When you call on a locksmith for help, it’s usually because you find yourself at the center of a stressful situation. You may have just locked yourself out of your home or discovered that your business was burglarized by someone who kicked your front door down.
Whatever the case, you need to make sure that you have reliable locksmiths on your side and not one of the many “fake online locksmiths” that’s going to give you the run-around. If you make the mistake of calling on the wrong locksmith, it can make your situation even more stressful than it already is.
Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to ensure that you’re working with a legitimate locksmith who can provide you with the locksmith services you need. These things will help you avoid being scammed by someone who’s not worth your time.
Here are seven tips on how to hire reliable locksmiths and steer clear of some of the most common locksmith scams.
1. Start Your Search by Looking for Truly Local Locksmiths
How many locksmiths are operating in your general area right now? Chances are, there are quite a few of them that have set up shop and started to provide locksmith services in your city.
There are more than 22,000 locksmith companies scattered throughout the country at the moment. This means that you should have at least two or three of them within spitting distance of your home or business.
One of the first keys to avoiding locksmith scams is working exclusively with locksmith companies that are truly “local.” They should be able to provide you with an address for the office or storefront that they have in your city, and you should be able to visit that address and see that they’re running a legit operation.
If you can’t find any evidence to suggest that a locksmith has ties to your city, it should serve as a red flag. You shouldn’t agree to work with a locksmith if they don’t have some kind of office set up and a local phone number that they use to field calls from potential customers.
2. Ask the Locksmiths You’re Considering for Their License Numbers
Once you’ve found a few locksmiths that look like they’re local, you should get in touch with them and make sure they’re licensed. Reliable locksmiths will have no problem at all providing you with a license number to show that they’re legit.
A license provides that a locksmith is legally allowed to work within a state. It also shows that a locksmith has gone through the proper procedures in order to establish their locksmith company within your community.
If a locksmith balks when you ask them to provide you with a license number, run for the hills and vow to find a different locksmith. You’re going to be asking for trouble if you commit to working with a locksmith that is unlicensed.
You’re also going to be asking for trouble if you commit to working with a locksmith that doesn’t have business insurance. You could be on the hook for any medical bills or costs associated with damage done to your home, business, or vehicle following an accident involving an uninsured locksmith.
“Do you have a license number?” and “Do you have business insurance?” should always be two of the first questions you ask a locksmith. Don’t let them provide you with residential, commercial, or automotive locksmith services if they don’t answer “yes!” to both of them.
3. Make Sure Locksmiths Have Business Websites Set Up
Believe it or not, it’s not all that uncommon for small businesses to operate without a website in 2020. In fact, recent reports have indicated that almost 50% of small businesses still don’t have websites set up.
It’s not the end of the world if a restaurant, a jewelry store, or a computer repair shop doesn’t have a website for their business. You don’t have to be too worried about patronizing these businesses despite their lack of a website.
But if you notice that a locksmith company doesn’t have a website, it should raise an eyebrow and cause you to think twice about working with them. It could very well mean that they’re running an illegitimate business that they don’t want to broadcast to the world.
If you’re thinking about working with a locksmith company, find their website and spend some time poking around on it. Check out their “About Us” page to see what they’re all about before taking a look at:
- Their service pages
- Their pricing page
- Their FAQ page
- Their blog pages
A dishonest locksmith company could, of course, create a fake website filled with a bunch of nonsense. But most of these types of locksmiths won’t go through the trouble of coming up with a fake website to throw people off their scent.
You should proceed with caution when you’re considering working with a locksmith that doesn’t have a strong internet presence. It could very well indicate that they have something they’re trying to hide.
4. Find Online Reviews for Locksmiths and Ask Around About Them
In this day and age, it has become increasingly important for small businesses to build up a collection of online reviews for their products and/or services. More than 90% of Americans read online reviews at least occasionally, so companies can’t afford to not have online reviews in their stash.
Prior to calling on locksmiths for services, you should read through as many online reviews as you can find for them. Whether you locate reviews right on their website or find them on a third-party website, you can learn so much about locksmiths through their reviews.
By reading reviews, you can learn:
- How reliable a locksmith company is
- What kind of workmanship a locksmith company offers
- How much a locksmith company charges for services in comparison to other local locksmith companies
- What approach a locksmith company takes to customer service
If you notice that a locksmith company seems to have nothing but great reviews, it should show you that they’re a company worth considering. If, on the other hand, they have a stack of negative reviews, you should rule them out right away.
You should also talk to your family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and others about locksmith companies and see what they say about them. They might recommend one company over all the rest or tell you a company that you should stay away from at all costs.
5. Reach Out to Different Locksmiths and Ask Them a Series of Questions
Asking other people for their opinions about locksmiths is a great way to find out which locksmiths are reliable and which aren’t. But at the end of the day, you won’t know if a locksmith is right for you until you speak with them on the phone.
Once you have a short list of local locksmiths that you’re considering, you should set up phone interviews with each of them. After you get them on the phone, you should be prepared to ask them a series of questions that are designed to shine some light on who they are and what they have to offer.
Some great questions to ask a locksmith are:
- “How long has your locksmith company been in business?”
- “Where is your locksmith company located?”
- “Who will be providing me with services if I hire your locksmith company?”
- “Does your locksmith company offer quotes on services before you begin working on homes, businesses, and vehicles?”
- “Will your locksmith company accept checks or credit card payments for services or do you only accept cash?”
If you get a locksmith on the phone and they try to rush you through your interview or don’t cooperate with you, this is not a good sign. It shows that they’re not committed to customer service and that they might not care about providing you with the best possible experience.
Reliable locksmiths will answer every single question that you ask them and go above and beyond to ensure you’re satisfied with their answers. There won’t be any mystery surrounding them when you conclude your interview and hang up the phone.
6. Offer Locksmiths the Opportunity to Provide You With a Price Quote
Shady locksmiths are after one thing and one thing only: Your money. Their goal is to get you to part ways with as much money as they can before they finish working on the locks in your home, business, or vehicle.
With this in mind, these types of locksmiths aren’t always willing to provide people with upfront price quotes for their services. They’ll often try to get people to agree to work with them without providing them with any kind of price point for what their services are going to cost.
Do not agree to work with this type of locksmith. The locksmith company that you call on for services should be more than happy to set you up with an estimate as far as how much the services you need will cost.
Often times, locksmith companies will charge customers a standard service fee at the start and then tack on a more specific charge based on the services rendered. For example, they’ll charge you a $29 service fee plus a $30 fee for home lockout services.
They’ll put your mind at ease by making the pricing process as simple as it can be. You won’t have to sit around and worry about whether your locksmith services are going to cost you $50 or $250 when a locksmith is forthright with their prices.
7. Avoid Locksmiths Who Try to Sell You on Unnecessary Services
As we mentioned a moment ago, shady locksmiths are going to try to do whatever it takes to get as much money as they can from you. They’ll do it by keeping their prices a secret until it’s time for you to pay them, and they’ll also do it by attempting to sell you on services that you don’t need.
Let’s say that you locked yourself out of your house and you call on a locksmith to get you back into it. Reliable locksmiths will show up with the necessary tools to unlock your front door and help you regain access to your home.
Shady locksmiths, meanwhile, will make it seem as though they have to do more than that to get you back inside. Some will suggest drilling or even replacing the lock on your front door to help you gain entry to your home.
There are some people who have high-security locks on their homes that will need to be drilled in some cases if they ever lock themselves out. But for the most part, locksmiths can unlock most residential doors without having to drill or replace them.
If a locksmith insists that you need to have a lock drilled or replaced and won’t budge, you should try to get a second opinion. Shady locksmiths will often lie to people about needing to have a lock drilled or replaced because they know many people are vulnerable and will pay to have it done.
If you feel like a locksmith might be trying to take advantage of you by telling you that you need unnecessary services, trust your intuition. You shouldn’t have to spend a small fortune on services that you don’t need.
Our Reliable Locksmiths Can Provide You With the Best Services in the Business
Shady locksmiths are, unfortunately, a dime a dozen in 2020. There are a lot of them out there preying on people who don’t know any better and charging them way more than they should for shoddy locksmith services.
We can help you avoid falling victim to one of these locksmiths by setting you up with the best locksmith services around. You’ll feel a lot more confident in the services you’re receiving when you work with a trusted locksmith company like us.
Are you in need of reliable locksmiths right now? Request service through us to have an experienced locksmith sent out to your home, business, or vehicle right away.