D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — Letters to the Editor

© 2002 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Summer 2002
Page 24


Letters to the Editor

To the Editor,

In 1999, we started hearing about the kind of garage door dealers mentioned in your recent Dateline story. At that time, I was on the board of directors of IDA, and I immediately notified the other board members and started a file in our office.

I have attached one example of a two-page Yellow Page ad that started running in 1999 in San Jose, a city of 900,000. I think the same basic ad is still running. The ad says, “GDS certified technicians.” That statement was IDA’s main concern at the time, since IDEA had not then officially set up the certification program.

In the past six months, the volume of complaints has dropped off. But I wish you good luck in tracking down these types of people. In my opinion, the manufacturers bear some responsibility when they sell products to disreputable people.

Jerry O. Kenaga
Overhead Door Company of the Bay Area
Newark, Calif.

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To the Editor:

In your Dateline story (Spring 2002 issue), you mentioned AA Able Overhead Door. I believe that same company is operating here in the Atlanta area on a huge scale.

They arrived here in 1997 and have been a thorn in the sides of all reputable door dealers. Your article stated that they had six different telephone numbers in Plano. Well, we’ve got them beat. Here in just four suburbs of the Atlanta area, I believe they operate under 42 different phone numbers and 17 different names.

When you call any of these phone numbers, they answer, “Door Service” or “Garage Door Service.” They often charge people $400 for a $110 job, they advertise lifetime warranties but later claim (if the customer can find them again) that the customer must have a sticker on their equipment for proof, but they don’t use stickers (we’ve never seen one), etc.

They advertise that they are licensed, and there is no license for door dealers in Georgia. They switch the names and phone numbers around from year to year so the customer doesn’t know who they called. Their invoices don’t even have the name of the company on it. It’s mind-boggling.

Overcharging consumers is not good business, but it’s not illegal either, making it very hard to stop them.

I believe the real angle for this story is the out-of-control greed of the telephone advertising directories that enable them to operate. The consumer cannot trust the phone book. The telephone directory ad sales people know what this company is doing, and they encourage it in order to sell more and bigger ads.

Phyllis Tomlinson
Action Door (no affiliation with the company in your article)
Atlanta, Ga.

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To the Editor:

I found the Dateline article in your magazine extremely interesting (Spring 2002).

I have been in the door business for the past 17 years in the Dallas - Fort Worth area. I originally was in the Plano area and found the industry so corrupt and unethical, that I pulled all my advertising (Yellow Pages and newspapers) and just set up my business on repeat satisfied customers and word-of-mouth customers only.

A lot needs to be done to improve the door business, one of which is to have a group like yours police its own. In the housing industry, Home Owners Warranty Corp. does just that. The company does inspections to weed out dishonest builders.

I now know most of my customers on a first-name basis, and I treat their doors and openers as if they were my own. Wouldn’t you know it, they keep coming back! A good business does not have money as its sole driving force.

With so much room in the door business for dishonest behavior, it hurts all the good guys out there who are trying to make an honest living.

Roger Wechter
Discount Door Company
Dallas, Texas

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To the Editor:

I really appreciate “Door & Access Systems.” I have been in the door industry for almost 30 years and really enjoy your publication.

The “Dateline” show was a mark against the reputable dealers in our industry. It is a shame that a few are allowed to give the rest of us a bad name.

Dale Pulpan
Booker, Texas

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To the Editor:

Unfortunately for all of us, we fail to realize that TV news shows are exactly that: “news SHOWS.” The Dateline show is not journalism, even though most people don’t know the difference. For a network news show, that episode of Dateline was par for the course.

Art Becker
Raynor Garage Doors of Mineola
Mineola, N.Y.