Scammers are everywhere, and the garage door industry is no exception. Unscrupulous operators target homeowners when they are most vulnerable — when they need urgent repairs or a new installation. Don’t be a victim. Here’s how to spot garage door scams and the steps to avoid falling into a trap.
Know the Red Flags
High-Pressure Sales Tactics Scammers are pushy. They will insist you need a full replacement or expensive repairs immediately. Be skeptical of anyone who pressures you to make quick, costly decisions.
Inconsistent Pricing Unusually low quotes can be as suspicious as excessively high ones. Scammers may lure you with a low price and then pile on unnecessary services and fees.
Lack of Identification A legitimate technician will have a company ID, a marked vehicle, and professional attire. Scammers often lack these.
Request for Full Payment Upfront Reputable companies rarely, if ever, demand full payment before completing work. Be cautious if asked to pay in full before repairs begin.
Poor Online Presence Check for a company website, customer reviews, and social media presence. Scammers typically have scant or negative online footprints.
Action Step: Before agreeing to any service, ask for a written estimate, verify the company’s identity, and check for online reviews and complaints.
Research and Verify
Check Credentials Always verify the company’s license and insurance. Request these documents and check them against state and local records.
Consult Reviews and Ratings Look at online reviews, but don’t stop there. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and other consumer protection agencies for ratings and complaints.
Ask for References A legitimate business will happily provide references from satisfied customers. Call these references and ask about their experiences.
Get Multiple Quotes For significant repairs or a new garage door, get at least three estimates. This practice gives you a sense of the average cost and helps you identify outliers.
Action Step: Dedicate time to research. Check credentials, consult reviews, ask for references, and obtain multiple quotes to make an informed decision.
Get Everything in Writing
Detailed Estimate Before work begins, insist on a detailed written estimate. This document should list labor, parts, and prices, along with any potential charges.
Clear Contract When you decide to move forward, ensure you have a clear and detailed contract. This should include the total cost, payment schedule, and timeline for the project.
Warranty Information A reputable company will offer a warranty on their work. Make sure this is in writing and clearly states what is covered and for how long.
Action Step: Never let work begin without a written and signed contract. Read it carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask questions before you sign.
Respond Swiftly to Suspected Scams
Report to Authorities If you suspect you’ve encountered a scam, report it to local authorities. They can investigate the matter and take appropriate action.
Alert the BBB File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. They can mediate disputes and alert other consumers to potential scams. Our top BBB rating is something we’re proud of.
Review Online Leave an honest, fact-based review on platforms like Google, Yelp, and the company’s social media pages. This action can help others avoid the same pitfalls. We’re proud to have a strong review footprint.
Action Step: If you fall victim to a scam or suspect foul play, act swiftly. Report the incident to authorities, the BBB, and leave reviews to alert others.
The need for urgent garage door repair can create a perfect storm for scams. But you’re not powerless. By knowing the red flags, conducting thorough research, insisting on written estimates and contracts, and responding swiftly to suspected scams, you can protect yourself and your wallet.
Remember, legitimate garage door companies prioritize customer service and transparency. They won’t pressure you into immediate decisions, and they will willingly provide credentials, references, and detailed written estimates. The key is to avoid an unwanted garage door scam.
So, next time you need garage door service, take a deep breath, step back, and take the time to ensure you are working with a reputable company. Your peace of mind — and your bank account — will thank you. And in the meantime? For a company you can trust, put your faith in Prestige Door! We’ve been proudly serving the Akron-area for many years.