How To Pick A Lock ... smith

No pun intended with the title.  Okay, maybe a little.

I am reading lots of articles about crooked locksmiths.  This problem has cropped up in recent years.  You need a locksmith, look in the phone book or do an Internet search, and a local phone number pops up.  And you think you are calling a local locksmith who miraculously can come right over.

What has happened instead is that you have been routed to a clearing house in another state that sends someone to your house who is not licensed and has no idea what he is doing.  And later your house is visited when you least expect it.  And with or without a key to your house.

The locksmith industry is alarmed by this trend.  And necessarily!

You have become easy pickings!

The locksmith industry thinks the solution to this is CONSUMER AWARENESS!

Can I cut through the clutter and list some things you can do to be more aware?  These are some things to look for when the locksmith shows up, in no particular order.  If you see some or all of these things, get another locksmith!

  • He shows up in an unmarked car - BIG RED FLAG.
  • There is a local phone number, but no local store locations.
  • He does not have the "right tools for your job."
  • The business has a generic, innocuous name:  Locksmith USA
  • There is only one, or maybe no, local store locations.
  • He demands cash payment.
  • The final bill is substantially more than was quoted over the phone.
  • He doesn't speak English.
  • The work is shoddy looking.
  • The final bill presented has a business title with an address in another state, or has a generic "INVOICE" with no address or phone number.
  • Instead of picking the lock, he recommends drilling out the old lock set and putting in a new one.

My locksmiths (I use two) have many store locations in many local cities.  I started bowling with a local locksmith in 1987 and have used him often ever since.  They both have excellent reputations and are licensed.  Not all states require licenses for their locksmiths.  Hopefully yours does. **

My recommendation:  Don't get taken for a ride.  And certainly DON'T put yourself in a position to get visited at a later date by someone who is not coming over to help you with your lock problems.  Do research and get a good guy to your house.  Not someone you will come to regret!  And good locks are another layer against the possibility of burglars getting into the house.  Pick a good lock and a good locksmith to install it.

**  Only 15 states require locksmith licensing:  Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Further, I have many thousands of blogs.  You can read this blog, and tap into the many others on that site, by clicking here.


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sonia (not verified) | Wed, 01/18/2012 - 07:02

A right and skilled locksmith is a friend in need. An unskilled and doubtful person is a danger to your property. Scammers are always around whenever you want to browse for them in the internet. It is a nice read.

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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!