Our next stop in the Locksmith Spotlight series takes us to the state of Massachusetts, specifically the city of Randolph. One thing that pops out right away about The Flying Locksmiths is the amount of time that their operation has been in service. The business has been family owned and operated for 68 years extremely impressive for the locksmith industry. They now cover the entire state of Massachusetts with mobile locksmith services. The first thing that we should do when inspecting whether The Locksmiths is a good company for your service, is to of course check with the Better Business Bureau. The Locksmiths currently have an outstanding rating with the Better Business Bureau of an A+. The BBB says that this rating is based on the fact that there have been no formal complaints filed against the business, the company has been in business so long and the BBB feels it has sufficient information about the company. This right away makes The Locksmiths seem like an amazing choice for your locksmith service.
We will still continue on to research more about what The Locksmiths have to offer to the state of Massachusetts. Offering automotive, commercial and residential services, the Locksmiths have a set price for many common locksmith services that would be completed. Some of the services they offer set pricing for are re-keys, simple brass keys and lock installation. While those labor charges are standard the final price does vary depending on your exact location. The company states this directly on their website so customer know beforehand, showing no signs of being a bait and switch company.
The Locksmiths website also states that all of their technicians are members of the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), which reassures customers that the technician that will be serving them will be completing their job correctly. This can be especially reassuring for commercial clients who are looking to have a locksmith company upgrade their security. While the Locksmiths do offer their commercial clients 24 hour emergency support their daily business hours are only 9AM-5PM, which is great if you will be scheduling a service, but not in case of an emergency.
One thing that is interesting about the Locksmiths is that they do not tout any type of unlocking service this in addition to the fact that they are not open 24 hours makes them a slightly less desirable source, since lock outs are why a lot of customers call locksmiths. However the amount of professionalism and knowledgeable information that The Locksmiths provide would make them a highly desirable choice for anyone looking for a non-emergency commercial or residential locksmith service.
With both the website and BBB page of The Locksmiths passing our eye test with flying colors, we will just take a short look at some of the ratings that The Locksmiths have received. The first stop to check is Yelp where they currently have a rating of about three stars. However, once you read the reviews, it lets you know that the locksmith company is trying to do right by its customers as best they can. In any review that this company has received there has been a response, from the company attempting to explain pricing or even just to apologize. With a mobile service such as this type it is expected that they may not be on time 100%, but the important part is to look at what type of effort the company is putting forth.
Overall The Locksmith Directory rates The Locksmiths as recommended for use, with a letter grading of B+. The only aspect that is holding back The Locksmiths from an A grading would be the lack of residential and automotive emergency services. Normally a locksmith who you are programming into your phone, you will want to have available 24/7, in case you have locked yourself out of your car on a weekend or at night. However The Locksmiths are a perfect choice for commercial services in Massachusetts since it may be easier for a business to schedule around their nine to five schedule.
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The first locksmith company that we are going to focus on is Run Local Locksmith. They have been accused for years of classic bait and switch tactics as well as shady practices on the part of their “professional” technicians. Run Local has been the focus of multiple investigations and the revelations of their bait and switch tactics are not very new, but we will still take a look at the company due to the sheer size with which it grew until its own shady practices brought it back down to earth.
The first thing consumers should do before purchasing any service from any company is to check what information the Better Business Bureau has on the company. A simple search of run Local Locksmith on the Better Business Bureau’s website reveals that the company is actually no longer accredited by the BBB. If you were looking at them as a perspective customer, no accreditation from the BBB should tell you to avoid that company at all costs. You can see on Run Local’s BBB page that as of two years ago they claim to have been revising their company policies but there are also still 65 complaints they have not responded to from paying customers. A good way to judge the actions of a business is through their responses to complaints to the BBB, especially in the locksmith industry. Knowing that a company will respond to their customers and work with them after they have had their service completed can give you a peace of mind that you can go to them with any questions.
A quick search on Yelp as reveals a large amount of negative reviews for Run Local Locksmith. Their one Michigan location alone had 12 reviews, which were all negative and describing the same type of actions. User Kalaida H said,
on the site they say basic lock out services start at $35 but the guy who came to my home charged me $165
While user Luisa A said,
Advertised $15 service charge & unlocking the car $35. Ended up charging $158
The large problem is that people only go to look for their locksmith once they absolutely need them. this puts customers at a distinctly vulnerable position because they feel like they need to have the first guy come out and pay him whatever he asks. By reading reviews and doing research well before hand you can save yourself a large amount of head as well as a few hundred dollars. Obviously anyone who is looking at the reviews for Run Local Locksmith would never choose them for service, it is when you are really in need that they can take advantage of you.
A little more research about Run Local Locksmith uncovers another way that these bait and switch locksmiths try to cover their tracks. Yelp is very effective in removing fake reviews, however other sites are not so effective, for examplehas a local listing for Run Local Locksmith with 9 reviews, and those nine reviews average 4.6 of 5 stars. This site tells a much different story than that of Yelp, one review by user Savannah A. said,
looking at their consistent customer service. They have always been first choice when it comes to choosing locksmith service.
Which is obviously much different than what we had seen on the Better Business Bureau page and Yelp reviews, scroll down two reviews and we see something odd, a different user, this time Mark. B, is a complete copy and paste job of the review given by Savannah A.
I recently purchased a new shopping complex. I wanted to rekey all the doors of my shopping complex. I approached Run Local Locksmith looking at their consistent customer service. They have always been first choice when it comes to choosing locksmith service. The team of Run Local Locksmith arrived on time with their sophisticated toolkit in a van. They were smart, intelligent and knowledgeable enough to give me certain options which were best for my pocket along with good security. Without wasting much time they set out to work and finished it within stipulated time. I was so impressed. Inspite of such a clean service they were a way cheaper than any other local locksmiths. Apart from the hardware cost they did not charge a penny extra. I am appeased having called them for help.
Most fake reviews normally just sound as if they were worded weirdly or have been posted by a user that has reviewed no other businesses, however seeing a company that just copy and pastes its own fake reviews only shows the true disregard that Run Local Locksmith had for their customers.
The blatantness with which Run Local Locksmith was trying to scam customers was egregious and it has thankfully been put to the stop, it only goes to show that bait and switch schemes can only last so long before destroying themselves. Avoid bait and switch by asking our five essential questions.
The Locksmith Directory
This first post will just be a short summary of what you will see here from Locksmith Directory. Not only will readers have access to directory listings of locksmiths in their areas, but we will be providing break downs and examples of how locksmiths are scamming customers. In addition Locksmith Directory will be sharing helpful information and tools that let you find the locksmith company that can best serve you. In the mean time feel free to read more about what this locksmith directory will be about. To start we have compiled a list of five questions to ask a locksmith company when you are thinking about choosing them as your service provider.
When one comes across locksmith247service.com while navigating for a locksmith it seems like exactly the type of local resource you would want. The home page yields a clean easy to read list of states which you can click on to reveal “local” locksmiths. The first state which I chose to click on was Massachusetts and the results were extremely disappointing. Any one familiar with locksmiths can see right away that the list of locksmiths on this website is sketchy to say the least. With names that all include phrases like “24/7″, “My Local Locksmiths”, and “ASAP” in combination with the names of cities in Massachusetts this so called “finder” seems like an all in one lead generator for a company.
Upon Closer Inspection…
Could it be possible that these are all legitimate business listings? Sure, let us pretend so. One of the listings in the state of Massachusetts is ASAP Locksmith Watertown MA. When we Google map search the address that is suppose to be associated with ASAP Locksmith Watertown MA we find that 26 Mt. Auburn St. in Watertown is actually occupied by Diamond Nails, not the mobile locksmith company which claims there to be. Fake addresses have been a huge issue in the locksmith industry and this website which gives the impression that it provides local locksmiths is only feeding unknowing customers into the grips of large scam companies. Customers can always easily avoid scam companies by using discretion and reliable resources like the Better Business Bureau to make sure that they are only dealing with real professionals.
The internet is wild west of the business world right now with regulators and enforces always a step behind these criminals in their new ways to fool customers. You could search nearly endlessly connecting the dots of these local locksmiths which all promote online, with a series of matching phone numbers and web addresses. On example from locksmith finders .com is the phone number for ASAP Locksmith Watertown MA when it is search on a simple Google search you can find that the phone number not only appears on nbut also many local legitimate business directories in addition to numerous other fake “local” directories. A fake local directory is a website like here the website displays multiple names and numbers for different locksmiths, but in the end the phone call all go to the same place.
It is clear that ask the appropriate questions when calling a locksmith and even if your state foes not require it, ask the technician who arrives for a license. If he does not have a license, choose a different company and do not pay. Always remember that you are the customer and should be treated as one. Until locksmiths and locksmith lead companies like can curb their deceptive ways customers will need to be vigilant and The Locksmith Directory will continue to expose those companies who do use deceptive tactics.is a scam website and should be avoided. luckily for some people looking for locksmiths they have yet to list an of the fake numbers in those states yet. Hopefully some sort of action can be taken to track down and shut down these website which only lead to the rip off of customers and to the destruction of perfectly legitimate local and national businesses. Not all locksmiths are going to try to rip customers off and not all national locksmiths companies should be avoid, but customers need to use their common sense when dealing with a mobile service company. Remember to
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Being prepared is the most important step to prevent you from becoming a victim of a locksmith scam. Nearly all of the stories you hear about people being ripped off by locksmiths are caused because the customer had no previous information about the company and they used shifty tactics to take those customers for a ride. When you are contacting a locksmith to decide if you want to save them on your phone make sure that you ask these ten essential questions. It will allow you to understand the pricing as well as service availability within your area.
1. Are all of your services available 24/7?
Most mobile locksmith companies now claim that they are 24 hour companies that can offer their services to customers around the clock. An important question to ask is whether they offer all of their services 24/7, or only lockouts. This is because many times there are technicians working overnight who do not have the experience or training that normal business owners technicians may have. The overnight technician may be able to open your door, but can he provide you with a new vehicle key if you have lost yours? This is also important if you are choosing a one man locksmith operation, is he going to be able to help you at two in the morning? Does he have cover when he is on vacation or not in the area.
2. Are there different charges for overnight and day time services?
A locksmith may be offering a cheap flat rate for lockout service, but that could only be for during business hours. In some locations additional charges of up to $100 can be seen for services that are completed overnight versus during the daytime.
3. If you are available for overnight service, do you use subcontractors?
The use of subcontractors is more likely to occur for companies that are larger than your average one town locksmith company. The reason you will want to ask this is because subcontractors may attempt to charge more than a normal employee would since he is responsible for his own gas and insurance. Of course if a company does have a subcontractor available that does mean that you can receive service and does not necessarily mean you will be overcharged.
4. What are your estimated wait times?
Most companies will feed you a line that they can be on scene in 15 minutes, while it is possible for some companies to do this in some areas, there is zero chance that you will receive a 15 minute response time at three AM, unless of course, your locksmith lives next door. Ask how long you could expect service in the middle of night and during the day, if they give you honest times for both, it is just another reason to trust that company.
5. What are your final prices?
This is the big one. Locksmith companies will use a various ways of displaying their price to make customers think that the service is cheaper than it is. One of the most infamous ways is that when a company displays a price list, all of the price are listed as “starting as” and then have no limit to what the charge could possibly be. In addition to this companies do not even have explanations for why these prices may vary. So when you call your locksmith to do research ask how much the total cost would be to unlock your home both at night and during the day. If the company you are calling does not oblige by your request for an exact price, you have a huge red flag that this company is not to be trusted. Do the same for the replacement of your vehicle key or unlocking your car door. If you do not have the time to talk with a representative on the phone, drop an e-mail to the company and they should respond with answers to your questions.
If you can run all of these questions by a locksmith company without any red flags raising in your mind, the company you are calling can definitely be trusted to complete service for you without being ripped off. There are plenty of other questions you can and should ask a locksmith company for your specific locksmith service, but these questions will help you get a good idea of how the company works.