When looking for a new locksmith, it’s always a good idea to use rational thinking and keep an open mind.
The bait and switch price scheme is rampant these days. It usually happens when a customer is enticed to purchase by unreasonably low locksmith prices, only to discover that the actual price for what they want is significantly higher or that the product or service offered is significantly inferior to what they believed.
This scam is common with many different product and service sales. Still, it has recently gotten worse in the locksmith industry due to the abundance of advertisements for locksmith services appearing on local websites and being priced fraudulently.
How Do Locksmith Scams Happen
Locksmith scams are prevalent in many urban areas. These scammers manipulate Google Adwords to ensure that fraudulent locksmith businesses are at the top of Google’s search engine.
When you call them, you’ll get a ridiculously low locksmith price quote since most of these scammers hold on to their narrative of being the cheapest locksmith you can find in the next thousand miles. When the locksmith arrives, he says he has to drill your lock and charge you for a new one, which is frequently a counterfeit lock. You end up paying hundreds of dollars more than the initial USD$20 quote.
The customer’s inability to understand how their hardware should be unlocked or repaired is the basis of the scam. They assume that the job was completed correctly and pay the bill.
On the other hand, a legitimate locksmith can give a fairly accurate quote based on a locksmith price guide over the phone that also includes a labor fee and a service charge. And they won’t pull out a drill right away.
Signs You’re Being Ripped Off
There are ways to know when you’re being scammed out of desperation. These are also the secrets most locksmiths do not want you to know.
1. The low rates are just too good to be real.
Do you need a locksmith for USD$20 for your car? You won’t find such a locksmith.
The advertised USD$15 or USD $20 rates only include the service charge. This is what you pay for a locksmith who will come to your location to inspect your vehicle. The advertised rate does NOT include a “labor fee” to unlock your vehicle.
2. The Driving Pitch
To justify their high rates, locksmiths will use a polished pitch to sell their services. The sales pitch is designed to convince customers that their car has a complicated or expensive locking system. Therefore, they will charge a higher labor fee.
3. The Long Waiting Game
In most cases, a dispatcher told customers that a technician would arrive in 20 minutes. Usually, it took longer than expected.
Customers had to wait up to 90 minutes for a locksmith to show up, and in some cases, they never showed up at all.
4. It’s a locksmith in your area (BUT located miles away).
These scamming companies list local addresses when verified, most addresses are not legitimate.
Often, many locksmith companies list bogus addresses. Out-of-state businesses can compete better by appearing local. In some cases, they may even steal the name or address of a competitor.
How to Spot the Red Flags
When hiring a locksmith, it is crucial to do your research. It’s best to watch out for these common red flags:
- Claims to have been “Police Recommended” are likely false.
- Cheapest locksmith price in Google Ads.
- Claims based on 3rd party authorization – you should always verify any claims.
- They do not declare the name of the locksmith. This could be an indication of a call center/subcontractor.
Ways to Protect Yourself
Remember that any locksmith who charges USD$15 or USD$20 for their services should be avoided. This is likely a teaser rate and does not include the labor cost.
Additionally, inquire whether the company has company vehicles and whether its employees wear uniforms. It is common to find out-of-state companies that employ independent contractors and encourage them to charge higher rates, which should be based on a valid locksmith price guide. Moreover, determine if there is a physical office.
Additionally, it would be best to locate a trusted locksmith before you require one. You can do your research now and find a company that is highly rated, offers upfront locksmith prices, and a number that you can contact in case of an emergency.
Tips from the Professionals
1. If a locksmith wants to charge you an excessive amount of money, you should refuse. You will be shocked at how rapidly the fees decrease.
2. To know how much does a locksmith cost, it would be best to compare locksmith prices by going through several websites. A bait and switch scammer would always fall below the bracket of general locksmith prices. Most of the time they’ll claim to be the best but the cheapest locksmith in town.
3. You should ask as many questions as you like, such as:
- Are they doing the work themselves or subcontracting it out to someone else?
- If they’re subcontracting, who are they sending? And who should you contact in the event of any problems.
- What is the price of the advertised product?
- What is the call out fee and what do they cover?
- Can you ask for a quote based upon a detailed outline of what is needed?
A bait and switch price scheme entails luring customers into hiring them by offering a low price, only for them to later discover that the actual price for the desired item/service is significantly higher. This is a common scam in the sales of many products and services, but it has become more prevalent in the locksmith industry, with numerous advertisements for locksmith services on local websites accompanied by phony locksmith price guides. Consider the tips mentioned above to prevent from being scammed.
Don’t Become A Victim, Hire only Alpine Lock and Safe.
To protect yourself from these fraudulent entities, be cautious of such red flags and ensure you have a reliable locksmith contact number with you always. Hire someone that you can depend on upfront and at reasonable locksmith prices, like our Locksmith Avon. Our professional technicians will make your problems go away through our expertise at an affordable price. Call us now.