Finding a reliable professional is not always easy. Sure, there are plenty of people out there advertising themselves as professionals. But not everyone that claims to be an expert actually is. Unfortunately, a lot of scammers and unqualified individuals are lurking in the world, waiting to take advantage of innocent victims in need of services. The internet has only made this problem much worse. It’s easy to create fake websites, advertisements, and business profiles to trick people into fraud. So how do you protect yourself from scams when choosing a locksmith to work on your property? Well, thankfully, it’s possible to find a reliable locksmith using these five tips:
1. Never Select a Locksmith From a Pop-Up Ad
Have you ever noticed the ads that pop up at the top of search results when you type in keywords such as “locksmiths near me” or “winter boots”? Those ads are called pay-per-click or PPC ads. Advertisers get these coveted positions at the top of search engines by placing a bid against competitors for a keyword. If they win, then they get their advertisement placed at the top of search results. Then they pay the search engine every time someone clicks on their ad.
But here’s the problem: search engines do not verify the legitimacy of advertisers. That means literally anybody could claim to be a locksmith online, making it easy for scammers to reach customers. That is why you should never select a locksmith based on a pop-up ad.
2. Read Reviews
While the internet has made it easier for scammers in some ways, it has made it easier to spot them in other ways. One of the best ways you can avoid a locksmith scam is by reading online reviews from your peers. Online reviews are (for the most part) honest opinions from other people that reflect how a company’s services are. If you see a lot of five-star reviews on places on websites like Google, Yelp, and Angi, then you’ve likely stumbled across a reliable locksmith. If most of the reviews are negative, then you should steer clear.
3. Ask Lots of Questions
A reliable locksmith should feel comfortable answering any questions you have about themselves and their services. Some common questions to ask a locksmith when you contact them are:
- Are you fully licensed, bonded, and insured?
- Do you have any testimonials I could read?
- How much do you usually charge for (insert service here)?
- Will there be any extra charges not mentioned in the estimate?
If your locksmith gets nervous, vague, or aggressive when you ask them multiple questions, be wary. You likely have contacted an unqualified or scam locksmith. Thank them for their time, then hang up and contact a different company.
4. Ask For Information In Writing
Scammers often quote a low price for a project at first. Then, when the work is “complete,” they charge an entirely different and outlandish price. You can ask for a quote in writing from a locksmith to ensure they will charge you the same or a similar price once the project is over.
5. Call More Than One Locksmith
When you’re looking for a reliable locksmith, you need to do your research on multiple companies. Don’t just go with one. That way, you can compare rates, service times, and even the attitudes of each potential locksmith. Go with your gut about which one felt right. If you’re feeling uncomfortable with a seemingly reputable locksmith, there is probably an underlying reason why you didn’t feel fully trusting. Trust yourself and your instincts.
Get a Reliable Locksmith in Houston Today!
Your home, business, and vehicle are all important properties. You would never trust just anyone to improve the security of your personal possessions, especially ones this precious to you. If you’re looking for a reliable locksmith in Houston, Texas, and surrounding areas, you can count on the team at ASAP Locksmith. Contact us today to learn more about our services!