Locksmiths can so often appear to have a bad reputation — but did you know that locksmithing is one of the most scammed industries out there? All of those “bad locksmith services” you hear about may actually be scammers posing as locksmiths! Those of us who go through all the appropriate channels to become trained, licensed locksmiths resent that reputation. In order to combat that, and also help you to find locksmith services you can trust, here’s our handy guide for how to choose a trustworthy locksmith:
Look For Local Providers
Whether you are running a quick online search or you go old-school and still use the yellow pages, start by seeking out local locksmith services — which means a local operating address and phone number. One of the most common scams is the use of an 800-number that serves as a dispatcher for local services. In these cases, shoddy services often come with higher than average fees, and when you try to track down the provider, the dispatcher won’t have any records or contact information. Instead, look for local contact details as these are more likely to be upstanding members of your community.
Online reviews can be a double-edged sword because you never know what someone else’s standards are for good service. In the case of many locksmith services, though, they are a good way to weed through and find the trustworthy providers over scams. We particularly recommend looking at reviews sites that do not let companies hide or “buy out” negative reviews to make sure you’re really seeing the truth.
Watch for Branding
Another good sign that a locksmith service is legitimate is an attention to branding. Look for a website that has the same name and branding across the site. When the locksmith technician arrives at your location, look for further signs of branding on their vehicle as well as on a company shirt, hat, and/or paperwork. Branding shows that a company cares about their image — something scams don’t generally do. At this point, you can also ask to see proof of licensing, insurance, and/or bonding to doubly verify that they are who they claim to be.
Ask for a Quote
Before the technician begins work, ask for a quote, and get that quote in writing if possible. One of the other really common locksmith scams is to provide a low-ball number over the phone and then hike the price because they “need specialty tools” to do the job or “you have a tricky lock.” Any mobile locksmith should have the tools necessary to handle your job because 99% of the time, your lock is within the standard purview of our skills. Also, be wary of any locksmith who claims that they need to drill your lock. A good technician will have the tools and skills needed to pop the lock without irreparably damaging it.
If you’re looking for a local locksmith in Houston, call A&M Mobile Locksmith for fast, experienced service you can trust!