Five Tips to avoid locksmith scams

What would be your first step when you find yourself locked out of your home or car with no spare key? Chance are, you will get to your smart phone and search for the locksmith near you. In the market, there are both trained and untrained locksmiths. Locksmith scams are common all over the country. In most cases, home and auto owner tend to be vulnerable to locksmith scams when they need immediate help. Here are five tips to follow to avoid locksmith scams.

Look for a local locksmith in advance

The best way to get a trustworthy locksmith is by searching them before the problem. You can contact them and ask them some relevant questions you wish to know about them. Check for the online reviews to help ascertain the legitimacy of the company. Be cautious of a company that doesn’t give you their specific business name when you contact but only responds as “locksmith services.” In case you get a local address for the company, search for its exact location to ensure it is where they operate. To confirm this place, ask the company about their business location during your talk with them.

Check the credentials

While in some states it is not a requirement for a locksmith to be licensed, in some it is a requirement. Be aware of your state’s requirement. Verify the license status of your locksmith if licensing is a requirement in your state. Avoid any locksmith that has a permit yet your state does not require licensing.  However, regardless of the state, the locksmith should be able to produce identification. They also need a technician’s certification for them to qualify to be locksmiths.  You also need to be cautious of locksmiths who come with unmarked vehicles or a different business name which you didn’t hire.

Ask for a written estimate

You need to ask about the pricing before the locksmith begins to work on your lock. Call center locksmiths mostly give a cheap quote to start. However, this is usually to bait and switch by claiming the job is has complications and therefore they should increase the charges. On average, a professional locksmith service call should be not less than $60. Any quote that is less than $40 is more likely to be a scam. A locksmith pays for continued training, tools, transportation to and from the job and any licensing charges implying that they need to have a reasonable estimate. The evaluation should also include any emergency service. Avoid any locksmith who fails to give you an estimate before the start of the work.

Inquire about additional charges

Make sure you stay clear of any other fees that may apply such as for mileage and service calm minimums before they can start working on your lock. Although the lock may need drilling in some cases, it is not always. Scammers may claim that they need to drill your lock and replace it because it is obsolete. They will charge you outrageous fees for the lock they may pretend to be of high security. However, you need to ask such locksmiths about the repair, how they get it fixed and the cost. Some locksmiths even don’t know what they do, and therefore they will refuse to give you an explanation to your questions. Avoid such locksmiths.

Look out for unsteady bids

There should be consistency in the price you get from the locksmith. If the on-site price and the phone estimate of the locksmith do not match, don’t allow the locksmith to do the work. Any reputable company won’t quickly change their quoted price.