4 red flags when choosing a locksmith
Locksmiths hold a great deal of power as they are often the ones who are in charge of the security of your home or business. They come to help in times of emergencies, when you are locked out of your home or vehicle in the middle of the night.
When looking for a locksmith during that period of stress, it can be difficult to keep a clear head but it is very important to be on the lookout for potential scams or dangers that may make the situation even worse.
They won’t give you a price estimate
One red flag is that upon calling up, your potential locksmith refuses to give you a price for the job. Although some costs may change when they arrive, all reputable locksmiths should be able to give you an idea for the final bill.
If not and you accept their service, you could be looking at a higher price than you were expecting. It’s much harder to negotiate after they have carried out the work than before so don’t be afraid to push for this initial estimate.
They claim to be police approved or recommended
While a lot of locksmiths help the police with certain tasks, the force itself does not push specific persons. If a potential locksmith states that they are personally recommended by the UK police, be wary.
You could ask a few more questions to clarify what they mean, it could just be that the locksmith has previously worked with the police, and if they cannot give you further details then keep on searching.
Unusually low prices
When searching for locksmiths in your area, you may see a lot of advertisements on Google that have sentences like ‘with prices from £40’. This low price is put there to entice you and book in with this locksmith without really doing a lot of research.
Although there is not a nationally regulated pricing structure for locksmiths, it is good to have a rough estimate of what the service you want may cost. You can have a look at a price guide from the Master Locksmiths Association to help you.
Remember, if something seems too good to be true, then it usually is.
They use false details on their website
There are no specific qualifications or training needed to work as a locksmith and many use this to operate scams that prey on vulnerable people. Some scammers also go under false addresses that mean you have no way of chasing them up if you find something wrong with their work.
To stay on the safe side, only opt for operators that are officially accredited by the UK’s largest locksmith association, MLA, and verify this fact on their ‘Find a Locksmith’ page.