If you are ever completely locked out of your house in the dead of night or need to gain access to your car on the side of the highway, there is one professional you need to contact: a locksmith. However, how do you know if you are receiving locksmith services from a reputable locksmith or are being scammed?
Here is some valuable information about locksmiths, including how to recognize several common locksmith scams and how to find a reputable locksmith in your area.
Avoid A No-Name Locksmith Company
The search for a good locksmith in your area typically begins online. A legitimate locksmith will have a website that looks professionally made and is easy to read and understand. The locksmith must list their active license number in Texas.
Avoid locksmiths that are run out of a person’s home and do not have a physical business address, answer the phone with “locksmith service” only, or even answer a business phone number by saying “Hello”. Instead, choose a local locksmith that is established and well-known for providing fantastic service at a fair price.
Fake Websites of Real Locksmith Business
The majority of locksmiths in the McKinney, TX, area are reputable and want nothing more than to provide their customers with the best service possible. A quality, professional locksmith service will pay a lot of money to have a website designed for them.
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous individuals who will create a fake website that features the name of real businesses and established locksmiths. This fake website aims to gather information about potential clients, including their names, address, and phone number.
As a consumer, how do you know if the website is fake or legitimate? Begin by looking at the quality of the website. Are there any glaring grammar mistakes, or does the website look undeveloped or unprofessional? When in doubt, call the number on the website and ask for the locksmith’s license number.
If the rep on the other end of the phone cannot provide you with verifiable information, chances are the website is fake. If you encounter a phony website featuring a legitimate company name, report the website to your state’s Attorney General’s Office.
5 Signs that You’re Being Scammed by a Locksmith
You’ve hired a local professional service but aren’t sure if the company is legit, or you have fallen victim to scam locksmiths. Watch for these clear signs that your locksmith is scamming you:
The Locksmith Services Require Cash Payment and Will Not Accept Credit
When the locksmith arrives, do they insist on taking cash and will not run your credit card? A cash payment is difficult to trace, and you can deny charges on a credit card if you are unsatisfied with the service.
Reputable, professional locksmiths will accept any type of payment, including cash, a debit card, or a credit card, and will provide you with a detailed bill and receipt.
Watch Out for Certain Generic Phrases Instead of Detailed Answers
At Meyer’s Local Locksmiths, we encourage you to ask questions about our services, including specific questions about the manufacturer and process. Watch out for a locksmith who cannot provide detailed answers to your legitimate questions.
Is the Price Simply Too Good to Be True?
You should always compare and shop for the best price from a top locksmith service. A common red flag is that one locksmith will have a very low price, which is much lower than other businesses. Conversely, the company might price gouge and tack on several unexpected fees, such as gas or mileage charges.
A Fair and Professional Estimate
Reputable locksmiths will provide you with a detailed estimate of the overall cost of your job. The estimate will be provided on an official document, such as a company invoice. The estimate of the exact process of the job will be highly detailed.
Watch out for a fake locksmith that gives you a general estimate (such as a service call fee) over the phone or, worse, does not give you a written estimate at all.
It is Difficult to Get Into Contact With the Company
Reputable locksmiths are easy to get a hold of before, during, and after the job. The company will have a specific address, a legal name, and a customer representative that is available to answer calls during business hours. If you are having trouble getting hold of the locksmith, be wary because this is often a clear sign of locksmith scams.
Look for Family-Owned and Operated Locksmith Companies
When in doubt, look for a trustworthy locksmith that is locally owned and locally operated. The company should have a local address, a local phone number, and excellent customer service. The specific address online should be the same as the physical business.
The right locksmith from a reputable company will have great reviews and provide you with all the services you require at a fair price.
Ask For Recommendations
When in doubt, your friends, family, and former satisfied customers are a great source of information about reputable locksmiths in your area. Your loved ones can help point you toward legitimate locksmiths in your area that will provide you with the necessary services and great customer service.
Suppose you are unable to find a recommendation from friends or family for a reliable locksmith in McKinney and North Dallas area. In that case, online reviews are another great source of information. Check the reviews of nearby locksmiths to determine if the locksmith is trustworthy or if the customer fell victim to a locksmith scam.
Check Your Locksmith’s ID and License
When you hire any professional to provide you with business, home, or car services, it is always advisable to ask for proof of identification and a locksmith license. In Texas, every locksmith must be licensed through the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Private Security Bureau.
The locksmith’s identification is available through TOPS. Legitimate locksmiths will be able to provide you with proof of their locksmith license and should provide you with proper identification, such as a driver’s license before the job starts.
Verify Prices Before the Job Starts
In addition to verifying locksmith licensing, always verify the prices before the locksmith job starts. Once again, it is common for an untrustworthy locksmith to not provide you with a detailed cost breakdown of all parts and labor costs.
A great way to ensure you are not paying too much for your new high-security lock, door knob, or spare key is to do a little research on your own. If the prices online are comparable to the prices being provided by the locksmith, you can rest assured you are working with trustworthy locksmiths.
Is It Safe to Have a Locksmith Change Your Locks?
The locks of your business and home are the first line of defense against burglars. Entrusting a company to change the locks requires a lot of faith in the company’s abilities and legitimacy. Finding a legitimate locksmith with the proper credentials and experience is critical if you need the locks changed or rekeyed.
At Meyer’s Local Locksmith, we are a reliable company with years of experience upgrading the locks on homes and vehicles in the McKinney, TX, area. We will discuss your options and provide you with several options, including rekeying.
For many home and business owners, rekeying is a better and more affordable option. Rekeying involves swapping out key components inside the lock rather than replacing the entire lock.
What To Do if You’re the Unfortunate Victim of a Locksmith Scam
If you are a victim of a locksmith scam, the first call should be to local law enforcement. Next, report the company to the Better Business Bureau as well. Inform your friends and neighbors to be wary of the locksmith company in question.
Finding a Reputable Locksmith in McKinney
Now that you have finally narrowed down your options and know how to spot an unscrupulous locksmith, how exactly do you find a trustworthy locksmith in the Dallas area? Look no further than the pros at Meyer’s Local Locksmith.
A family-owned and operated business with well over 20 years of experience serving our amazing clients in the McKinney area, Meyer’s Local Locksmith is a reputable locksmith company that can offer you a fantastic array of services, including:
Automotive Locksmith Service
We provide a variety of automotive services, including:
- Lockout services
- Car key replacement
- Spare key services
- Broken key extraction
- Key cutting and programming
If you ever find yourself in a car lockout situation, we provide 24-hour emergency locksmith services!
Residential and Commercial Locksmith Service
Like many concerned citizens, you want to improve your home security without breaking the bank. At Meyer’s Local Locksmith, we understand these concerns and can help you improve the safety and security of your home or business.
Businesses require locksmiths that know how to repair or install high-security locks and exit devices. In addition to replacing residential or commercial door locks, our team is an expert in rekeying locks, key extraction, master key system, and access control system installation.
The Locksmith Industry is Huge
There are so many associated locksmiths that it can be challenging to determine which one is legitimate and trustworthy. With a bit of research, you can easily find a reliable locksmith company that offers the services you need at an affordable price. Good locksmiths have lots of repeat customers and almost no negative reviews, so make sure to look out for these things before you open the door to your home.