You locked your keys in the car, and now you can’t get into your house either. You get out your smartphone and look up locksmiths in the area. But, if you aren’t careful, it might be you that gets picked rather than the lock!
It is an unfortunate reality in the locksmith industry that cases of scamming and fraud do happen. In many states, locksmiths are required to maintain a license, but the standards may be low. Some states don’t require testing of any kind to obtain a license, or an unscrupulous individual will pose as a competent, honest locksmith with a forged license. How do you know the difference? How do you ensure that you hire a reputable locksmith in an emergency?
What Do You Do When You Are Locked Out?
The answer is to plan ahead. Don’t wait for the emergency to occur first. Start investigating the local locksmiths now to make a well-thought out decision about which locksmith to select. Because so many calls to locksmiths are made during emergency situations, customers can be placed in victim-like situations, in dire straits, often late at night. They become easy prey for the scammer.
Research the track record, reviews, and BBB status for several locksmiths. Look for one with excellent, consistent ratings. Determine if they are willing to estimate a job upfront and provide a quote before the locksmith arrives. Legitimate locksmiths will generally be able to give an unseen estimate based upon their breadth of experience. Check the BBB and the state licensing board to verify the license. You can also consider the comments or complaints from others posted online, although some sites are vetted and some are not. And don’t hesitate to ask a locksmith for references.
When you are certain that you have found one or two reputable locksmiths, put those phone numbers right into your emergency contacts. You will be relieved that you did if you get locked out!