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Home > ADVICE AND TIPS (FAQS) > How to Spot a Rogue Locksmith – 3 Red Flags to Prevent Being Scammed
If you are looking to hire a locksmith there a some warnings signs you should be aware of before hiring a locksmith.
Our guide below will cover some major red flags to look out for when searching for a locksmith near you and prevent you from potential hiring a rogue locksmith.
The number one sign of a rogue locksmith is usually a very cheap advertised price at the top of search engines – the price we have seen is normally £39/£49 or £59.
A typical bait and switch rogue locksmith advert will likely consist of the following:
If a low price looks too good to be true then more often than not it will be!
The locksmith bait & switch price scheme is a major problem in the industry currently, resulting in customers being charged over £500 for a simple job such as a lock out.
What is Locksmith Bait & Switch scheme
Below is what a typical rogue locksmith bait and switch price advert looks like on Google:
The above rogue locksmith advert will draw in desperate customers with it’s cheap £39 price point.
Bait and Switch Price – The final price is highly unlikely to be £39, we have seen some customers ending up with bills over £500 for a quick lock out job where a cheap initial price was promoted on advertising material.
A genuine locksmith will have no problems with providing a rough price quote based on details you provide.
Locksmith Price Guide
Locksmith Call Out Charge Guide
This brings us onto the 2nd red flag to look out for, after clicking on their Google advert their website will sometimes make claims of 3rd party approval.
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One of the other most popular red flags to look out for when hiring a locksmith are false claims of being certified, accredited or incorrect claims of being DBS checked.
After clicking the Cheap £39 / £49 / £59 Google advert the website usually makes false claims.
We come across many false claims of MLA Approved Company status, which is why we recommend verifying your locksmith is a full Master Locksmiths approved company.
As the MLA logo is trademarked we can take action against incorrect use, false claims of being MLA approved is also against the consumer protection from unfair trading regulations.
How We Licence Master Locksmiths
A legitimate locksmith company with genuine 3rd party approval will gladly provide you with the details of their accreditation, most will link through to their 3rd party accreditation profile as proof.
Find a mla licensed locksmith
Another red flag is if the locksmith claims to be Police Recommended.
Genuine locksmiths may carry out locksmith jobs for the Police though, but they will not claim to be Police Approved or Police Recommended.
Are locksmiths Police approved or vetted?
An additional red flag to be aware of when calling a locksmith is the use of subcontractors, this is often a clear sign the locksmith is not local and indeed a nationwide company/call centre you are phoning, it will often be the case that subcontractor details are not known or shared and if this is the case please be wary.
Price questions to ask a locksmith
A genuine locksmith should be able to provide a quote for the job either over the phone or by email, as long as they know details about the job.
Read our locksmith price checklist below and don’t be afraid to ask for more information on pricing.
Locksmith price checklist
Always be wary if a locksmith immediately attempts to drill to open your door lock as they will normally try other, non-destructive methods first.
Sometimes drilling a lock is the only way to open it though.
A locksmith will normally only use a drill if the lock is broken beyond repair and or the lock will need replacing anyway (e.g. keys stolen)
Should a locksmith drill my lock?
The red flags to look out for when a hiring a locksmith are:
For advice on hiring a locksmith see our choosing a locksmith guide here.
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