Being locked out of your house or car can be a worrying and stressful time but you cant just call the first add that pops up in front of you when searching for a locksmith.
There are company's trading as locksmiths that a far from being trained or even qualified in the trade. These company will offer you the bait and switch scam.
First you will be quoted a fee of $45-$50 to open your door or car then after a few moments of trying to open your door they will inform you that you have a high security lock and it is harder then they thought and the only option will be to damage and replace the lock costing $200-$300.
At this point they will try to pressure you into paying the larger bill.
Below are a few tips to avoid hiring a fake locksmith.
1. Overseas call center.
If you call and there is a long delay or a odd dial tone you may have been transferred to an overseas call center. Always make sure you are calling someone based in Australia and if you are unsure ask questions.
2. Check their website.
Check to make sure it is a professional looking website with contact numbers and an address if available (some mobile locksmiths will not list an address.)
The will have operating hours listed.
3. Check that they hold current licences and qualification.
All locksmiths need to hold a trade certificate in locksmithing (unless they are an apprentice)
They must hold for example a current Victoria police advisers and installers licence.
Must have a current ABN to run a business in Australia.
They may also have a Working with children check.
Be able to provide public liability insurance.
4. Once they arrive on site
Any professional locksmith will arrive in a clearly marked locksmith vehicle.
Be wearing a locksmith uniform with company logos.
Be able to quote you before any work is even done Even in an after hours situation.
Will have company business cards available at request.
5. Always check your invoice.
Always check your invoice.
Make sure a company name is listed with phone numbers, website ,email.
A professional invoice will also include the ABN number.
Keeping the above in mind it is always safer to have a locksmith organised before you need one. Ask a friend for a locksmith they recommend. Or check Facebook for customer reviews.