Unpleasant garage door repairs experience

Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
1,701
Location
TX
So...I'm working overseas at the moment, and my wife called me stating the garage door won't close. With all the symptoms she described I figured it most likely needs position calibration, happened before. She's not very tech savvy and with three kids on hand I've decided to go ahead and schedule the door technician to come out and have it fixed. Google search, tech scheduled. Next day she calls me and says the guy is here and he can fix the issue for 550$. Okay, let me talk to guy. I'm asking him a question - what exactly is wrong with the garage opener and what needs to be fixed that costs 550$. Gives me vague explanation that he needs to look deeper and service the system (note, according to my wife he didn't look at anything when he arrived and told her right away it will cost 550$). Anyway, I keep asking questions as to what exactly is wrong and obviously gut can't answer. After couple of minutes he goes - well, I can give you a discount and fix it for 390$. I ask him what has changed in the past 2 minutes that now you want 160$ less for the same type of repair - silence, can't answer. I've figured this is not going anywhere so just told him thanks but no thanks. The guy says ok, 30$. I've had to kindly explain him that he's not getting a penny from me and sent him on his way. Next day a friend of mine came out and we had the garage opener calibrated in 5minutes.

It's just hard to comprehend how people can do something like that, trying to take advantage of a woman with kids, this is just disgusting. And that's exactly why I'm always anxious when I have to hire someone for any kind of repairs, always expect to be lied to and ripped off. Okay, rant over.
 
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Joined
May 25, 2005
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14,791
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
My daughter(purchased a home Sept 1st) just had her garage door fixed(16'x7') with a long center spring. One of the cables snapped and the garage door was not opening/closing straight. She disconnected the auto garage door opener(ROPE).

Guy came out($125) flat rate just to show up. Other companies wanted $120/hr.
He replaced the cables, installed both garage door sensors(were missing???) and recalibrated here remotes...$250 w/tax.
He was there about an hour+. He was the best price and an honest 82 yr old guy who'd been doing this for 60 yrs.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
832
Its called theft and its rampant. People have no principals, they will steal your stuff or con you out of it - same thing. I attribute it to the victim / entitlement mentality promoted these days - "I don't have what I want, I am entitled to it, so I will take yours"
 

JHZR2

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Dec 14, 2002
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New Jersey
I dont know how some of these guys can sleep at night.
I have a friend that does HVAC work, he said he sees this all the time.
Hvac is some of the worst. Excuses without any analytical basis of what they’re charging. They know you don’t have a choice so they capitalize on it.

Electrical is much the same. Say you want new service into a building. They can name their price. They’ll even make claims about permits and whatnot, then not get them. So all the “built in time” is a lie.

At least with auto repair there’s some evidence based “book time”. But even the it’s a sham. Go to an auto body shop, not a direct referral one either, and look at their rates. $50-60/hr for body, frame, paint, electrical. Then go to a regular repair shop. $120-150. Same facilities, same machines, same diagnosis and repair of sensors, AC, alignment, etc.

It’s all very arbitrary.
 
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Jun 8, 2022
Messages
832
I don't have a problem at all paying $120 - $150 for fully burdened labor. Employing people is expensive.

However Auto Shops will charge you OEM list price for a rebuilt starter they bought at wholesale for 15% of that. I get the HVAC tech to check my unit every year - I can't buy refrigerant anyway. Latest was he tried to sell me a run capacitor for $160.00. I bought a brand name one online for 20 bucks. My guess is he has the $12.00 ones in his van. Two spade terminals and a screw holding it on, would have taken him 3 minutes.
 

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
14,740
Location
Buffalo, NY
My daughter(purchased a home Sept 1st) just had her garage door fixed(16'x7') with a long center spring. One of the cables snapped and the garage door was not opening/closing straight. She disconnected the auto garage door opener(ROPE).

Guy came out($125) flat rate just to show up. Other companies wanted $120/hr.
He replaced the cables, installed both garage door sensors(were missing???) and recalibrated here remotes...$250 w/tax.
He was there about an hour+. He was the best price and an honest 82 yr old guy who'd been doing this for 60 yrs.

That's a great price.

I think it's been 6-8yrs for me, but it cost me around $350 for a local place to replace both torsion springs, the torque tube, pulleys and cables on my old (heavy) wooden 16'x7'. You can open it with one finger to this day, but I still cringe every time, figuring I'm due for springs. I dread the price today with everything seemingly doubled in cost. I've been spraying fluid film on the springs for the past 3yrs or so.
 

parshisa

Thread starter
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
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Location
TX
I don't have a problem for someone doing the work the actually NEEDS to be done. What I have a problem with is people is trying to take advantage of other people, and essentially rob them out of hard earned money.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
4,179
Location
Virginia
Hey, garage door repairmen gotta eat too, you know.

... and that's all the justification they or anyone else in the service industry needs to try to fleece you.

Sorry for your experience and good on you for pressing him on his BS.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
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Tn.
Neighbor had a doorlift motor replaced, 500 bucks,,,,on another note,,HVAC tech comes out to another neighbors house,,,replaces the start run capacitor,,,20 minutes,,,150 dollars,,,,a capacitor is usually under 20 bucks, life goes on



........................
 
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
7,551
Location
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Hvac is some of the worst. Excuses without any analytical basis of what they’re charging. They know you don’t have a choice so they capitalize on it.

Electrical is much the same. Say you want new service into a building. They can name their price. They’ll even make claims about permits and whatnot, then not get them. So all the “built in time” is a lie.

That's why you need a dozen bids on everything.
 

AZjeff

$50 Site Donor 2022
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Jan 14, 2011
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6,969
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in Az where the Deer and Antelope play
Had that happen with an HVAC company a month ago after a power surge fried the low voltage control board on the air handler. The tech disconnented a few wires hit the door safety switch and the board went click-click. He said the board is fried. Got his tablet out and plugged in the part number that I provided and told me it would be $550 to replace. I had already looked around and the board was available for $100-$150 lots of places and it's location in the unit is front center easy access. I declined and paid the $85 call out. Bought an OEM NIB board and had it installed and running in 20 minutes that included taking pics and marking wires and being careful. Saved us $420.

As said above I have no problem paying for work done/ expertise but that was just excessive. They (whoever) do it because they can.
 
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Canuck - moved to —> California —> Texas —> ???
Not sure why people are bringing in replacing a $20 running capacitor for $150 into this discussion. If you don’t like it, change it yourself. That’s how markets work. You have a record breaking summer, lots of ACs stop working, the service calls get more expensive.

OPs situation is different, the guy could not even articulate what he was going to fix. I bet if he did, then OP would either try to negotiate a better price, or pay what the man was asking since he didn’t have too many options to chose from. Beggars cannot be choosers.
 
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Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
3,468
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Had that happen with an HVAC company a month ago after a power surge fried the low voltage control board on the air handler. The tech disconnented a few wires hit the door safety switch and the board went click-click. He said the board is fried. Got his tablet out and plugged in the part number that I provided and told me it would be $550 to replace. I had already looked around and the board was available for $100-$150 lots of places and it's location in the unit is front center easy access. I declined and paid the $85 call out. Bought an OEM NIB board and had it installed and running in 20 minutes that included taking pics and marking wires and being careful. Saved us $420.
Had much the same thing happen with a Maytag Neptune Washer. We were told the board was fried and it would cost hundreds of dollars to replace it. "Better to get a new one". I did a little research, replaced the wax motor and a couple of parts on the board and it fired right up. Cost me about $20 and took a couple of hours. It was still working when we sold the house 5 years later.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
942
Location
VA
So...I'm working overseas at the moment, and my wife called me stating the garage door won't close. With all the symptoms she described I figured it most likely needs position calibration, happened before. She's not very tech savvy and with three kids on hand I've decided to go ahead and schedule the door technician to come out and have it fixed. Google search, tech scheduled. Next day she calls me and says the guy is here and he can fix the issue for 550$. Okay, let me talk to guy. I'm asking him a question - what exactly is wrong with the garage opener and what needs to be fixed that costs 550$. Gives me vague explanation that he needs to look deeper and service the system (note, according to my wife he didn't look at anything when he arrived and told her right away it will cost 550$). Anyway, I keep asking questions as to what exactly is wrong and obviously gut can't answer. After couple of minutes he goes - well, I can give you a discount and fix it for 390$. I ask him what has changed in the past 2 minutes that now you want 160$ less for the same type of repair - silence, can't answer. I've figured this is not going anywhere so just told him thanks but no thanks. The guy says ok, 30$. I've had to kindly explain him that he's not getting a penny from me and sent him on his way. Next day a friend of mine came out and we had the garage opener calibrated in 5minutes.

It's just hard to comprehend how people can do something like that, trying to take advantage of a woman with kids, this is just disgusting. And that's exactly why I'm always anxious when I have to hire someone for any kind of repairs, always expect to be lied to and ripped off. Okay, rant over.
What he actually needed to do is turn the potentiometers for the open and/or close sensors, they are right on the side of the opener...even tell you what to do.
 

parshisa

Thread starter
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
1,701
Location
TX
There are LED indicator on the opener unit, they blink with various frequencies which will indicate an ongoing issues and all of them described in the manual. And that's exactly what i did, downloaded the manual, identified the issues and resolved with the help of my buddy in 5 minutes. Yes, I could've ask him to come over from the get go, but didn't want to disturb and figure to call the specialist thinking "what can go wrong". Regardless of what the issue was, the tech totally failed to identify it (0 efforts were made towards that) and just lied to me instead.
What he actually needed to do is turn the potentiometers for the open and/or close sensors, they are right on the side of the opener...even tell you what to do.
 
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