Securing the services of a legit locksmith (with related video)
Recent news reports have shown untrustworthy locksmiths are ripping off consumers across the United States. It has gotten to the point that a New England Better Business Bureau office has issued an online tipsheet called “Know the Keys to Finding a Trustworthy Locksmith.”
NBC’s “Today Show” recently demonstrated some of the ways shady locksmiths overcharge for emergency services. In a hidden camera investigation, NBC’s Jeff Rossen finds locksmiths who are taking advantage of locked-out customers by charging outrageous fees. See the video link below.
The Dallas-based Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) group provided Govpro with the following checklist that can help governments and consumers make the right decision when choosing a locksmith.
EMERGENCIES HAPPEN — DON’T WAIT
Safety. Security. Peace of Mind. Know before you go. Finding a qualified service provider is easy, with the right keys.
LOOK: Company advertising and identification containing the ALOA logo signals a qualified member.
CALL: Local qualified locksmiths bring a reliable familiarity with your area matched with strong community reputation, while national service providers offer well-known standards and service practices.
ASK: When contacting a locksmith, if the legal business name isn’t stated, ask for it. If there’s hesitation, there’s cause for concern. Hang up and move on.
VERIFY: Written estimates should be supplied before work begins, along with an itemized invoice upon completion.
CONFIRM: All service vehicles, vans and trucks should be clearly marked with the company name and identifying details.
CHECK: The locksmith should have a valid state locksmith license/registration (where applicable — visit www.aloa.org/legislation for the most up to date list)
SHOW: The qualified locksmith should always ask for the prospective customer’s proof of ID and authorization to begin work upon arrival, as well as supply his or her own professional identification and credentials.
REFUSE: If, for any reason, you’re uncomfortable, it is a customer’s right to refuse service.
The ALOA is an international professional organization of qualified security professionals engaged in consulting, sales, installation and maintenance of locks, keys, safes, premises security, access controls, alarms and other security-related endeavors.
Government facility managers and consumers can find locksmiths who are affiliated with the ALOA by searching this site or downloading the ALOA’s iPhone app on a smartphone.