The term “Consumer IQ” is one you may not have heard prior to reading this article. In a nutshell, your consumer IQ is the depth of understanding you possess about an industry, service or company. Before you choose a provider or business to deal with, you should arm yourself with information in order to make the best possible decision. Let’s take a look at five examples:
1. Choosing a Doctor
Before you choose any doctor, it’s important you research their background and the services they offer. You obviously aren’t going to go to a podiatrist to treat your acne. When choosing a doctor, you want to be sure of a few things: are the licensed to practice in your state, do they have board certification and what hospital is the doctor affiliated with? These are the starting points; you may find that other information, such as the age and gender of the physician, are important to you.
Purchasing a new car is a big decision. What type of vehicle will best suit your needs? Once you’ve chosen the type of vehicle, it’s important to research its specs and the results of any safety testing it has undergone. Do this at home, without pressure from a salesman who, let’s face it, will sell you anything to make a commission.
Once you’ve decided on the make and model of the vehicle you want to purchase, you’ll want to research the dealers in your area. Do they have a good reputation? Are they offering any incentives? Are they in a convenient location should your vehicle need maintenance?
Whether you are going to school or sending your child to college for the first time, choosing a college can be a life-altering decision. Some things to ask yourself: does the college offer a wide choice of majors? Can you afford the tuition? Does the institute offer financial assistance outside of federal loans and grants?
Colleges are fairly easy to research online. Almost every school has its own website full of information and contact numbers. There are also books at your library that will give you the latest rankings on a wide variety of criteria.
4. Medical Testing
Did you know that you aren’t required to have testing performed at your doctor’s office? Most people don’t know that they are free to acquire testing from outside, and often less costly, sources. When you locate a laboratory or clinic, make sure they offer the type of testing that you require. Are they close to home? What is their turnaround time for results?
If you’re buying your first home, there are many things you need to be aware of. What types of inspections does your lender require? Will you go with a VA, FHA or other type of loan? Would a fixed mortgage work best for you or would you be better suited by taking out an alternative type of loan? Knowing what you are getting into can save a great deal of heartache and stress later.
Before you make any major purchase, it is important that you boost your Consumer IQ. The World Wide Web is a fantastic source of information. From public information to consumer reviews, you can find it all online. Your local library is also a great source of information! No matter what you are purchasing or what type of services you need, arming yourself with as much information as possible is the only way to make a sound decision.
Cynthia Johnson is a lab assistant and online contributor for one of the most notable health testing centers, offering a prescribed or self-ordered Lipid Profile and many other types of blood tests for everything from liver functions to a thyroid test.
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