Beware of Locksmith Rip Offs

March 18, 2009

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers to beware of untrustworthy locksmith companies that are ripping off consumers.

Victim complaints to the BBB reveal that several locksmith companies, all using similar methods, are significantly overcharging consumers, charging consumers for unnecessary services, using intimidation tactics, and failing to give refunds or respond to consumer complaints.

We've found that some locksmiths have made, taking advantage of consumers' misfortune, part of their business model.

The BBB has identified locksmiths who pose as a local locksmith in cities across the country and advertise in the yellow pages using local phone numbers and fake local addresses. A consumer might think they're dealing with a local locksmith but their phone call is actually connected to a call center located in another part of the country.

Consumers are quoted a reasonable price over the phone but when the locksmith arrives - typically in an unmarked vehicle - he demands significantly more money than originally quoted, often only accepting cash.

TIPS to help protect you:

  • Shop around. Ask questions. Will the quoted fee cover just the service call or labor & parts?

  • Just a website or a real storefront? How long in business?

  • Get an itemized invoice.

  • Look for BBB membership.

  • Insured? Ask to see certificate of insurance.

  • References?

Locksmiths, by default, have access to your most private areas. They have access to your keys, your key codes, your safe combinations, your financial, your family, and your children's security.

VERIFY any company with the Better Business Bureau before you hire them.