How to avoid locksmith scams
Here at Inta-lock locksmiths in Peterborough, we pride ourselves on how our highly trained staff deliver a friendly and efficient service to our all our clients every time. Sadly, not everyone shares the same values as us and there are scammers out there who may look convincing at first glance but will subsequently let you down. But there are steps to take to ensure you aren’t caught out.
For example, if you search for a locksmith on the internet take care looking at their website. Is the company address easy to access? Are there contact numbers and addresses on there? It is also worth searching for the specific address – if several companies are registered there it could indicate that it is bogus or not local to you.
Also be careful when looking a reviews and testimonials. Many people put their faith in online reviews, but they can be gamed to show false positive reviews. There shouldn’t just be five-star reviews but a healthy mix. Also, be wary of reviews that are short and vague – detail is king and it is more likely to be genuine.
If you phone a locksmith in advance, look at how they answer the phone. If it isn’t with the company name but something like a generic ‘locksmith services’ or their own name, then be wary. Some scammers numbers also go to foreign call centres.
If you haven’t done this, then when a locksmith arrives with you, insist on seeing some identity. A professional locksmith will not mind you asking for ID. Also check out their vehicle to see if it has a company logo on it. Many locksmiths also send their staff out in company-branded uniforms. Some locksmith companies will also let you know the name of the locksmith that is coming out to you in advance.
Watch out for overcharging too. Professional locksmith companies such as Inta-lock Locksmiths have set cost structures that they are happy to discuss in an initial call, but rogue operators may advertise cheap prices, but then might charge exorbitant additional fees or claim the job is going to take much longer than initially thought. When you initially talk to a locksmith about a job, make sure you ask for a full cost estimate up front – if they are reluctant to talk about prices, then that is a red flag and a sign they may be planning to rip you off. If possible, demand a written quote up front. If the estimate from the locksmith that comes to you differs from the telephone quote don’t allow the job to be started.
Another tactic for overcharging is to carry out work that isn’t necessary. For example, if you have been locked out of a property, you should be wary of any locksmith who quickly suggests that drilling a lock is the only way to get in. It isn’t. Any experienced locksmith can pick and unlock almost every door for domestic and business premises. Drilling is, in general, a last resort.
Likewise, some scammers will claim that your locks need replacing when they don’t. Not only is this more expensive, it can also leave your home more vulnerable, as scammers have been known to use unsafe locks as replacements.
While you may feel pressured into paying up by a scammer – never part with any cash unless you are satisfied with the job.
If in doubt, it is always prudent to choose a locksmith company with an established reputation. Inta-lock Locksmiths has a hard-earned reputation in the Peterborough area, won over a number of years, and you can be sure that if you choose us then a trained and qualified professional will come out to you who will work to the highest standard.