The locksmith industry is growing in the UK. It’s an industry that simply isn’t affected by financial downturns and other economic factors as, unfortunately; there will always be burglaries, vandalisms and crime.
So locksmith callout prices should be at an all time low, right? Wrong! as with any successful industry the amateurs and chancers will always come out of the woodwork and jump on the bandwagon to try to take their own cut of the industry, you only need to look at what happened in the web design industry a few years ago , another industry that flourished during the recession as companies turned to the internet to increase their profits and their customers base, this however lead to a large number of ‘have a go’ amateurs armed with web builder software flooding the market leaving many business with poorly built websites that did nothing to help their business. Now it’s the turn of the locksmith industry.
The locksmith industry is another of those unrelated industries, sure there are voluntary membership schemes but these are not compulsory which allows anyone to set up a locksmith business cheaply and easily.
Fully Trained Vs Amateur
A fully trained locksmith will have spent many months on physical training courses learning the tricks of the trade and will have been taught face to face by a fully qualified and time served locksmith, whereas an amateur will have either done a worthless 100% pass rate (you know the ones) online course or learnt the necessary skills by simply watching online videos.
A fully qualified locksmith will arrive at your home or business premises armed with are the correct tools for the job and in the case of a simple lockout will be able to gain access and open your door without doing any damage, in the trade this is called ‘non destructive entry’, but an untrained amateur will probably not have the correct tools for the job and will open your door in whatever way they can, which usually means damaging it. So basically you have just paid a guy to force his way into your home or business using a hammer, chisel and/or drill then been sold new parts to replace the ones he damaged, welcome to the amateur locksmith.
Professional and Amateur Locksmith Pricing
Pricing is a tricky one and it is not always straightforward to spot an amateur locksmith by pricing alone as many of them will browse the internet and match their prices to their professional counterparts.
You do need to beware of the under cutter, the locksmith that seems to be a lot cheaper than everyone else, this is because it’s sometimes the only way an amateur locksmith will get work, remember they’ll have no positive feedback online, they’ll have no referrals, not genuine ones anyway, so they prey on peoples need to save money, unfortunately with their hidden fees, the damage they do and the extra parts you need to buy from them, usually at ridiculously inflated prices, you actually end up spending a lot more that your would have spent using a professional locksmith .
A professional locksmith will usually offer no call out fees and simple bill you the time spent onsite and the parts needed, if any and a professional with generally be able to give you a pretty accurate estimate over the phone, simply because they know their industry and know how long certain jobs take, for example, a lockout will take no more that 1 hour even it new locks are required.
With any industry its a matter of common sense, if a locksmith turns up and says he doesn’t have that part and needs to go an get one it shouldn’t be on your time, this a well know scam in the industry and involves the locksmith stretching out a 1 hour job to 2, 3 or more hours.
Another scam used by the amateur rouges is the hidden fees scam in which they add items like fuel, evening rate, labour, call out fee etc to the quotation that they gave you over the phone to hike up the bill.
This article does show locksmiths is bad light but remember, there are professional, trustworthy locksmiths out there, you simply need to find them.
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