Saturday, January 26, 2013

First Technician

The first garage door service I found was through Yelp. They have really good reviews, more than hundred 5 stars! I always wonder if they have some tricks to get so many good reviews, but that's another story. Anyway, I called them and they mentioned about sending someone within a one-hour window that evening, they said also their service call fee is $89 and that would include simple fixes. Well, that was the first trap! I waited for them during that hour but no one came, so I called again, the guy told me that he will look for his technician and call me back, but he didn't call! After another hour, someone knocked on my door and the technician was finally there.

At that time, I had already disengaged the release handle and it was only the trolley moving back and forth on the belt every time he clicks the opener button. He looked at it and didn't seem to have any clue as if it was his first time to see something like that. He said that hopefully it's just the wires need to be connected properly and on his own words that would be 'relatively simple to fix, otherwise we will have to replace the whole engine'! He anyway started messing with the wires and even broke some of the paint in the ceiling, even though it was clear that these wires were properly connected. These are the 4 external wires going into the opener, two of them coming from the door opener which was already working and the other two coming from the two safety sensors on the left and right side of the garage door, which were also having power since they had their orange and green lights on. 

After putting his own useless wires there, the problem was of course not solved, so he said the only solution is to replace the whole engine which would cost me $450 without the belt or $650 with the belt! That turned out to be twice as expensive as other quotes I got later, but anyway I wasn't convinced that a 5-year old LiftMaster opener can break so easily, these are supposed to be much more reliable and my model even claims to have a lifetime warranty (what that practically means is another story). So I asked him, if there are simpler solutions like replacing an internal part such as the logic board? He answered no, since the logic board is attached to the engine and we have to replace the whole thing. This turned out to be another lie, since as I will show later, the logic board can be ordered online for ~$50-$60 and replaced easily by removing a few nails and wire plugs. He was so useless, that he didn't even try to open it or put any effort on looking for the real cause. When I didn't seem convinced, he mentioned that he has to take the $89 service call, then took them quickly and ran, without even caring to clean the mess he created. To summarize, he took $89 for a false diagnostic and without any sincere effort to figure the actual problem. In my opinion, replacing the whole opener is only a solution for someone who has no idea how to solve a problem. As I will show later, it turned out there's a much cost efficient solution, so either they don't know about it and in this case they are incompetent. Or they know but they want to make big money out of it, and in this case they are not honest. I wonder in this case what they would have done with my old opener after replacing it?

One more thing, the guy noticed that the garage door was unbalanced, but instead of adjusting it (at least providing some value for the money he took), he wanted to replace the whole door rollers and replace the single spring with two springs, again trying to make some big money out of it. Theoretically, it might be true that two springs are better than one, but who wants to make such unnecessary changes on a relatively new door. Later, it turned out that some simple lubing of the wheels and tuning of the spring can get the door balanced.

I was so disappointed with this experience that I went on to look for the solution myself.


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  2. I wrestled with my garage door opener for the longest time. I'm finally sick of it and calling in the pros at Smokey's Garage Door. I've heard they're really good at this stuff. I'll let you know if we can figure out a simple solution.

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