Wednesday, June 8, 2011
How to avoid being overcharged by a Locksmith
The Problem: Price con game
You see the ads that read “19 Dollar Locksmith” and “$15 Service charge Locksmith” but don’t be fooled! Many unethical locksmiths use the bait and switch con to get your call. And it works more than you think!
You are loading groceries into your car and set the keys in the trunk as you load. Then suddenly you close the trunk and it hits you… The keys!
What do you do? You call a locksmith to get the keys and you do it in a hurry. You might call more than one and hope they are quick! Whoever is fastest to arrive gets your business, right?
Hey and this ad on my smart phone says $15 locksmith! Maybe this won’t be so bad!
Wrong. There are some things not right in this equation as Einstein would say. (Okay, maybe not but let’s proceed)
First there are some very unethical people out there that are counting on your desperation. They are also counting on you being frugal with your hard-earned cash. So when you see the $15 locksmith ads you are being lured into a web.
When they show up they change the price. You are furious! This is illegal, you say to them and you refuse to pay. On the other hand, your dinner is spoiling as you speak. You would be surprised, but many people just pay and grumble the whole way home!
How much do they up charge? Usually about 400 to 500 percent! So a $15 phone quote turns into $150 dollars instantly! Not only are the unethical locksmiths counting on your desperation and naiveté… sometimes they bully customers into paying. Follow this link and read a news story detailing the scam: http://www.kpho.com/news/15291073/detail.html
An ethical and professional locksmith that wants your repeat business will give you an accurate quote on the phone before he arrives! He won’t dodge your questions or give you a line. Reputable locksmiths need your repeat business and want to provide good prices and great customer service so don’t be fooled.
What to do
Call around and find a locksmith company that is registered with your local Chamber of Commerce or that is a member of a Professional Locksmith organization. Ask their prices, hours, and most of all ask about their business license and professional licensing or credentials. The best locksmith is one who cares about your concerns and wants to help.
They will quote prices and hopefully a flat rate on certain calls with no hidden prices or bait and switch scams or con games. Beware the Locksmith that refuses to quote a price… this is a dead give away to a con artist.
Once you have researched and found a Locksmith you trust put their phone number in your cell phone, wallet, or phone book. Also, promote this locksmith to your friends and business associates to save them a hassle as well.
Avoid scams and con artists by doing your research BEFORE you need a locksmith. Find a locksmith that is reputable and has good references and who is certified and insured. Keep their phone number on you so that you can reach them when you need them. Give the number to friends and co-workers to help them out.
Also, report unethical locksmiths to the BBB and the Federal Trade Commission.
Rocky Mountain Security Group