Locksmith Scams And How To Avoid Them

So, you stepped out of the apartment at 7AM to grab the paper and the door slammed shut behind you. Immediately you realize you don’t have your keys – you’re just thankful you decided to put on pants before making your quick excursion to the hallway! But then it hits you, what now? If you’re anything like me, I’m dreading the idea of dealing with a locksmith more than I’m dreading my neighbor walking out on his way to work and finding me in my PJs.

Locksmiths normally fall into the same category as Used Car Salesmen, Moving Companies, and (for me personally) Dentists – all people you would rather never need to talk to, a necessary evil. Sorry if you are one, I don’t mean to offend! Anyway, you’ve probably heard locksmith horror stories: a locksmith shows up, gives you a quote, does the job, and then jacks up the price at the end!

However, fear not. You may think there’s no such thing as an honest locksmith, but I promise there are. I actually work with them every day, plus I know how psychologically and emotionally frustrating it is to find a good locksmith. With that, I want to share my tips, tricks and indicators for “picking” (ha, that’s a pun) out the scammers.

I want to preface this list with a piece of advice: take everything I say with a grain of salt. Nothing in life is a certainty. There will be exceptions to these rules. But, you’re locked out, so you might as well keep reading! You’ve got nothing but time on your hands!

Signs you may want to call a different locksmith:

  1. The “company name” you find online is just a broad geographic area
    Many “locksmith companies” are not locksmith companies at all. They are call centers that get a request for a locksmith and immediately sub-contract the job out to a local locksmith. These conglomerate locksmith companies are looking to cover as much geographic area as they can because they can subcontract out 100% of their work. If you see company names such as “Reliable San Diego Locksmiths” or “Best San Diego Locksmiths”, consider it a red flag.
  2. When they pick up the phone, they try to avoid mentioning a real company name.
    When you call any normal business, the person on the line usually leads off with their name and company. When I don’t hear a company name but instead, “Hello, locksmith”, when they pick up the phone, it’s a red flag for me that I may be dealing with a locksmith conglomerate. Because these call centers are subcontracting out to dozens or hundreds of locksmiths, they never want to say a company name. Things could get messy if you call a locksmith conglomerate back, expecting to get routed to the first company you spoke with, but end up getting a completely different one.
  3. Getting transferred multiple times in one phone call.
    These locksmith call centers need to route your call to a locksmith based on your zip code, so you end up getting transferred around until you reach the person that is in charge of outsourcing in your area. Maybe some legitimate locksmiths need to transfer you once, but if they transfer your call much more than one or two times, that’s another red flag.

Why you want to avoid these:

There are a few reasons you want to avoid these situations. The first is that these key4usandiego make money by taking a cut from the locksmiths that are really doing the work. Most locksmith companies are small operations with a few people, a truck, and maybe a storefront. They don’t have the same resources as a conglomerate to make them easy to find on the internet. And, in a lockout emergency, people normally pick the first result that pops up on Google.

Also, locksmith key4usandiego may set prices for common locksmith activities like: keys broken in locks, drilling a lock, new lock installation, etc. so they know how much they will make per job. The locksmith that comes to your door knows these prices, and has a set amount they are responsible for paying to the conglomerate. If they think they can get you to pay more than the normal rate, they will upcharge you and pocket the difference. It could be because they are dishonest, but not all the time. Remember, the conglomerate will take a huge portion and commission of what you end up paying the locksmith.

Home Security Concerns as Homes Get Smarter and Smarter

You would think that in a world full of smart door locks, apps, and security solutions, your home or office will be entirely burglar-proof. The truth is that today we have plenty of options among keyless entry systems, biometrics, keypads, and conventional locks.

On the other hand, all those inclined to follow technology and ready to appreciate any new app and the merits of relying on convenient and friendly to the homeowner systems, they fall into the trap of believing in flawless designs and systems. That’s not true either.

The truth lies somewhere in the middle. We don’t need to turn our back to technology but neither getting too enthusiastic about it before it becomes mainstream. We don’t need to settle with old security techniques and conventional deadbolt installation either. It’s good to be open to new technology, but also take baby steps and always remember that our home security is neither a game nor an arena for experiments.

Watch what you post on social media

One simple mistake is advertising where you live, when you go away, and when you plan to get back from your vacation on social media. Such means are not related to your home security directly. But indirectly, they can bring things upside-down. When you post messages on social media, you need to remember that you don’t confide to your best friend. These are messages that can be seen by many people, even if they are private. So, think twice before telling – in great details, often – when you are flying for your summer vacation.

Are smart door locks a good choice for you?

When you decide to get smart door locks, you need to consider this. A standard deadbolt is not exactly “dumb”. And then, not all smart locks are the same or for all homes and people. They are definitely tempting. The convenience of using the smartphone to lock or unlock the house door is often enough to make people go buy a smart lock.

Let’s pause here. Nobody can deny the convenience of smart locks. You can tap on your phone to unlock, save temporary codes, check the history of movements and also the status of the lock, and guess what: you’ll never need a locksmith for lockout service. And there’s more. In an event of an emergency, you can remotely unlock the door for your child or parents.

The drawbacks are not plenty but they have to do with the lock installation or the system and brand you choose. Or the fear of losing the smartphone or being hacked. Don’t forget that smart door locks can still be picked. And today there’s also the fear of cyber-attacks.

Smart homes may also be vulnerable

smart door locksThe Internet of Things has become a tempting solution for a good number of households that opted for a smart home. Suddenly, they discovered the convenience of pressing a button or two to have the garage door closed, the lights turned on, the oven working, and the doors locked. All is swell apart from one thing.

Many families were not prepared for such high-tech systems and smart apps. And then, such systems may not be entirely trustworthy – and that’s a main consideration when it comes to your high security door locks. Will the front door be locked automatically at nine? Or will the system unlock the door due to a conflict? And will you notice it? And don’t forget about the endless messages sent from one device to the next, the potential mistakes or human errors, or even the possible hacking. You wouldn’t want others to know the code of your smart high security lock. Would you?

Who said you need to hurry to try out everything new at once without giving such systems a chance to become a tried-and-tested security measure? Burglaries are not a new invention. The crime stats are high nowadays – no doubt. And all such high-tech systems come out for our own benefit. But how about if we would trust door locks generations and generations trusted and take small steps toward the new technology instead of jumping all in?