Locksmith Scams - What to Watch Out For
It's called the "Locksmith Scam". The last thing you want to worry about when you are locked out of your house or car is whether or not you can trust the locksmith you just called. While the majority of locksmiths offer their service at a reasonable price, there are a few bad actors that cause a lot of headaches for consumers. Disreputable companies will overcharge for their service, use intimidation to get you to pay these fees, or fail to give refunds or respond to complaints.
Consumers are often lured into using these companies by newspaper or online ads that appear to be local, but are actually not. They also advertise very low service fees that end up being double or triple the original quoted price. Some have even insisted on riding with the consumer to withdraw money to cover the extra charges.
- Do your homework first. Your best defense is to check with the BBB today for reputable locksmiths, before you need them in an emergency. Make a list and keep it with you on your cell phone or in your purse or wallet.
- If you are locked out of your car, call your auto insurance or roadside assistance company first. It may have a list of recommended locksmiths or may offer locksmith services as part of its benefits.
- Check to see if the company lists a local address.
- Make certain that the locksmith you choose is bonded and has insurance. A bond will protect you against faulty work while insurance protects your property against damage. If employees are involved, make sure they are covered by workers` compensation.
- Look for a company sign or branding that matches their advertisements. If a locksmith shows up in an unmarked vehicle, be very cautious.
- Ask for company id. If the person tries to dodge the request or cannot produce and id, do not do business with them.
- A legitimate locksmith should also ask for your id, to make certain they are working with the right person.
- Get an estimate in writing before the locksmith starts to work.
- Be cautious if the locksmith immediately insists that the lock has to be completely replaced. A professional locksmith should be able to open most locks without having to replace it, unless it is physically damaged.
The news media has covered scams Nationwide. Here are just a few, to help keep you informed of the scams that are out there.
If you need a reputable locksmith, remember Pop-A-Lock of King County. We're mobile, 24/7, are 5 star rated and reviewed, a local company, and part of the largest and most reputable locksmith franchise in the country. Call us at (206) 223-5337.Back