When you get locked out, the unfortunate truth is that some people would try to take advantage of your stressful situation. The way these scam artists see it, you’re willing to pay ANYTHING to get back into your home, car, or office. And while you might feel that way for a minute, but once it’s over and you’re stuck with the bill you weren’t expecting at all, you know you have been scammed.
Don’t get stuck with a big bill from some money extorting scammers. Be informed well before you need to call and know what you’re getting into. Here are some tips to help you be on the lookout for potential locksmith scams.
How to avoid locksmith scams
- Take a good look at the company’s online presence
This might seem obvious to some, but it’s still worth mentioning. Before you start dialling the number of a local locksmith, take a look at their online presence.
First, you’ll want to look at their website. Is it professionally made? If it is and they list a ton of credentials and accreditation, you can feel a lot more comfortable in calling them because they’ve been vetted by other professionals. Another thing to look for is if they make sure their contact information is listed clearly. If you find they operate under multiple names, or a really generic name, or their site doesn’t list a whole lot of information, consider these as red flags.
The next step would be to check out their reviews. Obviously, you want a company with good reviews, but be careful! Some companies pay for good reviews even when they offer subpar service. A great tip is to read the negative reviews and see if the comments carefully to check if they are serious or if the feedback is just about some minor misunderstanding (which happens a lot of times).
- Ask if they’re insured and licensed
If they find it hard to answer that question, or refuse to answer, that’s a big tip that you may not want to do business with that locksmith. If they say yes, make sure you see the paper work when they arrive.
- Ask for a quote
Once you have described the problem in detailed, ask them to quote the price of the service in full before they arrive on the phone. Extra fees can pile up, like after-hours fees, emergency fees, or mileage fees for the technician. If you don’t want any surprises in the bill, make sure you ask them if those fees are included in their quote. If they’re hesitant to answer or get combative, you probably don’t want to do business with them.
- Refuse additional services that aren’t needed
If a locksmith starts talking about changing your locks or repairing them when you simply need to be let back in, refuse! A professional locksmith has the correct tools and skills to get you back into your home, vehicle, or office without breaking your locks. Oftentimes, a scammer will try to sell you on additional services that you don’t really need.
- The only fail-proof option is to be prepared
The only guaranteed way that you are going to have a reputable locksmith is to find one before you need one. If you had someone help you with a lockout before and you liked them, save that company’s number. Better yet, do some research now and find a reputable company that you can all in.
Call Racine’s Lock & Key at 262) 509-0366.