Tag Archives: Quality

Top Nine Ways To Celebrate The Valentine’s Day Long Weekend

Valentine’s Day (or as some people like to call it, the International Day of Love) is almost here, and we have you covered for great ideas to celebrate. Whether you are spending some quality alone time, hanging out with your friends or with that special someone, here are SQM’s top nine ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2020. 

“Pal-entine’s” Day.

Who says Valentine’s Day needs to be all about romance, candlelit dinners and flowers? Grab your friends, order a pizza and dessert and have yourselves a party. Celebrate your friendship having a board game night, having a movie marathon with your favourite rom-coms or sci-fi flicks, or complete a thousand-piece puzzle. Take time to celebrate your friendship and enjoy each other’s company. 

Ikea Date

This year, Ikea is rolling out the red carpet by offering a three-course meal, all for the low low price of $29.99 for members and $34.99 for non-members. Enjoy a dinner for two and then have the time of your life roaming the store looking for the great next purchase. 

Dinner and a Show

This is a classic date night option for a reason. It gives you and that special someone a reason to get dressed up, eat a delicious meal, talk about the meaning of life while staring deeply into each other’s eyes. Obviously, this will all be done over a shared plate of spaghetti (a la The Lady and the Tramp) before going to enjoy a night of cinematic excitement, artistic talent or theatrical drama. Check your local listings for great shows and performances scheduled around Valentine’s Day.

Take A Class Together

Get out of your comfort zone and bond with the ones you love by checking out a new activity together. Whether that’s trying out a cooking class to teach you the skills to master that Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe, busting out a dance move or two at a salsa or ballroom dance class, or learning to find your inner peace through meditation and yoga.

Weekend Getaway

Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to get away for the weekend. Lucky for you, this year Valentine’s Day falls right before the Family Day long weekend. Take this opportunity to head out of the city for a cozy getaway with that special someone. Visit Montreal to experience the architecture, food and culture, or go to Blue Mountain for skiing. If neither of those options sound like your cup of tea, try going to the wine country and see if you can book a wine tasting tour.

Recreate your first date or favourite date

A wonderful and meaningful way to spend your Valentine’s Day with that special someone is recreating your first date. It is such a romantic and thoughtful gesture that really shows that you care.

NBA All-Star Weekend

For all you basketball fans, whether you’re #TeamGiannis or #TeamLeBron, get together with your friends and family to cheer on your team this Sunday!

Give Back

During the season of love, show how much you love and care about your community by giving back. Grab your friends, family and partner and volunteer to help the less fortunate.

Treat Yourself: Self Love

Take some time out of your busy schedule and treat yourself with some “me time” and self-care. Whether that means, getting a massage or your nails done, having a quiet night in or treating yourself to a new book or sweater, take the time to appreciate yourself and all the hard work that you do throughout the year.

 

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Leaving The Competition In The Dust

For my last blog, I highlighted a family-run dry cleaning business so while I’m on the topic of household-related items I wanted to talk about a family-run appliance repair store called York Appliance Vacuums.

The first time I visited the store, I happened to be in the area and so stopped in, as I was having problems with my Shop-Vac. I was very pleased that within 10 minutes, they were able to fix my problem efficiently and at a reasonable price. In fact, I was even given a longer cord to replace my other one, making it much better.

In more recent times, I was having trouble with my Dyson vacuum, so I called up York Appliance to ask for help, as I’ve been pleased with their service in the past. They don’t normally work on Dyson vacuums (Dyson apparently does their own repairs) but they took the time to look at it for about 15 minutes and gave me suggestions and ideas that might fix the problem.

Often these days in business, people are just looking for instant gratification and hang up the phone if they don’t get a sale right away. Even though this call would not result in a sale, the owner spent some time to keep a customer like myself happy and engaged.

If you’re looking to support a family business, or for a reputable place to buy, service, or fix your vacuums, take a look at York Appliance.

York Appliance Vacuums
416-488-3231
https://yorkappliance.ca/

 

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Nothing’s Tougher Than a Burton

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
burton@gluckstein.com

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Dyson – A Sucker for Customer Service

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.

Dyson Canada
1-877-397-6622
https://www.dysoncanada.ca

 

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Introducing Minus H2O

As some of you may know, my business partner and I are currently involved in a company completely unrelated to SQM, known as Minus H2O. Minus H2O is an ever expanding line of super-concentrated household cleaning products.

Presently, we offer three products: a multi-purpose cleaner, a toilet bowl cleaner, and a window and glass cleaner, with more to come in the future. The company was founded with the purpose of addressing significant environmental issues relating to carbon emissions and plastic pollution in consumer packaged goods. When it comes down to it, most consumers don’t realize that when you buy a bottle of cleaner at the store (or many household products), you’re basically paying for water!

In fact, in many cases, up to 98 percent of what’s in the bottle is simply just water. By taking the water out of our product, it becomes 133 times more concentrated than what you’d normally buy in stores. In addition to significant reductions in carbon emissions and the use of much less plastic, consumers also pay a heck of a lot less.

Here’s the math behind our theory….since one capful of Minus H2O makes up an entire litre of cleaning product, each of our bottles will yield in many more litres of cleaning product, as compared to our competition, for a fraction of the cost.

If your average bottle costs $4.00, our 60ml bottle, which makes 8L of cleaning product, will save you $30.00…enough money for you to take a friend to the movies. Our 250 ml bottle makes 33L of cleaning solution, and is calculated to save the average consumer over $125.00…enough money for dinner out. And our 1L bottle makes 133L of cleaning solution, and is calculated to save the companies $500.00….enough for a staff appreciation event!

While I might be somewhat biased, just about everybody who tries the product says that in addition to the above noted benefits, it smells great and works extremely well.

Presently the product is available in Canada, online at Staples, and in the United States on Amazon.

Whether you care about the environment, want to save a helluva lot of money, or a combination of both, I highly encourage you give Minus H2O a try.

As always, thanks in advance for your support and consideration.

Minus H2O
416-847-1029
https://www.minush2o.com/

 

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Dyson Leaves the Competition in the Dust

Image of a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

Based on the advice of a few friends, a number of years ago my wife and I bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner for our new house. The purchase ended up being a great decision, and we liked it so much, that we later went and bought another smaller, handheld Dyson, to clean up smaller messes, dust, etc.

Although Dyson is typically more expensive than the average brands of vacuum cleaners, I truly believe it is worth the investment. The vacuums themselves are engineered extremely well, ergonomically designed, easy to maintain, and don’t have a lot of complicated parts. In fact, given all the benefits, and how pleased I was with the home vacuum cleaner, we also decided to buy a Dyson for the SQM office.

Although our office Dyson vacuum has always been very well maintained, a few weeks ago we began to experience some problems with it. In particular, the rotating brush, or “head” of the vacuum stopped rotating. Naturally, we first tried to fix it ourselves because Dyson products are usually very easy to take apart and put together, but no dice. Our next step was to call Dyson and tell them about our problem. The representative answered the phone quite promptly, asked and answered the necessary questions, collected the model number from us, and told us it was still under warranty. Without hesitation, they offered to ship a new head directly to us.

The process of fixing equipment that was still under warranty was painless, and the new piece was shipped to us, just as promised. Unfortunately, our problems didn’t end there. We quickly discovered that we could not remove the old piece from the hose part of the vacuum. After placing another call to Dyson they offered a new hose piece since simply removing the head was no longer an option for us. A few days later, the hose piece arrived, safe and sound, and we were successfully able to switch the parts out and fix our office vacuum.

Dyson seems to have the perfect recipe for success: great quality products, amazing customer service, and a commitment to stand behind what they sell.

Whether you’re looking for a vacuum, their bladeless fans, or a hairdryer, consider Dyson as a long-term, worthwhile investment.

Dyson
1-877-397-6622
www.dysoncanada.ca

 

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