These days it seems you can find almost anything online. From repair services to grocery delivery to a babysitter or a date, almost everyone is available on the internet. However, this doesn’t mean every person and service is reputable. It’s crucial to find trustworthy services, especially when seeking a locksmith.
Locksmith services don’t often get the attention they deserve. Many clients believe they’ll only need a locksmith once because they won’t lock themselves out of their homes or vehicles again. They also assume as long as the locksmith performs his or her job, credibility is not a big issue.
The reality is, locksmiths must be reputable, perhaps more than anyone else. You will need their services more than once in your lifetime because locksmiths do more than unlock houses or cars. Additionally, you need to know a locksmith not only does his or her job, but reaches a high standard when doing it. Ensuring high locksmith standards online can be tricky, but not impossible. Let ABC Locksmith show you what to look for.
Know What Locksmithing Requires
The best way to protect yourself is to know what is required of your locksmith. Most locksmithing programs require formal education, whether it’s a college degree or a certificate from an engineering college or training school. Additionally, most programs require an apprenticeship, which can take between three months and four years. Apprenticeship lengths vary by state and service area.
Many states, though not all, require locksmith licensing. ABC Locksmith is based in Clearwater, FL, so our state does not require licensing. However, we do require formal education and apprenticeships from our locksmiths.
If you live in Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, or Vermont, be particularly vigilant. There are no licensing requirements in these states. Of the 46 states remaining, only 13 require licensing and other regulations. Check your state and specific service area requirements before hiring a locksmith.
Always ask whether your locksmith is a member of Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA). ALOA requires a lengthy application process and background check. Even if your state doesn’t have licensing requirements, you’ll be more likely to find a reputable locksmith from ALOA.
Beware Of Locksmith Scams
As with any service, locksmith scams exist. Many locksmiths promise low prices for initial services, but raise fees for later parts of the job. Sometimes a locksmith will offer a set price and surprise you with hidden fees once the job is complete. Make sure you understand the services included in the price your locksmith quotes. Quote the price back to him or her multiple times during the job. If the locksmith avoids the subject or shuts the discussion down, he or she is likely scamming you.
Locksmith Lock Drilling Scams
Other locksmiths use the locks themselves to scam clients. They will claim a good lock is unusable, then drill it off and replace it with a newer, more expensive lock. Sometimes a locksmith will repair an existing lock but say you need an “extra” one, which usually costs more. If told you need an extra lock, ask for specifics on why you need it and how it will benefit you.
Be Sure You Are Contacting The Real Locksmith Company
Sometimes, scamming locksmiths “spoof” other businesses. They find legitimate locksmiths and use their addresses, phone numbers, or similar business names to garner clients. Other spoofing locksmiths direct clients to nonexistent call centers, where they are placed in touch with a “mobile technician.” The call center number does not work, or the “mobile technician” never arrives to perform services. Sometimes the call center number is stolen from a legitimate locksmith.
To avoid these scams, don’t rely on email. If you find a locksmithing business online, call it. At a legitimate locksmithing business, an actual person will answer the phone. You’ll be given his or her name or the business name. If you hear a generic answer like, “Locksmithing services,” hang up the phone and look elsewhere.
Once you’ve determined the business is legitimate, ask for specific credentials. A reputable locksmith carries insurance so you’re protected if services damage your home or vehicle. A legitimate locksmith also provides a license if applicable, verifiable ID, and a business card. He or she should provide information about his or her college or apprenticeship if asked.
Other Tips for Finding A Locksmith Online
It might be tempting to go outside your area or state for a locksmith, especially if your state doesn’t require licensing. However, it’s better to stick with local locksmiths. When you find a company online, use their name along with search terms like “review” or “complaint.” Reviews give you an objective idea of other clients’ experiences for similar services.
Do not depend on online ads. If you got a locksmith service name from an online ad, call and confirm the business’ legal name. If the name is not confirmed, look elsewhere. Do the same if you cannot confirm an address listed online.
When you do find a reputable locksmith, ask him or her to confirm advertised information. If a locksmith tells you a certain service is no longer provided, ask why. If the locksmith changes the subject, you may be dealing with a scammer.
Ask family, friends, and colleagues for recommendations. They often won’t hesitate to tell you if they’ve been scammed or conversely, if the locksmith they worked with was excellent. When you meet with a recommended locksmith, mention the person who referred you to him or her. Whether or not the locksmith remembers that client, your foreknowledge may push him to do a better job than usual.
When a locksmithing job is done, save the locksmith’s information. Ask for an itemized invoice including parts, labor, and other fees. If mileage is a factor, double-check how much the service charges you for gas. Save the locksmith’s email and phone number so you can report problems or retain the locksmith for services later.
ABC Locksmith Is A Trusted and Reliable Florida Locksmith.