Investing in a new garage door or needing significant repairs to an existing door involves major decisions. Given the weightiness of these decisions, it’s essential to exercise an appropriate amount of caution against scams. In doing so, you will avoid getting taken advantage of.
This buyer beware guide will help you be a wise garage door owner and not fall prey to garage door repair scams. Keep reading to learn about the different types of garage door scams. You’ll also learn to identify red flags and choose a quality garage door company!
Avoiding Garage Door Repair Scams
There are a few different garage door scams that homeowners commonly encounter. These include the lifetime guarantee scam, the hardware overhaul scam and the emergency garage door repair scam.
The Lifetime Guarantee Scam
With a lifetime guarantee scam, the company promises a lifetime warranty on their garage door parts. However, if they do not also cover labor, you could be dealing with a scam company. Most of the time, garage door companies cover both labor and parts under a garage door warranty, showing good faith that the garage door and its parts are constructed with quality material. Still, some garage door scammers take advantage of warranty with poor quality materials.
If the repair company doesn’t cover labor under their warranty promises, they may install cheap parts and replace them for free when they inevitably break. Despite free fixes, they will charge inflated labor costs. Since the replaced parts will also be of poor quality material, they will likely break in the same amount of time, trapping homeowners in a vicious cycle.
The Hardware Overhaul Scam
If you’re caught in the crossfires of a hardware overhaul scam, a professional will see your garage door and recommend replacing all of it — from the torsion springs and cables to the rollers and bearing brackets. They may also cast doubt on your manufacturer’s warranty. This doubt will imply that most garage doors break down soon after the warranty expires. While such repair people may seem confident and convincing, they could give you incomplete or inaccurate information.
If a garage door is constructed with the proper material and installed correctly, it should stay in solid condition for over a decade. Even if a manufacturer’s warranty on parts lasts only a year, the garage door and its components should outlast the warranty period. Further, springs should also last at least a decade but are often the first to go.
If a garage door repair professional recommends you replace your garage door based on that fact alone, get a second opinion. The rest of your garage door should be fine.
The Emergency Garage Door Repair Scam
This scam is like the hardware overhaul scam. Yet, it involves specific targeting of homeowners in need of emergency service. In this case, the homeowners may often need significant work done. Still, the repair company will take advantage of the homeowner’s situation by overcharging the repairs and exaggerating the extent of repairs or parts needed.
In these cases, the garage door scammers prey on the homeowner’s lack of knowledge. It’s essential to educate yourself as much as possible on your garage door and any damage. It’s also wise to get a second opinion and compare quotes to ensure your rate is fair.
Besides those scams, there are several other red flags to watch for with garage door repair scams. Here are some red flags to look out for when dealing with garage door repair companies:
- Changing or new company name: If the company name is recent, changes often or is different from their ads or website, consider finding another company to work with. Listen closely when they pick up the phone to see if the company name matches the name on their website or ads. Changing company names indicate they may be attempting to evade someone or something.
- Lack of a permanent physical address: Companies without a permanent physical address are often illegitimate. If you cannot locate a company’s physical location or their stated address differs from their website or ads, be wary of working with that company.
- Unrealistic prices: When a garage door company offers you prices that seem too good to be true, they probably are. Unless they have a verifiable promotion, such companies are likely hiding something in the fine print. In any case, make sure you look over any contract thoroughly and investigate any hidden costs or red flags before signing it if the fees seem too low.
- Unprofessional attire or work vehicle: Investigate if a work van shows up without identifying markers. Such identifying characteristics may include the company’s name, logo or contact info. While the company may still be legitimate, it’s also true that an illegitimate company is more likely to have an unmarked vehicle than otherwise.
- No BBB rating or history: Check out the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to ensure the company is listed under its given name. If they have no rating or account with the BBB, there is a good chance they are illegitimate.
- Nonexistent or oddly vague website: In today’s digital landscape, a website is almost as crucial for a company’s legitimacy as a physical address. That said, the former is easier to get than the latter. At the same time, if a company is illegitimate but still has a website, odds are they’ll avoid going to great lengths to update and fill out their website. With that in mind, either nonexistent or suspiciously vague websites are signs of illegitimate companies.
- Zero reviews: If a company has zero reviews, nobody may have bothered to pen a review. It’s also possible that no one has heard of them because they don’t exist as a legitimate company. In either case, be wary of any company with zero reviews.
- Excessive advertising: Advertising is an essential component of any business’ operations, but excessive advertising indicates that the company is trying to recoup expenses by overcharging.
- You have a weird feeling: As always, listen to your gut. If you have an odd feeling about a particular company, do some background research to determine if your instincts are correct. Our intuition will often tell us that something is off before we know exactly what it is.
How to Choose a Garage Door Company
Choosing a garage door repair company comes with many unique considerations. At the very least, you want to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate company. You also want to find a garage door company that is a cut above the rest to ensure you get the best quality service for your money.
What to Consider When Choosing a Garage Door Company
Here are some things to consider when you choose a new garage door company. These considerations will ensure you avoid scams and receive the best quality service possible:
- Read reviews and testimonials: If a company with any online presence has scammed people in the past, there will probably be reviews and testimonials bearing witness to that fact. At the same time, a company with a solid reputation will likely have an excellent track record of exceeding customer expectations. You can find reviews and testimonials on the company’s website, social media and Google to find out what kind of company you are working with.
- Look at license and certifications: Always ask professionals to introduce themselves and who they’re working for before they start working on your home. Further, make sure the company they represent is fully licensed and certified to provide the services they offer with the necessary permits. It’s a significant red flag if the company refuses to comply with a request for licenses, permits and certifications. Some accreditations to look for include the International Door Association (IDA) memberships, local associations and manufacturer certifications, such as Clopay Authorized dealers.
- Ask for proof of insurance: One of the most important questions to ask a repair business is if they have required liability and compensation insurance. The law obligates garage door companies to provide this information when requested, making it a good way to ensure reliability.
- Look for guarantees and manufacturer warranty: A scam company may make warranty promises not mentioned in the contract. While unethical, they have no obligation to honor verbal promises if they aren’t supported in the agreement. Thus, protect yourself by closely reviewing guarantees and manufacturer warranties in the contract before signing.
- Check critical information: Information like the company’s physical address, name, website and online reputation can help you weigh its legitimacy and value. If they lack this information, their legitimacy is called into question. You may also have difficulty reaching them with any questions or concerns.
- Experience: The longer a company has been in business, the greater chance of its legitimacy. While there are other relevant considerations than experience, such as keeping up with current technologies, more experience is better than no experience in avoiding garage door repair scams. You can rest assured you are receiving legitimate garage door services with companies that have been around the block more than once. Experienced garage door companies are more likely to do a quality job than a start-up. The company should also freely share information about its age, origins and how many customers they’ve served.
- Study BBB ratings and history: As you check to see if the business is listed with BBB, it’s also worthwhile to check their ratings and history. A company can be legitimate but border on scammy with its practices. If so, their BBB rating and history may reflect that. Conversely, a company’s BBB rating may give you peace of mind that you’re dealing with a reputable company.
- Ask questions: Make sure you ask plenty of questions to ensure you get treated fairly. If a garage door repair professional recommends extra parts, ask why they are needed. It’s also worthwhile to get a second opinion and quote in such circumstances. If you have any other concerns, raise them with the company. They should be more than happy to address those concerns for you.
Other Tips for Choosing a Garage Door Company
Besides things to look for that indicate a legitimate garage door company, here are some other tips to help you choose the best garage door company for your needs and budget:
- Check out the services offered: Even if a company is legitimate, it may have limited servicing options. Whether dealing with garage door repair or installing a new garage door, you want to deal with a versatile company. Such companies should be able to provide emergency services for your specific model in high-quality and affordable ways.
- Get several bids and compare quotes: Garage door repair and installation can get quite pricey. In such situations, patience often pays off. Seek several bids from different garage door companies. Then, compare the quotes you receive to determine who will give you the highest quality service at the best price. Besides getting a quote, calling several companies can also tell you about each company’s customer service skills. A company that responds quickly, offers free estimates and has the customer’s best interest in mind is a company worth dealing with.
- Ask friends for recommendations: If you have friends who have recently installed or repaired their garage door, ask them if they recommend the company they worked with. Talk to them about any concerns they had working with the company and how the company treated them. Even if a friend of yours installed or repaired their garage door years ago, they may still have solid recommendations. If their garage door still operates well, the company they worked with is likely commendable!
- Check garage door parts for quality: Research the quality of the garage door parts that the company uses before deciding on a company. Find out the materials they use and the strength rating of those materials to ensure the product they offer will last a long time.
- A work schedule that works for you: Find a garage door company that operates around hours that work for you. If your only days off are on weekends, find a garage door company that operates on weekends. If you have days off during the week, make sure the company is available on those days. You’ll want to make sure the company is available for repairs, installation or whatever service you need them to perform when you are available.
- Consider local service range: Besides the work schedule, make sure the company’s local service range covers your area. If you live outside of their service range, they may charge you extra for transportation and other expenses.
Receive High-Quality and Affordable Garage Door Services With Quality Overhead Door
Quality Overhead Door is a Clopay Authorized Dealer that has been an industry leader in garage door repair services since 1982. We have proudly served thousands of customers throughout Michigan and Ohio. We provide both residential and commercial garage door installation services, as well. Contact us today for a free estimate for your garage door installation or schedule a service today!