Letters to the Editor

© 2006 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 2006
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 66

Letters to the Editor

From the Editor:

In response to our “Trouble in Tucson” issue, we received many supportive phone calls, faxes, and e-mails from the East Coast, West Coast, and many points in between.

· A Yellow Pages employee called and testified of “bribes” and “fraud” inside her company that results in favoritism to certain dealers that buy huge ads.
· One dealer alleged similar corruption by the Yellow Pages industry, saying, “This is bigger than you think.”
· Another dealer called, frustrated because one of these dealers had just entered his market in January, stolen his business name, and published several full-page Yellow Pages ads. The caller’s business was floundering, and he felt helpless.

Many readers did not want their comments published, fearing retribution. The letters below are from a few who were willing to have their comments in print.

Investigate the Telephone Directories

To the Editor:

I live in the Jacksonville, Fla., area, and I’ve seen many dealers using the Yellow Pages in the way you describe. A lot of older people retire down here, and when they have a door problem, they call the company with the biggest ad in the Yellow Pages.

These dealers know how to scare these old folks. I’ve seen these dealers charge $800 or $900 for a spring job that should cost $200. And they’ll replace several components that don’t need replacing. I’ve also seen them put in plastic rollers and charge $20 each for them.

But my biggest complaint is with the telephone directories. Since my company’s name is Master Craft, my ad gets pushed behind all those companies that begin with A. I asked my ad rep with BellSouth to change my name to AAA Master Craft, but he refused, saying that my name had to be licensed that way.

But I’ve checked licenses with the city. Several other dealers who have full-page ads don’t have a licensed name. Yet BellSouth allows it, and I suspect it’s because these dealers pay big bucks for their giant ads. Someone needs to investigate these telephone directories.

I’m retiring in a couple of years, and I’m concerned about all the future dealers who will have to fight all these slippery dealers and the telephone directories that allow them to run this scheme.

Dennis McClendon
Master Craft Technology
Neptune Beach, Fla.

Publicize the Warning Signs

To the Editor:

I just read your articles (Winter 2005, pp. 48-54) about unfair practices in the garage door business. I am glad someone is finally taking steps to expose those in our industry that are less than scrupulous.

I don’t compete against these guys, but my customers do, and we all know that many more dealers are out there, gouging customers for “spring jobs.”

It would be great if we could get your “warning guide” (p. 54) seen in newspapers. What would you think about me approaching the publishers of my local papers to see if I could get your guide included in their home sections? Thanks again for your good work.

Bobby Cart
National Sales Director
Industrial Spring Company

From the Editor: We encourage you to submit our warning signs to the news media. If they have any concerns about copyright issues, have them contact us (daseditor@dasma.com), and we will grant a quick permission to reprint the story.

Detecting Dishonesty

To the Editor:

I read your “Trouble in Tucson” story with great interest. A new dealer has popped up in my territory, using at least 3-4 different company names in their Yellow Pages ads. They claim to have been in business for 25 years, yet they told me that they are new to the door business.

I've been in the door industry for almost 20 years. New companies do not usually invest $200,000 in the Yellow Pages their first year out of the gate.

I would imagine this is not the first letter you have received since that story. Do you have any suggestions on how to identify a dishonest dealer?

A Territory Manager
(Name withheld upon request)

From the Editor: Prosecutors tell me that they typically don’t look for one single piece of dishonesty, but for “a pattern of deception.” Check our “10 Warning Signs” story (Winter 2005, p. 54) and our “Bad Bob’s Yellow Pages Scheme” (Spring 2003, pp. 44-45). (You can find these articles at www.doorandaccesssystems.com.)

If a dealer is guilty of several of these tactics, that dealer is likely guilty of “a pattern of deception” and should be reported to your state’s Attorney General and prosecuted.