Picking the right locksmith is of vital importance as there are far too many fraudulent dealers out there. You have to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable locksmith and there are several ways you can fine tune your searches and minimize getting into trouble.
All professional locksmiths are credentialed. Any locksmith that says they don’t need those credentials is a liar to their heart and their only goal to scam you. Each state and nationally has credentials like certifications that you can double check against government databases that spotlight them. Don’t just trust the ad pages or yellow pages, but dig a little deeper to get the real deal. You’ll need to chat with them on the phone and ask the right questions. Make sure to be ever vigilant to if you’re talking to some call center in India. These call center locksmith scams just redirect you to one of their scam locksmith companies nearby where they will overcharge you or are actual burglary rings.
Never trust word of mouth either. Only if it’s a trusted friend and not ‘Bubbles’ the pretty office secretary that can’t find her smartphone half the time. The locks on your home are the first line of defense against unlawful entry and to compromise that system means doom and gloom down the road.
One of the saving graces of the locksmith industry is the ALOA aka Associated Locksmiths of America. They are 6,000 members strong and each member is background checked. This institution is the place to go to see if the locksmith you have in mind is worthy of your business. Their website, aloa.org features all sorts of good information and in conjunction with your local Better Business Bureau, you’ll have whittled down your choices to options you can rely on.
With the new kind of locks out there, it’s best to consult a locksmith who is on top of the industry’s technologies. A well-rounded locksmith is going to know all the new tools and materials as well as the new age of digital based locks and surveillance systems. All these systems, old and new must work together seamlessly even during upgrades. Your locksmith will either know how to facilitate the latest and best-tested systems or they’ll have to refer you to someone who does. Either way, don’t sidestep the need to trust but verify any and all information.
Now, back to basics, any locksmith has to provide the right licensed credentials. Don’t ever trust a locksmith who arrives without proper marking on their vehicles. Don’t allow any locksmiths around if the locksmith or his team aren’t wearing clothing that is associated with their company. Letting a group of people dressed in faded sports team t-shirts isn’t going to do anyone any good. If one of them is wearing a t-shirt celebrating some alcoholic beverage or bar, that’s a definite sign not to let them in.
Always ask for ID at all times. You’ll have to do this on your own as there are some mandatory laws but not in every state of the union. You get their ALOA membership number and match it and their image to their data on the main websites. No picture, no entry. It’s easy to fake logos on shirts and vehicles and crooks will go to no length to do so.
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