September 1, 2017

Avoiding Garage Door Repair Scams

Garage door repair scams

The garage door to your home is extremely important, both from a practical and safety point of view. Many people today even use it as the main way of gaining entry into their home, so keeping it functioning properly is of primary concern. Because this is so important, you need to be careful about who you trust to come and repair the door when it malfunctions in any way. Ask relatives or friends for a specialist that they trust. Word of mouth is always better than inviting some stranger into your home.

Below are some helpful hints to help you know who the fraudsters are and how to steer clear of them.

Internet searches

Many people are often quite quick to go straight to the Internet the moment that their garage door stops working. Using a mix of search engines, the hope is to quickly find someone to come and do a repair. Known as ‘digital word of mouth’, this is not always the best course of action to take, but it can be effective if done properly.

If you do decide to click on some links that show up during an Internet search, here are some things that you should look for in trying to determine if a repair company sounds too good to be true.

  • Physical address:
    • You want to look in the About Us or Who We Are sections to see where they are located.
    • Take a look and see if an actual street address is included in this section. Does it show up in Google? If you cannot find an exact address, this is a warning sign! Your phone call in such cases is often routed through a call center to someone who is not even a garage door specialist.
    • Look for some photos of the actual business or its owner. Can you find the owners name or signature online? If someone is proud of the work that they perform, they will not have any problem providing this information on the site.
    • Do not discount small businesses. Remember that good work can come from companies that are extremely small!
    • Finally, look out for fake photos that have simply been taken from other websites. Such pictures might show a person answering the phone around the clock, or a shiny fleet of new repair vehicles just waiting to come to your home.
  • Association memberships
    • Are there any logos on the website that demonstrate the company is a member of some type of trade association?
    • Are there any consumer associations that recommend their services, or can you find any online reviews from sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List?
  • Customer reviews
    • If you recognize a review from someone that is in your local area, consider contacting him or her to inquire about the business or repair technician.
    • If you find a series of reviews that only give the company 5 out of 5 stars, and only a first name is given for the reviewer, that is a sign that they are likely all false!
  • Go deeper with your investigation
    • Dig a bit deeper online to discover if the company you are considering is mentioned anywhere else, such as on another company’s website. You can do this with a search engine.
    • Look for a social media presence, as nearly every company, large and small, has a presence there. Again, if the company is proud of its work, they will be happy to showcase their work on sites like Facebook.

Contact by telephone

A company specializing in garage door repair should be able to be reached by telephone during normal business hours, usually between 7:30 am and 5 pm. When you talk to them, ask them the following questions to get a feel for how much you can trust them.

  • What is your exact street address?
  • Do you have current operating licenses?
  • Is your liability coverage up to date?
  • Are all of your employees covered by adequate insurance?
  • Do you have a service vehicle that properly identifies your company, or will your subcontractor be easily identifiable if you use one?

If the company provides you with an overall price for the repairs without even looking at the garage door first, it is a warning sign to be sure! A legitimate repair business will provide you with an hourly rate, including mileage, and then give you an estimate based on the information that you provide. Many times, a repair is necessary because of a broken spring, so a technician will need to come out to inspect what has happened, assess the size of the spring, and then give you an estimate. If they say that is not necessary, steer clear of them!

While on location, an experienced technician will see if there are any other repairs needed to make sure your garage door is properly functioning. A professional will also check the automatic reversal system on your opener to make sure it is working correctly.

Once on site…

When the technician arrives on site, request a written estimate of the costs and ask that they be explained in detail. If they want you to pay in advance, especially in cash, you will want to beware of them.

An experienced company will provide you with any parts that were changed. You should also receive an accurate invoice detailing the terms of warranty for new parts and the labor. This includes if you pay by credit card after the repairs have been made.

And what if I need a new garage door?

Contact us at 508-875-3508. We have earned a great reputation in the area and we are not afraid to proclaim that our work is always done properly. We work hard to assess your needs and get you the product that fits within your budget and meshes well with the style of your home. At your request, we can provide you with an online quotation for anything you desire.

You are also welcome to come visit our showroom. We also have a Design Centre that can help you choose just the right door.

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