We know that protecting your family and valuables, whether at home or work, is extremely important. With 30 years experience providing locksmith services to companies and families alike, we have seen our share of “less than desirable” locksmiths taking advantage of people. To help you choose your next locksmith wisely, we have put together a list of things to consider before trusting a stranger with the safety of your loved one’s and valuables.
- Anyone can place an advertisement in the phone book or online, so be careful not to trust all sources. Verify that the locksmith has a physical address, or look up the locksmith online and search for complaints or reviews. Some good websites that list reviews and complaints online are Yelp and Angie’s List.
- According to the Pennsylvania’s Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, all advertisements must contain the locksmiths PA Contractor number. The absence of this number should be considered a red flag.
- Watch out for residential locksmiths advertising that they are recommended by local police. Always verify this fact with your local authorities
- Beware of “locksmith scammer’s”. Locksmith scammer’s are un-trained locksmiths that will typically list a toll free number as the main business contact number. When a call is placed to the toll free number, it is routed to a call center that is often located in another state. The call center will then dispatch a “locksmith” to your home and the service will be performed. Once complete, the homeowner is confronted with a bill higher than originally quoted. Since the locksmith is onsite, homeowners are usually stranded in a no-win situation and pay.
- If a locksmith shows up in a car or an unmarked van, ask them for their PA Contractor Number or their ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) number.
- Always get a quote. Always. Unless the project is an emergency, contractors are required by law to you a written estimate before the project begins. If changes are made to the project, the contractor is required to have them approved by you before any additional work begins.
In every situation, asking for a PA Contractor Number and an ALOA Number will only help protect you from harm or theft. If you do not see it ask why are they breaking the law and report them to the Attorney General’s office. If it is not an emergency get quotes and quote numbers from the vendor. Pennsylvania contractors, which includes local locksmiths, are required by law to give them to you in writing (click here for more information to find out what must be included in a home improvement contract) . If you make changes they are required to have you approve them before any additional work is done.
Since 1973, Great Valley Lockshop has been a local, Chester County Pennsylvania Locksmith providing honest, ethical and expert home and business security services. We hope these tips give you the insight you need when choosing a contractor for your next project.