5 Tips for Avoiding A Licensed Locksmith Scam
While we all wish scammers and fraudsters didn’t exist, the reality is that there are many of them out there, and often, they’re ready to target you when you’re at your most vulnerable. If you’re in an emergency situation with your home, automotive, or business that requires a locksmith, be sure to follow these 5 tips for a genuine and positive experience:
- Find a locksmith who is genuinely local
While you might need a locksmith’s services urgently, you should still try and do a little quick research before hiring one. Search the address they give to make sure it really is local, and when you call them, make them confirm the address just to be sure. Pay close attention to licensed locksmith services that use an 800 number instead of a local phone number, as this often indicates that you’re dealing with an out-of-state call center.
- Check their credentials
If the locksmith arrives and isn’t able or willing to provide you with proof of identification, then you should be extremely cautious. 15 states require locksmith licensing, and you should be wary of any locksmith claiming to be licensed in a state that doesn’t require them to be. A trustworthy locksmith should also ask to see your identification to check that they’re unlocking a home, business premises or vehicle that belongs to you.
- Ask for an estimate
Average locksmith services cost a minimum of $60, and if a locksmith quotes you an estimate that is significantly lower, it may indicate that they’re trying to bait you with a low price, and will raise it once the job is underway or completed, claiming it was more complex than anticipated.
- Ask about extra charges
Before you agree to have any work carried out by a licensed locksmith, be sure to ask about possible extra charges, such as for emergency hours, mileage or service call minimums. In fact, it pays to ask as many questions as possible of your locksmith, to get a clearer picture of whether they’re reputable, or not. Should they be reluctant to answer your questions, or simply refuse to, then it’s time to find another locksmith who will answer them.
- Be vigilant for fluctuating bids
If the price quoted to you over the phone doesn’t match the price you’re given when the locksmith is on site, don’t allow them to begin work until you get the price you were originally quoted.
If you’re not satisfied with the quality of a locksmith’s work, or the way in which they dealt with you, but they still demand to be paid the original estimate, you are perfectly within your rights to take further action. A reputable locksmith will not drastically change a quoted price, and will recognize when work or customer service has been below par, or was of an unacceptable standard, and will offer a discount where necessary.There are many reputable, trustworthy and high-quality licensed locksmiths out there who wouldn’t dream of scamming their customers, but it pays to keep your wits about you to avoid ending up in an awkward, costly or dangerous situation.