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Caught on Camera! Not all Garage Door Techs are Created Equally

Caught on Camera

If you’re like most owners of residential garage doors, you only call a service tech when there’s an issue. However, you should really be scheduling annual or bi-annual inspections to catch issues before they become apparent. Garage doors are real workhorses, are the biggest and most used entry point to your home, and need maintenance just like any other piece of equipment in order to work their best. However, when you do call a service tech, do you know what to expect?

A team of reporters in New York decided to test out service professionals themselves with a hidden camera. The Rossen Reporters kitted out a garage with a door that was in perfect condition—before the sting, they had two certified, independent experts inspect and verify it. However, before calling in a new service tech, they added a small issue. The team says, “We’re just going to loosen the bolt on this sensor and anchor it downward so it becomes inoperable.”

For a reputable service tech, it should take less than two minutes to find the problem and fix it. But was that the case?

Testing, Testing…

The team called in one repairman who found the problem and fixed it in 25 seconds flat. His fee was $80 (which is reasonable for a service call), and the team was impressed. However, they still wanted to try out some more. Next up is a duo repair team who recommended the “owner” purchase new sensors—even though tightening the bolt was all that was needed. Their service call, which resulted in a “recommendation” and not even a fix, was $210.

When the reporter revealed that he was actually undercover on assignment, the latter techs said they weren’t trying to rip anyone off, but then sped away. A few days later, the company sent a letter to the reporters denying any wrongdoing and claiming they had a “flawless customer service record…on issues concerning sensors which involve safety, we dispatch installation experts who are trained to change equipment.”

The Sting Continues

The third service tech didn’t even bother to inspect the door or sensor and simply told the owner, “The sensor’s no good.” He gave a quote of $410 to replace it. The reporters asked, “Why were you going to charge her over $400 for a new sensor when it’s not even broken? You didn’t even check it.” The tech didn’t reply, and simply left.

Finally, the fourth repairman said both the sensors and the pulleys needed replacing—his estimate was $683 (not including taxes). When asked, “Why are you charging this homeowner over $700 for parts she doesn’t need?” the tech replied, “Well, I’m trying to do a much better job and she does need it. There’s no grease within those pulleys. I hear them clicking.”

Determined not to let him off the hook, the contractors who installed and checked the doors initially came out and showed perfectly working pulleys. “We all make mistakes,” the final tech admitted. “You’re not mad at me or anything, are you?”

In the end, 75 percent of techs in this sting wanted to charge for unnecessary parts. To protect yourself, always research a company, get recommendations and check your nearby consumer affairs office. There are trustworthy, qualified techs at Canyon Overhead Doors that you can trust to repair your door correctly and without unnecessary costs added in.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 26th, 2015 at 9:05 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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