When it comes to protecting your home, you need to know that any work carried out by locksmiths is genuine and to a high standard.
The locksmith industry is not without its share of scammers though, looking to make quick cash, or even worse, target your home for potential burglaries. If you experience issues with home security, such as getting locked out of your property or are the target of unwanted guests, ensuring you have a professional locksmith to secure your home is vital for peace of mind.
But how can you tell the professionals from the cowboys? Read on for advice on how to spot potential locksmith scams:
Beware of paid adverts from companies with no credentials
Many reputable locksmith companies use paid adverts (sponsored) to advertise their services and many have a prominent ranking in organic searches which helps to back up their credibility. When searching the web for local locksmiths, be sure to consider whether a company solely relies on paid advertising to gain customers, as this is where potential scammers may hide out. If a company appears at the top of Google when you search for ‘locksmiths near me,’ it doesn’t mean they are always the best for the job. Check other credentials such as organic results and reviews.
The location of ‘local locksmiths’
Locksmiths serve people all over the country. However, unless they are a national organisation, be wary of any companies advertising in your area that don’t live in the region or close enough for a short commute. Also are you talking to the locksmith who will be attending or a National Call Centre merely directing traffic! Check the website for details such as contact information. It is very easy to obtain "local" landline numbers to pretend to be within your area.
Check out locksmith reviews
Customer reviews say a lot about a company, and they will give you an idea of the type of service you’ll receive. There are several ways to check out reviews and not just the ones that appear on their website. First, look for external feedback sites such as Google Reviews, Facebook and TrustPilot. Does the locksmith offer a guarantee for their work, so you have peace of mind when you use their service.
Cheaper isn’t always better
Whilst we are all looking for a bargain and a cheap price always best to be wary of locksmiths that quote unusually low prices to win the work. Instead, you should receive a comprehensive quote with details on the work, how much it’ll cost and how long it will take. Professional locksmiths will guide you through the project and are happy for you to ask any questions. A guarantee also backs the services, so you have peace of mind the work is carried out to a high standard. Locksmiths are a skilled profession and this often doesn't come cheap.
Avoid cash-only jobs
While it’s not unusual for locksmiths to take cash for jobs due to lack of card facilities, if there’s no receipt for the work, start asking questions. More and more tradespeople can accept card payments now. However, if you do pay cash, be sure to get a receipt. Without a receipt, you have no proof of who carried out the work and no comeback if something goes wrong. The receipt should also include the company name, business address, vat details, (if applicable), contact details, and a breakdown of costs. If any locksmith is hesitant to provide this, alarm bells should be ringing.
Check for a Google My Business listing
While many companies have websites and appear legitimate, it’s not always the case. Unfortunately, the locksmith industry doesn’t have official regulations so companies can advertise services, but that doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. In haste, many people contact locksmiths like this, especially on emergency jobs. However, they can do more harm than good and end up costing you more in damage. To help verify credentials, you could check for a Google Business listing to back up their website and details.