Beware the dodgy locksmith ripoff scam!
Most people only go looking for a locksmith when they need one urgently. One of the most common reasons a locksmith is called upon is when someone locks themselves out of their home and desperately needs to get back in.
Unless they have used a locksmith previously and have the details of that company in their phone, they will go in search of a locksmith that can get them back into their property the fastest.
At this point, they are stressed out due to their situation and just want a quick resolution. But when searching online for a “lockout locksmith”, they quickly learn there are plenty to choose from so they start looking for the cheapest price.
Don’t be fooled by cheap call-out pricing! What many people don’t realise is the call-out fee and the final total price can be completely different.
If you fall victim to the following locksmith scam, you will be in for a nasty shock when the final bill ends up costing a lot more than you bargained for.
Recently the locksmith industry has been inundated by “handyman & backpackers” passing themselves off as legitimate locksmiths.
Unfortunately, this has brought the whole industry down and ripped off the general public with the end bill being hundreds or even thousands of dollars!
These scammers gain work by offering their victims extremely low call-out fees ($15 to $45 as an example), but what they don’t tell you is their final bill will come to an exorbitant amount with ridiculous hidden charges.
These handymen are often travelling through as backpackers. They are under the impression that if they get a hold of some basic ‘lock picking tools’, they can take control of the locksmith industry and not be held accountable.
In many cases, what they are doing is illegal and they are taking advantage of you, the end customer.
At the start, you may feel you are receiving good service from a reputable locksmith company at a low cost. However, many people in your same position are held for ransom in the end with the ridiculous cost accrued.
They do this by quoting a really low price for the call-out fee but then having an enormous hourly rate or by charging extreme prices for any low-cost parts used.
And their work is most usually mediocre to poor at best and you risk damaging your lock in the process, which may result in an even greater cost of replacing it by a professional.
How to avoid being ripped off
Remember, it’s not all about the call-out fee. The real price you should be concerned with is the total charge for a service such as a lockout. Reputable locksmiths will typically have a standard, all-inclusive fee for lockout services. This fee is based on your location and the time of day they attend your lockout.
The best way to avoid being ripped off is to find a quality locksmith in your area and save their details so that you’re prepared in the event of an emergency.
Look for a locksmith with a lengthy history in the industry. Check out their website. Look to see what other services they provide and if they employ multiple locksmiths, and that they are not just a “one-man-band”. Check to see if the company has reviews and that they are shinning reviews.
At Alert Locks & Security, we have been serving our customers with all of their security needs for over 31 years. We’re a trusted name in the locksmith industry. And we’re here to help you any time of the day or night, and 365 days a year.