The Myth of “Hurricane-Proof” Garage Door Springs: A Cautionary Tale

In the wake of a recent incident in Malabar, Florida, homeowners are being reminded of the importance of vigilance and research when it comes to home repairs, especially in areas prone to natural disasters like hurricanes. Peggy Brigham, a resident of Brevard County, found herself in a predicament that many can learn from after being charged over $2,000 for what was sold to her as “hurricane-proof” garage door springs—a product that, according to experts, does not exist.

The Situation

Peggy’s ordeal began when the springs on her garage door broke, trapping her car inside. In a rush to address the issue, she turned to a quick Google search to find a garage door repair service. The company that responded, promising next-day service, presented her with an option for “hurricane-proof” springs. Given her location in a hurricane-prone area, Peggy opted for what seemed like the most robust solution. However, the price tag for these springs and accompanying drums was a staggering $2,000.

The Reality Check

Doug Berlin, a garage door expert from Above the Rest Doors, inspected the work done on Peggy’s garage door at the request of WFTV’s Action 9. His verdict was clear: the springs installed were standard, not the promised “hurricane-proof” variant, which he confirmed does not exist. Berlin estimated that a fair price for the necessary repairs, including labor and parts, should have been around $309—far from the amount charged to Brigham.

Investigating the Company

The company listed on Brigham’s invoice was Lakeview Garage Repair, a name not found in state records. Further investigation revealed that Brigham’s payment went to Garage and Gates, another entity not registered in Florida. The Better Business Bureau has issued scam alerts about companies operating under these and similar names, citing complaints of inferior service and difficulties in contacting customer service post-payment.

When Action 9’s Jeff Deal reached out to the company, he received vague responses and was told a manager would address the concerns, a promise that remained unfulfilled.

Lessons Learned

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the tactics some unscrupulous companies will use to exploit homeowners, especially in the aftermath of natural disasters when they are most vulnerable. The exorbitant price charged for standard springs, misrepresented as “hurricane-proof,” highlights the need for consumers to:

  1. Get Multiple Quotes: Always seek at least three estimates for garage door repair work to ensure you’re getting a fair price.
  2. Conduct Thorough Research: Before hiring any company, verify their legitimacy and reputation through online reviews, state registration records, and resources like the Better Business Bureau.
  3. Be Skeptical of Unusual Claims: Be wary of products or services that seem too good to be true, such as “hurricane-proof” springs in an industry where such a product does not exist.

Peggy Brigham’s experience is a cautionary tale for all homeowners. By sharing her story, she hopes to prevent others from falling victim to similar scams. As for homeowners in hurricane-prone areas, investing in legitimate hurricane-resistant features for your home is wise, but always ensure the products and services you’re paying for are legitimate and necessary.

Source: WFTV, September 18, 2023.

Scroll to Top
(501) 244-3667