This guest post is by Ryan Grant from A-1 Door Company.
When choosing a company to entrust with your garage doors – which take up about a third of your home’s façade and offer invaluable function – it’s important to be informed. As a homeowner, you should do research before hiring any contractor. Some things to look for in a reputable garage door company are IDA accreditation, business and employee insurance, and a showroom or physical address.
Unfortunately, there are companies out there who do not provide quality service and instead, aim to take advantage of homeowners. While no one is completely safe from becoming a victim of an attempted scam, there are ways to become less vulnerable. It all starts with heightening your awareness of scammer tactics. To better understand what a garage door scam looks like, we’re illustrating the tactics commonly used by “Bad Bobs” to mislead consumers.
Various news outlets have reported on recent real-world incidences that occurred at the hands of a fraudulent company called Precision Door of Phoenix. One specific case occurred at a home in Goodyear, AZ, where a homeowner was quoted $2,200 for a spring repair. The owner of the company told the homeowner that the door was “damaged irreparably” as a result of a lack of maintenance. When another local, reputable company came out to provide a quote, the honest price ended up being only $168. Luckily, that particular homeowner was able to identify the scam and stop it in its tracks, but others have not been so lucky.
“Bad Bobs” like the one in this scenario have unfortunately been continuing to pop up and their presence continues to grow in the garage door industry. Here are two signs to look out for to avoid wasting your hard-earned money on their services:
- Unbelievable online reviews. When actual customers of Precision Door of Phoenix were interviewed, they had nothing but negative remarks. However, Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews reflected a nearly perfect 5-star rating across the board. At a closer look, this high rating was the result of a mass amount of 5-star reviews that had been submitted over the span of just a couple days by employees and users who weren’t even located in North America. While efforts are in place to try to crack down on these types of falsified reviews on the web, misleading reports and reviews are unfortunately still out there. It’s important to be aware of these possibilities and always do your research – especially when something appears to be too good to be true.
- Manipulating parts costs. According to an ex-employee of Precision Door of Phoenix, “flat rip-off money is where the profit is.” Bad Bobs will overcharge for parts and labor, and may even suggest a “full overhaul” of your system when it’s clearly not necessary. They will also set the pricing for all items depending on the perceived gullibility of the customer. If you receive a quote that is much higher than expected, ask for a price breakdown and do some outside research to determine if your suspicions are warranted.
To try to help homeowners identify and avoid these types of scammers, Google has several checks in place designed to prevent illegitimate door dealers from promoting themselves online. Google has rolled out two measures: the Google Guarantee program and advanced verification. The Google Guaranteed badge means the company passed a background check and is backed by a money-back guarantee. Advanced verification requires garage door dealers to pass a background check in order to show ads on Google.
Ryan Grant is the owner of A-1 Door Company – a leading garage door dealer in Richmond, Virginia. A-1 Door Company specializes in residential and commercial garage door repair and replacement and has been in business for over 15 years. As an active member of IDA, the company keeps up-to-date with industry trends and continues ongoing education.