Our belongings are something we place a great deal of importance in, and we prefer to keep them safe. We have locks or ways we keep these belongings safe. Our smartphones are locked with passcodes, we carry backpacks or work bags that are zipped tight, and our homes are secured through various locking mechanisms, some more high-tech than others. When a lock fails, we need a service provider we can trust. Unfortunately, there are locksmiths out there that can’t be trusted, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between a trustworthy locksmith and a locksmith scam.
There are many signs of a locksmith scam, but these aren’t always evident when we’re in an emergency and need one imminently. When we’re in an emergency, we rush and call the first locksmith we see online. Thorough research is key to finding a reliable locksmith, but there are other key things to look out for. Let’s go over some signs a locksmith is a scam.
Have a Locksmith on Speed Dial
When something goes awry, one of the first things we feel is lost. Scrambling to find a solution can be stressful and lead to mistakes, which is why doing the research beforehand to find a locksmith is a good idea. This eliminates the chances of falling victim to a locksmith scam. Having a go-to locksmith should be like having a trusted plumber or Internet provider.
If you’re having trouble finding the right locksmith for you, word of mouth is a powerful tool. Ask friends and family and read online reviews of locksmith service providers in your area. These are easy outlets to help you find a locksmith you can trust.
Avoid Toll-Free Phone Numbers
As you peruse the Internet for a locksmith service, be careful of 1-800 numbers. These numbers tend not to be local and mean the locksmithing company you’ve found has outsourced its services. It also likely means the person who answers your call is from a call center. This is a huge red flag for a reliable locksmithing service. Knowing who is coming to help you is a major comfort, and you likely won’t know who is coming to help you from a company with a toll-free number. You also won’t know how long it’ll take or if they’ll come at all.
Locksmith Company Branding on Vehicle
If you call a locksmith company and they show up in a car with no branding, this is an immediate red flag. Worse yet, if the vehicle is unmarked or is a standard car and not a service vehicle, this is yet another sign the locksmith is a scam. Locksmith companies are proud to show their branding on their vehicles. This leads to further promotion of their business when they’re driving around. A locksmith without branding is not one to be trusted. Furthermore, locksmiths have a lot of tools and require large service vehicles. If your locksmith turns up in what appears to be a personal vehicle, they are likely unprepared.
Low Prices Are Too Good to Be True
According to Angi.com, fake locksmiths tend to quote $15-$40 prices to begin with. These prices are unrealistic. Depending on what it is, most locksmithing services charge at least $60. This price is not because locksmiths are trying to overcharge their customers. Most locksmith scams use a reversal tactic to tell you one fee at the start of the service and say another when the service is complete. Some services with trustworthy locksmiths may get more expensive in the event of unforeseen complications, but the low price at the beginning should be an immediate red flag to customers.
Ask for a Quote
Like the above sign of a locksmith scam, we recommend you ask your locksmith for an upfront price. Transparency should be key with any business model, and locksmiths are no different. As mentioned before, some prices may change as the process continues, but this is not something to worry about. Most locksmiths should know when a job could accrue more costs than initially thought and can give you this ballpark estimate. Before they begin, ask for an itemized list of what they have to do with the corresponding prices. A trustworthy locksmith will have no issue with this.
Don’t Let Your Locksmith Drill
If you are locked out of your home or business, an experienced locksmith should not have to drill to get you back inside. Additionally, ask for clarification if a locksmith tells you your lock needs replaced. Some locks don’t need to be replaced and may only need to be rekeyed. Other times, they might be correct if they see signs of tampering. Adversely, there are some services where they will need to drill. These include high-security locks, lock replacements, and installations. Regardless, what happens with your locks is your choice.
A Locksmith Company That is Not a Scam
Look no further than Mobile Locksmith in Texas! We have 20+ years of experience in the business, and we are proud of our craft. We are happy to help the everyday Texan, no matter the reason for the call. Don’t waste any more time finding a better locksmith when we exist. Contact Mobile Locksmith today!