Garage Door Repair Scams

  
     
June 04, 2015

BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties is warning consumers of a garage doors and openers company with a pattern of complaints and a suspended license.

Established in 1999, GDS Garage Doors claims to be “the preferred choice for every one of your garage door service needs.”  Their website states they offer a variety of services including repairs and tune-ups, GDS Garage Doors seems to be in the business of quality service offering warranties on many of their products.  However, the company has amassed 284 complaints with BBB in the last three years, and 152 in the last year alone.

While complaints filed against the company include advertising & sales issues as well as billing & collection disputes, 249 refer to problems with products & services.  A number of local consumers feel as though GDS Garage Doors took advantage of them in their immediate need for garage door service.

Local consumer, Alexander Galenes claims he called GDS Garage Doors for repair service under the assumption it was the same company that repaired his garage door in 2003.  He alleges the technician arrived in an unmarked van, with no uniform or other identifying identification.

Galenes claims the technician insisted that the garage door repairs and labor would cost in excess of $1,400.

“I thought that price to be quite high, especially in light I had springs replaced in 2003 for a grand total of $224,” stated Galenes.

After questioning the technician about the price and why it was so expensive compared to a previous repair, Galenes alleges the technician stated, “That’s why they are not in business anymore.”

He claims that since it was late in the day on New Year’s Eve, he gave the technician permission to begin work, but alleges that he was not provided with a contract before work began. Galenes claims he asked if the lifetime warranty for the parts being replaced would transfer to the new owner of the house if he were to move, and was allegedly told the warranty was not transferable.

“I said that makes the warranty worthless,” stated Galenes.  “After further insistence, he made a call to his office and said that he got permission to make the warranty transferable. I was given nothing in writing to verify anything.” 

When the repair was complete, Galenes claims the technician insisted on payment with a credit card, but he refused and proceeded to write a check.

“He stopped me and said to make it out to GDS, but I said no, I am dealing with Escondido Overhead Garage Doors company and that is to whom I will write the check,” stated Galenes.

He claims he asked for a detailed receipt and was told that it would be emailed to him. Galenes alleges that before the technician left he sprayed a lubricant type substance on the opener chain that dripped onto the outside of the door, and after trying to clean it, he claims the paint became damaged and would need to be repainted.

After finding the invoice from 2003 provided by Escondido Overhead Garage Doors, Galenes claims he called and asked for a hard copy of the contract from which the repair was just completed, but the business had no record of any service made to that address or name of the technician on that day. He alleges that it was at that time when he realized that DGS Garage Doors was not the same company he used in 2003, and felt he had become a victim of contractor fraud.

Galenes claims he called five other companies asking how much his repair from GDS should have cost, and he alleges that all the quotes he received did not exceed $300.  He then filed a complaint with BBB against GDS Garage Doors asking for a refund for the difference in quotes in the amount of $1160.11.

Along with Galenes, many other local consumers have filed complaints against GDS Garage Doors, stating similar issues with products and service.

In order to find a legitimate repair service, it’s important to do your homework first. BBB offers these helpful tips when seeking a trustworthy company: 

  • Choose a company that is licensed, bonded and insured. Don’t hire someone who surprisingly shows up at your doorstep without having them provide you with some credentials:
    • Ask to see a license. They may not be required but with a license you know the company is legitimate.
    • Making sure the company is “bonded” means that you are financially protected if the job is done poorly or left unfinished.
    • Insurance, on the other hand, covers their liability while on duty. For example, if they injure themselves while working, their company’s insurance will be able to cover any claims and you won’t be held liable.
    • Research the company. Remember to do your homework and research the company; reading consumer reviews may help before hiring a business. Visit bbb.org to find an Accredited garage door repair service.
    • Check the company’s vehicle. Technicians are often required to use a company car, so make sure the vehicle they’re using has signs for the business and contact information on it.
    • Get everything in writing. Get a written contract that specifies the price, labor, and time frame of the job before authorizing any work to begin. Never sign anything unless you have thoroughly read all paperwork and are aware of any warranties or guarantees.
    • Payments should be made to the company, not the technician. Be leery of technicians asking for money up front, especially in cash. Payments should always be paid to the company and not the individual technician. Never pay for the job in advance.
    • Resist aggressive lines and irresistible prices. Don’t fall for the lowest or the highest bid; it could leave you with poor work done. Get multiple estimates and/or quotes before choosing a repair service; 3-4 estimates should be sufficient.

Find an accredited garage door repair service on bbb.org, or call (858) 496-2131.