California Passes Law Requiring Garage Door Openers to Have Battery Backup

Written by Automated Garage Door Systems on . Posted in Blog

Genie Garage Door Battery Backup

New Law in California Requires Battery Backup for Garage Doors

What is the Battery Backup Law?

California is now requires garage door openers sold in California after July the 1st 2019 to have a battery backup. (Read the Full Senate Bill Law Here)

Why is there a New Law?

The 2017 wildfires which devastated large regions of California caused lawmakers pass this new bill. Some people were unable to evacuate during the widespread wildfires because they could not get their vehicles out of their garage. This prompted lawmakers in California to require all garage doors to have a battery backup. The battery backup is designed to provide power to the garage door in the event of a power outage. The goal of this law is to prevent deaths related to lack of proper garage door function. However there has been opposition to the new law by reputable garage door safety advocates.

Opposition to the New Law

The Door Access System Manufacturing Association (DASMA) is one of, if not the most, respectable organization in the garage door industry. They were the only formal opposition to the new law. DASMA has been helping to protect consumers from dangers related to the garage door industry and keep them safe since 1996. You migh t be asking “Why would DASMA oppose a bill that could potentially save lives?” DASMA, in true DASMA fashion, is once again out to protect garage door companies and consumers. DASMA made several valid points in their objections to the new garage door law. – First, garage door openers with backup batteries are not designed to serve as life saving devices. – Secondly, “battery backup systems require regular maintenance” and “must be regularly tested and periodically replaced.” The California Senate agreed with DASMA’s assessment and stated that the batteries would likely need to be replaced every three years. While DASMA is the only entity that filed a formal written objection, there are many others who object to the new law. Large numbers of garage door repair and installation companies in California were not big advocates of the law. Many (likely a vast majority) garage door repair companies feel as though the new law will give an unfair advantage to garage door repair companies that operate illegally.

Outlaw Overhead Door Companies

Unfortunately, the garage door industry ha a large number of companies and individuals willing to take advantage of homeowners. Most consumers are unaware that there are entire networks of “shell companies” that hide behind fake business names so they can overcharge homeowners for repair services. It sounds a little outlandish to those who are lucky enough not to be familar with the issue. We wanted to take a moment to outline how those companies work:

1. They setup a business listing online with a phone number that can be forwarded to another phone number. (Usually they will set these online listings up under a business name that is similar to another reputable local garage door company.) The phone number will then forward all calls to a call center located outside the state.
2. The out-of-state company, whose real business name you will likely never know, will then dispatch a repair technician to your property. This anonymous technician lives in the same state but is likely not licensed.
3. The technician they dispatched will then intentionally make your garage door issues sound much more severe than they really are. You may have an issue as a sensor being misaligned. But, they will attempt to convince you your motor needs to be replaced because it is “burned out.” (Many homeowners will actually pay their fees because they simply do not call for a second opinion.) They’ll quickly turn what would be a service call fee into hundreds of dollars worth of unneeded repairs.
4. Eventually these unscrupulous garage door companies’ tactics will catch up to them and they will get a bad reputation. (Keep in mind, they will create false reviews to cover up their negative reputation for a period of time) Regulatory agencies may receive reports of their deceptive practices and start to investigate. Search engines may finally remove their listing. (This can take years) However, these garage door companies will simply shut down the fake business entity. These companies really don’t mind shutting down their fake entity because they likely have dozens, sometimes hundreds, of other business listings under other business names. They will simply run the same ruse under one of their other business names and numbers.

A large concern for those familiar with the garage door industry is that the new law gives individuals willing to break the law a competitive pricing advantage over the companies that abide by the law. The companies that abide by the law will be forced to give higher estimates to compensate for the cost of the required battery backup unit. There is a $1000 fine for each garage door that is installed without a battery backup unit, the illegal companies are not too worried about the fines. The illegal companies know they will be very difficult to track down due to the fact they: hide behind fake business names, use phone numbers to cloak their identity, send anonymous repair techs, and are also headquartered outside of the state. All of those factors make it difficult to hold them accountable for their lack of compliance with the new law.

The Unintended Victims

This law was intended to help individuals who have difficulties opening their garage door once the release rope is pulled. The release rope, when pulled, allows the garage door to be opened manually even if there is no electricity. All garage doors have a release rope. We know from personal experience, the individuals that have trouble opening a garage door when the release rope is pulled will most likely be the elderly or disabled. Those two groups of people are likely already have financial complications or are on a fixed income. Therefore, they are the least likely to be able to afford a replacement battery or proper battery testing-maintenance. This could lead to two potentially dangerous situations for those individuals. The first of which is, a new garage door may be even further out of reach for them with their limited budget. Therefore, they will keep an improperly functioning garage door longer than they should. The second of which is, they will be more likely to fall into the hands of illegal garage door companies because of their bait-and-switch low price tactics. Law abiding companies will certainly lose more revenue will which go to the lower cost illegal garage door companies.

An Additional Measure for Enforcement

We feel adding an additional addendum so the new law can be enforced properly is critical. If all garage door openers purchased in the state required an individual to have garage door contractors license it would allow installations to be tracked. If the individual does not have a license, they would be required to provide an ID and sign an affidavit stating the garage door is for personal use and not commercial purposes. All purchases could be put into a state database that would allow officials to track who is purchasing garage door openers. If one individual has purchased 20 door openers for personal use at their home, it is likely they are installing garage doors without a license or reselling the doors to other unlicensed garage door installers. This sort of measure would help ensure the law is enforced fairly and it would also really help eliminate unlicensed garage door repair companies.

In Closing

We are huge advocates of garage door safety. Our company loves that California is taking steps to protect people from harmful situations related to garage doors. However, there are many things that need to change regarding this law before it is comprehensive enough to protect people without significant collateral damage. If you have any questions regarding the new California battery backup law, do not hesitate to call us. We look forward to answering any questions and helping you in any way we can.

We are ThreeBestRated’s Best Business of 2019!

Written by Automated Garage Door Systems on . Posted in Blog

ThreeBestRated CertificateWe are proud to announce that we have been selected by ThreeBestRated, a well respected business finder that covers all of North America, as one of the top 3 garage door repair companies in Riverside CA! We always provide exemplary garage door service and take care of each client as if they were family. We are very happy that ThreeBestRated recognized this from our glowing reviews online, our history as a company, and more.

The Certificate Reads:

On behalf of ThreeBestRated® this Certificate of Excellence award is proudly presented after duly checking extensive customer reviews, ratings, history, complaints, satisfaction, trust, cost and the general excellence. Your commitment to these values and your consistent high quality in your area of business is hereby acknowledged and certified.

We would like to say thank you to ThreeBestRated for the honor, and we hope that if you are considering us for garage door service including garage door repair or garage door installation in Riverside, our Certificate of Excellence given to us by the respected ThreeBestRated will prove our commitment to providing only the finest garage door services in the Riverside area.

Give Us a Call Today!

Chinese Tariffs Affecting Garage Door Industry

Written by Automated Garage Door Systems on . Posted in Blog

Can Chinese Tariffs Affect the Garage Door Industry?

(Disclaimer: Our company does not weigh-in on politics or policy. We respect any and all individuals opinions and perspectives. This article on our website has been created to explain to consumers how tariffs on Chinese goods will affect the cost of garage doors and garage door repair services)

Who We Are and Why We Are Writing About Tariffs

We are a small garage door repair company in Riverside California. We’ve been in the garage door repair industry for over three decades and boy we have seen a lot of things change. Whether they’ve been changes in the garage door industry, our community, or the world. One of the things that has inevitably changed is the price of garage doors. The cost of purchasing a garage door has steadily and understandably gone up over the years. A gradual increase in cost is to be expected due to inflation and manufacturing costs. However, a recent price-hike due to tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum has caused us to write this article. We feel it is our responsibility to inform consumers of the changes to expect in the upcoming weeks, months, and possibly years.

What Are Tariffs?

Tariffs are a tax or “duty” to be paid on certain imports or exports. If a tariff is placed upon Chinese steel and aluminum it means that the cost of steel and aluminum purchased from China will be higher.

Who Do the New Tariffs Impact?

Simply put, the tariffs on Chinese aluminum and steel will effect the price you pay for any goods manufactured in China that contain steel or aluminum. Additionally, those same tariffs will affect the price you pay for goods that rely upon steel to make equipment to create products. All steel from China will have 25% added to the cost. Aluminum will have 10% added to the total cost. The cost of the tariffs gets passed along to the United States citizens who pay for goods containing that steel.

Why Do Tariffs Impact the Garage Door Industry?

Garage doors and garage door parts are certainly not immune to the new tariffs. As a matter of fact a vast majority of garage doors are made of steel. Additionally, garage door parts, such as garage door springs, also contain steel. A garage door spring is actually the part of your garage door that wears out the fastest and needs replacement the most often. When garage door suppliers charge more for garage doors or parts, this cost usually gets passed on to the customer (you). There are three primary methods garage door repair companies will pass the increased cost to you. We have briefly outlined them below.

  • Flat Fee – The garage door company will charge you the exact same additional amount they are getting charged. (Best Option)
  • Percentage – The garage door company charges an additional percentage based upon the increase in total cost they are being charged for doors or parts.
  • The Sky Is The Limit – The “we are going to see how much we can get away with charging” companies were a problem before steel and aluminum tariffs. It is likely we will start to see these same garage door repair companies use tariffs as an excuse to take advantage of consumers. The same bad actors are likely going to start working steel and aluminum tariffs into their pitch to justify their high fees.

Why We Are Likely to See Higher Prices in the near Future?

The United States International Trade Commission has had procedures in place for decades to level the playing field when it comes to trading steel and aluminum. The procedures of the United States International Trade Commission are the key reason China has contributed less than 10% of the overall total amount of steel that the United States imports. The new tariffs place on Chinese aluminum and steel are outside the normal USITC protocol. The unusual method in which the tariffs were put into action creates panic and a great deal of uncertainty of what may happen to prices in the future. This fear and uncertainty causes the price of steel to rise regardless of whether the steel was imported from China.

When did the new Tariffs start to impact the price of garage doors and garage door parts?

Our garage door repair company has been working with the same garage door manufacturers for over 25 years. Historically, when we receive prices for garage door products, the manufacturers will let us know that the price we are quoted will remain the same for 30 days. Starting in July of 2018 we were told the prices will change daily on the garage doors. Therefore, we have to call the garage door manufacturer for each customer that needs a new garage door. Most garage door repair companies will simply charge a flat fee which is much higher than the average price to ensure they do not underbid a job. Our garage door company goes out of the way to give our customers the best price possible. Our dedication to providing the best price possible to each customer causes us to spend a great deal of additional time on the phone with manufacturers.

How Much Has the Price of Garage Doors Increased?

The average price increase of a garage door has increased by $16-$50. However, the price has increased much more for higher end garage doors. The higher the quality of the materials, the more the price will increase due to new tariffs.

Should I Wait to Buy a New Garage Door?

If you have been avoiding repairing or replacing a garage door, you may want to take care of the issue right away. Prices on garage doors and garage door parts just increased. So, why would we recommend servicing or replacing your garage door now? If you follow the long history of Chinese trade, you’ll find they have a history of adapting to tariffs quickly. China has been known to ship products to ports in other countries, then those other countries will ship the those Chinese products to the United States. Once it is discovered which countries are being used to relay Chinese products to the United States, those countries products usually get tariffed too. Basically, once China’s steel and aluminum was tarriffed, it will start a domino effect. The price of garage doors will most certainly continue to increase over the next couple of years. If you need a new garage door or even a simple garage door repair, now is the best time to make a make a move.

Automated Garage Door Systems

Automated Garage Door Systems is a garage door repair company located in Riverside California. Automated Garage Door Systems specializes in residential garage door repair and replacement.

What is the Average Cost of Garage Door Repair in California?

Written by Automated Garage Door Systems on . Posted in Blog

We feel fortunate that you have stumbled across this page of our website. Our company hopes that this article will help you save money and protect you from predatory companies.

Our garage door repair company has been serving the greater Riverside California area for over 25 years. The question every customer asks is “how much is it going to cost? It’s a completely logical question for any customer to want to ask. The price of service is a very important factor for any consumer, especially when money is so tight for so many households. Giving a price over the phone is a complicated and difficult because there are so many variables with garage doors. However, when the time is taken to ask necessary questions, a garage door repair company can usually tell you what the price range will be. The following are a few things you must consider when receiving a quote over the phone.

Don’t Take The Bait

Most of you have heard the phrase “bait and switch.” If you have not heard the term before, it is when a company will quote a low price either verbally or through advertising and then switch the price.

The bait and switch practice has been taking place long before garage doors even existed. Unfortunately, there are a plethora of garage door repair companies willing to use bait and switch tactics. Over the last decade or so, there has been an influx of bait and switch garage door companies.

There are two primary types of bait and switch garage door companies. Below we will discuss the two primary types of bait and switch tactics used by garage door companies.

Basic Bait and Switch

The first type of bait and switch garage door company will simply advertise a cheap price and then add on all sorts of hidden fees. These hidden fees are on top of their advertised service call fees and estimate they provided. Usually these are for things like garage door removal, dump fees, spring removal, and sometimes even a mileage fee. This will quickly turn what sounded like a good quote over the phone into a high-priced repair. They may also say that the advertised price is only for a certain type of garage door or opener. They will then go on to tell you your garage door does not qualify for the advertised special rate. Here are side by side examples of a legitimate garage door estimate and a basic bait and switch estimate.

Both quotes are for the same garage door with a broken spring. Both quoted around $200 on the phone.

Real Garage Door Quote
Service Call Fee———————$89
================== Grand Total $209

Basic Bait and Switch Quote
Advertised $19 Service call fee, but you are outside their service area so there is a higher service call fee.
Service Call Fee———————$99
================== Grand Total $397

The bait and switch company changed their service call fee from $29 to $99. Additionally, they said their quote only included the labor and not materials. This type of bait and switch practice is far more common than you might imagine. Bait and switch garage door repair companies know that once they arrive on a job their tactics leave homeowners with the difficult decision between paying the increased fees or gambling on another garage door company.

The “Everything is Broken” Bait and Switch

Now, on to the second type of bait and switch garage door repair company. We like to call it the “Everything is Broken” bait and switch. This is the most common type of bait and switch garage door repair tactic. They will advertise a low price and then intentionally misdiagnose the issue with the garage door. Garage doors have many different moving parts and elements that can break or fail. Therefore, some garage door companies use this to their advantage. They basically use your lack of garage door repair knowledge to charge you more money. Their company simply chooses to lie to you about what is wrong with your garage door. News organizations have done a pretty good job at exposing this bait and switch garage door tactic by using hidden cameras. Click the following link to check out some Youtube videos of hidden camera garage door repair scams. As you can see there are hundreds of videos showing garage door companies using this deplorable tactic.

Here are side by side examples of a legitimate garage door estimate and a basic bait and switch estimate.

Both quotes are for the same garage door with a misaligned sensor.

Real Garage Door Quote
Service Call Fee—————————————$89
================================= Grand Total $89

“Everything is Broken” Bait and Switch Quote
Service Call Fee—————————————–$89
Claim your sensors need to be replaced—-$189
Claim your pulleys need to be replaced—–$399
================================= Grand Total $677

Here are a few tips to avoid bait and switch garage door companies:

  • Don’t be afraid to call another garage door repair company. We know it can be hard to make the decision to call another garage door repair company when one is already at your home. That is what the bait and switch garage door company is counting on. Call someone else, even if you pay for another service call fee, you will still end up saving money.
  • Do not allow them to schedule an appointment late in the day. Schedule your appointment early in the day. If you schedule your appointment late in the day, a bait and switch garage door repair company knows that you will be less likely to call another company. Most garage door repair companies charge higher fees after hours. An appointment late in the day may leave you with a choice of: Paying the bait and switch company high fees, paying for another garage door company to come out after hours at an increased rate, or having a broken garage door overnight. Simply refusing to schedule an appointment in the afternoon will relieve any hesitation you may have had to call another garage door repair company.
  • Check the California State Contractors Board (CSLB) to make sure the company is licensed. A large amount of bait and switch garage door companies are not licensed with the state. Sometimes individuals setup fake entities just to use bait and switch tactics. When the entity starts to get too much attention they simply shut it down and start a new fake company under another business name. Doing a simple search on the state contractors licensing board will allow you to avoid a goo percentage of bait and switch companies. It is important to note that if you are in a state other than California, not all states require licensing at the state level. If you are outside California click here to see if your state requires licensing for garage door repair contractors.
  • Read Reviews! Once you have followed the steps listed above, you should take a few extra moments to read online reviews. If a company has a history of using bait and switch tactics, they will likely have negative reviews. Keep in mind that some companies are willing to write fake reviews for their own company. Therefore, we recommend you look at the reviewer’s history. Have the reviewers written reviews for a lot of other local companies? If so, they are likely a more trustworthy reviewer. Check other online review resources besides just Google. Make sure you check popular review sites like Yelp and the BBB as well.
  • Ask friends and family members for recommendations. Bait and switch garage door companies are much less likely to get repeat business. That means when you ask a friend or family member for a recommendation, you are less likely to run into a bait and switch garage door company. It is still important if you receive a recommendation from a friend or family member to do your due dilligence to ensure the company is the right fit for you.

Average Cost of Garage Door Repair

The cost of garage door repair depends greatly upon the make, model, type of door and repair needed. We will try to give you a basic price range of reputable companies so you know what to expect.

Sensor Misaligned————————-$0
A quality company will charge the service call fee only.
Spring Repair——————————–$150-$250
Broken Cable——————————–$125-$225
Garage Door Track Bent—————–$100-$200

Do You Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions about garage door repair prices or garage door issues, call us. The only bad questions are the ones that are never asked. We are here to help. It’s what we do and we love it! You can reach out to us through our website or just call us. It is our genuine hope that this page of our website allows you to get a fair price on garage door repair services.

(951) 276-0444

Local Garage Door Repair Company Riverside California

Written by Automated Garage Door Systems on . Posted in Blog

Looking for a local garage door repair company Riverside California? We are happy to see that you are deciding to shop local. Hiring a local company ensures that the money you spend on local services will be invested back in the local community.

Spending money with local Riverside companies is incredibly important. There are a vast number of reasons why spending money with local companies is critical. According to the New Economic Foundation in an article of Time Magazine, “many local economies are languishing not because too little cash comes in, but as a result of what happens to that money.” “Money is like blood. It needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going. When money is spent elsewhere–at big supermarkets, non-locally owned utilities and other services such as on-line retailers–”it flows out, like a wound.” By shopping at the corner store instead of the big box, consumers keep their communities from becoming what the NEF calls “ghost towns” (areas devoid of neighborhood shops and services) or “clone towns”, where Main Street now looks like every other Main Street with the same fast-food and retail chains.

Granted, garage door companies are in the service industry, but the same rules apply. Spending money with a local service repair company in the has the same level of impact. You may be asking, aren’t all garage door repair companies local? Unfortunately, not all garage door companies are local. What do we mean that not all garage door companies are not local? There are three varying degrees of local which we will briefly outline below

  • Truly Local – A truly local company is physically located in your city (Riverside in this instance). They also primarily service customers that are in the same area which they are physically located.
  • Mostly Local – Franchises are a great example of businesses that are mostly local. Their franchises’ corporate office is not located in the city, but they have local business owners (franchisees) that are local. They service the local region and spend their revenue in the local community. The only difference between a truly local company and a “mostly local” company (franchise) is where a small percentage of their earnings are spent. Franchisees typically pay an annual franchise fee and a percentage of their annual earnings. This allows a vast majority of their money to stay and be spent with the local community should they choose to do so.
  • The Local-Imposters – These are companies that go to great lengths to act as though they are local companies. These types of companies will create business names, websites, false online reviews, and even pay for ads online in your area. They will then hire service techs to handle the service calls. Why is that a problem? Their headquarters are not located in the area and are usually out of state. Additionally, the service techs charge outrageously high fees for repairs. Their corporate office will even give service techs incentives to charge higher fees. Some are even known to intentionally misdiagnose garage door issues to increase the price of repairs.
  • The local-imposter companies use many other under handed tactics such as impersonating other businesses. These instances have been well documented by news organizations across the United States. These local-imposter companies are not able to operate with impunity. Counties have been known to prosecute these companies. However, the companies will simply change their name and start the same process all over again. Luckily Google started to suspend some of these companies paid ads. Even though these garage door companies are having their paid ads suspended on Google, they still have hundreds of Google listings in the maps portion of Google. It is important to do research on each individual company. It will help you avoid choosing a company that is not good for you or our local community.

Your Local Garage Door Repair Company

Hiring a real local company will be better for you as a consumer and better for the Riverside community. Our local garage door company strives to make sure every single local customer of ours receives the best service imaginable. We are proud of our 25 year long standing reputation in the Riverside community. Additionally, we want to make sure that Riverside and its residents are able to thrive. Afterall, this is where we live. When you choose to do business from a truly local garage door repair company, we all benefit from it.

Cited Sources:

DASMA – Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association
Dallas News – Watchdog