Professionals vs. Amateurs vs. Scammers
When it comes to locksmith services, it can be difficult to determine who is the real deal. In more recent years, almost anyone could take a weeklong course and begin advertising their services as a Calgary locksmith. However, when you consider the value of your home, car, or any other property you need secured, it becomes apparent that you would want to hire a highly-trained and trustworthy professional locksmith.
An amateur locksmith may be able to handle some basic unlocks, but not repair the problem properly or have the proper licensing that insures against damage caused to the lock or your home/car. A scammer is much worse—they will pick the lock, then demand a ludicrous amount of money to finish the job.
It is not that these locksmiths are necessarily more expensive either. Oftentimes, the scammers will advertise themselves as a “$35 locksmith” before performing one part of the service, and then claiming the second part of the job requires another several hundred dollars to complete. Although some people realize they have been “had” and call in a reputable locksmith to finish the job, many simply give in to the demands of the scammer because they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. After the “locksmith” has removed or changed their lock, what else can they do? This is particularly true in emergency night-time situations, where they may feel especially helpless.
This is why we have written a guide to help warn vulnerable consumers, as scammer locksmiths in Calgary have risen over the past few years. These scammer locksmiths have gone into the “business,” because people who have been locked out are often very vulnerable. They will show up, jack up the price they originally quoted, then bully people into paying them. At Quick Lockworks, we want to help people avoid this and hire only reputable Calgary locksmiths. After 30 years of experience working as a prison guard, SECURITY has come to mean something to us: Safety for your home, business, and loved ones. With this in mind, we have put together a helpful list on how to choose a trustworthy locksmith in Calgary.
How to Tell the Difference Between a Real Locksmith and Amateurs or Scammers
1. Does the locksmith company have a name?
If they drive up in a small, unmarked car, with no uniforms, invoices, or even a business card to provide you, it is highly likely that they are scammers. This way, you have no way of reporting them to the police, BBB, or even contesting any charges on your credit card, because you won’t be able to link them to a name. Ask any Calgary locksmith company what their business name is as soon as you call.
2. Will they show you their professional licensing or accreditation?
It is an extremely lengthy process to get your professional locksmith license, so many amateur locksmiths these days will not bother to go through the proper steps and qualifications to get it. If you are suspicious that the locksmith who shows up at your door is not qualified, ask to see his licence. If they object or argue, you can be almost certain that he is NOT licensed. A practicing Calgary locksmith who is licensed will carry his/her proof of accreditation at all times, and will have absolutely no problem showing it to you!
3. Are they willing to provide you with a fixed written quote?
This is an obvious, but important. In an emergency situation, don’t hire a Calgary locksmith who refuses to provide an estimate. Even better, ensure you have it in writing prior to any services being performed. You may be in a rush, but what is a few more minutes of time to ensure you won’t be scammed out of several hundred dollars? A reputable Calgary locksmith will be happy to do so—remember, you are the customer!
4. How much does the locksmith company charge?
We have said it once before, but we will say it again: there is no such thing as a $35 locksmith. Even 30 years ago, this would have been unlikely for a Calgary locksmith to charge. On average, the typical unlocking service in Calgary will start around $65, so a low-ball price is likely a scammer or amateur who will upsell you once they arrive, or in the middle of the repair process.
5. Does the locksmith company have a web presence?
These days, it is much easier to verify that a company truly exists. However, we may forget to do due diligence when we are in the middle of a locked-out situation. Be sure to look them up and see if they have a website, social media pages, or if they are listed on BBB. While you’re at it, look for reviews or testimonials that can help you determine if they are truly a real (and trustworthy) Calgary locksmith.
6. Do you get a bad feeling about them?
This is the least technical piece of advice on our list but a very useful one nevertheless. Our gut feeling can help in situations where the service may require technical knowledge, so we are unfamiliar with the actual labour and costs involved with the service. When asking them questions (such as the ones listed above), do you get a bad feeling? Are they being elusive, acting in a way that belittles you (as if they are the experts here and you couldn’t possibly know anything about locksmithing), or acting suspiciously in general? Protect yourself! Don’t feel as though you must give in to this person, because you will surely regret it if they end up swindling you out of several hundred dollars. It’s your prerogative to send them away and call another Calgary locksmith who will prove they are a real business and provide you with a written estimate.
Trustworthy Calgary Locksmiths
The bottom line is that hiring a good locksmith in Calgary will give you peace of mind and save you money. Your property, and its contents, are very valuable. It is unfortunate that some people go into the locksmithing industry to take advantage of people in vulnerable situations, but with a little bit of research you can protect yourself! Ensure that you aren’t just handing the keys over to someone who is taking advantage of your situation.
Quick Lockworks is professionally licensed (and we’re happy to prove it!), BBB-accredited, and at your service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our Calgary locksmith technicians have not only been a part of the business for generations, but also a part of the family. If you are in need of a trustworthy and reliable Calgary locksmith who will get the job done right, at the right price, give us a call today!