You have just got home from work and find out that you have lost your keys, what do you do?
Like many of us you get your phone out and go straight to the internet and start searching for a local locksmith, but how do you know who to call?
With the rise of scammer/bait and switch locksmiths operating here in the uk, how can you be sure to not to get ripped off when you are in a vulnerably situation?
First of all let me explain what a scammer/bait and switch locksmith is. This is where they advertise a cheap price to get you to agree for them to come out to you, then once they are there the price they said usually ends up being just a call out charge, they will then try to add as many charges on to the job as possible including various different labour charges for different parts of the same job. E.g labour to gain entry, labour to remove old lock, labour to fit new lock. So a job that should of been £100.00 could turn out to cost you 5x or even 10x more then what they said.
So how can we spot a scammer?
This can be tricky but there are a few things you can do.
Check out the business that you are about to phone. Don't just rely on the add you have clicked on, search the business and check it out.
If you are searching for a local locksmith check the address on the website to see if it is local. A lot of scammers will run a lot of different websites in all areas to make it seem like they are local, when really you are just phoning a call centre that will then sub the work out to another locksmith.
When phoning ask for the name of the locksmith that is going to attend.
Ask what other charges there might be when the locksmith turns up.
So what can you do when you need a profesional service?
1. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Not always possible at 3 o'clock in the morning but it is always worth storing a reputable company in your phone.
2. Almost all professional locksmiths will be able to give you a good estimate of the cost of a job after asking some questions over the phone, they may even ask for a photo of the problem to give you a better idea of the price.
3. We all know the old saying, if it seems to good to be true then it probably is.
But just remember not all us locksmiths are out to get you.
Thanks for reading and if there is anything that you think should be added to this, just send me a message.