How to avoid garage door repair scams

Garage door repair scams

Your garage door is the largest mobile component of your home. As well, an increasing number of residents use it as their main entry point to their house, even more than the front door. For your own safety and that of the other members of your family, entrusting its repair to just anyone who arrives at your door, is not the wisest decision.

Why not ask nearby relatives or friends if they have ever used a garage door specialist to repair their door. What was their experience? Word of mouth is always more reliable than taking your chances with just anyone.

Here are some tips to help you identify fraudsters, the so-called “best garage door repairer in town!”, especially if you have no one in your entourage to give you a recommendation.

Internet searches

Quite often, when our garage door stops working, we have the reflex to start looking on the Internet, using one of the search engines like Google or visiting Yellow Page websites. This is called “digital word of mouth”.

If you click on one of the links that are listed, here are the points you should take a closer look at, while keeping an eye out for any superlatives that are too good to be true.

  • Physical address:
    • Look under the “About Us” or “Who we are” headings.
    • Is there a street address listed in this section? A link to Google Street? If you don’t find a precise address, beware! Often your call is routed to a call center that refers your call to an independent contractor who is not necessarily a specialist.
    • Are there any photos of the place of business or its owner? The owner’s name or signature? When we are proud of the work we do, we have no reluctance in giving this information.
    • On the other hand, just because a business is small, it can still do good work. Remember, good things come in small packages!
    • Lastly, watch out for phony photos “borrowed” from other websites, showing a person answering the telephone 24/7, or a fleet of shiny new repair trucks.
  • Association memberships
    • Can you find logos showing it is a member in good standing of a construction association or garage door installer association?
    • Is it recommended by consumer associations like an automobile association or the Better Business Bureau or a crowd-sourced review website like Angie’s List or Yelp?
  • Customer reviews
    • Do you recognize anyone in you know or in your area? If yes, don’t hesitate to contact them.
    • If you only see reviews with 5 out of 5 points, or names (very often only first names) that seem bogus, you can assume most of them are false.
  • Go deeper with your investigation
    • Look further on your search engine to see if the company in question is mentioned on other websites.
    • Be wary of free classified-ad sites where no message or information is controlled.
    • Facebook: does the company have a Facebook page? If yes, take a look at it. Since Facebook is easy to use, even for a small company, if it is reliable and reputable, it will proudly show its completed projects.

Contact by telephone

If you can reach a company specialized in garage door repair during its normal business hours, usually between 7:30 am and 5:00 pm, ask them the following questions, especially the ones you didn’t get answers to on the company’s website:

  • What is your precise street address?
  • Are all its operating licenses in order?
  • Does it have liability insurance coverage?
  • Are its employees covered by accident insurance?
  • Are its service vehicles properly identified with the company’s name or will it send a subcontractor?

If you are given an overall price to make a repair, sight unseen, it is very likely that it is, once again, too good to be true. A serious business will give you its hourly rate, including its mileage, and a good idea of price based on the information you’ve given them. Very often, if it’s the result of a broken spring, one of its technicians will need to come on site to see the type of spring, its size, and make a more accurate evaluation of the repair costs.

While there, the technician will look to see if there aren’t other repairs to make so that your garage door works properly. Finally, this garage door professional will examine the automatic reversal system of your door opener to see if it is working adequately.

Once on site…

Go right ahead and ask for a written estimate of the costs and for them to be well explained. If you are asked to pay the repair work in advance, beware of this company, especially if they ask you to pay in cash.

A reputable company will give you any parts that were changed. You should definitely receive a valid invoice explaining the warranty on the new parts and on their labor, even if this means you pay with your credit card once the repairs have been made.

And what if I need a new garage door?

Contact us at 607-687-5126. We are well established in this area and aren’t afraid to say our work is always done right. We will work with you to analyze your needs and which product fits best with your budget and the architectural style of your home. We can even send you an online quotation for whatever interests you.

You can also come meet us at our showroom. As well, try using our Design Centre to help you in choosing the style of door that

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