In the past few years, locksmith scams have gone up — way up — thanks to out-of-town scammers who pose as legitimate locksmiths in your city. Tampa is no exception. Maybe you’ve seen some of the news stories on shady locksmiths, or heard about a friend’s bad experience. Everyone is being urged to do the research, find a trustworthy Tampa locksmith, and put the number into your phone now — before you lock yourself out of the car at 1am.
Haven’t gotten around to doing this yet? Let’s talk about what could go wrong if you hire a bad locksmith. Getting ripped off is a given, but that’s just the beginning. These are real and common risks of hiring a locksmith without first checking up on the company.
Risks of Hiring a Scammer
- Pay 3 to 5 times as much (or even more) for locksmith services. Not only do scammers use a bait and switch (low quote, high final price), they also sometimes do more work than necessary in order to charge you more, like drill a lock they could have picked. What should be a $45-$70 lockout service in Tampa can end up costing you $300+ if you pick a dishonest locksmith.
- Risk damage to your doors, locks, or windows from an inexperienced, untrained, or unequipped technician. Pop-A-Lock often gets called to repair damage done by other locksmiths, such as poorly installed hardware and damaged seals and locks.
- Have to pay for a legitimate locksmith to fix the damage. Add this to the inflated prices you’ve already been charged, and you’re facing a major total bill.
- Face intimidation or threats from shady locksmiths who use strong-arm tactics to get you to pay up. We’ve heard about locksmiths who arrived in tow trucks, unlocked the door, and threatened to tow the owner’s car unless he agreed to ridiculously high fees. These scammers take advantage of your anxiety and vulnerability when you’re locked out.
- Get ripped off with no way to get your money back. Dissatisfied customers often find that the company name and address turn out to be bogus and no one responds to their complaints. These companies aren’t interested in customer service; they’re just out to scam you.
- Have your keys copied and your house or car broken into. Unless you hire a locksmith with a good reputation and ALOA membership, you can’t make assumptions about the technicians it hires. Are they trained and uniformed? Do they undergo background checks? Are your keys safe in their hands? Not always.
And the hallmarks of a good locksmith? A well-established, locally owned and operated company with a strong reputation, ALOA membership, free 100% quotes, and highly trained, uniformed technicians. (And yes, Pop-A-Lock performs background checks on all technicians.) It’s not hard to avoid the bad apples if you take a little time now to do your research.
Getting locked out doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you’re in Tampa, put Pop-A-Lock’s number into your phone now: 813-226-0423.