How to Spot a Garage Door Scam
One of the best things about installing a new garage door is that, generally, you can rely on years of worry-free operation from the door. Current door designs and door-opener technologies have advanced to where even average equipment will work dependably (although they may not offer all the features you want).
But that reliable technology and operation can become a problem if you fall victim to unscrupulous garage door installers. They know that even some of the cheapest doors and openers, shoddily installed, will work reliably at least for a short period of time. A period of time that is long enough for them to ‘disappear’ and open as an entirely different company – one that is not legally responsible for fulfilling warranty requirements and service responsibilities for your door.
So when your door stops working after a couple of years, you can’t find the company who installed it – and who are supposed to service and repair it.
Garage door installation scams like this are far more common than most homeowners realize. It’s easy for disreputable companies to set up slick looking websites, slap on a logo to the side of a truck and otherwise make themselves look like a legit business.
Some have even wrapped their vehicles in signage to make them look like they’re a reputable company.
Unlike more regulated industries, anyone can tell you that they are a garage door installer. There is no requirement for them to have certifications, qualifications or any particular knowledge of the business. That puts the onus on you to determine whether or not the company you choose is legitimate. And it’s not always easy to spot the fakes.
Avoid Being the Victim of a Garage Door Scam
If you are in the market for a new garage door, you need to do your research with the idea that, no matter how good a door company looks, all might not be as it seems.
Here are just some of the things you look for to help you avoid being the victim of a scammer.
1. Unbelievable Prices
As you shop around, you should get an idea of what a new door and opener cost, including installation. For garage door companies, there’s no avoiding the costs of offering quality products and installing them properly.
If you suddenly get one cost estimate that is distinctly lower than the others, it should trigger your ‘scammer alert’. While there may be a legitimate reason for a lower price on a particular door, like a product promotion or clearance, there’s no reason that one company can consistently offer notably lower prices than another.
2. No Branding
While some scammers will go to the extent of branding vehicles, many do not. Reputable companies want to promote their brand and are proud to display it on their vehicles, clothing, business cards, and written estimates. Even if there’s a logo on a truck, if that branding isn’t consistent throughout every touchpoint you have with the company, get suspicious.
3. A Website Doesn’t Mean Legitimacy
While a website that tells you about products, services, company history and location information is helpful, it should never be your single or most important sign that a company is legitimate. Anyone can whip up a decent looking website that promises great products and services and paints an impressive picture of a company, even if none of those things exist.
4. Make Sure They’re Local
One of the ways to determine legitimacy is to ask any prospective installers where their office is located. If they hesitate: it’s ‘scammer alert’ time. But even if they give you an address, make sure it’s relatively local (if you live in Markham, and they tell you they’re in Hamilton: ‘scammer alert’). Then take the time to visit the location, look for permanent signage that identifies the company, and don’t hesitate to walk in and ask to speak to someone, even the owner, about the business.
5. Trust Your ‘Spidey Sense’
If you feel that something isn’t quite right with a company, no matter how small, use it as a sign of a possible scammer and be extra careful in researching that company. They might be legit, but you need to be sure before choosing them.
Yes, unfortunately, it is up to you to make sure you pick a legitimate, reputable company to supply and install your new garage door. But it’s your home and your hard-earned money, so the effort is worth it. For reliable and profession garage door services in Markham and the surrounding communities, contact Markham Garage Doors.