Fraudulent auto locksmiths are on the rise. They might have a van and some tools, but they rarely live up to their word and they can cause all kinds of problems for you and your car. In this article, we talk about the risks of using a fake locksmith and give advice on how to spot a fake locksmith before it is too late.
What sort of problems can a fraudulent auto locksmith cause?
Since the locksmithing industry is not regulated by the government, unscrupulous locksmiths can charge what they want for their service, knowing that desperate people will pay it. Because they haven’t had the right training for the job, they can often damage your car while trying to access it.
How to identify an auto locksmith scam
While there are no fool proof ways to identify a fraudulent locksmith, there are certain questions you can ask that will narrow things down. Any reputable and dependable locksmith should be able to answer these questions instantly and directly, without hesitation.
Do they have a website?
Websites take time and money to set up and maintain, so a legitimate website with company branding, formal terms and conditions, and so on is a good indicator that your locksmith is genuine.
Do they have accreditations?
Since the locksmith industry is not formally regulated, anybody can trade as an auto locksmith. However, most reputable locksmiths are members of (and accredited by) the Master Locksmiths Association – our industry’s leading body.
Do they have online reviews on reputable review sites such as TrustPilot?
A great way to determine how good your locksmith is, is to check out their online reviews. Sites like TrustPilot and Checkatrade are always good places to start for independent testimonials from customers.
Do they have a branded vehicle?
We’re not saying a locksmith has to have a branded vehicle, but it would make us feel more confident if they did. Ideally, you should see the name and logo prominently displayed, along with a phone number and website address.
Are they willing to provide identification?
Since a locksmith will be attending you in an emergency and without prior contact, potentially in the middle of nowhere, you should expect them to show some identification to prove that they are who they say they are. Ideally, this will be a company ID card. If not, they should be willing to show you their driver’s licence.
Are they transparent about prices?
Any trustworthy, reliable auto locksmith should be able to provide a customer with a no-obligation quote for their services before they carry out any work. If your locksmith isn’t prepared to do so, do not let them near your car. Otherwise, there is a risk that once they “finish the job” they can charge you any amount if a price was not agreed beforehand.
Spotting fake locksmiths: final thoughts
We understand that if you need an emergency auto locksmith you don’t always have time to do your market research. Time is of the essence and you want to get back behind your wheel as quickly as possible. Fortunately, for customers in Rhondda Cynon Taff, finding an auto locksmith in the heat of the moment needn’t be stressful. If you need an auto locksmith service within 15 miles of Pontypridd, then Open Door Auto Ltd has you covered.
We have been trading since 2010 and our team of trained and qualified auto locksmiths have decades of relevant, hands-on experience between them. We have a reputation for being reliable and trustworthy, as you will see from any of our extensive online reviews. So keep our number in your phone for safety’s sake – it’s one less thing to worry about. Call us on 01443 799 000 or 07772 390 058 to get your free, no-obligation quote.