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Al's column

by FCNews Staff

SEAL DEAL: If you have yet to sign up for the upcoming Total Solutions Plus conference in Chandler, Ariz., maybe the event’s keynote speaker will make you want to. Marcus Luttrell, a Navy Seal and author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book, “Lone Survivor,” will give attendees a look into his experiences in fighting the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. His presentation will appropriately be given on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. His book tells the harrowing story of four Navy Seals who journeyed into the mountainous border of Afghanistan and Pakistan in Operation Redwing, and has been called “A powerful testament to the courage, integrity, patriotism and community that forged these American heroes. It is an incredible account of team- work, fortitude, and modern warfare.” Total Solutions is sponsored by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, National Tile Contractors Association and Tile Council of North America. Call 630.545.9415 for more information.

DIFFERENT SEAL: The number of products and systems approved under the Carpet & Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval program is quickly approaching 800. To be awarded the Seal, products have to pass a series of stringent tests performed by an independent laboratory. For example, tests for spot removers, pre-sprays and in-tank solutions include protocols for efficacy (removing stains), resoiling (whether the product attracts soil at an accelerated rate), pH (excessively acid or alkaline products can affect dyes and fibers), optical brighteners (can adversely affect color, appearance and performance) and colorfastness to light (residues on pile yarn can accelerate color change). To learn more about the Seal, call 706.428.2123.

SERVICE COUNTS: An American Express survey recently found that 70% of American customers are willing to spend on average, 13% more with companies they believe to provide excellent service. This is up from 2010 when 58% said they would spend on average 9% more. Interestingly, the 13% premium is the second highest of the nine countries listed in The Global Customer Service Barometer, with only consumers in India saying they would spend more (22%). The survey also found 60% of American consumers believe many businesses have not increased their focus on providing good customer service (up from 55% in 2010), and 26% believe companies are actually paying less attention to service.

ID THEFT: Identity theft has become a major threat and costs people dozens of hours and untold dollars trying to recover their lives. In a Gallop poll two-thirds of the respondents rated identity theft as their top fear. To help find a solution for its members the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) has teamed up with LifeLock. The partnership will bring information, education and cost savings to NAFCD members. Michelle Miller, NAFCD’s executive director, said the association hopes to help members fully under- stand the impact of identity theft, noting prevention is “far easier and less costly than dealing with the aftermath.” A special price has been negotiated for members. Call 312.321.6826 to learn more.

FALSE ID: James Hall didn’t steal anyone’s identity. Rather, he stole thousands of dollars worth of goods from consumers who thought he was a carpet cleaner. The 25-year-old was arrested in Louisville, Ky., for posing as a carpet cleaner for a company called All in One Carpet. According to the arrest report he was using it as a cover so he could steal “tens of thousands of dollars” worth of goods from his customers. It seemed he like to target the elderly. In one case he is accused of stealing over $10,000 worth of jewelry from a 98-year-old woman, and in another instance, he targeted a couple, both 85 years of age, for his exploits.