Jeff Tobey rents out his West Valley home. As the landlord, he knows he's obligated to fix things when they break.
So when the springs that open and close his tenant's garage door went out, he realized they would have to be repaired.
“My tenant here called Anytime Garage Doors because their sticker is on the door,” Tobey said.
A technician for Anytime Garage Doors came out and replaced the springs.
But Tobey said the bill came as a surprise.
“Six hundred and eighty-seven dollars is a lot for two springs,” he said in disappointment.
So, how did Anytime Garage Doors arrive at $687?
The invoice shows a $25 charge for a service call, a $37 fee simply marked as a "surcharge" and $625 for parts and labor.
Tobey said he tried calling Anytime Garage Doors to talk about the charge and even recorded his conversations, but the business said they weren't able to review the invoice.
So, Tobey contacted 3 On Your Side.
We looked into the matter and got estimates for the same repair Tobey needed from several other garage door repair businesses.
All the companies were well below $687. In fact, the highest estimate we found was $250, which included parts and labor.
“Why are they so far outside that standard?” Tobey asked.
That’s what we wanted to know.
So, we sat down with John Tilton, the general manager for Anytime Garage Doors in Arizona.
He said the company's prices are higher so they can afford to advertise.
“If you look at our overall budget, we spend close to $38,000 a month in marketing,” Tilton claimed. “We have to recoup that cost somehow.”
We also asked about a logo on the company's website that implies Anytime Garage Doors is backed by the Better Business Bureau.
Turns out the Better Business Bureau has already requested that Anytime Garage Doors stop using their logo, citing trademark infringements.
3 On Your Side asked Tilton if he was planning on taking the logo down.
“Yes and no,” he replied. “I did make a recommendation to the owner to remove it.”
Nonetheless, after talking to Tilton about Tobey’s repair bill, he did something we weren’t quite expecting.
He refunded the money in its entirety -- all $687.
He also sent a technician back out to Tobey’s rental house to make other repairs that weren't even covered in the first bill.
Tilton said refunding the money was just the right thing to do.
“We wanted to make him happy,” he said.
We thank the company for coming out, but their troubles are not over.
Turns out Anytime Garage Doors' contractor’s license has been suspended by the Registrar of Contractors.
Feb. 29, 2012
After our report aired, the status of Anytime Garage Doors license was updated to "current" on the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website.