Beware of These 3 Garage Door Scams
It’s been a little over a year since we first told you about some of the garage door scams being perpetrated by shady installers.
Unfortunately, the garage door installation business is a good one for unscrupulous operators to take advantage of. It is unregulated. It is easy to find suppliers. And it’s something homeowners don’t need very often.
Perhaps best of all for the ‘fly-by-night’ operators, even the least expensive garage door available, hastily installed, will work for at least a few years. That’s more than enough time for them to change business names so they don’t have to be responsible for their shoddy work.
It all adds up to mean that, among all the other decisions you must make when buying a new garage door, you have to be on the lookout for garage door scams.
3 More Garage Door Scams to Watch For
In addition to the scams we told you about before, here are three more going on right here in Toronto and the GTA.
1. Low-Priced Service Calls
This is one to look out for if you need garage door repair or maintenance. That’s often when you need emergency work and most vulnerable to a scam. We found one recently for a “100% Guaranteed” $19.00 24-Hour garage door repair service. The Google listing gives you the impression that your garage door service will only cost $19. But when the service person gets there, he will ask for more money before starting any work.
2. Discount Coupons
Many garage door companies will offer online coupons for reduced prices on doors. But they don’t tell you that the coupon doesn’t cover installation. So you go to them to get a good price on the door, and end up paying it all back, and maybe more, in the price of the installation. Always ask every garage door company you call to itemize everything that’s included in any quotes they give you.
3. Masquerading as Another Company
Unfortunately, we’ve been victims of these sorts of scams ourselves. We are well known in Whitby as a reliable garage door installer. Other companies will make it look like they are Whitby Garage Doors to make you think they are us. Take a close look at web addresses, paperwork, business cards, etc., and make sure they are all consistent with the company you think you’re dealing with.
Or you can skip all the checking and contact us us here at Whitby Garage Doors. The one and only!
3 Ways to Spot a Garage Door Scam
No, you don’t have to fall for an off-shore request for money, from a wealthy prince, whose bank account has been seized, by rebels, to be the victim of a scam. They can happen much closer to home. Like in your own driveway for example. And involve hinges that are much less exciting than royal intrigue, like your garage door for example.
Garage door retailers and installers are unregulated. That means anyone can knock on your door and say that they can install your garage door – even if they’ve never done so before.
Even worse, they can have slick looking websites and drive trucks that look remarkably like those of the legitimate garage door companies.
So it’s not always easy to spot a scam garage door installer, but the following tips will help.
1. Low, Low Estimates
The facts are this: quality garage doors cost a certain amount, and the labour to install them properly costs a certain amount. If you get an estimate that is exceptionally lower than the rest, be extra careful in researching the company that it’s from.
2. Generic Companies
Reliable companies want you to know who they are and will show up in branded vehicles, clothing and paper work. If the person at your door doesn’t seem to be promoting a ‘brand’, that’s reason for suspicion. Even if their truck and/or website look good, check to see that the branding is consistent throughout all their materials and communications.
3. Make Sure They Work in Your Community
If you live in Whitby, and a potential installer tells you the company’s office is in Barrie, that should raise a flag for you. You should be able to go visit the company’s office and even go in and ask to talk to the owner.
Trust your intuition.
If you get any sense that something is not entirely right with what you’re seeing or hearing from a garage door installer, that’s enough to be suspicious and to double-check that they are legitimate.