Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Lookout

A few weeks ago we shared a link on our Facebook page to a show called The Lookout. It's a show that airs on ABC giving consumers a guide to products and services; while offering them tips on how to get what they are paying for.

The episode we shared was close to our hearts because it showed the world what locksmith "scammers", as we call them in the locksmith industry, were doing to hurt our businesses and the community.

When you're locked out it is usually a panic situation. You need to get in, but you can't, and you need to quickly. That is why you should have a locksmith already programed in your phone for these type of emergency situations. Maybe go and visit them so you feel comfortable with the company.  

If you didn't get a chance to watch the episode here is a summary and some key points we wanted to get across -

At the beginning of the investigation a certified locksmith installed the most simplistic deadbolt lock on the market. They then had a women call posing to be locked out. The "locksmith" came and the first troubling thing he did was not ask for ID. A locksmith should always ask for your identification.

There were 2 locks on the door. The consumer stated she didn't know which was locked. Before figuring that out or even trying to pick the lock he immediately started drilling it. He drilled both locks open (breaking the drill in one). This not only ruined both the deadbolts, it left her with no way to lock the door that night and forced her to buy a new set. All of this was unnecessary and cost her a lot more than what the company originally quoted.

The BEST part - even the host of the show picked the lock (with a few verbal tips from the professional locksmith). There was no reason to ruin the lock by drilling.

Locksmith scammers are hurting real locksmith companies because they flood the yellow pages and internet with addresses and phone numbers. Most of the time with an address that isn't theirs (it ends up being another company). They falsify the whereabouts of their company because they want the consumer to think they are close by and will be able to get to their house or car fast. The phone numbers actually go to a call center in another state. These call centers take calls for many company names, which is why they answer "locksmith" and not "Baldino's Lock and Key" or whatever their company name is.

Locksmiths who pull these scams also hurt the community by using bait and switch tactics on their customers. Quoting one price, and then finding bogus reasons to charge a much higher one. They make consumers not trust locksmith companies.

Please be aware and verify you are using a local, licensed, and trustworthy locksmith when it comes time for your next lockout emergency.