What is the biggest moving part in many homes? The garage door, and while it opens and closes to allow you to use the car, it might also be a main entrance into your home. This is why the safety and function of a garage door is so important, and why you shouldn’t just trust garage door repairs to the first person who returns your call for service.
Instead, you are always going to want to take some steps to assure you choose the right provider. Asking friends, neighbors and relatives for recommendations is good, but don’t overlook actual experience and proven skill.
What else should you know to avoid garage door repair scams? Let’s take some time to figure out how to find the right providers and get the best service:
If you look online
- Be sure they are authentically local
- Check their “About Us” area for the address
- Do they give a formal street address? Google map link? If there is no physical address, it is a sign to be wary of this provider. If you call and get any sort of call center, it is a sign to use someone else.
- Does the website feature any local photos? What about the owner or operator? Be aware that anyone who is proud of their work has no problem handing out details that would get them more of it!
- NOTE: Don’t avoid a site because the authentically local business seems very small – you know what they say about good things and small packages!
- Did you see the same photos in two sites? Take time to figure out who is the original owner and avoid the copycat.
- Be sure they are part of their industry
- It’s a really good thing for a business to be part of associations relating to garage doors, installation and even construction. Do they show membership in any?
- Does the website have any consumer association credentials, such as a BBB (Better Business Bureau) logo or links to a review site like Angie’s List?
- Be sure their customers like their work…and that feedback is honest
- Look for reviews of local clients? Are there any businesses or people you might know? If so, that’s a great sign.
- If they have only five out of five, or top of the heap ratings, it is unlikely that the feedback is genuine.
- Be sure you’ve dug deep enough
- In addition to a website, be sure they have social media sites like Facebook. Look to see if there are further customer messages there.
- Avoid “free” classified magazines, sites and handouts. These are not often a good resource for something as serious as garage door repair.
Do they have connections to other sites? Maybe a local builder mentions them? Maybe they appear in local press?
If you decide to just phone
If you find a listing for a garage door repair specialist, but would rather cut to the chase and call them, keep in mind that business hours will apply.
Phone from 7:30 AM to 5 PM, and ask the following:
- What is the company’s precise street address?
- Do you have all appropriate operating licenses?
- What about liability insurance coverage?
- Are all employees covered by this accident insurance?
- Are you going to send a subcontractor or will the person who arrives be an actual member of your team, driving a clearly identifiable company vehicle?
If you call and are given an overall price or estimate, without anyone actually coming to inspect the door, it is not a good idea to proceed with that provider. Valid businesses will give you their hourly rates, let you know if there is mileage charged and offer a reasonable estimate – but only after stipulating that they cannot know “sight unseen”.
Quite often, doors malfunction due to a broken spring, but this requires a technician on the premises to diagnose fully. They have to determine the type, size and make of the spring to give an accurate estimate for the repair. While inspecting the springs, they’ll also often look to see if other repairs are needed, and all to ensure reliable operation of the door. They should also check the status of the automatic reversal system to ensure optimal safety.
When the repair professional arrives
Once you’ve found the right provider and made the appointment, you need to ensure that no fraud occurs by asking for a written estimate of the costs, and a written explanation of what is to be done – and why. You should never have to pay in advance for any work, and if a cash payment is requested, do not hire the firm.
You should also be able to receive any parts that were changed along with a detailed invoice explaining any warranties for the new parts and the labor. This should be the case whether you pay by cash, check or credit card.
When they suggest a new door
If you discover you require a new garage door altogether, contact us at 860-666-9315. We have a solid reputation and history in the area and always do the job right. Our techs work with you to analyze your needs and even help you figure out which styles look best with your home. If you wish, we can send an online quotation that outlines potential costs. You can also come to the showroom or stay online and use our Design Centre to test out any number of styles on your home.