Faced with nearly 1,000 defective garage remote controls, the Overhead Door Co. of Augusta announced Thursday that it will replace some of the receivers affected by the emergency radio system being tested at Fort Gordon.
The special promotion applies to the company’s two most recent garage door models and is redeemable only to residents whose houses lie in the affected areas of Fort Gordon’s new land mobile radio system.
Steve Garrett, the manager at the Overhead Door Co. of Augusta, said Thursday that if homeowners have a Model 2026 garage door system – introduced locally in 2011 – the company will compensate them one dual-frequency receiver per door and two remotes.
For residents who have a Model 696 system, manufactured from 1995 to 2011, the company has agreed to offer a limited number of dual-frequency receivers with two remotes for a reduced rate, Garrett said.
“We realize the situation is beyond our control and our customers’ control,” Garrett said. “We need to help the community and be there.”
Garrett said the Augusta office has spent the past week negotiating with the manufacturer’s corporate office in Dallas to complete the deal.
To help identify which homeowners are affected by Fort Gordon signal interference, Garrett said, the company has mapped out a general area where faulty remotes have been reported and started to compile a list of affected homeowners who say their garage doors won’t open or close on command now.
Model numbers are listed either on the back or side of inside lifts, Garrett said.
“We’re just going to have to handle each situation on a case-by-case basis,” Garrett said of verifying which systems can directly trace their failures to Fort Gordon. “This is all new to us, and we are trying to do the right thing.”
Last week, Fort Gordon apologized to the more than 500 homeowners in the Augusta area who have experienced problems with their garage door remotes while the Army post tests an emergency radio system, but added that the military wouldn’t help residents pay for repairs.
The post said in a statement Friday that the frequencies through which the openers operate have been reserved for the U.S. Defense Department since World War II and that military use takes precedence over garage door remotes, which have legally shared the frequency for more than 40 years.
Fort Gordon plans to complete testing of its new land-mobile radio system today and permanently resume operation July 15, `spokesman J.C. Mathews said.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Department of Defense began rolling out a new land-mobile radio system in 2004 to better reach firefighters, paramedics and police in case of an emergency.
Defense expected the radio system to operate at about 36 locations in nine states by the end of fiscal year 2005 and 137 installations in 28 states by 2010.
Garrett said much of the local garage door industry thought they were in the clear but realized they were not at the beginning of June, when Fort Gordon – without warning – launched its new system and jammed the remotes of between 750 and 1,000 customers in one week.
“We were blindsided,” Garrett said.