Action 9

‘I knew I got took’: Homeowner charged thousands for special ‘hurricane’ garage door springs

MALABAR, Fla. — A woman in Brevard County shelled out big money after a garage-door company sold her what it called “hurricane-proof springs.” Garage door experts told Action 9 there is no such thing as a hurricane-proof spring.

When the springs broke on Peggy Brigham’s garage she was looking for a garage door repair company near her home in Malabar. She wanted to get her garage door repaired right away because her car was stuck inside.

Brigham did a quick Google search for garage door repair companies and found one that could be at her home the next day.

She told Action 9′s Jeff Deal, “When he showed me the prices, I said, ‘Wow, they’re awful high.’  He said, ‘They are high.’   But then he showed it and said this one was hurricane proof, and I thought well I live in hurricane country, I guess I’d probably better go the big route.”

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The so-called hurricane-proof springs and drums set her back more than $2,000.

Garage door expert Doug Berlin of Above the Rest Doors, agreed to meet the Action 9 team at Brigham’s home to look at her springs.  He said the springs she received are standard springs and that hurricane-proof springs don’t exist.  While the repairman who showed up at her home did do some work for her, Berlin believes Brigham was taken advantage of.

Berlin said, “Repair on this garage door for me, the two springs would have been $309. That’s labor and parts.”  That’s obviously much lower than the $2,000 Brigham paid.

The company name on her invoice is Lakeview Garage Repair. Deal couldn’t find that company listed in state records.

Brigham’s credit card payment went to a company called Garage and Gates. That company also doesn’t appear to be a registered business in the State of Florida.

The Better Business Bureau issued a scam alert about companies using these names and other names. In the BBB complaints, consumers claimed they received inferior service and were not able to reach customer service after paying. They also listed that their invoices went back to Lakeview Garage Repair.

Deal called the numbers Brigham used to get her service.   At the number listed on her invoice, a representative confirmed they were Lakeview Garage Repairs. That person wouldn’t give their exact office location, but claimed they were located in Florida.

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Deal asked, “Do you have a habit of charging way too much for services like this?”  He also asked if the company has had a lot of complaints about this.

The man on the phone said, “I’m part of the dispatch, sir. If you have questions, one of our managers can answer those things.”  But no manager was available to talk to Deal, and instead, the dispatcher promised one of them would call Brigham to address the concerns.

Berlin told Action 9 he’s seen cases like this before with companies charging outrageous prices just to make some quick money. Berlin said, “This one is extreme of the extreme. I’ve seen many times where they’re $600, $700, $800 for a $200, $300, $400 repair but this one is just over the top.”

Berlin said he could have replaced her entire garage door, including permits, for what she was charged for just the springs and drums.

As for Brigham, she’s working with her credit card company to dispute the charge. She also wants others to be aware of people trying to take advantage of people like her.

After hearing from the Berlin about the price she paid for the springs she received,  Brigham said, “I knew I got took, but I didn’t know it was that bad.”

Action 9 recommends consumers always get at least three quotes for this kind of work and that they research any company they’re thinking about hiring.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.