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Archive for the ‘Save Time, Money & Aggravation’ Category

Will Greed Continue to Intercede in the NBA?

May 22 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Contrarian Consumer, Peel The Onion, Save Time, Money & Aggravation, Sports World Tags: , , , , , ,

How to Fix the National Basketball Association – or WILL GREED CONTINUE TO INTERCEDE?  Players are so large in today’s NBA, why not 4 on 4 so fewer players will make the NBA including fewer coaches, trainers and staff? WILL GREED CONTINUE TO INTERCEDE? Fix the first round of the playoffs, best of 3 instead of best of 7? WILL GREED CONTINUE TO... Read more

Let’s eliminate the Fourth of July…

July 2 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | A Better Way?, Contrarian Consumer, Peel The Onion, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , ,

Let’s retire July 4th permanently and bring back Independence Day! Perhaps we need to add some common sense to the situation, let’s eliminate the Fourth of July, forever! Completely wipe it away. This includes parades, picnics, and fireworks. No, I’m not against picnics or celebrations but let’s look at things from a different perspective.

From Netanimiations.net
Let’s take... Read more

The Frugal Pet Owner

June 10 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | A Better Way?, Contrarian Consumer, Peel The Onion, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: ,

Image from ElizabethtownPetDayCare.com
For some veterinarians, especially in Lake County, IL, for dog grooming reasons, you need to verify that your dog has the proper vaccinations. Fair enough, I understand their reasoning. In terms of the cost, it may cost upwards of $125. The office visit may cost $35 and for the rabies vaccination, tag and... Read more

An Alternative to Coupon Clipping?

May 24 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Contrarian Consumer, Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

INTRODUCTION I derive joy about not necessarily being brand loyal unless it deserving and is a good value. In my mind, good value is how the product measures up and is it money worth spent. If you don’t mind choosing generic or brands on sale, why spend so much time clipping coupons? DON’T ADVERTISE TOO MUCH…The more a brand is advertised, the more suspicious I become... Read more

A Time for Creating and a Time for Editing…

March 17 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | A Better Way?, Peel The Onion, Save Time, Money & Aggravation

Creativity versus Critical Thought… Years ago, writing as a hobby, my writing approach was non-existent. Regularly, I’d write, edit, and worry about punctuation and grammar at the same time attempting to be creative. A recipe for mediocrity at the very best.   The writing school of hard knocks taught me a valuable lesson – don’t merge creativity and editing. If you do, your... Read more

Review of Consumer Reports Article of the 10 Main Retailers…

March 13 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Contrarian Consumer, Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation

When it comes to pleasing customers, Costco does a better job than any other major retailer in the country. By Herb Weisbaum

http://lifeinc.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/09/10364507-costco-tops-wal-mart-target-other-rivals-in-consumer-reports-survey-of-customers   When it comes to pleasing customers, Costco does a better job than any other major retailer in the country.   At least that is the conclusion from an extensive survey conducted by Consumer Reports.   “People like a lot of things about Costco,” says... Read more

Political Signs In Front Of Your Restaurant

March 6 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Miscellaneous, Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , , , ,

Should Companies Steer Away From Controversial Subjects? Would your personal or political principles ever prevent you from patronizing a restaurant? If you discovered that, a restaurant you regularly patronize, has very strong political views contrary to your own, will you continue to patronize? Will it sway you in either direction? There is a restaurant in the Libertyville area that I have visited... Read more

Does small downtown street signs in Chicago put me in the Loop?

October 25 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | A Better Way?, Contrarian Consumer, Save Time, Money & Aggravation

I spent a few hours one March morning walking around downtown Chicago as I had a few appointments in the city. It was a cold, windy, and gray day, which is not out of the norm for late March although you never know what Mother Nature will bring the Second City. In other words, expect the best but prepare for... Read more

Revenue versus Safety?

August 26 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | A Better Way?, Contrarian Consumer, Peel The Onion, Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , ,

A few months ago, I received a parking ticket in downtown Libertyville. Actually, I had received the $20 ticket on the 2nd level of the parking structure just west of downtown Libertyville. My infraction, I had exceeded the parking limit of 4 hours by about 35 minutes. A parking ticket is a parking ticket except there was only one other car... Read more

Does the Client or Customer ever have any Responsibilities?

August 18 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Do Customers Have Responsibilities Too?, Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , , , ,

BE CAREFUL ABOUT PUTTING CUSTOMER SERVICE ASSOCIATES ON HOLD This is not something I’d recommend. If possible, you should not call customer service and then put them on hold. Even if it’s only for a minute or two. It’s just not a good way to engage in a business interaction. Who knows, there may be other callers in the queue wanting... Read more

Is Free Valet Parking Really Without Any Costs?

August 14 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | A Better Way?, Contrarian Consumer, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags:

I went to the Greek Island restaurant last month in Chicago and noticed a long line at the valet service in front of the restaurant. Being someone who is impatient and does not like to wait in line, I decided to park myself. I was not terribly familiar with Greektown although it was daylight and the neighborhood appears to be quite... Read more

NAPA Auto Parts in Libertyville

August 9 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Empathica-Great Service, Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , ,

Right next to McDonald’s, at 1402 North Milwaukee (Route 21) sits NAPA Auto Parts in Libertyville. Because I live in north Libertyville, over the last 5 years or so, I started to visit this store for automotive advice and supplies. Common supplies would include light bulbs for various lights on my car, front, and rear windshield wiper blades. I’ve never been... Read more

Idea Busting

July 7 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Business and Job World, Contrarian Consumer, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , ,

I was at a networking group a few weeks ago and the topic switched to idea generation and brainstorming – particularly in the corporate environment. The facilitator of the group talked about the importance and value of mentioning ideas in the workplace. She went on to say if you mention or suggest an idea that management decides to implement, then... Read more

Paper or Plastic Divider at the Grocery Store?

July 1 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | A Better Way?, Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , ,

New Divider At The Grocery Store Do you ever get annoyed at the grocery store when you are not asked if you want paper or plastic? I guess plastic is the de facto choice but personally, I’d like to be asked. From my perspective, I just see plastic bags as too difficult to handle. If you get $100 worth of groceries; I’d... Read more

Increase your PC Speed and Performance for Windows OS without any $$$

June 26 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | A Better Way?, Contrarian Consumer, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , , , ,

If you watch ESPN enough, you will eventually see an ad about software that will help you fix your PC. I believe this is ‘MyCleanPC.com’. I have also seen ‘MaxMySpeed.com’ advertised here. I’ve never tried these products so I’m not in a position to talk about their effectiveness or eventual cost, but hearing about these products prompted me to think.... Read more

The Silo Restaurant —Tasty Pizza but what’s up with the pizza discount?

June 21 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Contrarian Consumer, Peel The Onion, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , ,

Evaluation of the 50% Off Coupon Offer There’s a restaurant in Lake Bluff, which has been serving and pleasing customers for many years. It’s called The Silo Restaurant. Part of the restaurant is shaped like a silo – hence, the name. This brief article is not about the food, service or ambience. This is not a restaurant critique or evaluation; I’ll leave that... Read more

How Much Service Are You Willing to Pay For?

June 13 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Contrarian Consumer, Peel The Onion, Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I chatted with a friend the other day who was upset that cashiers at his local Wal-Mart are not always friendly and customer focused. My friend, who is a chef, prides himself on providing excellent service in whatever role he performs. He just doesn’t understand why a store like Wal-Mart doesn’t always appreciate his business. Let me explain. Recently, he’s seen... Read more

Providing Excellent Service in Your Small Business One Interaction at a Time

May 11 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Empathica-Great Service, Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A few months ago, I had a conversation with a few individuals who are interested in customer service and take it seriously. At the time, we were thinking aloud — how does a small business owner or independent contractor know when they are doing a good job? Especially in the area of taxes, financial services or insurance. Think accountant, financial... Read more

Coffee anyone at Panera?

May 9 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Contrarian Consumer, Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , ,

I know some who read this article may think I’m splitting hairs with the nature of this article although to me, it’s an interesting thought (at least in my feeble opinion) so I can’t resist. If you’re annoyed or offended by the triteness, my apologies. Here goes…If you are frugal Frank and you want to order coffee at Panera and stay... Read more

Persuasive Power of Uncertainty – Review Of

April 25 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Contrarian Consumer, Peel The Onion, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Harvard Business Review (HBR) interviewed Zak Tormala of Stanford about their current research. 232 The Persuasive Power of Uncertainty (Podcast) My Summary of the PERSUASIVE POWER OF UNCERTAINTY Part of their study involved a fictitious restaurant where researchers tried to study the power of uncertainty by experts and non-experts using restaurant reviews. The restaurant review was done in the most favorable light and their intent... Read more

Of Course, Word of Mouth is Best

April 6 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Miscellaneous, Peel The Onion, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , ,

Word of Mouth says Word of Mouth is best…Over the last month or so, I had a few friends and relatives perplexed at not finding the correct service person to assist them in their needs. My one friend was looking for a mechanic and he didn’t know where to turn. In a similiar situation, a relative of mine was looking for... Read more

Grocery Therapy-Part 2

January 20 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Living Well (Health & Fitness), Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , , ,

ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS BUY SOME FRUIT IN SEASON ONLY Buy grapes, strawberries, blueberries only in season. Resist the urge to buy blueberries in February, especially in the Northern climates. You’ll pay excessively for them. If you need frozen strawberries or blueberries, Trader Joe’s has them for a very competitive price. Don’t forget the Warehouse Clubs if you really like frozen fruit and don’t... Read more

Back Up Your PC Data

December 20 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Do Customers Have Responsibilities Too?, Miscellaneous, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , , , ,

Over the past week or so, I worked with two university students who had issues with their computers (laptops) seriously affecting their school work. The first student was Lauren, who inadvertently ran over her only power cord with her car, one day before her final paper was due. Unfortunately, her battery did not work well so she was unable to retrieve her... Read more

Store Brands Over Company Brands?

November 3 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Peel The Onion, Retail & Service World, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , ,

Consumer Reports Article This Consumer Reports article talks about the option of sometimes purchasing store brand products over big name or name brands. Often, the taste and quality are quite similar with the potential to save consumers money. Have you ever consider choosing store brands over company brands? MY INPUT According to the Consumer Reports article, if you’re flexible and have no problem buying... Read more

An Alternative to the 5 Hour Energy Drink?

July 29 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | A Better Way?, Contrarian Consumer, Save Time, Money & Aggravation Tags: , , ,

This post is certainly not a product evaluation. In fact, I’ve never used the product. My exposure to this product comes from Internet and TV ads rather than actually using this product for a period of time. From what I can see, 5 Hour Energy appears to be marketing to the Gen X and Gen Y‘ers. And from what I see from all the... Read more

How Valuable is a Dishwasher?

June 18 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | A Better Way?, Contrarian Consumer, Save Time, Money & Aggravation

A modern appliance is invented and many in an industrialized society eventually gravitate toward it. Will it save us time? Will it do exactly what marketers say it will do? What will it cost? Is it a good use of time and energy? A few confessions: I did not grow up with a dishwasher. I was the dish washer. Actually, my four... Read more

If Work At Large Company, Why Not Bring Your Lunch To Work?

June 11 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Miscellaneous, Save Time, Money & Aggravation

IT’S EASY TO COMPLAIN It is common and sometimes contagious to complain about cafeteria food at work. Whether it is breakfast or lunch food, there are always a few employees who find reasons to complain. Either the food is too salty, lacks taste, or isn’t served at the right temperature; cafeteria complainers cannot help themselves from commenting on the food. Even... Read more

How to stay in shape without belonging to a health club

June 6 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Contrarian Consumer, Living Well (Health & Fitness), Peel The Onion, Save Time, Money & Aggravation

Some people go to the gym or health club to exercise. Maybe it’s the social aspect, variety of fitness equipment, or the other services they provide. Regardless, I’ve never gravitated toward fitness clubs and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s partly the cost. Maybe it’s the lack of hygiene I’ve seen at certain fitness clubs. Or maybe I prefer to exercise around my... Read more

Review of Replacing Old Refrigerator

May 14 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Peel The Onion, Save Time, Money & Aggravation

REPLACING OLD REFRIGERATOR Hopefully, most people will not have to go through this process more than a few times during their adult lives — especially considering that many homes purchased include appliances like the refrigerator. Ideally, it is recommended to choose a day or time of year with cooler temperatures (if possible) when shopping for a new refrigerator. In my situation, delivery was... Read more

Review of Tricoci University in Libertyville, IL

March 24 | Posted by Kevin Schwarm | Save Time, Money & Aggravation

Tricoci University 750 E. Park, Libertyville, IL Telephone 847-247-8100 SERVICE REVIEW OF TRICOCI UNIVERSITY SALON For those who live in Lake County, live or work near Libertyville, you may want to try out their service. You can become a preferred member for $25 annually. This includes 25% of all retail products, 50% of the feature product of the month, & 4 specialty coupons for 50%... Read more