Church-Goers Targeted in Remote Theft Schem

© 2006 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Summer 2006
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Pages 78-79

Garage Doors and Openers in the Media

Church-Goers Targeted in Remote Theft Scheme

Source: “Two arrested for burglary using garage door opener,” KONP Radio 1450 (Port Angeles, Wash.), May 8, 2006.

If you read Deborah Baron’s story about thieves stealing GDO remote controls (Spring 2006, pp. 54-58), this story will not surprise you. But it will entertain.

Baron’s story spoke of thieves who troll the parking lots of amusement parks, snatching GDO remote controls for unlocked cars. In this story, the two brazen thieves were trolling a church parking lot during church services. Grabbing the remote and vehicle registration documents, they took their sweet time getting to the victim’s residence.

The homeowner, however, started feeling ill at church, left the church service early, and went straight home. While he was standing in his house, the two thieves pulled into his driveway, opened his garage door, drove their vehicle into his garage, and closed the garage door behind them.

“When the homeowner confronted the suspects, they hopped in the car and backed out through the closed garage door.” Deputies, who nabbed them four miles away, believe the pair may be responsible for at least 16 similar burglaries.

Editor’s Note: The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Texas-Sized Garage Door Repair Bills

Source: Dave Lieber, “Garage door broken? Don't get overcharged for repairs,” Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, May 28, 2006.

In this investigative story by a Fort Worth newspaper’s “Watchdog” reporter, two homeowners were furious about their garage door repair bills, each exceeding $800.

An $819 garage door repair bill shocked 81-year-old Rosemary Cox. Her bill included an “obscene” labor charge of $290 for about an hour’s work. The offending Arlington garage door company claimed that Cox “wanted the best, a lifetime warranty.” But Cox responded, “That’s definitely not true.”

In the other case, Don Carter approved a written estimate for $476, but the final repair from a Richland Hills door company nailed the Carters for $928. The story said the technician was “suspended,” but a company spokesman called the problem “a very small infraction in the pricing.”

This door company operates under 10 different names. The company explained that having several names “has to do with consolidation in the industry.”

The Carters canceled their $928 check, agreed to pay the original $476, but then deducted a $30 check cancellation fee and another $76 to cover their time spent on the project.

Editor’s Note: We’ve long perceived that the news media are the most successful deterrent to unethical door companies. Prediction: Expect to see more reports like this around the country. (See Trouble in Denver, pp. 44-46, and Trouble in Omaha, pp. 48-51.)

Earthquake-Resistant Garage Doors?

Source: Liese Greensfelder, “‘Dateline’ brings down the house with shake table quake simulation,” UC Berkeley (Calif.) News, May 23, 2006.

You’ve heard of wind-resistant garage doors for hurricanes and high winds, but how about earthquake-resistant garage doors?

This article, in a UC Berkeley publication, described NBC’s “Dateline” May 21 program that marked the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. In the program, the university’s earthquake simulator replicated what an 8.0 earthquake would do to a narrow two-story house in San Francisco.

Like many such houses in certain districts in San Francisco, the building’s first story was a garage. Khalid Mosalam, UC Berkeley associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, described the home’s construction as “like a box sitting on very weak legs.” Three simulated earthquakes extensively damaged the home and its contents.

As a result of the test, some San Francisco engineers are looking at simple ways to make the garage doors strengthen the first story on similar houses. Mosalam said, “We tried a couple of scenarios that were somewhat successful.”

Editor’s Note: Hmm. It makes you wonder what these “scenarios” are.

The “To-Die-For” Garage Door

Source: Katherine Salant, “Owners of upscale garages open up to carriage-house designs,” Washington Post, Mar. 25, 2006.

What’s it worth to have an award-winning nationally acclaimed columnist urge homeowners to upgrade their garage doors? And what’s it worth to have that article reach millions of readers of the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, Houston Chronicle, Miami Herald, and others?

Well, it all cost you nothing, and you can thank real-estate columnist Katherine Salant. In this column, she raised the idea of impressing your friends and relatives with “the ‘to-die-for’ garage door.” She is well aware of how garage doors “have radically changed in the last 10 years, moving from the ho-hum to the fabulous.”

The carriage-house garage door, she wrote, is the most popular new door. Having noted that these doors are “compatible with almost any traditional style of house,” she added that the doors can be customized with a variety of window and hardware options.

Salant shared that these doors are available in a variety of materials and prices, from $600 for a two-car stamped steel door to a “fabulous” $30,000 custom wood masterpiece. A two-car $4,000 to $5,000 semi-custom wood carriage house door, she wrote, offers “a gorgeous door with a deep, rich color that grabs you from 50 feet away.”

Editor’s Note: She even braced your customers for sticker shock! Now, what excuse do you have for not selling these “gorgeous” doors?

Make America Beautiful … With Better Garage Doors

Source: Mary Gordon Spence, “An open-and-shut concern,” Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, May 20, 2006.

This commentary deliberately changed the national discussion about war, terrorism, and immigration “to raise the issue of garage doors.”

“It seems to me that in a society so obsessed with the design of furniture, buildings, cars, and clothing that somebody would have stood up and cried ‘enough’ with the current thinking and garage door design,” wrote Spence, a renowned Texas writer and humorist.

Noting that garage doors are often the first thing seen on many homes, Spence asserted that most garage doors detract from the beauty of the home because “they are b-o-r-i-n-g, ugly, tacky, or unimaginative.” Spence proposed a “movement to gussy up garage doors” … “to make Austin more beautiful.”

Editor’s Note: If Spence had attended Expo 2006, she would’ve seen more than 100 new styles of garage doors to lead her movement.

Columnist Urges Garage Door Upgrades

Source: Carrie Alexander, “Take your garage out of park: A new door and sharp landscaping can gear up your home’s street style,” Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, May 14, 2006.

Let this real-estate columnist do your selling for you. Like many others in this new breed of home consultants, Alexander realizes that “the style and condition of the garage door can greatly influence a home’s overall appearance.”

“To improve your home’s curb appeal, think about replacing a boring, beat-up garage door with something dressier,” she wrote.

Alexander is well aware of the many garage door manufacturers who are “offering more innovative designs that will complement various architectural styles.” With these new designs, “the garage door can become a focal point rather than an eyesore.”

She quoted real-estate broker Gerri Gallo Clyatt, who recommended, “If you could possibly afford it, replace your garage door with a unique door. They have so many pretty ones now.”

Editor’s Note: Residential garage door salespeople should memorize this kind of language for their sales pitches. If your first statement to customers is, “Do you want insulated or non-insulated?” you need to reconsider your approach to garage door sales.