First isn’t always best, just as top search results aren’t always the most accurate. This has been proven by the recent spike in issues surrounding the so-called “cowboy locksmiths” who have been silently wreaking havoc across the locksmith industry.
Who are cowboy locksmiths?
Cowboy locksmiths who deceive unsuspecting homeowners who have gotten locked out of their homes have been around for decades. They pose as certified locksmiths, offering the lowest rates available on the market. Flustered individuals eager to get back in their homes take the bait and hire them immediately. What they don’t know is that those low prices are merely a fraction of what they are yet to be charged.
Once a rogue locksmith—appearing as top search results, thanks to multiple ads—is called out, quotes begin to skyrocket. This is what happened with a Boston resident, who found “Local Locksmith 24 Hours” after a quick Google search for locksmiths in her area. The initial quote to replace a front door lock was priced at $95, which seemed too good to be true. To her surprise, she was charged an additional $400 upon the arrival of the locksmith half an hour later. Far from being content, the locksmith once again charged an additional $250 while threatening to pack up and leave with the lock lest he didn’t get paid. Feeling like she had run out of options, she reluctantly paid the final invoice of $495 and decided to take the issue to court…
Spotting rogue locksmiths
Due to the global pandemic and lockdowns across the US, more and more rogue locksmiths have seized the opportunity to scam innocent families. These trying times make it all the more important to ensure that the person you are hiring to secure your home can be trusted.
- Check where your locksmith is located – Many locksmiths might advertise to be found in your local area, but without being based there. Check their website to make sure they have a local address, or better still a local shop like we have at Locked In N Out. No address, vague contact information or a lack of a landline phone number should ring alarm bells and you should avoid these locksmiths.
- Check out locksmith reviews – When you have found a locksmith online check out their reviews, not just the ones they have supplied via their website, but more importantly the ones they have collected via Google or another third party review service. This should give you a good indication of their experience and trustworthiness.
- Beware of very low prices – If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! When a locksmith quotes you a ridiculously low price, or is very vague about what work they will be carrying out, then you should be wary of using them. At Locked In N Out, though we endeavour to keep our prices low to make our services accessible to all, we will also happily explain everything we need to do, so get in touch to find out more.
- If you are worried that you may have fallen victim to cowboy locksmiths you should report it to Report Scams and Fraud.
Finding the right locksmith
Spotting a trusted locksmith can be difficult. However, knowing what to do makes everything a lot easier. Since locksmithing is no easy task, skills and experience are crucial in a locksmith’s career. Ask your locksmith for previous projects they have worked on, as well as other relevant experience they have gained. This can help you gauge their expertise and trustworthiness when it comes to working.
If you are ready to form a relationship with a reliable, trustworthy locksmith, request a free quote from Locked In N Out today or call us at (617) 599-7435