Posted Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
As a business owner, I find it appalling that there are companies out there providing commercial door service and repair who are down right deceptive. They lowball hourly rates and over charge for parts. They even recommend unnecessary repairs.
What’s worse, our city and county municipalities along with public transportation companies have fallen for their ploy.
Those in charge of hiring companies to maintain and service commercial doors are being deceived by low hourly rates. If they simply evaluated their overall costs for the year and the long run, they would see just how much money they have spent on parts they don’t need. The real rub is that they have been deceived for years, and its public money. The “if you don’t spend it, you lose it” budgets have created laziness, and the lack of oversight has cost the taxpayers money.
Whether you work for a municipality, public works, own your own business, or work for somebody else, here are the tell tale scams in the commercial door service and repair business.
Beware the company who low-balls you on their hourly rate. These companies are likely under charging for service, whether its prevailing wage hourly rate or normal hourly rates. While it might seem like a deal up front, they are likely going to suggest replacing parts under the guise of “preventative maintenance.” And, they’ll charge you 3X or more what they actually cost. These companies “bonus” their employees by paying them a commission to sell you as many new parts as possible as often as possible, whether you need them or not!
Beware of door companies who want to lock you into a yearly or multi-year contract to give you better or preferred rates. A preventive maintenance “agreement” should be open ended and beneficial for both companies. There should not be a hook in clause that you have to stay with the company and pay them to come out if you are not happy with their service or you find out that they are overcharging you. Also, make sure you get a technician that is trained and has extensive experience servicing and repairing commercial doors. Some doors like fire doors and automatic doors require certified technicians to be able to work on them.
A preventative maintenance program should be customized to maintain your doors depending on usage, environment and type of door.
Do not be fooled by companies who claim to be located in the Northwest. Many of them are satellite locations with a headquarters located out of state. We advise against using these companies. Quality control in these situations is spotty at best. It is always prudent to use a local company who has been in business for more than 25 years. Make sure the door company is a local, factory authorized stocking dealer, and that they can sell you proper factory parts that were made expressly for your door and not a knock off brand.
There are many commercial door companies who are charging 3 X the worth of a part in order to up the overall service visit price and scam their customers. They claim the parts are “custom.” The fact is, there are very few custom parts, like spring barrels, that are job specific. Most parts are readily available from reputable authorized door dealers. If your commercial door service company has proposed a part or repair that appears expensive, get a second opinion. Find out if they are overcharging you.
Now, you are probably wondering, who are the Bad Bob’s in the commercial door service arena? We would like to give you a list, however we can’t. You must do your homework and don’t believe everything you read on the internet!