How To Avoid Locksmith Scams
All across the United States consumers call into locksmiths they find online to hire someone to help with their locksmith issues. How to avoid locksmith scams is a difficult question though. When over half the locksmiths you find online are call centers in other countries simply looking to sell leads to service providers here, how do you find a real locksmith? No one wants to be unable to get into their home, business or vehicle. Without finding a locksmith in your area, you would be stuck without entry to your entire life.
What To Ask Before Hiring Your Locksmith
Beware of professionals who say they will be there quicker than makes sense. Most likely they won’t and will simply use this time to keep you from calling a different locksmith while making excuses about being delayed. When you are in a rush or emergency specifically, oftentimes you are not very likely to do any research on the company you choose.
Make certain to ask the following questions and research these areas to avoid a locksmith scam or being overcharged.
- “What is the name of your company?” Beware of companies saying there name is “Locksmith Service” “KC Locksmith” or generic names you cannot do a search online about.
- “Is the price you quoted me the final price or are there charges on top of your initial quote?” Oftentimes, you’ll see ads online saying things like a $15 lockout service call. The exact verbiage is important to pay attention to. Advertisements like this are saying they will charge you $15 for the service call. In other words, fifteen dollars to come out to you, then a different charge to perform the service. Oftentimes though, consumers will simply pay instead of calling a different locksmith since they’ve already waited an hour or two for their vehicle to be unlocked.
- “What Kind Of Experience Do You Have?” Since locking mechanisms have only gotten more complex, many locks are much more than simply tumblers and bolts. You will need to make certain that locksmiths you hire know how to work with the hardware you want.
- “Do You Offer Guarantees?” Well respected locksmiths will always offer some kind of guarantee against their work. Following up by asking if there is any warranty, the locksmith industry standard is a minimum of 30 days.
- “What Are Your Rates You Charge?”Some locksmiths will charge an hourly rate while others charge a flat fee depending on the locksmith service they are providing. Be aware if your locksmith you called charges a seperate trip fee, this is fine and fair but not so much if it’s not disclosed before they come out.
- “Are You A Local Locksmith In My City?” This can be an important question to ask since sometimes you could end up waiting two or three hours for a locksmith from a major city that is quite a bit far away from you.
- “Do You Offer Emergency Locksmith Services?” When you need an emergency service, you need a locksmith company that is immediately ready to dispatch a locksmith to your location. You might have a stove on inside your locked home or child locked inside a vehicle with the keys in it. Most emergency locksmith services will respond in as little as a half hour or under, especially if you describe the circumstances.
- “Are You Licensed, Bonded And/Or Insured?” Less than 15 states actually require locksmiths have a license to operate. You will want to know that your local locksmith also carries insurance in case something breaks during a repair that they can’t replace or fix afterwards.
- “Do You Conduct Background Checks On Your Employees?” Check with the company the name of the locksmith coming out. If their name does not match the one on their ID then you should not work with them. Best case scenario is when the locksmith pulls up in a clearly marked work vehicle. They have their name present on their uniform and it matches the one on their identification they show you upon arrival.
- “Are You Well Reviewed Online?” This question serves two purposes, usually a locksmith will explain any bad reviews if there are only one or two. When they start lying about their reviews though or trying to mislead you, then you know to steer well clear of that locksmith. You can also do a quick and easy search for their name to see what experiences past locksmith customers have had with this company.
- “Do They Offer Any Discounts?” Often you will find that you can get a AAA, veterans or senior citizen from a good local locksmith. Obviously they don’t have to but this is another great sign you’re working with the right locksmith.
Locksmith Ads To Beware Of
This advertisement is being ran with Google AdWords in a clear attempt to mislead people looking for a local locksmith. Mainly the scamming part is just about the $15 in the paid ad. Now, while technically true, displaying one part of your pricing is a bait and switch marketing tactic. This will be explained upon the service professionals arrival as a standard trip charge. This charge is meant to mean that it costs $15 for the locksmith to be dispatched and arrive at your location ready to help. Fees like this though, do not include the cost of actual services like changing a lock or making a new key. So when you call a local locksmith, make sure the cost makes sense for the service, if it’s too good to be true like the above ad, then it probably is. Here is a story about a similar locksmith scam near us in Los Angeles.
Make Sure To Review Your Good Locksmith Experiences
When you do have a good locksmith service call, make sure to leave them a great review. This will help other people near you know what locksmiths in your area are the best choice for their next service call. We only list real, licensed and reliable locksmiths here on our directory, you’ll notice there are quite a bit less here than in say, Google Search. Hopefully you can find the right locksmith for your next job and not be scammed.