Locksmiths are one of those professionals that could be considered everyday heroes. They are the ones that come to your aid when you are locked outside your car or home and desperate to get in. But as in any business, some people want to screw you over instead of helping you out. Here are some tips to avoid getting scammed.
Don’t be seduced by large ads on the phone book. A big ad doesn’t mean a company is reputable. When looking for a locksmith either on the yellow pages or online, always double check that company to make sure it’s not just a fake store front. May shady “professionals” set up a fake phone number and use someone else’s address. Even if the locksmith in question works in a mobile way, from his van, always check his license and credentials. One good way to do that is always asking for their license and certificate when hiring a locksmith. Those require extensive background checks, so they’re not available for anyone. One good way to avoid future problems is also asking if they have any liability insurance.
Another good thing about asking if they have insurance of if they are bonded is because of some other kind of different scam. Some shady locksmiths damage your locks on purpose. If you ask them to repair a lock that could otherwise be kept there, they can do that for two reasons. One to charge you extra for the work done on your door. Or worse, they might want to replace your lock with a less secure one so they can have access to your home in an easier way.
Another good way to prevent a scam is asking for a written quote before the locksmith begins his services. Even if you asked for a quote over the phone, insist on having one written too, so you can agree on the price before the service is done. Some dishonest locksmiths add extra fees and charges after the job is done, and you’re left with a bill larger than you expected. Asking for a full, written quote beforehand is your insurance against this kind of scam. If you get threatened by one of these dishonest people, don’t hesitate to call your local authorities.
Not all locksmiths are bad and want to rip you off, but there are always some bad apples. If you are looking for a security service, it’s important to feel safe in every single way. When looking to hire a locksmith, always ask for referrals first. Ask your friends or relatives. If that turns out to be a fruitless search, when looking online or in the phonebook, always keep your eyes open. The best way to protect yourself is to check their license, their work history and, if possible, the place they work at. If you keep your eyes open and do your research, you won’t have any problem finding a reputable and trustworthy locksmith.