Getting locked out due to missing keys or lock damage can cause much irritation and stress. On top of this, if you call a locksmith service and find that they overcharged you, you would be at the height of frustration! No one can blame you as none of us wants to be cheated by dishonest locksmiths.
Locksmith scams are becoming quite common in the U.S. Every month, the office of the Attorney General is flooded with emails about such locksmith frauds.
So, how can you identify a legitimate locksmith? How can you tell if the locksmith company you contact is not one of those fraudulent locksmith companies? Well, there are ways to identify a good trustworthy locksmith and it is time you learn them.
Ways to identify a legitimate locksmith
Yelp says that 3000 locksmiths were listed to be in Seattle while actually, their operations were not.”
This fact can act as the first pointer for you. Always ask your locksmith his company address in full. The easiest way to find this without being obvious is by asking for his business card.
Look for it on the web on Google Maps to find the exact location and address online. See if the address on the business card matches the actual address given online. Fraudulent Locksmiths often give bogus addresses to fool people. Cross-checking these details by calling the company is the best thing to do.
Also, search the office number on the phone book. Try calling their office to ascertain if they really operate in your area. If the company responds to the call using genetic terms like “locksmith company” here, cut the call. They must mention the correct name of the company you called. Only then is the locksmith company a legitimate one.
Also, do not accept a business card with just a toll-free phone number. A genuine locksmith operates with a full-fledged office and not just a phone number.
A true locksmith will never hide his office details nor will he give any wrong information.
The next obvious thing to ask for is the locksmith’s ID card. If the locksmith truly belongs to a professional locksmith company, he will have a Valid ID card. It is ok to call the company and ask if this employee is currently on their payroll and has been sent by them.
It is common for thieves to use fraudulent IDs or expired ones. So, always check for the validity of the ID before letting the locksmith in.
A professional locksmith must possess a license for locksmithing. This license can be from the ALOA- Association of Locksmiths of America or from a local certifying body.
Ask for this license and check if the license is valid and true. Genuine licenses usually have the license number date of expiry, and sometimes even a hologram.
Every certified locksmith has a valid business license which he must carry on his person when he comes for the job. Do not entertain the locksmith if he says he has forgotten his license.
Another way to find if the locksmith is legit is to quiz him about business information. Ask him details about the company, its business headquarters, range of services, working hours, branch details, boss name, etc. If there is no business information consistency, then you can be sure that this locksmith is not from the said company.
Always get a background check of the company done before you engage their locksmith services. See their customer reviews and business rating on several sites. Check their Google My Business rating too to know their reputation in the market.
Unhappy customers or customer complaints mentioned in the reviews mean that the company is not a good one. See if any of the reviews mention additional charges, debit card charge disputes, or any lawsuits. Avoid such companies at all costs.
Check the details of the locksmith company on its website. If its business content is not coherent, just forget the company. You have a number of business spammers these days who create dummy websites to cheat you.
Get a cost estimate prior to engaging the locksmith. Compare it with others in the market before you decide.
A dependable locksmith is one who has a legitimate locksmith license, company membership card, and a good business record. He must be a professional technician, a courteous locksmith, and an affordable one too.
Use the pointers above before you let the locksmith into your home. That is the only way to protect yourself and your money.