Do you think a locksmith has overcharged you? Have they done work you are unhappy with? Do you feel ripped off?
If you’ve recently had work conducted by a locksmith that you’re not satisfied with and you wish to complain, here’s what to do.
For overcharging read our locksmith price list guide with estimated costs of locksmith jobs in the UK.
How to complain about a locksmith
This first thing you should know is that there is no government regulation in the locksmithing industry.
Important: No Government Regulation for Locksmiths
What does this mean?
No regulation means that anybody can:
- Call themselves a locksmith
- Trade as a locksmith
- Advertise as a locksmith
- Even train to be a locksmith, with no vetting at all ( the MLA runs background checks on those who attend our training courses )
- Buy locksmith tools
It also means there are no standard rates that locksmiths must charge.
Is the Locksmith an MLA Member or Not?
First, we need to know if the locksmith is a member of the Master Locksmiths Association or not.
✔ Check a Locksmith is MLA Approved
1. Complaining about Non MLA-Member Locksmith
As the MLA has no control over locksmiths that are not MLA Approved Locksmiths, and with the absence of government regulation within the industry, complaints about non-members can be more challenging.
Option 1 – Contact Citizens Advice Bureau CAB
Once you’ve made reasonable attempts to remedy the issue and the locksmith fails to comply, you can CAB for free legal advice.
Option 2 – Contact Trading Standards
If you cannot resolve the issue with the locksmith or your complaint is being ignored you may need to escalate your complaint to Trading Standards.
How to get a refund from the locksmith
For advice on getting a refund if you have been overcharged by a locksmith please see:
2. Complaining about an MLA Member:
Is the locksmith you wish to complain about a member of the Master Locksmiths Association?
If so, in the rare event that one of our vetted and inspected members carry out inadequate work, you can submit a complaint, in writing, to the MLA so we can investigate the complaint.
We ask that before making any complaint, you have made reasonable attempts to mediate with the locksmith in question initially.
Reasons For a Locksmith Complaint?
The most popular complaints in the industry are usually some of the below:
Locksmith has Overcharged me
Overcharging and locksmith prices is usually the number one complaint we hear about, such as the locksmith quoted a price for a job beforehand and then quoted me significantly more once the job was completed.
Final Price not matching Quote – Hugely Overcharged
Rogue locksmiths usually avoid disclosing the final price before the job has been done and don’t explain what the costs the quote actually cover.
Other times the quote will be much cheaper than the price on the final invoice leaving you with a larger bill than expected.
Always question what the price quoted covers, and what extras could be involved in the job.
Locksmith Price Checklist
Questions to ask the locksmith
Locksmith Price May Be Accurate – Here Is Why
A word of caution though; just because a locksmith has done a job for you quickly, it doesn’t mean that it’s worth less than quoted.
If a locksmith quotes you £80 to gain entry and they do so in a matter of a couple of minutes, you’re not paying for that couple of minutes.
What you are Paying For
You are paying for the years a locksmith has spent training, buying specialist tools and equipment, the vehicle to get to you, the insurances etc.
So if you’ve agreed a rate beforehand, just because they’ve done their job quicker than you’d thought, it’s no reason to then question the amount charged.
Examples of Customers Overcharged by Locksmiths
Below are examples of invoices of rogue locksmiths overcharging customers:
Example #1 – Charged over £700
A clear example of overcharging a customer can be seen below, who was charged over £700 for a locksmith to:
- Drill open a door
- Change the locks
- Fit a British standard lock with 3 keys.
What is wrong with the above invoice:
- Most locksmiths do not drill and will attempt non-destructive entry.
- If drilling is only option, why has the ‘locksmith’ charged £180?
- A British Standard Lock with 3 Keys does not cost £345 unless the lock is gold plated!
More Examples of Overcharging
Locksmith Has Damaged My Door/Lock
Another complaint is the damage a locksmith has done to either a lock or door.
Has the locksmith maybe drilled the lock? or maybe you are no longer able to shut your door properly?
Please note that despite Non-Destructive Entry being the first thing that a locksmith should attempt, there may be instances when locks need to be drilled.
The lock may be drilled if the lock is malfunctioning– however, when a lock is drilled the damage should be minimal and repaired by the locksmith.
See our locksmith hall of shame for more examples of rogue locksmiths damaging locks.
Locksmith Provided No Receipt
Another common reason for complaints is the locksmith didn’t provide a receipt for the job, despite numerous requests.
Prevent Being Overcharged by a Locksmith Again
Read our locksmith price checklist and make you have it handy when hiring a locksmith in the future.
Alternatively, using an MLA approved locksmith means your locksmith is vetted, inspected and is qualified.
Ourselves at Master Locksmiths Association HQ will investigate any pricing complaints we receive about our approved company locksmiths.
Summary on Overcharging by Locksmiths
The best advice we can give about being overcharged is making you use a locksmith approved by the Master Locksmiths Association.
Locksmiths approved by Master Locksmiths Association are Vetted, Inspected & Qualified