Most Charlotte residents have been in the position where they’ve needed to call a locksmith in an emergency. They may have locked themselves out of their car or needed the locks changed in their house. In those situations, it’s tempting just to pick up the phone and call on the first locksmith service you see online. However, this sadly means that many people may fall victim to a locksmith scam, and lose their time and money just by failing to be careful.
In truth, most locksmiths are legitimate, and reputable companies should be celebrated. By doing a quick bit of research before picking up the phone, you can ensure you’re calling a trusted company. Here are some tips to avoid the most common locksmith scams.
In many states, such as North Carolina, there are laws stating that all locksmiths should be licensed. It is a crime to offer locksmith services in these states without a license, so this is the first thing you should be checking if you’re located in one of the 15 states with licensing laws.
It’s easy to look online to see if the locksmith you’re planning to call has a license. They will likely display this proudly on their website to show that they are a trusted company. Reputable companies should let all potential customers easily see their licenses, certifications and associations. Be wary of a locksmith who doesn’t mention licensing wherever you are located.
Any locksmith who quotes one low price on their website or over the phone, and then changes this on arrival at your home or business premises should not be trusted. A reputable company will have a set pricing structure, and never try to charge you more than they’ve originally quoted without good reason. This is a way many people get scammed, as fake locksmiths try to get you to pay more at a time when you’re feeling confused and vulnerable.
Not Using the Correct Tools
A locksmith will have been carefully trained to be able to open almost any lock with a specific set of tools, such as tension wrenches and lever picks. If you call someone who arrives at your home and begins to drill your lock, it’s time to get suspicious. Drills are rarely used unless the locksmith is dealing with a high security lock.
Don’t be fooled if you’re told you have a high security lock on your door when challenging the locksmith. Unless you’ve ordered a high security lock yourself, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have one on your property. Replacing drilled locks can cost hundreds of dollars, so a reputable locksmith won’t start drilling until it’s absolutely necessary.
A legitimate locksmith will be very clear about the services that they provide, and it likely won’t just be for door locks. Locksmiths can help with home security, safes and automotive locks as well as the ones on your house, and will be happy to discuss their expertise with you.
Alarm bells should go off if the locksmith you call doesn’t have a company name, or will not specify which type of locksmith services they offer and how they’ll be dealing with your locks.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’d like more clarification. If you feel the need, you’ll be able to confirm that the locksmith has a local business office, the required licenses, and a cost estimate for the job, just by asking a few questions.
By understanding common locksmith scams, you’ll easily be able to avoid them so you get the professional locksmith service you need in an emergency.
If you need a professional to help with any locksmith services, contact our team at Eastway Lock & Key in Charlotte NC. We will be happy to assist. Give us a call at 704-347-1088, or complete our Contact Form and we’ll get back to you right away. Don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter!