D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — Letters to the Editor: PDS: On the Right Track

© 2006 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 2006
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 46


Letters to the Editor

PDS: On the Right Track

Tom,

It sounds like those Precision Door folks are on the right track. They’re targeting a market that has been almost untapped for years now.

At first, $600 for a service call sounds fishy until you consider that almost all new-home garage doors are at best pitiful: 26-gauge pans, 18-gauge hardware, unreinforced horizontals, .218 wire springs that are 18" or shorter, one strut improperly installed, no header or jamb seal, and improperly installed operators.

If a company replaced all these components with quality parts and installed them correctly, I can see how the bill could easily cost up to $600. That homeowner now has a door that will provide 20-plus years of reliable service.

Kevin Wiyninger
Penny Door and Gate
Midwest City, Okla.


The PDS Spin

To the editor:

Your interview with Precision Door was interesting, but disappointing. Many PDS answers were vague, rhetorical, and were not challenged with tougher follow-up questions. For example …

PDS: “I can take a butter knife and cut a hole in it and walk right inside that door.” Really?

PDS: “We are actually one of the cheapest if you look at what we do over the long term for that customer.” Can that be proven?

PDS: “If people would take care of their automobiles the way they take care of their garage doors, it wouldn’t be long before they were walking.” And if people had their cars repaired for PDS-type fees, they would also be broke.

PDS is trying to make us believe we are wrong and they are right … and they disguise it as doing the right thing for the customer. No one should spin excessive practices behind the veil of “doing the right thing.” I think most of us already do the right thing.

Michael Wittwer
Action Door
Stow, Ohio

Former PDS Owner Speaks Out

To the editor:

I owned a Precision Door franchise in Birmingham, Ala., from 2002 to 2004, and I now own my own door company in Birmingham. While I left PDS on good terms, I do not hold their business practices in high regard.

I particularly don’t agree with the prices they charge. It’s a maximum charge, it’s not fair to the customer, and I think it’s not good for the door industry.

PDS charged a customer here $498 for an “overhaul” on a 9x7 wood door. Even with a “limited warranty,” most people would agree that charges like that are grossly excessive.

It’s obvious why they charge such high rates. It’s tough to open one of their franchises and pay for the royalties, telephone, debt obligations, large Yellow Pages ads, and other advertising schemes encouraged or demanded by the corporate office. Someone has to pay for all that, and it ends up being the customer.

When I last attended a PDS “sells” class, we were taught a sales pitch that I considered to be high pressure and intimidation. Plus, PDS would harp on call averages, pushing technicians to average $400 or more for each residential service call.

That was a few years ago; perhaps they’ve stopped doing that. However, I understand that most technicians are still paid on commission.

Jim Duke
Bama Garage Door Company
Birmingham, Ala.


Doesn’t Hold Water

To the editor:

I read your interview with Precision Door, and I can tell you that what they told you doesn’t hold water. Channel 9 in Orlando exposed their tactics back in 2003. They showed how PDS will be called in to fix one problem, and then replace several parts that aren’t the problem.

That plastic bushing in the center bearing bracket is fine if the rest of the counterbalance system is installed correctly. If a cable is the right size, shows no rust, and isn’t frayed, there is no reason to replace it. But in my experience, PDS routinely replaces these items and many others that are fine.

The public is at our mercy, and they depend on our professionalism. I’d like tougher regulations put on door people. I think that an accreditation program should be made mandatory to hold a door license and yearly CEU points to maintain it.

John Fullington
AAA American Overhead Doors
Clermont, Fla.