We hear from clients sharing horror stories of experience with fly-by-night contractors. Perhaps I can save you from a future headache.
All 5-star Google, Angie’s & Yelp reviews online are not created equal. Sometimes the bad reviews reflect the homeowner’s communication error with the contractor. The vast majority of review shenanigans is signaled by the number of reviews a contractor has amassed: if Chuck-with-a-truck has 999 Google-reviews and Gaithersburg Garage Door has 59, chances are their Web-guy is purchasing false reviews via the bots or $1-per review from n’er-do-well Poland & Romania bad online actors.
Another clue: fake reviewers have phony-sounding names, pictures of 21-year olds and write broken English text. Their text is repetitive, but not descriptive like: “Arnie is a great guy! I can’t wait for them to return! (yeah: you really want your door to be repaired again soon!) Instead, look for reviews where homeowners share detail, and call out real Service Tech employees by name: Reviews you can trust. 25-50% of online reviews are bogus. Caveat Emptor: Buyer beware!
Getting The Estimate
Be wary: some networks of Locksmiths & repairmen use multiple phone numbers and different Company names to cause confusion: Like “A-1 Affordable Door” (an old Yellow pages trick) and “Germantown Garage Door & Gate” (when there is no such company). They answer the phone deceptively: “Service!” (no Company name) On arrival, are they wearing company-labeled jackets or does their plain-white truck bear no credible lettering & identity? Is the rep trying to “sell” you a door? Do they listen to your needs and suggest products to fit your home and family? Expect the hard sell: they push a product, but need the answer today, so you make a decision fast and leave no time to evaluate.
Make sure your contractor’s offer is on par with the other contractors. Avoid paying a “great price” to discover later that they only cover their product for half the time. Check their physical address: most reputable companies have a business address, not an apartment number. The scammer will answer questions with technical jargon to confuse and blow smoke.
You Get What You Paid For
We often hear of the contractor who doesn’t return your calls. or forces you to reschedule a warranty service appointment three times. Price is important, but saving a few bucks can often lead to future frustration. The price difference of one or two hundred dollars can seem like a lot up front, but it can cost you later. We are confident, providing honesty, integrity and dependability since 1988. If door repair or installation goes awry, we will assuredly make it right. They may not.
If you ever feel uncomfortable in the estimate process, it may be a Red Flag. If their website does not provide transparency on the “ABOUT” page, they probably do not want you to know about their people or history. Good service companies put their clients first and make sure the buying process is comfortable.