How to Avoid Locksmith Scams
In an ideal world, you would research local locksmith companies and program a reputable one into your phone in case of future emergencies. The side of the road just isn’t the best place for checking out different companies, reading up on customer reviews, and verifying ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) membership. However, if you’re locked out and have no choice but to resort to the internet listings, heed these warning signs so that you don’t fall for a locksmith scam. Locksmith scams are common all over the country, including in Atlanta.
Warning Sign #1: Beware of Locksmiths on the internet who use paid Ads. Locksmith scammers spend a fortune on internet advertising to make sure their business is one of the first 3 ads that come up. Scammers have the money to do this because they bait consumers with low rates and charge 10 or 20 times what reputable locksmiths charge. None of the reputable locksmiths in Atlanta use paid ads – not one!
Warning Sign #2: The locksmith company answers the phone without saying the company name. Disreputable locksmiths use many false business names, addresses, and phone numbers that all feed into one remote call center. Because there are so many different company names, the person answering your call may only say, “Locksmith.” In contrast, if you call Pop-A-Lock of Atlanta, our name will be one of the first things you hear.
Warning Sign #3: Conspicuously low quotes over the phone or in an ad. It’s a classic bait and switch: a dishonest locksmith company offers you what seems like a great quote so you agree to the service. When the locksmith actually comes out, the initial quote turns out to cover the service call only. The actual labor adds on another $100-$200 (or even more if the locksmith sells you on unnecessary services). If you sense any evasiveness when you ask about pricing on the phone, trust your instincts and try another Atlanta locksmith that offers firm quotes. Written quotes are even better.
Warning Sign #4: Locksmiths who show up in unmarked cars. An unmarked car is a major red flag that you could be dealing with an untrustworthy locksmith. Shady locksmith companies use out of state call centers but hire local contractors who are often poorly trained, unequipped, and uninsured. An inexperienced technician can cause serious damage to your locks, doors, and windows. A local locksmith company in Atlanta that provides its technicians with tools, uniforms, and marked cars is a much better bet, not only because you’re likely to get better service, but also because you can hold them accountable if anything goes wrong.
Warning Sign #5: Locksmiths who talk up the price before the work starts. Ask about pricing before a locksmith begins to work on your lock. If he’s already tacking on additional fees, you know you’re going to pay a lot more than you bargained for. Although you might be tempted to just go along with it, keep in mind that bad locksmiths can damage your locks and end up costing you even more money and time. Pop-A-Lock Atlanta is often called to repair damage done by untrained locksmiths. It’s not too late to dismiss this locksmith and call another.
Warning Sign #6: Locksmiths who want to drill your lock. It’s true that there are cases in which your lock cannot be picked and must be drilled. However, this is the exception, not the rule. If a locksmith works on your lock for only a few minutes before declaring that it has to be drilled, don’t let him. Locksmith scammers are notorious for this. Once your lock is drilled, you have to purchase a brand new one and the scammer will charge outrageous fees for the lock(s), installation, keys, etc. We’ve heard stories of a simple lock pick turning into an $800.00+ bill!
Warning Sign #7: Beware of the false Pop-A-Lock Atlanta locksmith. Several times a month, we get calls from customers complaining that they used our service and now their remote key does not work. Upon research, we discover whoever serviced them was not a Pop-A-Lock Atlanta locksmith. How does that happen? Several ways. Pop-A-Lock’s all over the country have had major issues with scammers – everything from calling themselves a similar sounding name such as “Pa-Po-Lock” to having their website high jacked. A common occurrence is when a customer is calling around to many locksmiths and decides to go with Pop-A-Lock Atlanta Locksmith but calls the scammer by mistake. When the scammer gets to the location site, they continue to pretend to be a Pop-A-Lock Atlanta locksmith until the end.
Remember: All Pop-A-Lock Atlanta technicians wear uniforms, drive marked vehicles, provide detailed receipts with our logo, address, etc., Additionally, all of our calls into our dispatch center are recorded and kept permanently. Our vans have GPS devices on them and we can track everywhere they have been.