We have all accidently locked ourselves out of our homes or cars at some point or another. Many times, you may know someone with a key or be crafty enough to get yourself back in, but there may be times when you are stuck out in the dark and in the cold. These are the times that you are going to need to call a locksmith to come and let you in.
In most occasions, this will go off without any further complications. The only problem is that there are a lot of scams and frauds in the industry. Remember to be aware when dealing with locksmiths. The way that most of these scams occur is that the locksmiths quote one price over the phone and then offer a much inflated cost with several extra fees when they actually arrive. Since the consumer is in a compromised situation that needs to be resolved as quickly as possible, they will oftentimes notgue with the new price.
There are indications that the locksmith you are dealing with may not be fully legitimate. Here are some things that you can do to ensure that you are doing business with a fully licensed and insured locksmith:
- Do the name and address add up? If the locksmith you are calling has a generic name or answers the phone simply by saying something like locksmith, they are pretty frauds. A registered business will have a name and address readily available. Some companies will advertise as local and redirect you to another location.
- Does the price seem too good to be true? Then it probably is. If the locksmith quotes anythings less than $ 20 over the phone, they will likely add charges when they arrive.
- Ask for credentials. Locksmiths should belong to several organizations to prove their quality. Check with the Associated Locksmiths of America or even the Better Business Bureau.
- Pay with a credit card. Not only will this create an official record of any transaction, but will also weed out any scammers. If a locksmith requires cash only, they are not a legitimate business.
You should also plan ahead. This is something almost nobody does, but find a locksmith before you need one. The reason that people do not do this is because locksmiths are generally people that you will not think about unless you are in a situation that requires a locksmith. So before you forget, open up a window a search for a locksmith right now. Find one that meets all of these requirements.