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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

BBB Tip of the Week: Don’t be left open to the garage-door scam

Veronica Craker

Garage doors may be one of the most overlooked home appliances, but it is necessary to keep them in running order.

Garage door springs have a life cycle of three to five years. That’s about 10,000 opens.

And when it breaks, it can leave homeowners scrambling to find someone to get it up and running.

Unfortunately, scammers know just how much homeowners want their garage doors working and will often exploit that urgency to make off with their money – without actually fixing the door.

In the past few months, Better Business Bureau has been contacted by multiple victims who feel they’ve been scammed by garage door repairmen.

When searching for a repairman it is important to do more than simply thumb through the phone book or Google search your city for a repairman. Often con artists create a legitimate looking business and have themselves listed in a directory. But after a few months of conning homeowners out of their money, their business closes and they are nowhere to be found.

The BBB Scam Tracker received a report from a Western Washington man who said his wife hired a repairman from a company she found online. The man claims he was overcharged and when he tried to call the company to talk to a supervisor he received no answer. What’s more, the company used the name of a company already doing business but has no ties to it whatsoever.

When dealing with home repairs, it is necessary to request a cost estimate and a time line for how long the job will take. If it takes them longer than they predicted they will likely try to charge you for additional services. You have every right to tell them to stop working at the agreed-upon time, and if the work still isn’t completed its time to try someone else.

If you’re thinking of hiring a company to do repairs on your garage door, be sure to ask where their physical location is. Then call the number listed at that address to ensure the company is actually there and isn’t posing as another company.

To find a trusted repairman in your area, visit