Your Guard is Down
There is never an opportune moment to find yourself in need of a locksmith’s services. Because most of us are frazzled when we discover we cannot get into our car (especially if it is running or we have a young child or pet locked inside), we become easy prey for unscrupulous scam-artists. The best way to deal with this sort of problem is to know how to spot imposters and avoid them.
The Master Locksmith Association of Australasia (MLAA) warns the public about the prevalence of locksmith scams being perpetrated all over the region.
Overseas Call Centre
You need a locksmith’s help immediately, so you search for one that advertises fast emergency services. You see their webpage listed as a .com site, but it looks as if it is local and in your vicinity. People in emergency situations are the most recent group targeted by these criminals.
When you contact the company, your call transfers to a call centre located in another country. The person you speak with collects your information and informs you a locksmith will arrive to help you very soon.
Unmarked and Unprofessional
The person posing as a locksmith typically arrives in an unmarked truck or van. It is unlikely that they will have any sort of official personal identification with them. An unmarked vehicle and lack of identification are both red flags. Professional locksmiths working with reputable businesses use their vans as easy advertising. It makes much more sense to announce your services to those in the vicinity of your client. Additionally, a legitimate locksmith will require employees to carry identification for the express purpose of proving to a client they are a safe person who is trustworthy.
When the person tries to open your car, he or she will frequently do some damage. In some cases, people experience a great deal of damage while the untrained alleged locksmith tries to get in the car. Once again, this is a red flag for you. A qualified locksmith will have the necessary equipment to unlock your vehicle with ease unless it is already quite damaged.
Inferior Products Tools and Methodology
The person posing as a locksmith will use inferior products if something needs replacing. The need to replace anything often comes about deliberately, during the attempt to open your car. Then a reason to charge you for the issue is fabricated, and this increases your bill. On the off chance that a locksmith should damage your car whilst trying to unlock it, they would document the damage and the locksmith’s insurance would pay for the costs.
Questionable Bill Charges
Once your auto is unlocked, the bill you receive is considerably more than the price the representative quoted to you on the phone. A real locksmith’s company will honour the price quoted to a customer.
If you attempt to dispute the new amount, it is likely the person who unlocked your car will become belligerent and unruly. It is unlikely the imposter would harm you, as their goal is to score some fast cash.
Knowing how to spot a fraudulent locksmith is essential, but equally important is figuring out how to find a reputable locksmith. There are several tips from the MLAA designed to help you find a trustworthy locksmith.
Word of Mouth and Reviews
The word of mouth recommendation is still one of the very best ways to find locksmiths as well as other tradespeople. Family, friends, neighbours, and coworkers are all excellent sources for suggestions about a locksmith who does superior work. If you asked around and found no recommendations, try an online lookup. Almost all reputable companies have a social media presence. A business’ site is where you can see reviews from other customers and find out what customers are saying about a specific locksmith. Additionally, there are review sites existing just to tell you about numerous companies. If you go this route, be sure to use a site that requires reviewers to be verified customers.
Accredited and Approved
An important detail to look for when you are trying to find a reputable is if a company is accredited and approved. Any locksmith who has the approval of his peers and the governing body of his trade will proudly display the accolades. Also, legitimate locksmith businesses usually are members of the Locksmiths Guild of Australia (LGA) or the Master Locksmiths Association of Australia (MLAA), so be sure to look for mentions of one or both of these associations.
Level of Professionalism
After you call a locksmith company, you should make a point of noticing the level of professionalism displayed by the company’s representative. A few key points worth noting include:
• Do they appear neatly dressed in a uniform displaying a name and company logo?
• Did the locksmith arrive on time, or within an acceptable window of time?
• Can the locksmith provide identification?
• Is their vehicle marked as a locksmith’s?
While the locksmith is working, do they seem to be knowledgeable and confident in their work? The last thing you want to see is confusion and hesitancy in the profession who arrived to help you.
Does the locksmith try to up-sell you on products or services that seem unrelated to the issue at hand? Explaining a customer’s options is a good strategy, but fraudulent locksmiths usually look for ways to boost the bill.
Can the company offer you references, and does the business history span several years? While new and qualified companies open for business frequently, these still are able you to provide you with references or reviews of their work.
The need to be on the lookout for counterfeit professionals who prey on helpless people is an unfortunate fact of life. Be aware of the signs that indicate both reputable and fraudulent locksmiths.
For a Reputable Locksmith with all qualifications, experience, 100% positive fee-back and commitment to the customer our team at Positive Security WA a call today!