At GateCrafters.com we have been selling gate openers online to the DIY community for more than a decade. However there are many customers that, due to our amazing volume prices, purchase form us and do not install the gate opener themselves. They hire someone to install the gate opener for them. Now we also work with many installers directly and through customers that choose not to do it themselves and hire someone and we do want to make clear that the vast majority are honest and truly just want to get the job done, working well, and at a reasonable price. However there is one tactic that some unscrupulous installers have been doing for quite some time that we wanted to make you aware of. It is a trick they pull; and just about all the times we see it, the trick unfolds the same way.
The scenario is this: A customer contacts a gate opener installer and gets a very reasonable bid and the installer says they are fine with the gate opener being a different brand that they are not supplying. The installer comes out to the property and begins the installation. During the first hour or so something will come up and they will inform the customer they cannot complete the installation due to the gate opener. Sometimes they will claim a part is missing, defective, not the correct product for their gate or in the worst cases they will intentionally destroy a piece to make it uninstallable (like connecting power to where power is not supposed to be connected and then undoing their work to hide the evidence).
The installer will call the customer out to the gate and inform them that due to no fault of their own they cannot complete installation and will have to charge them for the travel and time spent since they did not supply the equipment and the equipment is at fault! While the customer is trying to make sense of what they are being told sometimes they even tell the customer they don’t have confidence in the equipment and they won’t even come back out to complete the job if they pay them again; this adds more panic for the customer as they have to now pay a person for nothing and find a new installer.
Then the supposed favor comes out: As the customer is reeling over this added hassle and cost that has surfaced the installer comes through with a nice gesture. They say, “Look, I feel bad for you, I will tell you what. I will waive the charges for my morning spent trying to install the gate opener you purchased. Just return that one to the company you got it from and buy today the XXX brand gate opener I have on my truck, I have been installing this one for years and I can have you done in a few hours.” To the customer it is a difficult decision that needs to be made on the spot. Either send the installer away and fight them on the charges they bill you and find someone new (and maybe even have to get a part replaced if they destroyed something) or give in to avoid headache even though you are now getting an opener you didn’t research yet and may be over paying for. We have seen over the years this trick applied across every brand of gate opener we sell.
Our suggestions for avoiding this:
- Hire a handyman service that is not in the gate opener industry as your installer. Because the products we sell are DIY they are easy enough for anyone to install even if it is their first time.
- Ask for examples of other properties they have installed brands on that they do not sell.
- Do It Yourself – it really isn’t difficult and we are here to help you.
- Become well versed on the product using videos and manual and go through the contents prior to arrival of an installer. Be aware of what the installation procedure should look like so you can tell if they are not doing something right. This approach is good for the people that could easily install this themselves that just don’t feel like putting in the labor.