How to Avoid Cowboy Locksmiths
Lockdown has seen the emergence of a new kind of rogue trader – cowboy locksmiths. Promising quick fix jobs to families in their hour of need, these so-called tradesmen are then threatening to keep people locked out of their homes unless they pay an extortionate amount of money.
If you are locked out of your home or have been broken into, you will already be feeling worried and threatened, so the last thing you will need is the added concern of choosing a rogue locksmith. At the end of the day, a locksmith’s job is to improve your home security and provide the reassurance that you and your family are protected, so how can you avoid cowboy locksmiths?
Don’t just rely on paid ads
Searching online is generally the easiest way to find a tradesperson, but beware of clicking on those sites that only appear on paid ads, i.e. the first few ads at the top and bottom of each page of search that are clearly labelled ‘Ad’.
Whilst it is only normal for reputable local locksmiths to want to advertise to reach their target audience, the most trusted amongst them will also have visibility in organic search and through local map listings – so cross reference when you search to make sure you aren’t being scammed by a cowboy locksmith.
Many locksmiths might advertise to be found in your local area, but without being based there. Check their website to make sure they have a local address. No address, vague contact information or a lack of a landline phone number should ring alarm bells and you should avoid these locksmiths. You can rest assured, all the locksmiths registered with Find A Local Locksmith are local to your area.
Check out locksmith reviews
When you have found a locksmith online check out their reviews, not just the ones they have supplied via their website, but more importantly the ones they have collected via Find A Local Locksmith or another third party review service. This should give you a good indication of their experience and trustworthiness.
Beware of very low prices
If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! When a locksmith quotes you a ridiculously low price, or is very vague about what work they will be carrying out, then you should be wary of using them. As with most of the locksmiths registered with Find A Local Locksmith, they will endeavour to keep their prices low to make their services accessible to all, but they will also happily explain what’s involved in the job and quote you a price up front before agreeing to visit you. Read more about how to choose a reliable locksmith in this article.
If you are worried that you may have fallen victim to cowboy locksmiths you should report it to Action Fraud. You can also report the person to Citizens Advice or the Trading Standards Authority if you think they have sold you overpriced goods or services.
Contact our trusted local locksmiths
The best way to avoid a rogue tradesperson is to make sure you keep the details of a trusted locksmith to hand. Simply search the Find A Local Locksmith directory for a locksmith in your area, and save their number in your phone for future use!