How To Find A Locksmith
How To Protect yourself Against Deceptive Locksmiths / Scams / Frauds
|We recommend that you take the time now to prescreen a few local locksmiths that you feel comfortable in calling when needed. Don’t wait until the last minute to find a locksmith you can trust because the probability of doing so when you need a locksmith in an emergency situation drops to near ZERO!… And that’s when you’ll get taken!|
Stay Away from $$$ “Plus Labor”: When you’re quoted a very low trip charge “plus labor” it’s a red flag if the labor charge isn’t revealed to you. Companies using this technique may tell you that it depends on your vehicle or house locks. Charges can vary, but legitimate companies can provide an exact quote if you give them simple information over the phone. Lastly, ask, “Are there any other charges?” Deceptive companies will try to add charges not mentioned on the phone such as an “emergency service” charge.
Use a Certified Locksmith: Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) is a professional locksmith association with the highest standards for members. Use only locksmiths that are members.www.findalocksmith.com allows you to search for ALOA members in your area. Crooked lock companies often display the ALOA logo but you won’t find them on findalocksmith.com.
Use Members of the BBB: www.BBB.org allows you to search by company name for locksmiths in your area to see if any complaints have been filed. This will allow you to see if a given company has complaints in other states.
Use a Locksmith with a Shop: A physical location or shop ensures that you have a way to contact the business in case of a grievance. There are good mobile-only locksmiths out there, and if you got their name through a reference, by all means use them. However, the unscrupulous locksmiths list false physical locations because they don’t want you to be able to find them. When in doubt, just ask, “Where are you located,” and accept no answer other than, “Our shop is at…”
Listen to How They Answer the Phone: If a company answers the phone with a generic phrase like “locksmith,” rather than a company-specific name, be wary. Ask for the legal name of the business. If the person refuses, call another locksmith.
Call a Local Number: Though a local number does not guarantee you will get a local locksmith, it does increase your odds. If you see a company advertising many physical locations with dozens of local numbers it is cause for alarm.
Use Common Sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We encourage you to shop around, but since competitive pricing is watched closely, you should find that most legitimate companies are within a few percent of each other. If you receive prices over the phone that are substantially less than companies with lock and safe shops, it is cause for concern.
Ask for Identification: A legitimate locksmith will be able to provide you with the name of his company in the form of a business card, company shirt, or company invoice. Identifying information should match the name on the service vehicle. If they show up in a unmarked vehicle with no company marked identification, send them away.
Just say, “No”: If you are not comfortable with the service provider, you can, and should, send them away. If they refuse to leave or give back your keys, call the police.