Locksmiths are popular services that you can’t avoid spending on. Whenever you got locked out of the house or locks are too damaged that you can’t get out, the number one person on your list is a locksmith. There are homeowners who don’t mind the cost of hiring a professional to help them with their security needs.
While it’s true that their services are expensive, you can still save money by doing business with legit locksmith providers. Getting scammed is common right now and you don’t want this to happen to you. If you want to avoid scams and frauds, here’s a checklist for you.
How to avoid locksmith scams
1) Go for local locksmith services
Scams are popular online. One thing you should avoid is to transact with locksmiths on the internet. Yes, you’ll find reputable providers and companies online but most of them should only be able to disclose the information about their services and pricing on their website. The transaction should happen face to face and they should be willing to go to your place. Also, the best method to know if a locksmith is trustworthy is by doing a background check in advance. Local locksmiths are easier to assess since they have provided their services to your neighbors for sure. You can ask your community if they know about the locksmith you are eyeing to.
2) Check the permits, licenses, and IDs of the locksmith
This is another part of a legit check. Once you’ve found your local locksmith through their phone or address, go to their location. Observe if you can see their permits and licenses displayed in the office. You can also ask the person assisting you with it. Check the dates and validity of their permits and ensure that they still have the means and capacity to do locksmith services. If you inquire online, don’t settle to locksmiths who can only provide you soft copies of the permits. They may give you forged or fake copies.
Also, locksmiths who are licensed will ask you for your IDs to check if you are the owner of the property or the car they will unlock. Both of you should be vigilant when doing transactions like this as it involves security and protection.
3) Ask for upfront fees
The locksmith you chose must be able to give you the estimates of the services you are going to avail of and pay. Quotes may vary and locksmith services have an average pricing of $30 to $90 depending on the types of lock or security devices they are going to fix (slot openmaken). Your main goal here is to estimate the cost you will spend and avoid getting scammed by the changing prices at the end of the service. The locksmith should give a written estimate so you would have proof where you based your estimation.
4) Always inquire about additional fees
Some locksmith companies will charge you additional fees without you being aware of it. As a customer, you don’t have to bear the cost of not knowing about certain charges. So to avoid getting scammed, inquire about additional fees when you ask for upfront estimates.
Also, you should not transact with locksmiths that tell that your locks are obsolete and there’s a need to replace them. Replacement is costlier and if you think about it, that’s the way these providers can ask for higher service fees from you. They will charge you triple times and claim that the locks they installed are high-quality security devices. Don’t get scammed by those words! Do a lot of research before calling someone to hire.
5) Avoid swinging bids
When you inquire through the phone, try to ask for the estimates and never forget about the information you collected because the prices may change when the locksmith arrives on-site. This is a way homeowners or car owners are scammed. The bids on the phone differ in person and if that’s the case, don’t let the services performed.
You have to be a careful customer when dealing with locksmiths. You need to choose a trustworthy, experienced, and competent one so you won’t get scammed. You also need to be mindful of their pricing and always try to negotiate. If you keep these things in mind, you won’t have to deal with fraud in the future.