Locksmith Scam Warning
“I Googled ‘Locksmith.’ The first thing that I saw, it said $19, When the guy showed up 20 minutes later, he quoted me $165 plus the $19.”
The locksmith gave her a quote over the phone of $40 but when he arrived he charged her $140.
“A hundred dollars to open the car, that was not talked about over the phone! Not at all,”
Consumers who are locked out of their homes or cars can be at the mercy of unethical locksmiths who quote one price over the phone, then increase the price considerably once they arrive. These tactics have been typically reported about locksmith businesses that claim to be nearby, but are actually located miles – or even states – away.
I was in a hurry. I was tired. It was cold outside. I just wanted to go get in bed. I was actually shocked when they told me it’d be $120 versus $50.
- Look for identification. Legit locksmiths will show up in a marked vehicle and provide ID.
- Get an invoice. If you have to dispute any work later, you will have proof of what was done. Include parts, labor, mileage, service charges, as well as the business name and address.
- Always inquire about insurance. If anything is ruined during the repair, their insurance will cover losses.
- Pay with a credit card. It is going to be your best option, as most cards have built-in fraud protection.
Demand to See Identification:
All Alabama locksmiths are issued identification cards by the state license board (the AESBL)
The ID Card Looks like this
If you are dealing with someone who claims to be a locksmith – he or she should have, and be able to produce the above card. A licensed, legal, Alabama Locksmith will have no issue showing anyone their AESBL ID Card. In fact, it is required by law that locksmiths produce their ID Card when asked by any member of the public, or an official member of any law enforcement agency.
Ask for the price, the whole price, and nothing more?
There is an estimate, and then there is a quote. After that, there is a locksmith scam. It’s one thing to charge a “trip fee” but, charging over $100 bucks to unlock a car in most cases is pretty ridiculous. The way a lot of locksmith scams work, is there is advertiser, who charges the “locksmith” 50% or more to offer them a “lead” this results in the necessity to charge more to make more. If the scammer only charges you $50 he only makes $25.
So they offer you a low rate, such as $19 bucks for the “service call” then they might call and say no I can’t do it for that much it will be $125. Or perhaps they might just show on up, and tell you that your car is too new, or too old. It might even require special tools or methods which cost more for some reason. In the end, with a locksmith scam, they find a way to raise the price over $100. Unlock it For Me has never charged anyone over $100 to unlock a vehicle.