Advertising can be cheap. And if garage door scammers use ads effectively, they can, unfortunately, reach consumers with ease.
If you live in a city with a larger population, it’s important for you to be aware of scammers. Scammers target larger cities—it’s easier for them to blend in where there are more garage door service options available to consumers.
Scammers will often spend a lot of money to rank high in internet search listings and will take up a lot of real estate in local printed directories like the Yellow Pages. The tricky thing is that reputable garage door companies also spend a lot of money to rank high online and to be visible in print advertising, so it’s important for you as the consumer to do a little research before choosing a garage door company.
Scammer Warning Sign #1: A Sketchy Company Name
Check out the company name carefully. Unethical companies often operate under many names, or use names that are generic, inconsistent, or unclear. Scammers will often confuse customers on what the company name actually is so that once someone realizes they’ve been ripped off, it’s difficult for that consumer to locate the company.
Scammer Warning Sign #2: No Physical Business Location
Does the ad list a specific street address? Scammers will rarely have an identified address where customers can come to them. If the ad does include a street address, check it quickly on a street view online map to see if their office is actually at that location. Scammers are known to hide behind phony addresses. They claim to be in an office complex or a corporate plaza, and that would rarely be true in this industry.
Scammer Warning Sign #3: Ads that Promise a Low-Priced Service Call
Many scams start with a promise of a low price for service or repair. This is just bait—a hook to get you to make the initial call.
IDEA (the Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation) says, “If you call a company that promises a low fee and ends up recommending hundreds of dollars in repairs that seem questionable, pay them their $29 and send them on their way.” Of course, reputable companies may also advertise low prices and deals, so it’s important that you address the first two warning signs, making sure it’s a legitimate company and address.
Look on the International Door Association‘s website for recommended garage door dealers. Check to see if the company is accredited by the IDEA. And browse well-known review sites like Angie’s List and BBB for garage door companies that are listed and have reviews.
Also, some scammers claim to have “certified technicians,” but the company may actually have no real credentials. IDEA states that getting an additional estimate from a reputable garage door company listed on the IDA’s website is one of the best ways to tell if you’re getting scammed.
As a locally owned and operated company, Overhead Door Company of Brunswick/Waycross is committed to educating consumers against scammers and serving the community in an ethical and fair manner.