Every profession has its share of shady characters. Same goes for the locksmith business. Because of the varied technologies that locksmithing calls for, it’s easy for scammers to pull the wool over a customer’s eyes and why the industry has strict rules and regulations to protect the consumer. Here, we’ll look at the way unscrupulous locksmiths rip people off.
Locksmiths are on 24/7 alert as each day 100s of thousands of people call in for their services. Most are emergency situations like locked keys in a car or missing keys or even damage done by weather or crime or even accident. This volume of service calls means that people can be desperate and don’t take the time to follow good sense regarding picking the right and honest locksmith. This rush to judgment leaves thousands of people in the lurch and losing lots of money. It’s not like there aren’t enough locksmiths around as in any good sized town there should be several. Real locksmiths are certified and licensed with a good reputation to keep them going on. This doesn’t mean, however, that every locksmith is straight and honest.
While checking for locksmith addresses and contact info, either in the yellow pages or the online websites you’ll find contact information. Well, investigations show that far too many locksmith addresses are bogus and point to businesses that have nothing to do with the trade. It’s just some scammer’s attempt at deceiving you and getting your money.
There’s an official body of certified locksmiths called ALOA which stands for the Associated Locksmiths of America. Every member must undergo stringent background checks before they can join and must maintain a history of ethical and professional conduct.
The scammer locksmiths have a variety of deceptions under their belts. They’ll boost the price of a job after telling the customer it would cost far less. They’ll also cause damage and claim the need for extensive repair. Some are looking to burglarize a property and are only using their locksmith disguise as a rouse to lure people into a false sense of security just before they pounce leaving the unsuspecting customer with a big bill, missing possessions or even injury. The criminal element knows that our first line of defense for your home, vehicle, or business and breaching those defenses allows for them to clean house.
Some of the tips you’ll need to know in regard to protecting yourself are:
Check to make sure any locksmith you’re thinking of choosing is certified and licensed. There should be a record of such and they should be able to provide the right amount of documentation to back it up. Any locksmith who hesitates at this point is someone you need to steer clean of.
Always check to see if they give estimates and for how much. Free estimates are a sign of a professional. They won’t charge you until the job is done and the price they set at the beginning is going to be the price at the end of the job. Any so-called locksmith that asks for money up front is showing a clear sign that they’re out on the take.
Watch out for locksmiths who don’t have a sign on their storefront or who show up without cards or at least a logo on the side of their vehicle. This means they’re operating incognito to avoid recognition and tracking. A real locksmith will have a name of his or her company, a great logo and contact information that is prominently displayed.
Check to see if the locksmith in question has recommendations online from satisfied customers. Also, are they a member of the Better Business Bureau? If they can’t be checked via the BBB then that means They’re not legit by a long shot.
Overall, just following these tips should ensure that you’ll be able to find and hire a locksmith who is professional and caring.
Picture Credit: mastersenaiper