One can be locked out of one’s Business, home or car at any time. When that happens to you, you should be able to trust your locksmith. Better Business Bureau warns against unethical locksmith businesses countrywide that rip off people in need of the services of a locksmith.
According to BBB by exploited victims, there are various locksmith businesses, all displaying similar techniques, which grossly overcharge consumers making them pay for unnecessary services by intimidating them and failing to refund payment for unfinished work or to respond to complaints by victims. BBB has so far received 1,051 complaints against US locksmiths.
Individual locksmith businesses deceive prospective customers by providing various false addresses and phone numbers via yellow pages or internet listings to create the impression that they are a local business, but in fact listed address listed doesn’t even exist. Calls made via the listed telephone numbers routed via a call center in another state. BBB discovered one such case, where the registered address for a locksmith in Massachusetts was, in fact, a dorm at Suffolk University.
Quite often when you phone a locksmith, they will answer the phone using a general phrase such as ”Locksmith!” Untrustworthy locksmiths sometimes do business under various names. To avoid being ripped off, ask what the legal name of their business is.
Scrutinize their ads. The specific name of the business should be clearly visible. If the ad looks familiar, it could be one of the several ads under several names. Be careful in a case like that.
Take a closer look at their vehicle. It should clearly state the name of their business. But bear in mind that some legitimate locksmiths will work from an unmarked car for quick jobs.
Ask to see their ID. And remember that a legitimate locksmith should ask for your ID, as well as some proof that is authorized to allow the unlocking to be done. Legitimate locksmiths will usually provide you with their ID, usually a business card or company invoice. Make sure the name match that on the vehicle.
Get a quote first. Don’t authorize without it, and never sign any new documentation. Make sure about hidden costs such as mileage charges, call out fees, or after hours surcharges) before you authorize the work to be done. Don’t allow any work if the differs from the quoted price.
To have proof of your payment at a later stage, insist on an itemized invoice that includes all charges (parts, labor, mileage, service charges, etc.). Make sure the invoice includes the name of the business.
Make sure that the locksmith has insurance that covers damages during repairs.
Pay via the right means, such as your credit card. This can be more secure since many credit cards have built-in fraud protection.
Plan for the future. Always keep your legitimate locksmith’s info handy for cases when you may find yourself locked out. To find a legitimate business locally, check with your BBB.
File a complaint immediately with your BBB if you get scammed by a locksmith: bbb.org. You may also contact FTC or your State Attorney General. To report a possible fraudulent locksmith online, communicate with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.