Did you know that anyone can become a locksmith? Anyone irrespective of the background, competence or motive may try to make a career of it. You cannot afford to contact just any random locksmith service. This can cost you as you will suffer for their incompetence. Or nefarious schemes, as you could be letting someone with criminal intent into your home. Issues such as overcharging, fraud, and intimidation continue to be problems individuals may experience with uncertified locksmiths.
Damage caused by inexperience
Individuals may present themselves as locksmiths after only watching some “how to” tutorials online. They hardly have any experience. When they try to make a quick buck by fixing your lock, it often results in damage that may need costly repairs. What’s more, you are responsible for the costs because these locksmiths are not insured or bonded.
Please note that a legitimate locksmith is operating under a state business license, has undergone the required training (often this involves an extensive apprenticeship), and should have certifications from a recognized organization to prove their experience and knowledge.
Why no identification is a problem to the homeowners
A disreputable locksmith may not offer any identification. However, scam companies go to great lengths to appear legitimate. Their technicians may provide fake business cards. Their is very little you can do if you’re provided with fake credentials, which is why it is so important to vet your locksmith before an emergency occurs.
How can you avoid Overcharging and Intimidation?
To avoid overcharging, ask for a cost estimate when contacting the company online or on the call. Sometimes the price demanded by a locksmith does not match with the estimate. In such cases, you need to address this immediately. It may be a legitimate cost difference if the scope of work differed significantly from what you described initially. However, if it doesn’t make sense, or if the locksmith starts to turn threatening, immediately request for them to leave the invoice with you and go. Do not sign anything and do not pay anything until you can resolve the price discrepancy. Don’t be afraid of calling the police if you feel unsafe.
When you get locked out of your home, be wary of locksmiths that insist on replacing the lock. An experienced locksmith will have the necessary training, experience, and tools. They can unlock almost any lock without resorting to replacing it. Remain alert and trust your instincts.
Finding a certified locksmith
If you type in ‘locksmith services in West Palm Beach, FL’, you may get 21 businesses back in your search. You can take that list and run it through a review process. Look up the businesses on the BBB website to determine if there are any complaints against them and how long they’ve been in business. Often, they will have a website that may list their credentials. You can call and talk to their customer service representative. And, better yet, you can visit their shop in person. There’s nothing better than seeing someone in their element.
In addition to all that first-hand research, you can screen their reviews online. You’ll be looking for a fair mix with an average between 4 and 5 stars. If all their reviews are 5 stars, or if the reviews are primarily fluffed and don’t give real experiences than you might have found a fake locksmith. If the reviews give a fair assessment (i.e. have pros and cons) of a person’s experience than you can most likely trust it.
A-1 Locksmith of West Palm Beaches, Inc. is typically the 4th listing in a Google search for the area and has served the community for well over 20 years. If you’re on the hunt for a trustworthy and experienced locksmith, contact us and let’s see how we can help you.