Don’t Fall for the Locksmith Scam : Call the Austin Key Guy

In the last 8 years the locksmith industry has had to combat a real problem: The Locksmith Scam

It’s a simple bait and switch scam that costs the average customer 2 to 3 times as much money when compared to a legal, legitimate locksmith. The company will quote you $15 service call and tell you labor starts at $29 or something similar, this is a lie. Because every ‘locksmith’ these scammer companies employ gets paid a commission and will try to charge you as much as possible.

Most locksmith scam companies are Foreign owned and operated. The companies names are usually generic “24 Hour Locksmith” or “Emergency Locksmith” “1A 24/7 Locksmith” etc. however, the 3 largest scam locksmith companies in the US (who both operate in Austin, Tx) are Run Local Locksmith and Immediate Response Locksmith and Expert Locksmiths. All three of these companies are known nation-wide for scamming customers out of hundreds of dollars by charging $150-$200 for a simple car unlock and have been known to charge as much as $1000 for a car key.

If you call a locksmith and they do not give you a full price on the phone you need to cancel the service and hang up. There are no $15 and $19 locksmiths, locksmith scam companies take advantage of you when you’re locked out of your house or your car and then intimidate you to make as much money as possible. The receipts rarely have correct information on them and the companies will usually tell you the person who scammed you no longer works for them or something similar. Don’t give these guys a chance to steal your money. Here are 5 ways to avoid the locksmith scam:

1. Ask for the price BEFORE you give any information – If they won’t give you a direct answer or at very least a reasonable range hang up and call someone else (Like The Austin Key Guy :D)
2. Ask for their business name and address – If it doesn’t match the number or address you got online or the phone book hang up
3. Ask for the Texas DPS Private Security Bureau License: In Texas EVERY locksmith is issued a pocket card license and every business is registered with the State. No license, hang up.
4. Avoid Call Centers: The locksmith scam is always a call center model. They are out of state or out of the country so you never have much luck getting your money back. If you reach a call center, hang up and find someone local.
5. Know a local locksmith: Austin Key Guy, Anderson Mill Lock and Key, Cothron’s, Amazing Locksmith Service and Sharp’s are just a few of the legit locksmiths in town. Find out which one is closest to you and save the number to your phone. It could save you hundreds!

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