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Resolved
Run Local Locksmithdeceptive marketing practices, rude, unproffessional behavior from employees at all levels

This company advertises locksmith services for "Only $29" and service in 15 minutes. The technician took an hour to arrive and then informed my husband that $29 was the service charge and that "labor" would be additional. He insisted that the $29 was owed him just for showing up, regardless of whether or not he performed any services. $128 and 2 minutes later the locksmith smugly informed my stupified husband that he could have purchased the tool he'd used for $10 dollars himself and opened his own car!

I have attempted several times, unsuccessfully to communicate directly with the elusive "Juan" who is apparently a supervisor at the lockmith company. He is perpetually "out at the moment" or "busy" and the dispatchers who answer the phonelines are minimally helpful at best. There is no address listed anywhere so I cannot even file a complaint with the BBB and obviously they are not a member. Honestly, $30 is very low and I wouldn't be opposed to paying more for a locksmith. However, I value honesty and professionalism highly and this company falls dismally short in that regard.

Responses

  • Lo
    LockSmith67 Aug 28, 2011

    Here your guy...

    Meni Agababayev - Center Line, MI (Michigan) | [protected]
    www.manta.com/c/mwkxqzv/meni-agababayev - Cached

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    Richard James Dec 17, 2010

    The keys of my BMW got locked inside it accidently. I used the internet to find who can open its door without any damage. The first few calls to the service providers were either transferred to the automated voice recorders or were not responded at all, which I found quite strange. Run Local Locksmith not only took the call at 2 in night but also sent the expert automobile locksmith within next 25 minutes.

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    vitor_ben Dec 10, 2010

    As per my suggesion Run Local Locksmiths are best in there services. I had used there services and highly influenced by there performance. They are best in there work. I know Run Local Locksmith are best in there work, as i had self experienced it. Run Local Locksmith has a awesome services. I took services from them just a month back and it was the best services i could ever get. The team was so humble and wonderful in cooperation and the charges were exactly explained to us and the same are visible on the websites. They offer lock installation, lock repair, and installation of locks with pick-proof cylinders. They carry low, medium, and high security locks for all of your security neRun local locksmith residential services include; House lockouts, Install, repair or replace all locks, Re-key of all types of locks., High security locks installed, Key less entry locks installed, Cabinet locks, gun and file cabinets can be re keyed or changed, Safe combinations changed, Garage door locks can be re keyed or changed, Mailbox locks and keys installed or changed. They have great prices with great customer service and you benefit from there fantastic 15-minute response time, which is the time from which your call is received until the time that your locksmith is dispatched. They offer a 90-day guarantee on all of our work.Again I conclude by saying they are awesome in services offered Excellent Services !! Run Local Locksmith.

    0 Votes
  • Ha
    HarryPanther Dec 08, 2010

    We lost the only set of keys to our home and Run Local Locksmith came to the rescue right away, they understand the urgency and are way efficient in their work than any other Locksmith.
    Great work! thank you guys.

    0 Votes
  • Ha
    HarryPanther Dec 08, 2010

    I locked myself out of my house last night. I felt hopeless. There was nobody at home. Thankfully I had my cellphone with me. I rang up Run Local Locksmith and they were here in 10 minutes. The technician was well equipped and efficient. Moreover, charged me reasonably. Hopefully I won't be locking myself out again... but it's great to know Run Local Locksmith are there just in case!

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    LocksmithScamBuster Dec 07, 2010

    This scam outfit is NOT accredited by the BBB, and in fact has an "F" rating for every location nationwide. Check here: http://www.bbb.org/west-florida/business-reviews/locksmith-supply-stores/run-local-locksmith-in-plant-city-fl-90068396 (If the URL is missing, it's the BBB, use a search engine, then type in "run local locksmith" into THEIR search engine)

    They are also NOT members of ALOA, check here: http://www.findalocksmith.com/search.aspx (If the URL is missing, it's find a locksmith (dot) com - No spaces)

    They are part and parcel of the illegal foreign nationals running scams out of Florida, but advertising as "local" - Nearly ALL of the technicians are non-work visa'd individuals, and the parent company is under indictment in multiple states. $20 million dollars a year for these folks. See here: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS373US373&q=locksmith+scams (If the URL is missing, search any search engine for "locksmith scams")

    Check out the poor English in many of the posts FOR the business. Most of the people are foreign nationals who are NOT visa'd to work here. That $20 billion above? ALL shipped out of the country.

    About the original poster? As a locksmith, and a legitimate one, under NO circumstances should any Kwikset other than a SmartKey take longer than 10 minutes to pick, and that's for a noob or a non-proficient 'smith. The rest of us can do it in 2. While you'll ALWAYS pay a higher cost for hardware from a locksmith than from say, Home Depot, under no circumstances should it be anywhere near $110. The pick to open cost should have been minimal - In So Cal, the entire job would have come in under $100.

    How the scam works: A company in a different country (always the same one) sets up thousands of "local" phone numbers here, then mass registers them in Google Local and other search engines. When you call, you get an operator in New York or Florida, who has NO clue where you are, but dispatches a "technician" - The "technician again, is generally a non-work visa'd individual, usually here on a student visa. The parent company sets fake prices, shill prices, as lead-in's... $19 car unlocks, $29 service calls, etc. They tell the "technician" that they'll require XX of dollars for the service, ALWAYS a higher than normal price to begin with. Whatever the "technician" forces/intimidates you into paying on top of that is the ONLY money he makes. It is then incumbent on him to charge as much as possible under any pretense as possible so he gets some money/pay. The "technician" then splits out the company's "fee" - Gets a Money Order, and sends it to a collection address out of the country.

    Some of the "technicians" sell the key codes and key copies for homes to an lesser element for fast cash - Leaving you open to car theft (not reimbursable without a forced entry), and home invasions and robberies.

    If a technician demands far, FAR more than he quoted, call the police, while he's there. Do NOT let him intimidate you. If he knows you're calling the police, 9 times out of 10 he will leave, as he does not want to be found with burglary tools (picks and such) without a business or other license. Then call a REAL locksmith and get your place rekeyed, as the fake locksmith has your codes.

    Fake locksmiths are a very real, and very dangerous problem. Be proactive.

    0 Votes
  • Lawyer smith Dec 06, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    As a professional I would suggest you all that there is no such things for whome we sould worry. As this is the age of competition and there are lots of competitors in all fields. So if u read negative comments on Run Local Locksmith's, then dont worry, ignore it and try to call them when you are in need. There is no problem by giving them one chance. As we all have right to think, as we like. So use your brains & take decisions.

    0 Votes
  • Lawyer smith Dec 02, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I don't think that competitors of Run Local Locksmith will leave the bad comments bcaz they have to promote their own bussiness. As they know that Run Local Locksmith's had capture the market of Lock. So they use negative comments. But truth never fails, people will take decision itself abt run local locksmith. But I will to whole world that atleast try them once, may be u will be benifited from their work. As from my opinion they are best and do there work honestly. Thanks & Regards

    0 Votes
  • De
    Deborah Allen Nov 23, 2010

    What to say abt run local locksmith. They had save my life when i was locked in basement. They are the only persons who came as soon as possible. They had showed me there latest technology tools, which makes there work easy. They unlock my door and also repaired it again. They are very humble. Very cooperative and very intelligent too. I am very much sorry for them bcaz people talk rough abt them and my experience was opposite to the complaints. They are good and thats my opinion.

    0 Votes
  • Pam Singh Nov 12, 2010

    Why all you are panic so much. Sometimes it happened with all. We always go with some mis-understandings. Sometimes we had bad experience also. That does not mean that you all people make panic and blame to them. If they work for your safty, they must charged you the amount, and u must pay to them. We had also a good experience with these guys. As they had opened my store room with was locked from inside. They worked for 30 min and finally opened the door. So I don't think that there is any means of panic. They are here for our help, not for blaming.

    0 Votes
  • Lawyer smith Nov 12, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Me seriously not agry with all ur reports. As for my concern I had very good experience with them. As I was locked in my house, I just called them by searching there no. from website. They came in 30 min which was ok for me. As they came, they politely talked and soon opened my door with there latest equipments. They charged me $29. I given them there money happily, as that was a big thing for me. So I wonder how u all had bad experience with them. May be some of u had met with some another guy who was no so humble. All boys are not of same nature. I think $29 was a good deal with them.
    Regards
    Smith Lawyer

    0 Votes
  • Aaron Rodgerss Nov 11, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    U all are right. They carry locks for all of our security needs. They charge a $19 service fee for every customer visit they make. The total cost of our job will depend on the services rendered as labor plus materials purchased along with the $19 service call. They have great prices with great customer service and you benefit from there fantastic 15-minute response time, which is the time from which your call is received until the time that your locksmith is dispatched. Run Local has been providing innovative security solutions for schools, hospitals, hotels, condominiums and a host of other commercial companies. Today, Run Local is at the forefront of cutting-edge technology such as biometrics and high security locks. Providing a wide range of products, styles and finishes, Run Local can install what you need. In addition, they stand behind every lock we install with some of the best after-sales service in the business. They offer a 6 month warranty on new locks.

    0 Votes
  • Shirley Hall Nov 10, 2010

    I seriously do not have a clue about why everyone is criticizing the services of run Local locksmith . I took services from them just a week back and it was the best services I could ever get. The team was so humble and wonderful in cooperation and the charges levied were exactly explained to us and the same are visible on the website.

    Best Services are offered by them presently I have even given there reference to some of my friends living in here are one of them called me saying that the team is too good in delivering services and very efficient and knowledgeable in the area of expertise.

    I am really really happy . I hope if you people take there help now probably it would be best . Try them once [protected]

    0 Votes
  • Roxy Rosy Nov 09, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    They have best services to offer. I have checked they are acclaimed by BBB accredited business and also in list of llinois dept of financial and professional regulation License section. They are professional licensed, bonded and insured! They offer lock installation, lock repair, and installation of locks with pick-proof cylinders. They carry low, medium, and high security locks for all of your security rerun local locksmith residential services include; House lockouts, Install, repair or replace all locks, Re-key of all types of locks., High security locks installed, Key less entry locks installed, Cabinet locks, gun and file cabinets can be re keyed or changed, Safe combinations changed, Garage door locks can be re keyed or changed, Mailbox locks and keys installed or changed. Whether you are a domestic or commercial customer, they have a perfect locksmith solution for you. They are proud to drive our costs down to serve you more efficiently.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    Richard Collins Nov 09, 2010

    They carry locks for all of our security needs. They charge a $19 service fee for every customer visit they make. The total cost of our job will depend on the services rendered as labor plus materials purchased along with the $19 service call. They have great prices with great customer service and you benefit from there fantastic 15-minute response time, which is the time from which your call is received until the time that your locksmith is dispatched. Run Local has been providing innovative security solutions for schools, hospitals, hotels, condominiums and a host of other commercial companies. Today, Run Local is at the forefront of cutting-edge technology such as biometrics and high security locks. Providing a wide range of products, styles and finishes, Run Local can install what you need. In addition, they stand behind every lock we install with some of the best after-sales service in the business. They offer a 6 month warranty on new locks.

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    James Canada Nov 08, 2010

    Run local locksmith offers a complete and comprehensive array of security solutions for all types of businesses; whether it is an entire corporate offices building or a small store front, they do it all.
    We customers know they rest assure while they take care of our business security offering reliable service at extremely competitive Rates. Run local locksmith technicians arrive to any job well equipped with the latest modern technology to service customers at the most efficient and professional way. Run local locksmith provides fast, efficient and affordable quality industrial service. They provide industrial door locks and door hardware installation. Their company handles repairs, and security solutions for businesses, institutional buildings, warehouses, condos, office buildings, hotels and motels, restaurants and other institutions with door hardware from the leading lock manufacturers in the market. Run Local Locksmith's fast, friendly, dependable professional technicians will provide you with the most professional service for affordable price.

    0 Votes
  • Shirley Hall Nov 08, 2010

    Run local locksmith technicians are highly trained and driving a fully equipped locksmith vehicle and ready to meet the needs of any job at our home. Whether we have lockout situation, need to change locks or re-key our locks. Once we call Run local locksmith, there professional locksmith will arrive our home with the fastest response time, and he will explain the newest types of locks to us and make recommendations based on our unique needs-customer satisfaction guarantee! At Run local locksmith they offer high-security products for our home using the most advanced technology at affordable prices. Run Local can help us make a great first impression, starting at the front door and continuing throughout the house, while offering the best security a homeowner can buy. Call them today for all your residential locksmith needs. I hope if you people take there help now probably it would be best.

    0 Votes
  • De
    Deborah Allen Nov 03, 2010

    To spread rumors is not good. They have clearly mentioned in there website http://www.run-local-locksmith.com/ that the charges $19 are service charges of technician going to someone's place then other charges are based on the services and type of Installation. I seriously do not have a clue about why everyone is criticizing the services of run Local locksmith . They are good in services and there technicians are very well experienced. If money is not much concern and you are looking for great services, professional services they are apt to serve you then. As per my suggesion Run Local Locksmiths are best in there services. The team was so humble and wonderful in cooperation and the charges were exactly explained to us and the same are visible on the websites. Whether you are a domestic or commercial customer, they have a perfect locksmith solution for you. Whether you are a domestic or commercial customer, they have a perfect locksmith solution for you. They are proud to drive our costs down to serve you more efficiently.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    Richard Collins Nov 03, 2010

    There technicians are highly trained and driving a fully equipped locksmith vehicle and ready to meet the needs of any job at your home. Whether you have lockout situation, need to change locks or re key your locks; Once you call Run local locksmith,  there professional locksmith will arrive your home with the fastest response time, and he will explain the newest types of locks to you and make recommendations based on your unique needs-customer satisfaction guarantee! At Run local locksmith they offer high-security products for your home using the most advanced technology at affordable prices. Call them today for all your residential locksmith needs. Homeowners, more and more, are using door hardware to make a quality statement about their home. Run Local can help you make a great first impression, starting at the front door and continuing throughout the house, while offering the best security a homeowner can buy. If you’ve just purchased a new house then you don’t know how many keys are out there. Don’t trust your property to the previous owner’s lock sets. Perhaps a babysitter, maintenance person or almost anyone could have the keys to your new home.

    1 Votes
  • Ri
    Richard Collins Nov 02, 2010

    Excellent Services !! Run Local Locksmith .I agree with the services offered by Run local locksmith are great and worth the amount spend . They offer a variety of services at reasonable cost with a lot of efficiency and in specified time. They offer Lock installation, lock repair, and installation of all types of locks. They carry locks for all of your security needs. They charge a $19 service fee for every customer visit they make. The total cost of your job will depend on the services rendered as labor plus materials purchased along with the $19 service call. They have great prices with great customer service and you benefit from there fantastic 15-minute response time, which is the time from which your call is received until the time that your locksmith is dispatched. They offer a 90-day guarantee on all of our work. They have clearly mentioned in there website http://www.run-local-locksmith.com/ that the charges $19 are service charges of technician going to someone's place then other charges are based on the services and type of Installation. Now these charges as you said are too high are generally levied by any locksmith company. This is a reasonable and normal cost in keeping this consideration that the services are too great.

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    James Canada Nov 02, 2010

    You are right Richard Collins, Deborah Allen and Johanna Taylor.
    I have taken services from them they are good and efficient in services. Run Local Locksmith are good in delivering the services on the specified time and in reasonable cost.Best Services are offered by them presently I have even given there reference to some of my friends living in here are one of them called me saying that the team is too good in delivering services and very efficient and knowledgeable in the area of expertise. I am really really happy . I hope if you people take there help now probably it would be best .

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    James Canada Nov 01, 2010

    Mr Fred, I seriously feel that it's really wrong on your part to put such negative comments which are entirely baseless and without any concrete facts. To spread rumors is not good.They have clearly mentioned in there website http://www.run-local-locksmith.com/ that the charges $19 are service charges of technician going to someone's place then other charges are based on the services and type of Installation. Now these charges as you said are too high are generally levied by any locksmith company. This is a reasonable and normal cost in keeping this consideration that the services are too great.I hope Mr. Fred that you will again take there services some day and appreciate there technicians some day. Run local Locksmith has awesome services to offer for all!!!

    1 Votes
  • John. A. Simmer Oct 28, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Only $15 Locksmith Company - There  24×7 x 365 day locksmith services meet all your lockout and security service needs. All the rates are affordable and considerably lower than our competitors. Whether you are a domestic or commercial customer, they have a perfect locksmith solution for you. They are proud to drive our costs down to serve you more efficiently.

    0 Votes
  • Roxy Rosy Oct 28, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Run local locksmith residential services include;  House lockouts, Install, repair or replace all locks, Re-key of all types of locks., High security locks installed, Key less entry locks installed, Cabinet locks, gun and file cabinets can be re keyed or changed, Safe combinations changed, Garage door locks can be re keyed or changed, Mailbox locks and keys installed or changed.

    0 Votes
  • Aaron Rodgerss Oct 28, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    They are professional locksmiths are licensed, bonded and insured!

    They offer lock installation, lock repair, and installation of locks with pick-proof cylinders. They carry low, medium, and high security locks for all of your security needs. They charge a $15 service fee for every customer visit we make.

    The total cost of your job will depend on the services rendered as labor plus materials purchased along with the $15 service call. Come and enjoy our great prices and great customer service when you benefit from our fantastic 15-minute response time, which is the time from which your call is received until the time that your service technician is dispatched and don’t forget about our 90-day guarantee on all of our work.

    1 Votes
  • Johanna Taylor Oct 28, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Run local locksmith provides a complete residential locksmith services. There technicians are highly trained and driving a fully equipped locksmith vehicle and ready to meet the needs of any job at your home. Whether you have lockout situation, need to change locks or re key your locks.

    Once you call Run local locksmith, there professional locksmith will arrive your home with the fastest response time, and he will explain the newest types of locks to you and make recommendations based on your unique needs-customer satisfaction guarantee!

    At Run local locksmith they offer high-security products for your home using the most advanced technology at affordable prices. Call them today for all your residential locksmith needs. Homeowners, more and more, are using door hardware to make a quality statement about their home.

    Run Local can help you make a great first impression, starting at the front door and continuing throughout the house, while offering the best security a homeowner can buy. If you’ve just purchased a new house then you don’t know how many keys are out there. Don’t trust your property to the previous owner’s lock sets. Perhaps a babysitter, maintenance person or almost anyone could have the keys to your new home.

    1 Votes
  • Johanna Taylor Oct 22, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am sure that you have had a real bad experience but just to share my experience as it was really good to hire services of Run Local Locksmiths technicians.
    I went off locking the door inside out by mistake as the new technology door of high security, I called one of the local artisans and they said we can not give this services as this technology is not with us .
    I placed two guards on the door that night and tried another artisans they replied in the same manner. I called Run Local Locksmith as they operate 24hours*7nights and even on holidays. I called them at night around 12am and the technicians was available at my place in 15mins he checked the door and replaced the lock in 25mins with the high proficiency and effectiveness.

    I was so happy and delighted with the services that the charge of $450 seemed too reasonable to me. I believe when it comes to services no one can be as good as them . The company and the technicians are wonderful at there work.

    0 Votes
  • Roxy Rosy Oct 05, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    What a copy paste .

    I disgaree with you completely


    All this seems to me a crap and made up stories . I have personally called them and taken up the services from them it's all fake and some unfaithful stories that you are making. Probably fo once you may have come across the bad service due to one of the technicians but generalizing it on whole of the company is not that good. Every Individual has particular attitude . Its just that . When I took the services from them 3 years back they were wonderful and now they are awesome in delivering the best of the services of the world. The technicians are very well groomed and very well trained for the services being offered

    0 Votes
  • Fr
    fred Feb 18, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    You said it He was stupified. What is amazing is how stupid one can be giving a scammer exactly what they ask for. File a complaint with the Attorney General.

    By the way there is no JUAN there It is a code name so the dispatchers know to just blow you right off.

    Stupified HA HA hA HA

    0 Votes
  • Le
    Lee Jan 18, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    HOW TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST LOCKSMITH SCAMS
    Below are links to various news outlets, consumer protection agencies and state Attorney General offices addressing the issue of locksmith scams. The story is familiar in many states: an out-of-state company hires a number of unscrupulous individuals in the area to sub-contract its work using assumed business names, fake addresses and phone numbers. Many times consumers have been over-sold, under serviced, or just plain lied to!

    The Illinois Attorney General filed criminal charges against a New York locksmith operation for setting up phony storefronts with unlicensed individuals practicing locksmithing that lead consumers to believe they were dealing with local companies. The action was successful, and the company was ordered to pay thousands in restitution, to cease operations and to no longer do business in the state under a new name or any of the 25 different names the company had been using in local telephone directories!
    ALOA encourages locksmiths who are facing this same situation to go to their state's Attorney General who can take the appropriate legal action against these fraudulent companies. ALOA recently sent a letter to all Attorneys General urging them to pursue this matter in their state.
    For further assistance, contact ALOA Legislative Manager, Tim McMullen at [protected] x300 or [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Le
    Lee Jan 18, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Federal Trade Commission Protecting America's ConsumersSkip to Main Content


    Privacy PolicyContact UsAdvanced SearchEn EspañolHome
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    Technical AssistanceForeign AuthoritiesCooperation AgreementsConsumer ProtectionCompetitionAbout Intl. AffairsFTC Consumer AlertPDF FormatEmailThe Keys to Hiring a Reputable Locksmith
    If you’ve ever locked yourself out of your car or home, you know what a hassle it can be. Your first thought is to get someone to help you out of your situation. If a family member or friend can’t deliver a spare set of keys, your next call might be to a local locksmith. But before you make that call, consider this: According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, some locksmiths advertising in your local telephone book may not be local at all. They may not have professional training. What’s more, some of them may use intimidating tactics and overcharge you.

    When “Local” Is Really Long-Distance
    Consider this scenario: A company far away from your town chooses a name for its business that is very similar to the name used by a local locksmith. The company advertises in the phone book or on the Web using a local telephone number and local address. When you call the number, you’re actually connected to a call center in another city. What’s more, there’s no locksmith shop at the address listed.

    You may be quoted a price on the phone, but when the locksmith arrives, often in an unmarked vehicle, he may want significantly more money. The locksmith also may accept only cash.

    Some who claim to be “local locksmith” companies have multiple listings (sometimes 30 or more separate listings in a single phone book) with different names. But the calls to each of these numbers go back to the same central number in a distant city where operators dispatch untrained individuals to do the job.

    Tips for Picking a Locksmith
    What’s the best way to pick a reputable locksmith? Consider researching locksmiths before you need one, the same way you would a plumber, electrician, or other professional. That works well if you’re looking to have some security work done at your home, like installing deadbolts on the exterior doors of your house, or a safe in your bedroom.
    But if you’re dealing with an emergency, like being locked out of your car, you really don’t have much time for thorough research.
    Regardless of whether you are locked out of your car or home, you need new locks installed, or you require other security work, the FTC offers these tips to help you hire a legitimate, local locksmith.

    In emergency situations:

    If you’re locked out of your car and have a roadside assistance service, call them first. These services sometimes are included with the purchase of a car, or as an add-on through your insurance company. You also can buy this service separately. Roadside assistance plans often have a list of pre-approved companies to perform services like unlocking cars, jump-starting batteries, changing flat tires, delivering gasoline, and towing.
    Call family or friends for recommendations.
    If you find a locksmith in the phone book, on the Internet, or through directory assistance, and a business address is given, confirm that the address belongs to that locksmith. Some disreputable companies list street addresses to give the impression that they’re local. But the addresses may belong to other businesses or vacant lots, if they exist at all. You can verify addresses through websites that allow you to match phone numbers with street addresses. Some legitimate locksmith companies may not include a street address in their listing either because they operate a “mobile” business or they operate their business out of their home and may be reluctant to list that address. If you call a locksmith who doesn’t list an address, ask why. If the answer is that it's a “mobile” business, you will understand they have no storefront.
    Write down the names of several businesses, their phone numbers, and addresses for future reference, in case you don’t want to go with the first locksmith you call.
    If a company answers the phone with a generic phrase like “locksmith services, ” rather than a company-specific name, be wary. Ask for the legal name of the business. If the person refuses, call another locksmith.
    Get an estimate for all work and replacement parts from the locksmith before work begins. In cases of “lock-outs” (being locked out of your car or home), most legitimate locksmiths will give you an estimate on the phone for the total cost of the work.
    Ask about additional fees before you agree to have the locksmith perform the work. Companies may charge extra for responding to a call in the middle of the night. Ask if there is a charge for mileage, or a minimum fee for a service call.
    If the price the locksmith provides when he arrives doesn’t jibe with the estimate you got on the telephone, do not allow the work to be done.
    Never sign a blank form authorizing work.
    Find out if the locksmith is insured. If your property is damaged during a repair, or if faulty work leads to loss or damage, it’s important for the locksmith to have insurance to cover your losses.
    When the locksmith arrives, ask for identification, including a business card and, where applicable, a locksmith license. Nine states require locksmiths to be licensed: Alabama, California, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. In addition to a business card, check to see if the invoice includes the company’s name, and whether the locksmith’s vehicle has a name that matches the business card, invoice, and/or bill.
    Expect the locksmith to ask you for identification, as well. A legitimate locksmith should confirm your identity and make sure you’re the property owner before doing any work.
    Some locksmiths will work out of a car for quick or emergency jobs, but most will arrive in a service vehicle that is clearly marked with their company’s name.
    In the case of a lock-out, be cautious if you’re told up front that the lock has to be drilled and replaced. An experienced legitimate locksmith has invested in the tools and education to provide quality service, and can unlock almost any door.
    After the work is completed, get an itemized invoice that covers parts, labor, mileage, and the price of the service call.
    In situations where you have more time, check out locksmiths with your state Attorney General (www.naag.org), local consumer protection agency (www.consumeraction.gov), and the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) to make sure there are no unresolved complaints on file. (You can get the phone numbers for these organizations in your phone book, through directory assistance, or through Web directories.) This is true whether you need a locksmith for a one-time job, or you want to hire someone to work for you on a continuing basis. You must be able to trust your locksmith. You don’t want to give access to the locks for your home, car, or place of business to just anyone.
    In Case There’s a Next Time
    Once you’ve found a reputable locksmith, keep the company’s name and contact information in your wallet and address book at home or at work. You also may want to program this information into your home and cell phones. This can save you time and trouble the next time you need these services.

    For More Information
    If you have a problem with a locksmith, try to resolve the dispute with the company first. Make sure you act quickly. Some companies may not accept responsibility if you fail to complain within a certain time. If you can’t get satisfaction, consider contacting your local consumer protection agency for information and assistance.

    You also can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Although the FTC does not intervene in individual disputes, the information you provide may indicate a pattern of possible law violations requiring action by the Commission. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP [protected]); TTY: [protected]. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

    The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP [protected]); TTY: [protected]. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.


    February 2008

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