Blowout specials? Same day service? Lube and tune special? When it sounds this good, run the other direction
You could very easily remove the term “Garage Door” from this article and these key points would be valid for any type of service company
Today consumers are looking for a deal or bargain on their purchase, especially when it comes to a repair cost. A Google search gives us a first page listing of home service companies that may or may not be able to help you with your issue. Once we arrive at the website, there is a whole host of coupons, special deals and offers you can’t resist. Your mind is bombarded with mathematical problems trying to figure out which company will offer you the best deal and the most percentage of savings. However, it may not be in your best interest to grab the deal.
If you are looking for a reliable home service company, Amazon Home Services offers access to many local companies that you can schedule on Amazon.com. They offer everything from garage door repair to furniture installation. The recommended companies are hand picked by Amazon and they offer a Happiness Guarantee with your purchase.
Garage Door Coupons
Coupon must be presented before estimate is written
Many times questionable service companies send their technicians out to repair your garage door with the intention of selling something more. Fine print lurks at the bottom of their coupon and your repair ends up more costly than the original offer. Or possibly, your job doesn’t fall within the “conditions” of the coupon.
A true coupon would take the amount or percentage advertised off the true everyday price. Instead, coupons must be presented before the estimate is written for the repair. This allows the company to inflate the price or pressure you into unnecessary upgrades to cover the discount given.
Companies rely heavily on business coming in because of coupons or deals. These offers promise everything under the sun from free service calls to hundreds of dollars off a new garage door. Homeowners are excited to get these specials, but once these companies get to the customer that’s when the heavy hitting comes in.
Garage Door Salesman or Technician?
They are salesmen disguised as service technicians helping a distressed homeowner and saving the day
These companies have flooded the market and the internet with their name and high ranking on the Google ladder. They have local numbers, but are actually a call center in another city or state. They operate under various names like “Garage Door Ninjas” or “Garage Door Doctors”. They most likely don’t have a local office. Work is subcontracted out within the particular cities. There is no real intention of keeping you as a future customer or honestly fixing your problem.
They are salesmen disguised as service technicians helping a distressed homeowner and saving the day. You desperately gave them your credit card to charge whatever it takes to get your car out of the garage and on the road. There are many stories that suggest what should be a $200 repair for a particular service ended up costing $700 or more for the exact same service by these garage door scammers. In one case, they scammed an elderly man by charging him $1,700 for services that should have cost $100.
It is in the best interest of desperate consumers and deal grabbers to research exactly what you are getting and if this company will be around to honor warranty work or problems in the future. If a business relies on good customer service, honest work and not trying to upsell the customer, some may not be able to survive.
We all want a good deal, but the best deal may not be the lowest price. I once watched the first pieces of wood go up on a wooden roller coaster and wondered if the contractor building it was the low bidder. Hmmm…makes you wonder about the cost of saving money.
Contractor Review Websites
Many contractor websites that “grade” companies and place them as “top ranking” according to customer reviews don’t offer their members real service. They target the service companies with a barrage of ways to advertise and offer the customer “deals”. The service company has to make money. They can’t offer something for nothing. So therefore, they create unrealistic package deals with prices that are too good to pass up.
The once “consumer driven” review sites have now turned into “highest bidder” review sites. Their business model was once driven by consumer memberships and now their revenue stream is largely dependent on collecting advertising dues from small businesses. Who is actually winning… The member of the site or the site selling advertising?
Free membership sites that allow you to find local service companies will end up costing you more in the long run because these companies have to pay thousands of dollars a month for their listing to show when you do a search. Once again, there is nothing free in life.
Hire a Local Garage Door Company
When looking for a garage door company or any service company for that matter, talk with your neighbors or call a local realtor that sells homes in your area. Realtors are some of the hardest-working people on the planet. They work tirelessly selling and showing homes in your area. With every home sale there is a home inspection. When there are issues with a home that is being sold, realtors need service companies to fix the problem.
These references will be much more reliable than picking a number out of the phone book or on the internet. They will send expert technicians to your home to fix only what is broken instead of equipment salesmen that lie straight to your face.
Try to build a list of trusted contractors to service your home before you actually need their service. This way you are not scrambling to find a contractor at the worst possible time. Routine maintenance can also go a long way to prevent future issues.
All Types of Service Companies Mislead and Misinform Consumers
Many service companies run ads and coupons to lure you in. The Sunday paper first started training us to look for specials on tires, appliances, electronics, and garden equipment. You would grab a cup of coffee and start going through the thick bundle of ads to see what peaked your interest. Then you would jump in the car and head to the store to make your new purchase.
Today, we now have Groupon, Home Advisor, and Angie’s List running “specials” and “deals” to make the consumer feel as if they are saving money. While some deals are actually good to take advantage of, many companies use special tactics and marketing to get you to make a purchase that you don’t necessarily need or ever really wanted – “The deal was too good to pass up” say’s the consumer.
It’s important to note that deceptive practices take place in all types of service companies. This is not an issue only related to the garage door industry. You could very easily remove the term “Garage Door” from this article and these key points would be valid for any type of service company. There are misleading coupons and specials from plumbing, electrical, A/C, and carpet cleaning service companies as well.
The best advice is to stay away from companies that are a national chain and answer the phone in a different state than you reside. All national service company chains or franchises are not bad, but most do not have the consumer’s best interest in mind. Here’s why.
The owner’s of these national companies most likely live in another city or state. They do not see what goes on in your community on a daily basis. They make decisions for their company based on a macro viewpoint (looking at the company on a national level). The corporate office or parent company is interested in moving products and the local franchises have to meet a quota. These products and services need to be sold even if it’s not in the best interest of the consumer.
Local service companies (including some franchises) have owners that live and participate in your community. They shop at your grocery store, go to your church, their kids go to your child’s school, etc. They have a vested interest in the local community and their reputation depends on it. It is important to them to do right by their neighbor.
Fortunately for us today, there is a vast amount of resources available online to find a company that is honest and reliable. The internet has given a voice to the common man. You can read reviews on countless websites to determine if a certain company is right for you. Keep in mind, even good companies might have a few negative reviews online.
- Service company coupons might not be your best option
- Hire local – try to find a company (or ownership) that is based in or around your city
- Call a realtor to find good references for reliable service companies
- Some review or list based websites have strayed away from their original “consumer driven” business model
- All types of service companies mislead consumers, not just garage door companies
If you shop on Amazon.com, they offer garage door services that are performed by local pros with upfront pricing and a happiness guarantee. You can purchase and schedule everything through the Amazon website which will provide you with peace of mind.