While there are home and business owners who perform professional-quality DIY repairs and garage door maintenance, they are an exception. Most of the time, licensed garage door installers are called in to get the job done. The last thing you want is to call a garage door professional for a single repair, only to hear a laundry list of recommended repairs and replacements that seem ingenuine or fake.
Don’t Fall Prey To Repair Scams
Sometimes they are honest and accurate, and other times they are scamming unknowing civilians in an attempt to make more money. How do you know which is genuine, and which is a scam?
Work with the same, trusted garage door installer whenever possible
Customer-centric contractors enjoy long-term, high-quality, and loyal relationships every bit as much as their customers do. This is why we recommend meeting with at least three different contractors when you first install or replace your garage door. You’ll get a feel for their customer service reps and their staff, and can pick the one that seems the most genuine and trustworthy.
Then, over the course of time and various maintenance and repair appointments, you’ll build a positive rapport. That is the best way to avoid garage door repair scams and know that you can trust the information you’re hearing.
Maintain your garage door as per manufacturer’s instructions
If you maintain your garage door as per the manufacturer’s instructions, you’re rarely going to require a suspect list of repairs or parts replacement. This is because a well-maintained garage door has fewer issues, and continued maintenance extends its lifetime.
Of course, over time, certain parts will require replacement, but it’s typically going to happen at a more routine pace, and the explanation (and demonstration) of “why” the repairs are necessary should make sense.
Look for a marked vehicle and clear identification or credentials
High-quality, reliable garage door companies use marked vans or trucks, employ their own technicians on their payroll, and the technicians are identified by their uniform and name tags. Often, companies out to scam people, raking in money on upsells or unnecessary repair and replacement charges hire contracted technicians that drive their own vehicles and have no real attachment or loyalty to any one company – they only care about maximizing their take of the total bill.
You want your garage door repair technician to:
- Work for a company with an established address and professional work history in your area
- Drive a truck, van or car with a company logo
- Provide a detailed estimate (and explanation) of recommended repairs
- Leave the ultimate decision to you, without any pressure or guilt
- Work for a company with vetted, recent customer referrals they willingly supply upon request.
Have the technician demonstrate and explain his/her recommendations
If you hear a laundry list of repair or replacement recommendations, and it has you on edge, ask for a demonstration and explanation. The repair technician should be able to show you the parts he’s referring to and explain why they aren’t working up to par. You should feel educated about his recommendations but without any pressure to do something against your will.
Call the company’s main office immediately if the technician performs repairs without your approval
Often, garage door repair scammers repair or replace parts (or said they did) without any prior approval from you. Then, they become “put out” or antagonistic if you balk at paying for charges you didn’t authorize. Playing on your guilt, they’ll make up reasons why it was necessary, and you may find yourself pressured to pay. Don’t!
If this happens to you, contact their head office immediately and ask to speak to a supervisor to explain the situation. You should never have to pay for any repairs or replacements that you didn’t approve or request.
Know just enough about garage doors to feel legitimately suspicious of repair scams
There are a few basic tenets of garage doors and parts that are worth knowing so you can sniff out a scam artist before he gets the best of you:
- Springs. Garage doors rely on springs to operate, and springs are designed for a certain number of openings/closings. For example, they come in 15,000, 25,000 or 50,000 rated life cycles. The difference in price can be upwards of $100. So, if he recommends a spring replacement on a hardly-used garage, don’t let him sell you a “lifetime springs with a 50,000 cycle rating” or else you’re overpaying.
- Rollers. Rollers cost less than $10 each and only have to be replaced one at a time. If your technician shows you three worn rollers and wants to replace those three, he’s legitimate. If he shows you one worn roller and wants to replace the entire set – it’s a potential scam.
- Motors. Sometimes, the motor still works, but a gear isn’t working. If this is the case, the motor runs but the chain doesn’t move. Gears can be replaced without requiring an entire motor replacement, which saves you money.
- Balance. Garage doors often have to be rebalanced, but you can test this on your own. Unhook the garage door motor from the door and manually raise the door to about halfway. If it’s balanced, it will remain in place or move just a little bit. If it comes crashing down, it’s out of balance.
Hire A Pro
Ultimately, the best way to avoid garage door scams is to work with a locally-owned, licensed garage door company with a good reputation in the area.
Ready to work with garage door technicians you can trust? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo.