Unfortunately, some people in the garage door industry are willing to take advantage of unsuspecting home and business owners. Many of them are professional scammers and know just what to say and do to fool the uneducated. They also know just how far they can go before they tip the scale and work outside of the law.
Don’t become a victim of a garage door repair scam. Knowledge is power; educate yourself so you can identify warning signs and avoid being cheated. Learn what you need to know to make wise decisions and hire a trustworthy, qualified garage door technician next time you need your garage door fixed or replaced.
1. The “Repair Specialist”
Many scammers focus primarily on repair work, as opposed to installation work, because when a customer is desperate for a quick repair, they may hire someone hastily without getting bids from multiple companies. Another reason repair work is the focus is because many customers won’t know if they’re being overcharged for a job; they have nothing to compare it to, so they have no idea what the price should be. Aside from cost, customers often can’t tell if the repair is needed in the first place, so they will take the "repair specialist" at his word.
WHAT TO DO: Get bids from at least two or three different garage door companies before you accept a proposal. This is the most important thing you can do, and it will usually reveal any scammers. If the company you’re considering focuses mainly on repair work, get a quote from a similar company that has been in business for a long time.
2. Answering the Phone Generically
If you call and the person who answers says you’ve reached a generic name such as “garage doors” or “garage door service,” they could be a phony company.
WHAT TO DO: Simply ask what company you called and with whom you are speaking. If they give you a sketchy or unclear answer, hang up and call someone else.
3. No Permanent Address
Some scammers run their “business” straight out of their vehicle. They don’t have a permanent building or location they use as a base, and they use a cell phone to make calls. Some of these types of service providers are legitimate and honest, but some are not.
WHAT TO DO: Look up their website and do some research. Do you see a permanent address listed on their website? If so, look it up on Google or drive by in your car to see if it exists.
4. No Better Business Bureau Rating
If a business has a bad or nonexistent BBB rating, this is a clear warning sign that you shouldn't work with them.
WHAT TO DO: Go to www.bbb.org and search for the company you’re considering hiring. This shouldn’t be the only thing you do, but it's a good place to start. Some companies know how to get rid of bad reviews, and the ratings can sometimes be skewed.
5. Excessive Advertising
The top spots on Google are sometimes occupied by disreputable companies. Look at ads closely. Does the company you’re looking into promise big discounts, low prices, same-day service, 5-star ratings, or a $29 service fee?
WHAT TO DO: Take any of the above as warnings that you may be looking at a phony company or scam artist. Also check for fake reviews and testimonials.
Before hiring a garage door company or repair technician, make sure you follow all of the tips in this post. Look up BBB ratings, get referrals, compare prices, and do some research into the company you are considering. If you do all of these things, you should be able to find a good company that does quality, honest work.
If you're looking for a trustworthy, established, and professional garage door technician in Des Moines or Central Iowa, contact WD Door in Ankeny! We serve much of the state, so don't hesitate to ask if your community is within our reach. We install and repair commercial and residential garage doors. If you like what you read in today's post, you can subscribe to our blog by clicking on the button below. We post articles full of tips and information every week.
*from the Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA)