If you are like the average consumer, you probably never thought about the threat of garage door repair scams. In fact, you probably never think about your garage door at all. Most of us don’t until it stops working. When it does, you want to be sure you have a qualified repairman to fix the problem.
How Do Garage Door Scams Work?
The Internet has made it a lot easier to find services when you need them. It’s also made it easy for scammers to create the illusion of having a legitimate business. All they have to do is get the word out and give potential customers a point of contact.
Many scammers advertise their services using a variety of venues. They post their ads online, put fliers in your mailbox or door, or take out ads in the paper. Sometimes, you will get calls from a company claiming to be local. You can’t trust caller ID anymore. Never trust that the person on the line is who they say they are. When you have a problem with your garage door, you know where to turn. The company that offers great deals for new customers. Trying to get the best deal could end up costing you a lot of money for nothing.
Some companies offer low prices upfront. Then, as the repair grows more difficult and requires more time and parts, they begin to add on to the initial quote.
Are You at Risk for Garage Door Repair Scams?
People who live in more highly populated areas are more prone to repair scams than those where the homes are more dispersed. These areas are home to more garage door repair companies that allow the scam companies to blend in.
People who don’t know a lot about their garage doors are also vulnerable. Unfortunately, that includes the majority of homeowners. When your garage door is broken, and you can’t get into and out of your garage, you need a repair service fast. That’s when the con artists find it easiest to make their way into your home.
So, what should you do when your garage door stops working? First of all, don’t feel like you should try and fix it yourself. There are some minor things that you can do as a DIY project. Things like garage door springs can be dangerous for you and anyone around you. Most repair jobs should be left to the professionals. Here’ how to go about finding the right ones!
- Slow down. You want to get your garage door fixed as quickly as possible. Don’t let that urgency push in the wrong direction. You might have to open the door manually until you get it repaired. That’s what the scam artists are hoping for. Take enough time to make sure the company you hire is a legitimate company that follows ethical practices.
- Avoid companies that come to the top of the list when you search online. Getting to the top of the searches isn’t always a good sign. Scammers often invest in digital ads to make sure they get as many calls as possible. They want you to feel confident that they know how to handle your garage door emergency.
- Do your research online beyond finding a website. If there isn’t an address listed that you can verify, don’t call. It never hurts to check out local reviews, either. If other people in your area have been scammed, they’re going to let you know it. On the flip side, lots of good reviews will validate that they are a legitimate company.
- A local company should have a local phone number. If the only contact number is an 800 one or a cell phone, be leery. When you call, listen to see if there’s noise in the background. If it sounds like a call center, it’s probably not your local garage door repair company.
- Ask for an estimate. Compare estimates between two or three different companies. See if the representative is more interested in explaining the needed repair or rushing ahead with the job. A trustworthy repair company will want to give you a good value that you feel good about.
- Be alert to promises that seem too good to be true. If they promise to replace a broken spring with a new one that lasts a lifetime, ask what that means. No spring will last forever and without a warranty, promises won’t do you any good. Also, don’t take their word for it if they tell you which parts need to be replaced without examining the door.
- Check the technician’s credentials when they arrive. They should have the company’s name on the side of their vehicle and on their uniform. Ask them for ID or, at least, a printed business card. If they can’t supply any of these, don’t go forward with the repair call.
- Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find a repair company you can trust. Ask your neighbors and family members in your area. Someone’s had a garage door repair at some point. Find out who they got and what they thought of the service and prices they received.
- Don’t wait until your garage door breaks to find a reliable repair company. Keeping your door properly maintained will help it last longer and keep you and your family safer. Find a company to provide regular maintenance. When your door does break, you’ll already know who to call.
Always take the time to find a reputable garage door repair company for all of your garage door needs. A company that cares about providing high-quality work will restore your garage efficiently and for a fair price.
Contact Coastal Garage Doors for all of your garage doors needs in the Pacific Beach Area. We offer same-day service when needed and will provide you with a complimentary quote over the phone. We have a five-star rating on Yelp thanks to the praise of our satisfied clients. We’re also a BBB-accredited Business with an A+ Rating. At a time when more homeowners have to worry about garage door repair scams, we offer the dependable, honest services you can count on whenever you need them!