one of my new contacts at Rogers—John.
I first connected with John when I was looking to reduce some of the costs connected with my services. At the time, John made a few adjustments, so I ended up with more features and services while at the same time, reducing my monthly costs.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when my phone had died and I reached out to him in a little bit of a panic, because like many people, my phone was like my life and I needed it to be working for various reasons. On top of that, my phone was fairly new…only two years old…and should have been operational. Even though John works on the west coast, he got back to me within minutes of me sending him an email, asked me what the issue was, and told me that if I could give him a bit of time, he would work on a solution.
In less than an hour he got back to me and gave me a number of options—all but one of them involved a new phone without any extra charges or long-term commitments. Once I made my decision, I received my new phone just two days later and I was back up and running in no time.
You would expect a company in telecommunications like Rogers to understand the urgency of uptime, and clearly they do from the way that John and some of his other colleagues work.
To tell you how Rogers is evolving as a company, years ago if I had a problem with my bill, phone, or other services, and I had to call Rogers, the hair would stand up on the back of my neck because the entire process was often quite frustrating.
In more recent times, they seem to be changing with the era, and adapting to the growing need for good customer support. I now know that I can count on Rogers to stand behind their services, and support me when I need it.
This week, I’d like to write a blog about Intact Insurance, however, I’m going to take a slightly different perspective on the subject.
Insurance is one of those industries that touches just about everyone, whether or not you own a house, rent an apartment, drive a car, or run a business. As one of my colleagues says, “you can never have enough insurance”. Most people deal with an insurance company or a broker on a somewhat regular basis, and while buying insurance typically comes down to the cost, I would think that it’s always better and easier to be dealing with an insurance company that has a good reputation in the industry.
Often times, I hear stories about insurance appraisers and adjusters that try to pay as little as possible for claims, or make it very difficult on one to resolve their claims or issues. That said, this story is meant to look at an insurance company from a different angle….
A couple of years ago, my 90 year old aunt tripped on a mat, fell, and broke her hip while shopping at a grocery store. As a result of this accident, a lawsuit was filed as my aunt was incurring a number of significant expenses associated with her injuries. As the lawsuit progressed, we began dealing with a lawyer for the insurance company that was representing the grocery store.
Although I often hear horror stories about dealing with lawyers in such cases, the lawyer representing my aunt was pleasantly surprised by the insurance company’s approach to handling the situation. While many insurance companies would have dragged the process out for as long as possible, given my aunt’s advanced age, all parties involved were looking for a reasonable solution so that my aunt could return to a normal life as soon as possible. While it’s difficult to put a price tag on such a terrible accident, and my aunt didn’t necessarily feel that she received as much money as she deserved, the willingness of the insurance company to move the process along was very much appreciated. It was truly a breath of fresh air to see both the lawyer and insurance company treat my aunt respectfully and professionally, while simultaneously looking out for their interests as well. After the case was settled, I took the time to call the President of Intact Insurance to acknowledge how their in-house lawyer handled this difficult matter in a professional and respectful way.
During the conversation, the President mentioned that Intact Insurance attempts to be a different type of insurance company, and treats people the way their employees would want to be treated themselves. While many companies in the industry say this, very few put their words into practice, however, I can tell you firsthand that Intact Insurance really does have this kind of culture and approach.
Again while I realize that purchasing insurance often boils down to price, I highly recommend that you at least look at Intact Insurance for your insurance needs. They are truly an excellent company to deal with.
Canada’s birthday is approaching, and 152 has never looked better! If you are unsure of what to do for the upcoming long weekend, look no further.
you’re in the mood to create your own DIY fireworks show, there are
many pop-up locations that will suit all of your needs. Kaboom
Fireworks, Phatboy Fireworks and Rocket Fireworks are all good
choices. If not, you can check out yourlocal
order to see if they are doing their own fireworks show.
Wonderland: The amusement park is fun for the whole family! In addition to the spectacular rides, there will be street performers, traditional Canadian food and a light show.
Harbourfront Centre: There will be paddleboard rides on the Natrel Pond from 3:00 – 8:00 PM. At night, make sure to catch the live indie music that will be playing at the Harbourfront Centre Concert Stage!
Jays Games: There
will be games every day from June 28th
the Rogers Centre. There will also be giveaway prizes on Friday and
Monday. Be sure to grabtickets
back for another year! From June 29th
there will be many activities run from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Stop by
to hear live music, visit the Beer Garden and the Kids Zone, all
while enjoying delicious ribs. There is something for everyone!
about having a family barbecue or food with friends?Cumbraes
a wide selection available both in store and online. While it is
always nice to support a local butcher, you could also visit your
grocery store’s butcher section.
Craft Beer: What’s better than celebrating the country’s birthday than cracking open a cold one? Be sure to check out your local brewery, but please remember to drink responsibly.
on spending the weekend in the capital? Events will be held at
Parliament Hill, Major’s Hill Park and the Canadian Museum of
History. Check out theofficial
list of events.
Parades: In the mood for travelling? There will be parades held at Niagara Falls and in Downtown Vancouver. Both parades will be followed by fireworks over the Falls and at Canada Place.
the North Maple Regional Park in Vaughan, multiple live performances
will be played. The headliner will be Toronto’s very own reggae
fusion band, MAGIC! See the full detailshere.
Whatever your plans may be, I hope that you have an enjoyable time. I wish everyone and their families a safe and happy Canada Day!
This week, I’d like to talk about a personal trainer who has gone above and beyond the call of a regular trainer.
For over 30 years, I have been a member of the Columbus Centre’s gym / fitness club. Over my time there I’ve gotten to know many of the staff and personal trainers. One of the trainers who I find myself chatting with about anything from sports, to business, to life in general, is a gentleman by the name of John Reyes.
John, works at the Columbus Centre part-time, a personal trainer, and has also recently become a registered kinesiologist. While the kinesiology work that he does is at a separate clinic and has nothing to do with the Columbus Centre, he often uses his knowledge, education, and experience in kinesiology when working with his clients as a personal trainer.
A number of weeks ago, I decided to pick his brain as I was having some difficulties loosening up, even though I stretch regularly. It just seemed that despite my ongoing efforts, I was extremely tight, which was impacting my ability to properly complete some of my exercise routine. John suggested a few stretches and within a short amount of time, these stretches seemed to be working, as I seemed to be improving.
A couple of weeks later, I came back to him again because I was still tight…I just couldn’t loosen up completely. Even though John was only there once a week, he would try and line up his times with mine, and take me to one of the fitness rooms where he would help me stretch. These kinds of stretches were challenging in that you need a second person to help do them properly.
We figured my loosening up would take a few weeks of stretching on my own, in addition to his assistance. True to his word, after some time I was once again making good progress, and returning to normal. While I’m sure other trainers could have assisted me with the stretches, I believe that John’s background in kinesiology very much helped get me moving in the right direction.
If anyone is looking for a personal trainer, or for someone to help them with their stretching and range of motion, I highly recommend John Reyes.
For transparency purposes, I will say right off the bat that the person I am writing about just so happens to be my next-door neighbour, however, this article is based on work that he has done for my family.
Back about three years ago, my 90-year-old aunt fell in a grocery store and broke her hip. Because we felt that the grocery store was responsible for her fall, we quickly decided to retain a lawyer who specialized in personal injury law. While there is certainly no shortage of advertisements for these types of lawyers on TV and in newspapers, I had the good fortune of knowing one who lives 20 feet away from me: Jonathan Burton, who works at Gluckstein Lawyers.
The fact that he was my neighbour and lived nearby was only one factor in deciding to use his services for my aunt. Jonathan has been practicing law for a number of years, and my research indicated that he was extremely experienced, well respected by his colleagues, and specializes in personal injury law. From the beginning, I could tell Jonathan knew how to handle the situation. Whether it was quickly drafting up a letter, scheduling meetings with my aunt and myself, or just organizing his work the way he does, I was able to see that I made the right decision.
Over the course of the case, there were certain objectives that needed to be completed, and Jonathan always made sure to give us the information and heads up in advance. He was always prepared for upcoming activities, and we could tell that we were in good hands.
A few weeks ago, we had a scheduled mediation. For those who are unaware, before you are able to arrange a date for certain types of trials, in Ontario, you have to participate in a mandatory mediation. This involves a third, unbiased party, working with both sides to find common ground. and a settlement that both can live with. It may come as a surprise to many, that the majority of cases are settled at mediation and never end up going to trial.
We were fortunate in that we had a good meditator handling my aunt’s case. Jonathan presented himself in a professional manner, and dealt with the mediator and opposing lawyer in a skillful way. The other party was open to a settlement, and after a few hours of discussion the case was settled.
I truly believe that one of the main reasons the case was settled was because of Jonathan’s reputation amongst his colleagues in the legal profession. Jonathan was never rude in his dealings, and treated people with respect and honesty. He was always willing to listen, however, he recognized that he was there for his clients’ best interests. I often hear of lawyers who are rude, bullies, and not open to discussion, however, when you take on tactics like these, I believe you do it at the disservice of your clients.
I wouldn’t wish my aunt’s situation on anyone, but if you do need a personal injury lawyer, I highly suggest Jonathan Burton.
Jonathan Burton Gluckstein Lawyers 416-408-4252 email@example.com
Back a couple of years ago, I wrote about Dyson when we had an issue with our office vacuum cleaner. At the time, the vacuum was under warranty and Dyson, without causing us any grief, quickly sent us a replacement part so we were able to get back to cleaning our office. The entire experience was friendly, efficient, and stress free, and their customer service department was a pleasure to deal with.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when on a Friday we realized that a small piece of the vacuum had broken and cracked, and as a result we couldn’t use it. One of my colleagues got on the phone, explained the problem, and provided Dyson with our vacuum’s registration number. The employee looked us up in their database, and indicated that the vacuum wasn’t under warranty anymore, but told us in the same sentence that they wanted to make sure we were happy, and were going to send us a replacement part at no charge.
Since the piece had broken due to heavy use, and not necessarily some sort of mechanical failure, it made the gesture extra special. The fact that they stood behind the product goes to show you what kind of company they are, and what kind of customer service you can expect from them. The piece arrived within a few days and we were back up and running in no time at all, once again using our spiffy Dyson.
Presently, I have three Dyson products: an upright vacuum, a handheld vacuum, and the office Dyson, and I am extremely happy with each product.
Dyson was originally established in the United Kingdom in 1991 and have recently announced that they are moving their headquarters to Singapore. James Dyson, the founder, felt that vacuums could be more efficient, based on the fact that the one he was using constantly clogged up and lost suction over time. As a result, he went about inventing a completely different type of machine, and if my experience is any indication, he seems to be on to something!
Skip to the present, and Dyson now has a line of not only vacuums, but hand dryers, lights, fans, heaters, and more. I know my wife is dying to get her hands on one of the new Dyson hair dryers, but unfortunately, given how expensive it is, she’s going to have to wait until the price comes down a bit…or I win the lottery…before I can buy it for her.
To their credit, I’ve never heard anyone complain about any Dyson product, and between the reliability of their products, combined with their customer support just goes to show you why.
Caplan’s Appliances, on Weston Road, south of Eglinton Avenue, is a family-founded appliance store that first opened its doors in the 1940’s. Their recently renovated store has a wide selection of brands to choose from, including: Maytag, Whirlpool, Bosch, Sub-Zero, and Wolf, to name a few. In addition to the long list of brands which they represent, a few years ago they opened up a separate Miele showroom right across the street from the main store.
The owner of Caplan’s, Bob Caplan, is an old friend of mine, and I have been doing business with Bob and his family for many years. Since I know he treats everyone like he treats me…he probably treats others much better :-)…I’ve always been recommending him to my family and colleagues who have been in need of appliances.
I’ve visited Bob’s store many times before, and I felt that it was time I give his store a shout out, based on my most recent experience there. Back a couple of months ago, I was in the market for a new stove for my aunt. My aunt is 93, living on fixed income, and Bob was aware of this. Instead of selling us a high-end appliance, Bob had given the salesperson a heads up and they were able to find us a good quality stove at a reasonable price.
In addition, Caplan’s will offer to deliver the new appliance and take away the old one. In my aunt’s case, we needed added assistance because the stove was a gas range, and it’s not something you can just easily unplug from the wall. As a result, you need a gas fitter to disconnect the old one and install the new appliance. As it turns out, the salesperson was kind enough to find me a gas fitter, and coordinated the timing so we were able to remove the old stove at the same time as they brought the new one in. The fact that they were willing to go the extra mile to help out my aunt for what amounted to a small purchase, just shows how much they care about their business and their customers.
Aside from the gas fitter, Caplan’s has partnerships with other people in the trades, including interior designers, builders, and construction companies. Bob is truly a one-stop solution for all of your appliance needs.
Caplan’s has been around for a long time, and they understand the value of having a customer for life. Whether you’re looking for a starter or base type of appliance, upgrading to new model, looking to redo your kitchen and get high-end appliances, Bob and his team are there for you.