We live in a very technology-driven age and that means that usually when we need information, we look online.
We’re not at all surprised that your first port of call when something goes wrong with your garage door is a search engine to find the nearest garage door expert.
But, you need to be careful on the internet. In 2017, there are fraudsters operating in all industries, from spam emails from Nigerian “princes”, to so-called garage door experts looking to do a shoddy job and charge you full whack for their services.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to avoid getting taken in by a scammer, you just need to look out for some common signs and make sure you double check the most important details.
- Ask friends, family, and neighbours for their recommendations
If you know someone who’s recently had repairs carried out or who has recently bought a new garage door, ask them which company they used. Word of mouth is the most reliable source when it comes to working with companies you don’t know. And people you do know aren’t going to lie to you.
- Make sure you look out for tell-tale signs of scammers when looking for companies online
Legitimate companies will likely have websites, but technological advances mean that websites have become more accessible to all. So, a nice-looking website doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve found a reputable company. Luckily, there are some tell-tale signs you can look out for online:
- Make sure the website lists a real, physical address. Fraudsters often set up websites claiming to be “the best garage door specialist in the neighbourhood”, but in fact reroute your calls to call centre and then on to a subcontractor whose credentials you can’t verify.
- Check their photos. Experts are proud of their work, and whether they are a small company or own several different branches, they will proudly display their work and/or their team. Be weary of photos that look like they’ve been taken from stock photo websites.
- Is the company listed with a professional association?
Members of professional associations must uphold certain standards or they have their memberships revoked. If you stumble across a company claiming to be a member of a professional association, visit the association’s website and double check that they are who they say they are.
- Check for reviews
Can you find recent customer reviews online, whether on the company’s website, Facebook page, Google, the Yellow Pages or a site like Angie’s List? If you can, check that they don’t sound like they were written by people with fake names. Also, if you recognize a reviewer’s name, you can contact them to double check the review is accurate.
- Don’t limit your online searches to the first page of results
See what there is in the search engine’s lower-ranking results. The company might be mentioned on other websites by happy customers, or it might even be listed in a forum denouncing fraudsters.
- Pick up the phone and call them
Try calling the garage door repair company during usual business hours and double check the following:
- The street address
- If it has up-to-date operating licenses
- If it has liability insurance coverage
- If its vehicles are easily identifiable
- If the company send a subcontractor
- If its employees are covered by accident insurance
- If they guarantee both parts and labour
- Don’t trust an overall price sight unseen
Real experts know that they can’t give you a final price without seeing the work that needs to be done. Most reputable companies will give you their hourly rate, mileage fees and a ballpark idea of how much the repair will cost you. It will then give you a more accurate price once their technician has been to evaluate the situation.
- Reputable companies should ensure you don’t need any other repairs
When sizing up the work that needs to be done, your garage door repair technician should also check that you don’t need any other repairs and that the automatic reversal system on your door opener is working properly.
There are things you should do once the technician arrives at your home, too
Ask for a written estimate
Make sure it includes all costs and explains what the costs are for.
You can generally assume that a reputable garage door repair company won’t ask you to pay before they do the job, and they won’t ask you to pay cash.
Make sure they give you any parts that have been changed
And an invoice that explains the warranty on the new parts and their labour. Sometimes this might mean paying on your credit card as soon as the repairs have been made. But you should receive this document before they leave your property.
If your garage door needs replacing rather than repairing
We can help! We are an established company in this area and we’re not afraid to guarantee our work, so get in touch with us today at 705-324-1005 for a quote. You’re more than welcome to come down to our showroom where we can show you our entire range of garage doors. You can also try out our Design Centre tool!