If you are looking to hire the services of a Locksmith it is important that you make an informed choice.
When looking for any trades person you obviously want the best person for that job, one that you can trust to complete the task professionally, proficiently and to the price that was agreed.
When you choose a Locksmith you are trusting that person with the security of your home ,family and valuables.
The Locksmith Industry
In the UK the Locksmith industry is unregulated, so anyone can call themselves a Locksmith and as there is no accreditation so there is no minimum standard or knowledge for them achieve. There is also no legislation that is specific to the Locksmith industry on standards of work or training.
This has unfortunately led to a significant increase in “Rogue Locksmiths” exploiting those that are duped into hiring their services. The “Rogue Locksmiths” have been featured on Television programmes such as Watchdog and Rogue Traders. They advertise service online for £39/£49 when the final bill can run into hundreds and sometimes thousands. They will cause damage to doors and windows which often lead to further expense repairing the damage or replacing the Door.
The “Rogue Locksmiths” use a variety of advertising techniques to dupe people into thinking they are getting a genuine Locksmith when the reality is you’re getting someone that has been sub contracted and could be from any other occupation i.e general builder or handy person.
Some signs to look out for that should raise your suspicions are:
- Advertising online for £39/£49.
- The advert will be on the top of your google search.
- More than one name will be used by the same persons.
- When you call the number advertised it will be directed to a call centre.
- The company will be registered at a PO Box address or another address such as a virtual office.
- False claims that they are approved or certified by a trade organisation.
- False claims that they are approved by the police or police recommend.
- The person on the phone cannot give you the name of the Locksmith as they use only sub contractor unskilled labour.
- Vague on price and keeps referring to the advert price.
- When they arrive in a car or vehicle that is not sign written.
- They are not wearing clothing that is branded with a company logo.
- When they arrive the price increases dramatically from what the advert stated.
- They will drill locks, cut large holes in doors only using destructive methods to gain entry.
A combination of any of the above should be a red flag and set alarm bells ringing.
Other ways in which you can ensure you are getting a genuine Locksmith are:
- A professional looking website.
- A genuine Social media page such as Face book (this can sometimes be linked to their personal page)
- Genuine reviews on either Google or face book .
- When you call the number the person on the phone is the person who will be attending or can identify the person attending.
- An address that is a shop or maybe where they live on the website or social media platform.
- If all the information you give is correct then they will give you a price based on that information. They may ask for photo’s to be sent in order that they can give a more accurate price. Depending on distance they may go to the property and have a look at what you want.
- A genuine Locksmith will always give you time to think about the quote and will never be pushy in rushing you to make a decision there and then.
- They will look professional when they arrive on site. Most Locksmiths have sign written vans as part of their advertising and marketing. They will generally have branded clothes (T shirts/Hoodie) with the same company logos as the website/social media platform/ Sign writing on the van.
- They will be happy to provide proof of identification/DBS clearance/Public liability insurance.
- They will always try techniques that are “Non destructive” first in situations where people are locked out or have lost keys.
- Asking for recommendations on a social media platform like Facebook will generally get responses from people that have used and are happy with a Locksmiths services.
Please don’t fall foul to these “Rogue Locksmiths” who are preying on the vulnerability and circumstances of those who find themselves locked out. Choose a Local Locksmith, as their future business is built on their reputation of doing a professional job and first class service.