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Fixing Up Your Home: Protect Your Housing Investment

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Your home is an investment in living as well as in savings. If neglected, it will pay no dividends. If properly maintained and improved, it will pay a high yield in comfort and usefulness for your family and in avoidance of costly repair bills. Home improvements also tend to raise neighborhood standards and, as a result, property values. From an economic standpoint, home improvements mean higher employment, increased markets for materials and home products–and therefore a more flourishing community.

If You Do It Yourself

If you are handy with tools and have the experience, you can save money by doing many jobs yourself. But unless you are skilled in wiring, plumbing, installing heat systems, and cutting through walls, you should rely on professionals for such work. 

When you buy the required materials, it pays not to skimp. Good materials are not necessarily the most expensive. What you need are products that look good, are easy to maintain, and last a long time. Buy only from reliable dealers. 

If You Use a Contractor

If you plan to use the services of a dealer or contractor, take care to choose one with a reputation for honesty and good workmanship. There are several ways to check on a contractor: 

  • Consult your local Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, or Local Consumer Protection Agency.
  • Talk with people for whom he has done work. 
  • Ask your lender about him, if you plan to finance the project with a loan. 
  • Check his place of business to see that he is not a fly-by-night operator. 
  • Find out, if you can, how he rates with known building-product distributors and wholesale suppliers. 
  • Ask friends and relatives for names of firms that they could recommend. 
Compare Contractor Offers

Before deciding on a contractor, you may want to get bids from two or three different firms. Make sure that each bid is based on the same specifications and the same grade of materials. If these bids vary widely, find out why. 

Many contractors offer package plans that cover the whole transaction. Under such a plan the contractor provides all materials used, takes care of all work involved, and arranges for your loan. 

Your contractor can make the loan application for you, but you are the one who must repay the loan, so you should see that the work is done correctly. 

Understand What You Sign

The contract that both you and the contractor sign should state clearly the type and extent of improvements to be made and the materials to be used. Before you sign, get the contractor to spell out for you in exact terms: 

    • How much the entire job will cost you. 
  • How much interest you will pay on the loan.
  • How much you will pay in service charges.
  • How many payments you must make to pay off the loan, and how much each of these payments will be.

After the entire job is finished in the manner set forth in your contract, you sign a completion certificate. By signing this paper you certify that you approve the work and materials and you authorize the lender to pay the contractor the money you borrowed. 

Beware of Fraud

Most dealers and contractors conscientiously try to give their customers service equivalent to the full value of their money. Unfortunately, home improvement rackets do exist. Here are a few common sense rules to follow: 

  • Read and understand every word of any contract or other paper before you sign it. 
  • Never sign a contract with anyone who makes fantastic promises. Reputable dealers are not running give-away businesses. 
  • Avoid wild bargains. The best bargain is a good job. 
  • Never consolidate existing loans through a home improvement contractor. 
  • Do not let salespeople high-pressure you into signing up to buy their materials or services. 
  • Be wary of salespeople who try to scare you into signing for repairs that they say are urgent. Seek the advice of an expert as to how urgent such repairs are. High-pressure and scare tactics are often the mark of a phony deal. 
  • Avoid salespeople who offer you trial purchases or some form of bonus, such as cash, for allowing them to use your house as a model for any purpose. Such offers are well-known gimmicks of swindlers. 
  • Never sign a completion certificate until all the work called for in the contract has been completed to your satisfaction. Be careful not to sign a completion certificate along with a sales order. 
  • Proceed cautiously when the lender or contractor demands a lien on your property.

 

 


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Local Business

How Safe And Secure Are you and Your Family in a GMC?

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When the unexpected happens, you’ll have peace of mind that GM has your back.

OnStar®

OnStar® is here to give you confidence, safety, and security whether you get into a crash, need to seek shelter from a bad storm, or wake up and notice your vehicle is not where you left it. With the push of a button, a specially trained advisor will be ready to help you with available features such as Automatic Crash Response, Emergency Services, Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Assistance.

Teen Driver

Having a teen driver can be daunting. You can adjust Teen Driver settings associated with a key fob to help encourage safe driving behavior. such as limit speed and audio volume, and stops certain safety systems, including Stability Control
and Traction Control, from being turned off. An in-vehicle report card gives you information on your teen’s driving habits, so you can continue to coach your new driver.

Forward Collision Alert

When you have a lot on your mind its easy to get distracted. With forward collision alert technology, forward facing cameras detect if a front-end collision is imminent while following a detected vehicle, and both audible and visual signals will appear. It also alerts you if you’re following a
detected vehicle much too closely via visual display in the Driver Information Centre. Safety features are no substitute for the driver’s responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner, and drivers should remain attentive to traffic, surroundings, and road conditions at all times.

Question or Book a Test Drive. Call 403.343.6633


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Business Spotlight: Expert Security Solutions

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A local company re-brands with their customers in mind! Expert Security Solutions, formally Phone Experts Security, is evolving and it’s about a lot more than just a new look!

“Having determined what we didn’t want to look like and listening to our customers feedback, we decided to make some bold changes that set us apart from all our competitors and give us some key differentiators.” – Brad Dufresne

We recently sat down with Expert Security Solutions’ owner Brad Dufresne and spoke about the company’s renewed focus on security solutions and how it all began.

Q: When did The Phone Experts first begin to focus on security solutions and what was the catalyst for that?

A: The Phone Experts Security was born in 1995 out of a need that we saw for a local, reputable company to provide security systems for small and medium commercial businesses. At the time we were doing a lot of network cabling for computer and telephone systems and we were often asked if we could wire for security, so it seemed like a great fit for our business.

Q: Did you always plan on offering residential security solutions as well or did that come later?

A: While we never ruled out the prospect of providing residential security it wasn’t our focus; but we would regularly receive requests for security quotes from the consumer market, so we eventually started to sell and install in that segment as well. Back then our greatest obstacle to being competitive in the residential market was our ability to finance the customers over 3-year terms. Providers like ADT and VOX were able to do this, but we lacked the capital. The only way we could compete was to provide the hardware and installation at or below our cost and rely on revenue from monitoring to attain profitability.

Q: Tell us more about Expert Security Solutions- why the re-brand and why now?

A: The re-brand gives us the opportunity to tell customers we aren’t just a phone company that sells security, and it allows us to retool and redefine who we are as a security provider. We got to take a hard look at the industry and make decisions about what we didn’t like about the industry and offer customers a better product and service than what’s typically offered in both the consumer and commercial markets.

Q: How will you be offering better products and service- what does that mean to you?

A: The products and services we offer are tailored to what our customer needs are and ensuring they are protected. We are a security company that provides security products that go beyond what the average alarm company will provide at a price point that is fair to both the customer and the company. The installation will be completed by professional well-trained technicians who will exceed the customers expectations. We are constantly evaluating products to ensure that we are current and relevant with respect to changing technologies and we are constantly evaluating our customer service – we want to provide exceptional customer experiences.

Q: Tell us more about what went into re-imagining Expert Security Solutions; what did you discover about your business and your customers?

A: We started by asking ourselves questions like; Why we are in business, How do we differ from our competitors, What level of service do we provide, What image we want to convey and Who our customers are and Who we want our customers to be?

The answers we came up with provided us with a clear sense of what we want to be.

Then we created a value statement. This was created by our security team, specifically for the security division;

“We are a local company that cares about protecting what you value most, through innovative and personalized security solutions, while providing an exceptional customer experience.”

We want to create loyal clients that refer others and exceed our customers expectations while providing quality customized security.

Q: You certainly did your research! So where does all this bring Expert Security Solutions? What’s the way forward?

A: Having determined what we didn’t want to look like and listening to our customers feedback, we decided to make some bold changes that set us apart from all our competitors and give us some key differentiators.

The three pillars to our change and future success are the following:

No Contracts for Monitoring

We believe this is our key differentiator and the one that holds us the most accountable to our customers. When customers sign a long-term contract for the installation and monitoring of their security it puts them a terrible bargaining position when it comes to ongoing maintenance and even for the quality of the initial installation. By having no contract for the monitoring, it gives the customer the freedom to leave us if we aren’t providing the services they anticipated. While this a huge risk to us, I love the potential implications because it makes us constantly review our products and services to ensure that we truly are providing the best products and services at a competitive price.

Customer Loyalty Program

We review our customer accounts regularly to ensure they have opportunities to upgrade to current equipment and new technology. We have incentives for new and current customers.

Ongoing Support

Our dispatch is local and our technicians are local too. This allows us to offer services like troubleshooting and service work faster than a company that isn’t local. Our technicians can be reached 24 hours a day for technical issues or concerns.

Q: Any final thoughts on the future?

A: I believe that our vision for Expert Security Solutions as a “customer first, continuous improvement, learning organization”, will set us apart from the competition. But our success will hinge on our ability to get word of mouth advertising out to the market, so people will want to buy from us and seek out our services when required.

 

Check out these other great products and services from The Phone Experts/Expert Security Solutions:

Expert IT Solutions– From cloud managed antivirus to our full suite of remote and onsite support options,  Expert IT Solutions keeps your business concentrated on business not your IT infrastructure. We keep your data secure by using our online back up services, available to all business service clients, and offer multiple combinations of services to fit your business needs.

Find out more

Consumer Solutions – Phone Experts Consumer Solutions, provides wireless and internet services across Alberta, this includes Optik TV solutions, and rural services. Offering the latest cellphones, smartphones, prepaid devices and tablets!

Find out more

Business Solutions – Go where your business takes you! Enable business growth and success with the right solutions and services from Phone Experts Business Solutions, backed by network reliability and industry expertise. We keep your business connected on the go.

Find out more

 

The Phone Experts/Expert Security Solutions

ADDRESS:

4724 – 60th St, Red Deer, AB T4N 7C7

PHONE:

403-343-1122

EMAIL:

Red.Deer@phoneexperts.com

 

 

 


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Community Events

august, 2018

wed30may - 26sepmay 303:30 pmsep 26ATB Financial Downtown Market(may 30) 3:30 pm - (september 26) 6:30 pm

mon25jun - 3sepAll DayRip ‘N Rec Summer Pass returns for youth in Red Deer(All Day)

sun12aug - 19aug 128:00 amaug 19Central Alberta Pride Week8:00 am - 11:00 pm (19)

thu16aug - 26All DayEdmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival(All Day)

fri17aug - 27All DayEdmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival(All Day)

fri17aug7:00 pm- 9:00 pmFree Family Movie Night featuring Sherlock Gnomes!7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

sat18augAll Daywesterner Park Urban Farm - Long Table Dinner(All Day: saturday)

sat18aug11:00 am- 3:00 pmDiscover Pride - A family event!11:00 am - 3:00 pm

sat18aug - 19aug 1812:00 pmaug 19Golf Central Alberta Invitational Golf Tournament12:00 pm - 12:00 am (19)

sat18aug - 19aug 187:00 pmaug 19Drag Show & DanceThe grand finale of Central Alberta Pride Week!7:00 pm - 1:00 am (19)

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