How to Spot Marketing Smams
Garage Door Repair Scammers
This is Part 3 of a video series from IDA and DASMA to protect consumers from garage door scams.
Advertising doesn’t only come from larger, more reputable companies. Some forms of advertising are relatively inexpensive and can be an affordable way for scammers to reach consumers. If you live in a city with a larger population its especially important for you to be aware of scammers. Scammers target larger cities since it’s easier for them to blend where there are more garage door service options 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 many local printed directories like the Yellow Pages. The tricky thing is that
reputable garage door repair companies also spend a lot of money to rank high online and for print advertising, so it’s important for you as the consumer to do a little research before choosing a garage door company. IDEA came up with these warning signs to look out for in garage door advertising:
Warning Sign #1: Look at the Company Name Carefully
“Unethical companies often operate under MANY names, or use names that are generic, inconsistent or unclear.” They will often confuse customers on what their company name is so that once someone realizes they’ve been ripped off, it’s hard for that consumer to locate the company.
Warning Sign #2: Look for a Specific Street Address
“Scammers will rarely have an identified address where customers can come to them. If there ad does include a street address check it quickly on a street view map to see if their business is actually at that location. Scammers are known to hide behind phony addresses or claim to be in an office complex or a corporate plaza which is rare in this industry.”
Warning Sign #3: Advertising that Promises a Low-Priced Service Call
Many scams start with a promise of a low price for service or repair. This is to bait you to make the initial call. IDEA says, “If you call a company that promises a low fee and end up recommending hundreds of dollars in repairs that seem questionable, pay them their $29 and send them on their way.” Reputable companies may also advertise low prices and deals so it’s important that you first address the first two warning signs making sure it’s a legitimate company and address. Again, look on IDA’s website for recommended garage door dealers and also check to see if the company is accredited by the IDEA. The video also explains that it’s important to look at 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. The IDEA video states that getting an additional estimate from a reputable garage door company listed on the International Door Association’s website is one of the best ways to tell if you’re getting scammed.
IDEA, the Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation,
Door and Access Systems, and
IDA for this great information that will help protect homeowners from garage door scams.