Most garage door scams happen during an emergency service repair. If your garage door isn’t working, you’re going to call the first company you find and usually buy from them. Why? Because you don’t want to wait longer than you have to to leave your house. In a market like ours in Southern California, it may take 3-4 hours for a company to send a service tech out. Getting more than one bid can turn a bad morning into a bad day.
If you haven’t bought garage door repair services before, you may not know why garage doors break. In a hurry and not sure of garage door mechanics, techs may charge you for unrelated parts & labor. This unfair practice can turn a $300 repair ticket into a $1,000+ bill.
We want to help you and other homeowners avoid this scam. Since 1989, our team at Heritage Garage Door has met with tens of thousands of Californians to discuss garage doors. Whether chosen or not, we strive to always operate with integrity and transparency. Our team writes articles like this so you feel confident when you need a garage door repair.
Avoid garage door scams by following our tips
1. Get your proposals in writing
Long gone are the days of verbal bids, handshake agreements, and cash under the table. Written proposals provide clarity and set expectations for your project. When in doubt, ask for more clarification or a spec sheet from the parts manufacturer.
Torsion springs, for example, are rated according to their coil diameter, length, and lifecycles. Your tech will need this info to ensure the proper coil for your door’s size & weight. Ask him for as many details as you can get about the product. This makes comparing bids easier.
Whether a physical document or a PDF via email, a paper trail enforces a level of accountability. Have questions later? Call the firm and reference your quote. Get more than one estimate to ensure you’re getting a fair price for the right repairs.
2. Pay using a credit card or financing
When you pay someone with cash or check, that money is theirs as soon as it leaves your hand. You have no recourse if the tech doesn’t come back, does shoddy work, or worse, causes more damage to your home.
What about cash discounts? A lot of local garage door repair firms offer cash discounts because they don’t have to pay a processing fee. There’s definitely a trade-off to consider. Do I pay a little more or take the cash discount? One saves money while the other ensures peace of mind.
3. Confirm the company has a local headquarters
Firms can advertise on the internet without having a local presence. They’re able to do this by targeting the location you’re searching from. This is great for them because they can cherry pick nice markets and send techs into town from other parts of the country. It makes expansion easier, but it also makes shutting down easier.
A local office offers you the ability to drop in on a Tuesday afternoon and ask about your project. Want to see our GM – come on down. Want to thank our dispatcher for kind service – great, come on down. There’s added peace of mind knowing a company down the road is working on your project instead of a guy/gal in a truck. Garage door scams are easier to hide behind with no physical office.
Our offices include a headquarters in Murrieta, a warehouse in San Diego, and a shared office in Laguna Niguel.
4. Check to see if the company is a verified dealer with the manufacturer
Garage door manufacturers are a great place to source reputable local garage door companies. A dealer in good standing means they pay their bills on time and don’t have a laundry list of complaints. Amarr, Clopay, LiftMaster, and others all have search tools to help you find a local company.
5. Google the company to make sure it has good reviews from different sources
Small businesses like ours depend on quality reviews to help us grow. Platforms like Google, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, and others drive customer awareness. We pay attention to our reviews and monitor them for areas of improvement.
It’s a red flag if a local garage door repair company isn’t on any of these local sites. Whether the firm is brand new to the market or lacks the resources to handle marketing, it’s a sign that customer feedback isn’t a priority. What gets measured gets managed, and it’s hard to improve without soliciting feedback.
Another note is to look for companies that don’t respond to negative reviews. Lack of accountability in public is a sign that customer satisfaction isn’t a priority.
Now you know how to avoid being taken advantage of by a garage door contractor. As long as you follow the tips in this article, you should be able to find a great service company in Southern California.
Since 1989, the team at Heritage Garage Door has provided high-quality garage door services to thousands of homeowners in Murrieta and surrounding Southern California areas. No matter if you need garage door repairs or a new garage door, you can count on us to take care of your garage for years to come.
If you’re local to San Diego or a surrounding Southern California area, don’t hesitate to contact us for any of your garage needs.