Locksmiths are in demand. According to the Google keyword planner, there are nearly 50K monthly searches in the UK for the phase “locksmith near me”.
While this is encouraging for the legitimate locksmithing business, there is a legitimate concern with scams that are taking advantage of people who need this service.
Needing a 24-hour locksmith is rarely planned. When you need a locksmith it is often an emergency. Thus, you want to find a locksmith near you as fast as possible. Often, time is of the essence and that lowers your defenses, making you come to a hurried decision.
A deceptive act that was taking place in recent years, known as “the locksmith scam” preys on this chaotic decision making. The scam is set up so that people think they are choosing a locksmith that is local but isn’t.
This could lead to delays that aren’t caused because of traffic but for the reason that the locksmiths aren’t actually located where they said they are.
In some cases, the individuals on the other end of the line aren’t even locksmiths. Rather, they are call centers that are selling the leads of the people in need throughout London and the UK.
How Can a Locksmith Make You Belive He’s Near By?
The “locksmith near me” scam manipulates the location system on search engines, primarily Google.
The way this scam is done is by advertising a large number of false locations there are “located in” in google maps. This puts the results in many different locations on the map (pinpoints) and is usually stuffed with fake reviews.
This means, essentially that you do not know where the Locksmith is really coming from, or even who they really are.
Although Google has been taking drastic steps to eliminate this phenomenon, fake listings still do appear on the engine’s search results.
Worse than legitimate Locksmiths manipulating the system are call centers that do the same thing. These call centers are not Locksmiths at all. Rather, all these centers do is sell leads.
When this happens, if anyone even shows up, you have absolutely no idea who is showing up at your home or car, where you are already in a state of panic.
How to succeed in hiring a locksmith near you?
While it might not seem likely, there are, thankfully, many ways for you to succeed in choosing a good 24-hour local locksmith. Here are a few ways that you can test the person who picks up the phone to ensure you are dealing with a genuine local Locksmith:
Verify the Address
If you choose a locksmith near you from a pinpoint on google maps, the least you can do is to go to the locksmith website from that map listing and verify that the same address is displayed on the contact page in their website.
If the address is different, there’s no address in their contact page at all or there’s no website linked to the listing, avoid contacting this locksmith!
You can also verify the address of the business by calling the locksmith and asking for it. Once the Locksmith provides their address, check it against the search results. If it is not the same, question them about it. (After all, a legitimate local business will have no problem explaining the discrepancy, as they probably get the question frequently.)
Check the Reviews
Another good course of action will be further to go through the locksmith’s reviews.
If all reviewers have posted 1-2 reviews, there are no reviews from “local guides” or all reviews looks too good to be true, these are signs that might indicate you’d better stay away from getting in touch with the locksmith.
Know the Service You Need
A “full-service” locksmith might not always be available. After all, locksmithing is a skill that has a lot of different uses and disciplines.
Therefore, even a legitimate 24-hour locksmith simply might not offer the type of service you need at the time you need it. That is why you need to know what exactly is the work you require.
Here are some of the most common service needs that Locksmiths in London could provide you with:
- Lock opening – Open doors, locks or any locked device.
- Lock Fitting & Replacements.
- Lock repairs.
- Door Installation and Repairs.
- Safes Services (opening, replacement, repair)
- Burglary Repairs.
- Security Systems – Installation, Replacement, and Repairs.
Choose the service that suits you most and look for a 24-hour locksmith that provides exactly that.
Ask for the Full Legal Name of the Business
A legitimate local business is going to have a legitimate name.
The business should have no problem giving the name of their business, as even the full legal name is not a secret. They want you to know they are who they say they are.
Alternatively, a business with something to hide will likely give a generic name. If this happens or if the person on the phone hesitates to give you a name, you should probably call another locksmith.
Do Your Homework
Of course, it is difficult to do your due diligence when you are in an emergency situation. “Cowboy locksmiths” prey on this moment of weakness to take advantage.
However, if you remember these tips to finding a legitimate Locksmith near you, nothing should stop you from choosing a great locksmith service provider.
It is always best to be on your guard, regardless of who is coming to your aid.
By being smart and asking the right questions, you can have a quick, courteous, and successful experience with a local Locksmith.
Why Should You Choose a Local Locksmith
Now that you know how to stay on the safe side when you are searching for a 24-hour locksmith near you, here are the main reasons it is important to choose a local locksmith:
1. A Quick Solution: The first and most obvious reason you might need a local locksmith is to get a quick solution to your problem. If you are locked out of your home or car, even if there is nothing inherently dangerous about the situation, you want the control to be restored immediately. Therefore, getting a local locksmith to gain access to your property as quickly as possible is paramount.
2. Maintaining a Local Reputation is Key: Even if you live in a big city (like London), word of mouth can be far more valuable (and often more accurate) than online reviews. Therefore, if a locksmith does service a town, they are going to want to preserve their reputation locally. That means, they will do whatever they can, within reason, to help solve your problem.
3. Potentially Cost-Effective: Getting a local locksmith is potentially more cost-effective than using a locksmith from farther away. The reason for this is two-fold. The first is that if the business doesn’t need to travel far, the cost might be less for time and resources. The second is that, as a local business, owners tend to want to keep the people who are truly local happy. That means they might adjust their prices to make their business the obvious option for local residential and commercial clients.