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The Problem with Choosing a Cheap London Locksmith Who Ends Up Charging The Earth!

Cheap Locksmith London

Do you really think the cheapest locksmith is best when it comes to security?

As an experienced locksmith in North London I can tell you that if you do choose “seemingly” rock bottom prices you will probably end up paying through the roof.

I know this because as a locksmith I get calls every week from someone who has been ripped of by a locksmith advertising as charging £59. This advertising strap line and call patter gets so many people hook line and sinker!

Average Price for a Locksmith

A realistic low price for a London locksmith to come out for a basic job is £70 +vat. If anyone is claiming to charge less, you could find yourself with a hefty final bill!

This is a sensible price that allows a locksmith to cover overheads. Anything less suggests they are on the make!

For the UK’s leading Locksmith Associations Guide to Locksmith Prices click here.

You can read more about locksmith prices in this post “How Much Does a Locksmith Cost“. You will notice many comments at the bottom of this post where people have shared their experiences of getting ripped off and detailed exactly what calling a cheap locksmith cost them.

This is the most recent example from February 2020.

Overcharged by a locksmith

As an experienced MLA approved locksmith I can confirm that it is day light robbery which is not what you want following a burglary!

Notice the call out charge added. At IKS Locksmiths when we quote, we do not charge extra for call out! The price we quote is a fixed price for work completed. Always ask for a total fixed price.

Locksmith Call Out Charges

Locksmiths should not add a call out charge to the final bill!

The price quoted on the phone should give the customer a very good estimate of the final price.  You can read more about call out charges here.

what does no call out charge mean?

Find out more about getting quotes from locksmiths in this post. It is important to know the right questions to ask to avoid getting ripped off by a dishonest locksmith.

If a locksmith doesn’t ask anything about the job so they can give an accurate estimate then beware!

Choosing a Cheap Locksmith in London

This is what happens time and time again;

  • The customer calls around for quotes (not knowing to be careful of Google Ads)
  • The customer is duped on the phone
  • The locksmith arrives and claims lots more charges need to be added
  • The customer is intimidated into paying
  • The customer calls me to say should I have paid that much and please can you come and fix my lock because it’s not working or should I have paid this much I’m scared they may come back?

It’s not just the money, it’s also the fear for safety that becomes an issue.

No matter how much awareness is raised people are getting caught out all the time.

I can assure you that you will by no means get the best locksmith in London for £59. In fact you are more likely to get the worst.

Here is an example a ripped off customer shared with me. 

Dodgy Locksmith Invoice

Why are Dodgy Locksmiths Able to Get Away with It?

The government are not regulating the industry and that is a serious problem for consumers and genuine locksmiths alike. Did you know that Locksmiths can legally deal with your security without even a DBS check.

DBS check

People overcharged by Locksmiths either don’t report it to Trading Standards or Trading Standards are not doing anything about it.

I am a High Barnet based Locksmith and I am very aware significant dodgy locksmith tactics being used in Barnet. I hear from customers regularly about dodgy locksmiths ripping vulnerable people off. It’s very frustrating to know they can get away with it.

Dodgy locksmiths have even continued to get away with ripping people off for years despite being featured on BBCs Rogue Traders.

Matt Allwright BBC Rogue Traders

I’m afraid there are many dishonest locksmiths in North London that I have become aware of through customers misfortunes. I had an Emergency Locksmith call in Highgate just last week where I was called to fix a shoddy lock repair done by another locksmith. The customer was devastated after being well and truly ripped off.

Rogue locksmiths are taking business from genuine approved locksmiths by hooking people in with the promise of rock bottom locksmith prices that just aren’t realistic.

Realistic Locksmith Prices

If a locksmith is charging £49 to come and repair a lock it is unrealistic and alarm bells should be ringing!

Alarm
Image courtesy of Martin Abegglen

As a mobile locksmith we have low overheads as we don’t have a high street store. We operate from an industrial unit and have vans on the road. So our prices are as highly competitive. I can tell you that if I were to charge £59 for a lock change, I would not even cover my overheads. You can read more about how locksmiths justify prices here.

It’s just not realistic for a locksmith (especially with a retail premises) to have a commercially viable business when charging £49 or £59.

Read here to find out more about the real cost of an emergency locksmith.

Cheap London Locksmith Tricks

These are common tricks used by dishonest locksmiths to be aware of;

  • Spending heavily on Google AdWords advertising to appear at the top of the page.
  • Use an eye-catching strap line with a Cheap Price that sounds like the answer to all your problems.
  • Quoting low prices and super fast arrival times on the phone.
  • Once they have a foot in the door it’s time to recoup the advertising spend by charging through the roof!

I know from trying Google Adwords when I first started out that the advertising spend for emergency locksmiths in London is extremely high in excess of £10 per click depending on the keyword. It’s so high because locksmith competition in London is extremely tough.

There are so many locksmiths using underhand tactics and they even click each other’s budgets away!

Notice here the Google Places listing says Ad beside it. Beware of choosing these over organic lisitings.

Locksmith Barnet

Large numbers of reviews with a mix of 5 stars and 1 stars are suspicious. You will find some good examples of fake google reviews if you look at the top Google Ads listings for locksmiths.

That’s what happens when an industry as important as security is unregulated by the government. Anyone can do anything and get away with it. I see it all the time.

For every job a locksmith gets through Google Adwords they have probably paid for around 4 clicks which didn’t mount to anything.

Does it sound likely that a locksmith spending in the region of £40 per job on advertising would charge you £59 to fix your lock?

Top Tip:  Scroll down to the Organic Google Results. Also check that the locksmith is approved and CRB checked and check the reviews!

How to Avoid Spending Unnecessary Money on a London Locksmith

As a starting point you may was to read about how to avoid calling a locksmith at all. If this doesn’t work then I strongly advise calling your local MLA approved locksmith for a fixed quote.

Read more here about how to choose a good and trustworthy locksmith.

If you are looking for a genuinely good value Locksmith in High Barnet who is experienced, reliable and approved give us a call.

Main Image Courtesy of katemangostar

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