Key things to ask garage door businesses about include:
- Details about product warranties
- Information about credentials like licenses, certifications and insurance
- Minimum charges for service calls, and what these entail. Some businesses may charge you basic maintenance fees, travel costs, labor, parts among other additional costs.
- To make sure you’re hiring a local business, ask for a list of customer references in your vicinity
- Ask how long the business has been operating in the area
- Get a full price quote from your technician prior to approving any repairs
A credible garage door repair service will never make their customers pay full price upfront. Partial deposits are legitimate, but anything more is likely to be a scam.
On that note, garage repairs will seldom set you back thousands of dollars. You need to get the technician to fully explain what you’re paying for – from the identified issue to the costs of repairing the damage.
Be wary of ads
Ads on the Yellow Pages or online should be held with a bit of scrutiny. Look at the language that’s used – boastful language and unverifiable claims like “the very best in the area” should be ringing alarm bells.
On the day of the repairs, try to be present
Hopefully it won’t get to this, but some scam artists will intentionally damage your property so they can get more money out of you. Stay vigilant on site, if possible, just in case the technician doing the repair work is not as credible as you previously envisioned.
Lastly, watch out for these red flags
If in doubt, request clarifications – you don’t want to feel uncomfortable over the ability of the professional you have hired to conduct your repairs. When you think something is truly amiss, check these common warning signs:
- The company has no physical address. Some fraudulent businesses will only list a phone number – if they’re not willing to disclose an address, they’re not worth pursuing.
- If the company lists an address online, check it too. Similar to the point above, scammers may list an address online for a business that simply doesn’t exist. Use Google Maps to see if the business shows up in that location, or even drive by it to see what’s out there.
- Are you getting pressured into making a decision? Don’t cave in, and proceed with caution. High pressure tactics should be ringing alarm bells – be wary if a technician tries to prompt you into making a quick decision by claiming that you need to the repairs immediately to protect your family or property.
- Door to door visits – if a company comes to your property unannounced and offers a special deal on repairs, it’s probably best to avoid them.
- Check how the company answers the phone. If a generic response like “garage repairs” is used and the person on the other side of the line gets defensive when prompted for the full company’s name, hang up the phone and move on the next business on your list.
- Cash payment and pre-payment. Both of these are huge red flags. Do not hire a company that requests full payment upfront, and avoid cash payments as much as possible.
One final thing to keep in mind
A good garage door repair service will have a solid reputation behind them. They’ll be known locally for their reliability and effective solutions, without needing to upsell their skills through loud ads. Customers are likely to spread the word about great businesses, which is why referrals, reviews and impending complaints are your best indicators when tackling the task of picking the top contenders from the unreliable pretenders in the midst.
The best thing about it is that the initial investment will go the extra mile. Once you have found the right repair service, you will be able to call on them whenever you need it for many years to come. So take your time, do your homework, and reap the benefits of your trusted technicians.