It’s a terrible feeling to find that you’ve locked yourself out of your car or home. It’s especially a bad feeling if it’s late in the night. You don’t want to try and jimmy the lock because you might break it and cause more damage and yet you may not be sure if you can get a professional because of the late hour. Here we will take a look at how to get a legitimate cheap locksmith services and avoid the scams.
Common Emergency Locksmith Scams You Should Avoid
It’s important to understand that the great majority of locksmiths are honest and legitimate. Even so, anyone can run an ad and this opens the door to those who are not legitimate. One of the signs of a potential scam is an ad that advertises they are available 24 hours a day for a super cheap price. They may advertise they can come out in the middle of the night for as little as $25.
That charge is just for them to come out, however, and doesn’t include labor. Once they arrive they will tell you why that your lock is especially difficult and that there’s going to be considerably higher labor charges involved. Of course, they don’t inform you of the added labor charges until after they began work. If you tell them that you won’t pay them then they may threaten to call the police or they may refuse to give you entry to your home or car.
In most situations when a person has locked themselves out, the legitimate locksmith will have the tools and skills needed to pick the lock to gain entry. There may be a legitimate situation where the lock has to be drilled but in most situations, it isn’t necessary. Because of this fact, the unscrupulous locksmith will often tell the customer that the lock is especially difficult and must be drilled. The problem is that once they drill it, then the lock is useless and needs to be replaced.
Of course, the unscrupulous locksmith will often have a replacement lock that he can sell you for a premium price. This gives him a chance to charge you a premium on the lock replacement itself as well as the labor to install it. At times this can run into the hundreds of dollars.
How To Make Sure You’re Dealing With A Reputable Locksmith
Because reputable locksmiths are more common than the unscrupulous ones they are reasonably easy to find. The main reason people are sometimes vulnerable to the illegitimate locksmith is the fact that they’re calling them in an emergency situation and they don’t really have the time to check them out. Even so, there are some basic things that you can do to better ensure that you’re dealing with someone reputable.
1. Listen To How They Answer When You Call
A legitimate locksmith will be a licensed business with a business name. When they answer they will do so using the business name. The less scrupulous locksmith will typically answer with something generic such as ‘locksmith services how can I help you’. If they don’t use a real business name, be very cautious.
2. Get A Total Estimate Before The Work Begins
Once a locksmith has arrived and taken a look, have them give you a total estimate before they start doing any work. If they say that they can’t pick the lock have them describe the reason why in detail. If they can put everything in writing that’s great but if because it’s late they cannot then ask them for their permission to video and audio record them using your cell phone. This way you’ll have the estimate and any reasons given regarding how they access the lock recorded. Doing these simple things will go a long way in ensuring that you’re using a legitimate locksmith. To find out more about this, you can visit the 247 DC FB page.