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The phone call 

When you ring the locksmith company, the call handler won’t give you a company name. Instead, they will say “service” or “locksmith”, for example. When you are quoted a price, it will be low, for example, “£20 and up”. The truth is that the service will cost a lot more than £20. 

The low price 

Once a customer has been hooked, they will be quoted a low price. This is a price that will be too low to refuse. Once the customer agrees to the work, a ‘Locksmith’ will be sent out. 

Once the locksmith reaches your home, the next phase of the scam begins. They will pretend to have difficulty with the lock, and it’s likely that they will destroy it. This means that the lock will have to be replaced. In most cases, the issue with the lock can be repaired. However, an unscrupulous locksmith will ensure that the entire mechanism needs to be replaced. This can result in the price being inflated 10 to 20 times. 

Taking a look at the invoice below shows you just how easily a customer can end up paying more. What should have been a simple job has now been turned into a more complicated job which cost the customer a lot of money. 

How Not to Fall Victim To Cowboy Locksmiths

Unfortunately, locksmiths in the UK are not regulated by the government. This ultimately means that we have recently seen a lot of scam locksmiths who give the industry a bad name. Some of these locksmiths occupy the first few positions on Google and advertise unrealistically short waiting times and cheap prices. The victims of this scam are often left waiting for much longer and end up paying a lot more than they expected. This can be due to unnecessary damage done to the door and locks, the inflated prices and hidden charges.

This is why we need to be especially careful not to fall victim to a scam by choosing the right locksmith.

Here are a few simple steps you should consider when choosing a locksmith 

  1. Use a trusted company

Only use a trusted company that has been operating for at least a few years and has a good reputation.

  1. Check for them at Companies House

Verify the company is still trading.

  1. Read feedback

Check their feedback, it should be verifiable. Scam locksmith websites display fake feedback that they write themselves.

  1. ID check

Ask your locksmith for their ID. Genuine professionals will always have ID on them and will be happy to provide it upon request.

  1. Know Your Payment Options

Proper locksmith companies will have multiple payment options. Beware of a locksmith who asks for cash payment, and make sure you receive a proper invoice.

  1. No-obligation security check

Ask your locksmith for a free no-obligation security check. This should be provided in a friendly and non-pushy manner. You should receive important and useful information during or after the security check.

  1. Clear prices

It’s not always possible to give the final cost over the phone as there could be multiple explanations as to what caused the issue. However, you should always be given an idea of the cost before any work commences.

The phone call 

When you ring the locksmith company, the call handler won’t give you a company name. Instead, they will say “service” or “locksmith”, for example. When you are quoted a price, it will be low, for example, “£20 and up”. The truth is that the service will cost a lot more than £20. 

The low price 

Once a customer has been hooked, they will be quoted a low price. This is a price that will be too low to refuse. Once the customer agrees to the work, a ‘Locksmith’ will be sent out. 

Once the locksmith reaches your home, the next phase of the scam begins. They will pretend to have difficulty with the lock, and it’s likely that they will destroy it. This means that the lock will have to be replaced. In most cases, the issue with the lock can be repaired. However, an unscrupulous locksmith will ensure that the entire mechanism needs to be replaced. This can result in the price being inflated 10 to 20 times. 

Taking a look at the invoice below shows you just how easily a customer can end up paying more. What should have been a simple job has now been turned into a more complicated job which cost the customer a lot of money. 

The locksmith is there to make money and they will do whatever it takes. They aren’t qualified locksmiths, they only know how to use some of the tools in their toolbox. 

Fake arrival time 

Many scam locksmiths will advertise a fake time of arrival. They will claim to be with their customers within 20 minutes, for example, but in reality, they will take longer. 

Scam locksmiths don’t care that you could be locked out of your house in bad weather. They could keep you waiting for hours and come up with excuses as to why they can’t be with you any sooner.  

The fact that these scam locksmiths have no integrity means it’s hard to compete with them. They promise quick and efficient services, but doing so makes genuine locksmiths look bad. 

No uniform 

A scam locksmith will not be wearing a uniform. It’s unlikely that they will be carrying any identification. The vehicle they have driven won’t advertise a business. If it does, the markings can easily be removed (such as magnetic signs).

Cash only 

The scam locksmith will demand to be paid in cash. If you don’t have any cash with you, they may mention that you can pay by debit card. However, a card is easy to trace, which means they won’t want to use a card. If they do agree to use a card, the price is likely to rise. 

No After Service 

Many genuine locksmith companies will offer an after-sales service, as such. If the lock was to break within 6 months, for example, they might repair it for free. Scam locksmiths do not offer a service such as this. In fact, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find them again. If you do manage to contact them again, they might tell you that the locksmith they sent to your home is no longer working for them. They might also tell you that they cannot help you with your issue. 

Why it's Important to Hire a Genuine Locksmith

  • They are trained professionals – Genuine locksmiths know how to get into any lock. They are highly trained and they are unlikely to damage your lock. A trained locksmith will also give you a few tips so you can keep your repaired or replaced lock working well. 
  • They can offer a home security check – Home security checks can help you to keep your home safe. Offering a check such as this shows that the locksmith isn’t interested in making money quickly. 
  • They are always available – 24-hour locksmiths can be with you at 3 am or 3 pm. They are always open and ready to help someone in need. 
  • The service is reliable – You should expect a genuine locksmith to turn up at your door within 30 minutes of your call, for example. They will not give you excuses as to why they cannot reach you at the agreed time. 
  • Supporting a local business – When you hire a genuine locksmith, you’ll be supporting a local business. You will be helping them to grow and provide a reliable service to other people in the area.

How Not to Fall Victim To Cowboy Locksmiths

Unfortunately, locksmiths in the UK are not regulated by the government. This ultimately means that we have recently seen a lot of scam locksmiths who give the industry a bad name. Some of these locksmiths occupy the first few positions on Google and advertise unrealistically short waiting times and cheap prices. The victims of this scam are often left waiting for much longer and end up paying a lot more than they expected. This can be due to unnecessary damage done to the door and locks, the inflated prices and hidden charges.

This is why we need to be especially careful not to fall victim to a scam by choosing the right locksmith.

Here are a few simple steps you should consider when choosing a locksmith 

  1. Use a trusted company

Only use a trusted company that has been operating for at least a few years and has a good reputation.

  1. Check for them at Companies House

Verify the company is still trading.

  1. Read feedback

Check their feedback, it should be verifiable. Scam locksmith websites display fake feedback that they write themselves.

  1. ID check

Ask your locksmith for their ID. Genuine professionals will always have ID on them and will be happy to provide it upon request.

  1. Know Your Payment Options

Proper locksmith companies will have multiple payment options. Beware of a locksmith who asks for cash payment, and make sure you receive a proper invoice.

  1. No-obligation security check

Ask your locksmith for a free no-obligation security check. This should be provided in a friendly and non-pushy manner. You should receive important and useful information during or after the security check.

  1. Clear prices

It’s not always possible to give the final cost over the phone as there could be multiple explanations as to what caused the issue. However, you should always be given an idea of the cost before any work commences.