The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning for consumers to be careful of your locksmith who are scamming customers across the country. There has been a slew of complaints against several companies in which consumers claim that the businesses are overcharging, tacking on unnecessary services, intimidating them, and not giving refunds when they should be. These scammers usually have hypocritical names such as the word “honest” in their title.
The increase in complaints has been felt almost equally across the nation at the 114 BBBs servicing various parts of the country. Between 2005 and 2006 there was an increase of 75 percent alone. One of the bigger culprits nationally was known as Dependable Locksmith (ironically). This outfit had an expansive operation and often posed as a local business, utilizing local advertisements such as the yellow pages. This company actually had centralized calling centers which posed as local offices. People at the call center would give very low quotes only for the actual locksmiths to charge much higher prices on the actual job. Sometimes, they would also only accept cash as payment.
Another company called Superb Solutions based out of Cleveland, Ohio, charged fees upwards of $450 after quoting prospective customers less than $100 for the same jobs. They got away with this by tacking on additional fees, which were not optional and vital to the job. Some of these faulty locksmiths have gone so far as to refuse customers access to their cars unless they paid in cash. One even offered to drive someone to an ATM and after she refused, he accepted a personal check made out to himself.
Some of the many names which have fallen under mistrust include Superb Solutions, Priceline Locksmith, and USA Total Security. Basad, Inc. is a large company which has over 50 aliases including Liberty Locksmith and A-1 Lock & Key. Companies such as Basad have really established this as a large business and with that have in many ways perfected their deceitful practices. This is unfortunate for customers, but leads to the need for greater education on this topic. If you think you were taken advantage of by a locksmith, you should strongly consider reporting it to your local BBB in order to help fight this scam across the country and to prevent others from falling for the same trap.
Ultimately, it is a shame that honest locksmiths have to get their profession and names dragged into this. It is important to try to verify the validity of any professional whether it be a locksmith or something else prior to an emergency situation when you really do not have much leverage to change your option. It is good idea to do some digging right now and have a couple trusted locksmiths in mind already along with their contact info added in your phone, in a notepad in your car, etc. so that when you run into an emergency, you have easy access to someone who you know is legitimate. This may be the best way to thwart these scammers.
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