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8 pairs of keys that are black and white

21 Feb

We’ve all done it…We’ve locked our keys in the car or locked ourselves out of the house. But, not all of us know how to choose a good locksmith.

But one must beware who to call when getting in such a bind. As 8 On Your Side discovered, making the wrong call can cost a fortune.

If you are like most folks who need a locksmith, you grab your phone and search for the cheapest option online. But those online prices can be very deceiving.

Several 8 News NOW viewers say they were ripped off by local locksmiths, some charging thousands of dollars just to change a lock.

To determine who’s legit and who’s just trying to rip off customers, 8 On Your Side went undercover to test various locksmiths in town.

They all were invited to repair a door lock, but it didn’t always work out well. The first guy broke the lock. The next one damaged the door. Another locksmith busted the door knob.

They all used screwdrivers and crowbars to bust open the door instead of simply picking the lock, even though 8 On Your Side each time hired trusted locksmith Robert Reyes of R&D Locksmith of Las Vegas to install easy pick locks that could have been opened with just a credit card.

8 On Your Side: “You know you weren’t picking the lock right … right?”

Locksmith: “Yeah, I know.”

Most of the locksmiths admitted they had no idea what they were doing or had little experience. One locksmith had only been on the job a month.

This is how one locksmith responded when asked about overcharging customers:

8 On Your Side: “Are you coming up with your own prices?”

Locksmith: “No, it is the company price.”

8 On Your Side: “But the prices are on the web.”

Locksmith: “Yeah it’s 35.”

8 On Your Side: “Actually it’s 19.”

Most of the locksmiths said they were doing as told.

Locksmith: “This is the company price, not my price.”

8 On Your Side: “Company price, not yours?”

Locksmith: “This is what my boss told me to do. I get paid per hour so I don’t care.”

Nearly a dozen locksmiths were called in on the sting operation. Two didn’t show up, and five that did busted the lock.

Only two guys honestly tried to pick the lock and charged 8 On Your Side as advertised.

So what are the keys to finding a good locksmith service?

The first thing consumers should do is ask to see the locksmith’s license. The license should have the locksmith’s picture and should have been issued by Metro Police. None of the individuals who participated in the sting had their picture license with them.

Consumers also should ask for the price before any work is done, and should get that cost in writing to guard against being overcharged. If the price isn’t right, consumers can always go with another company when their keys locked in.
The following Investigative News Report was brought to you by Channel 8 News


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