How many of you have a go-to plumber, electrician or air conditioner company? Do you have a go-to locksmith too? Locksmithing is one of those services you only use every once in a while. However, when you need an emergency locksmith, usually, you need them right away. But rushing to hire a locksmith can lead you straight into scams or poor service.
To avoid this problem you have several options. Here are a few tips from the Bay Area home security experts at Lockworks Unlimited, Inc.
Knowing How Locksmith Scams Work
One of the best ways to protect yourself is by knowing how scammers work against you. Often, they prey on the urgency of a situation, depending on you to rush for a solution. So, take your time and be sure you are choosing the right emergency locksmith.
Scammers will often quote you a low price for their services too. This quote is a trick to get their locksmith on the scene. Once there, the sham locksmith will find more issues and raise the price of their service. Often these scammers will insist that drilling your lock is the only solution to a problem. When this happens, they will try to sell you a new “better” lock but these new locks are often insecure and cheap. These sham locksmiths could also use their knowledge of where you live and how to get in to perpetrate a burglary or other crime. A skilled locksmith almost always has a better solution than drilling out your lock.
How Do I Find an Emergency Locksmith I Can Trust?
Now that you know how scammers can rip you off, you may be wondering how to find a reputable locksmith.
- Find Your Emergency Locksmith Ahead of Time – The more of a rush you are in to find a locksmith, the more likely you are to make a mistake. A quick smartphone search may yield dubious options. So, prepare before an emergency even happens. Look into trustworthy locksmiths and keep their number in your phone, purse or wallet.
- Look at Their Credentials – When you are researching a new locksmith, do not take an ad or listing at face value. Look at reviews for that locksmith. Do they have a license and bonding? Are they a part of any professional organizations? Do they have certifications? At Lockworks Unlimited, Inc., not only are we licensed and bonded, we are also BBB accredited and we have great customer reviews.
- Call the Locksmith While You Are Researching – When you call a locksmith, do you connect with the business or a call center? Call centers can indicate potential scammers. You should also ask questions to confirm if the business is on the up-and-up. Ask about their pricing. Do they have special fees or mileage charges? Do they have minimums? What are their hours of availability? If you have specific questions about locks, ask them. If you are connected to a business and not a call center, they should be able to answer your questions or get answers for you.
What If I Do Not Have Time to Research a Locksmith?
So, you got locked out of your house before you could find the perfect locksmith? That’s okay, there are still ways to protect yourself.
- Hire Local – Make sure the address for the locksmith is in town. Sham locksmiths often have ads and listings that make them look local, but do not have a physical location.
- Be Wary of Names – Companies with names like “A1” or “AAA” are generally trying to be the first locksmith in the phone book or in listings. Be cautious of these locksmiths.
- Check For Identification – We are not talking about license and registration. Is the name of the business on the side of the vehicle that comes when you call the locksmith? Is it the name of the same business you called? Legitimate locksmiths usually use marked vehicles.
- Do Not Be Afraid to Say No – If you are uncomfortable with a locksmith after they arrive, just say “No thanks”. If the locksmith changes their quote, call the next locksmith on your list. Just because they are there does not mean you must use their service.
Still Have Questions? Our Bay Area Locksmith Is Ready to Help
Remember, when it comes to security, do not settle. Find the company you are comfortable with and keep their information handy. Furthermore, locksmiths often have experience in more than locks.
Here at Lockworks Unlimited, Inc., we can help you with the latest lock technology, home security systems and home security cameras. We have the security solutions that help keep families safe. Call (650) 955-4662 if you have more questions about locks and your home security. You can also reach us by filling out our online contact form.