The Today Show recently did a piece on their Rossen Reports segment using hidden cameras to find out if garage door repairmen would be honest when fixing a simple issue on a homeowners garage door. They brought in a reputable company to check out the existing garage doors and openers in advance to give everything a clean bill of health. The reputable company then loosened one of the safety sensors so it would not make a connection therefore causing the door not to close when you hit the wall button or a remote.
Simple safety sensor issues like this one, in particular, are VERY common in our line of work. It is the very first thing we look for when the opener light is blinking or if you have to hold the wall button down to close your garage door. Holding the wall button down is a manual override for faulty or misaligned safety sensors on a garage door opener. The reason the manufacturer allows you to hold the button down to close the door is because you have to physically stand there and watch the door go all the way down. If they allowed you to close the door with your remote and drive off with faulty sensors, a person or animal could become entrapped under the garage door.
Garage door scams have been running rampant in the San Antonio area in the past few years because our economy is doing well so that attracts out of town companies and unwanted visitors. These out of town companies run full page ads in the yellow pages promising you everything under the son. They operate under many different generic names and usually have anywhere from 10-15 different phone numbers. The reason they do this is because it makes it very hard for you to file a complaint against them. They also claim to be licensed, BBB accredited, offer many coupons, free service calls, 25% off your first repair or installation, free remotes, free tune ups and so forth.
When you call these companies they usually quote you a price over the phone and a person shows up in an unmarked truck or van. They told you the price over the phone so you think that is the price you are going to pay. When the technician is finished, he usually gives you a bill that is twice the amount you were quoted and then goes on to tell you everything else on your garage door needs to be replaced as well. The price that was quoted over the phone usually goes to the company with the call center that you originally contacted. The guy standing in front of you in your garage gets anything above and beyond the original quote to put in his own pocket. That is how these subcontractors of these garage door call centers make money. The company that originally ran the ad in the yellow pages has no investment in vehicles, insurance, gas, wages, inventory, licensing, etc.
From what customers have told us, they are very pushy and many times refuse to leave your home if you don't pay them what they want. They will not come back and fix your garage door under warranty if you have an issue related to the repair. Their goal is to make as much money off of you on that single visit and then do it all over again to the next person. They usually charge anywhere from $400 to $1200 for a repair that should have cost $150-200.
Anyone who has every ran a business knows you can't give away all of your profit or you would never make any money, therefore likely go out of business which does you and the customer no good. Promising steep discounts and free service calls is a deceptive way of doing business. Be careful when looking for a contractor in any field. Try to find a local company who has been in business several years or someone who has credibility on a site like Yelp, Home Advisor, Google Reviews or Angie's List. Talk with your neighbor, family, and friends from church, a realtor or possibly a contractor in a different field who might have a good reference for a reputable garage door service company.
Don't be that person who gets scammed. Take your time and find a local company who has a vested interest in building long lasting relationships in your city. A local company pays local taxes, buys from other local businesses, which further strengthens the community.
Watch the video at the link below to find out what happens to this pretend homeowner on the Today Show.
Here is the link: Rossen Reports: Are garage door repairmen honest?