At present, and unlike most other countries, the UK has no national regulation governing locksmiths – a situation industry organisations – notably the Master Locksmiths’ Association – are determined to change for the better.
That does take time, however, but you can follow these tips to make sure the locksmith you choose is a legitimate professional tradesperson.
Sadly, as with any other trade, there are many scams around and criminals purporting to be genuine locksmiths, and with the internet making it easy for them to portray themselves as legitimate businesses often by using claims and impressive logos to give them credibility to the consumer.
As with any other internet service, you need to be very careful and on your guard against the scammers and fakes.
Use a local locksmith where possible
Use a local business when you can (preferably one that is recommended by family, a friend or neighbour) so that you can easily check the address is real – Google Maps and Google Earth are useful here – and check if any logos they are displaying are genuine – for example, membership of the MLA, SBD (for products).
Avoid using national call centres to seek a locksmith because they may not have properly checked the credentials of the person they refer the job to, and you may be charged more for an inferior service.
As with all unknown callers, you should always ask locksmiths for ID and never allow anyone into your home unless you are sure they are who they claim to be. Some scammers will turn up on your doorstep and pretend to be the genuine locksmith to gain access, having infiltrated enquiries. The real locksmith then turns up later and ends up re-doing the job properly – so you pay twice!
Ask questions – how long have they been in business, can they provide real testimonials for you to follow up on, what training have they undertaken. MLA members should be able to produce an up to date card proving this. Arm yourself with some information and product knowledge (you can find all this on this website).
The MLA vets all its members carefully. Should you discover a locksmith claiming membership and you have any doubts, contact the MLA who will check whether or not this is genuine. If not, they will do their best to investigate, for example, if the membership is lapsed.
To find your local locksmith click here