Being in a situation like a lockout from your home or vehicle can be quite stressful, frustrating as well as worrying. In situations such as these, one of the first things you do is to start looking online for an emergency locksmith in your area. While it isn’t difficult to find companies that provide locksmiths services, it isn’t a good idea to hire the first one that pops up on your phone.
It’s unfortunate that there are a large number of companies that trade as locksmiths, without really having the qualification, licensing or training to handle these jobs. It is these companies that tend to scam customers, making it very important for you to know how to avoid them. Most of them follow a very common modus operandi. They quote a certain low fee like $40-$60, that seems quite reasonable.
Once you have approved the quote, they act like they are struggling with opening the lock. Before long they will inform you that the lock on your door or vehicle is a high security one and that the only option in this situation is to break open and replace the lock with a new one. This replacement can easily cost you anything between $250 and $350.
When you are caught in a situation such as this, it becomes extremely difficult for you to figure out what the right thing to do is. These scamsters seem so convincing in their explanation that they eventually pressurise you into paying the higher bill. Here are some tips on how to avoid locksmith scams:
If you call the number listed on the company’s website and you’re greeted by an odd dial tone or even a very lengthy delay, it’s likely you may have been redirected to a call centre in some other country. It important that you make sure you’re talking to someone based in Australia; when in doubt, ask questions.
Check the locksmith’s website in a detailed manner. If you don’t find it to be professional with a physical address and valid numbers and business timings displayed, you might be dealing with unscrupulous operators.
Every locksmith needs to hold a licence and should also have insurance. They are also required to have a current ABN number to run their business. All of these pieces of information should be mentioned on their website and if you don’t find them there, it should be a red flag for you.
A credible company will always have clearly marked service vehicles. When the technicians arrive at your location, they should be properly uniformed and carry valid Ids with the company logo printed on them. In addition, they should also provide an upfront quote before starting on any work. This is important even if it is an after-hour’s situation.
Aside from all these things, it’s a much better idea to check out a few companies well before you actually need their services. Look for an operator that provides 24/7 emergency locksmith solutions. This will go a long way in helping you avoid locksmith scams by hiring someone at the last minute. For information about our services, call All Time Locksmiths at 1300 705 307. You can also contact us via the Contact Us form on this page.