Andrew McColley, of Andrews Lock and Key in Mesa Arizona put his foot down after being called by a consumer asking for advice. The locksmith industry is plagued by con artists posing a professionals and Andrew had enough, and took action. Expecting to find an undocumented foreign national as typically found, he finds a young America kid named TY, who for the best I can tell at first glance is naive about someone who he believes is his "boss" instead of con artists or those involved in the criminal network of scammer dirt bags.
Sadly, we are seeing more and more young under informed and employment desperate Americans being seduced into these unethical flim flams. They may not understand the bigger picture, they may have been instructed that this is normal or they may know and thus deserve exposure. I can only think that anyone finding out that they are being used in a con job scam, that they would take a step back and spill the beans on those who they call "the boss".
The locksmith industry is hungry to find a young employable work force, so it is not impossible to walk away from the dirt bags and ask guys like Andy for a job. At least you would be trained properly and have a bona-fide career path. One big question at hand is, how is it that the bad guys are able to recruit these kids and the locksmith industry cannot?
As I stated early on maybe TY is naive and doing what he has been instructed to do by someone he believes is his boss. Maybe he doesn't know any better, maybe he actually believes this is how business is done, or maybe he is not as naive as he acts. The invoice was a screen capture from the video showing 24/7 locksmith at 866-777-1429. However a Google search results in only one reference to this number and it is an investigative report - http://www.thelocksmithpolice.com/precisionlocksandsafes.com.html. In this report we see the same shirt logo that TY is wearing.
Analyzing this video we hear that the consumer was quoted $43 over the phone. The invoice indicates a $14.99 service call & a labor charge of $29.99 which equals $44.98. Close enough! But what is the $244.99 charge for? It lists the Year/Make/Model, the color, the license plate, tools used, vehicle running, and a high security latch? What exactly is a "high security latch" on a Ford Focus? So is the consumer being charged for a "description" of the situation?
Source: YELP ustomer Reviews - http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/24-7-complete-locksmith-service-tempe
Look closely! Those mysterious High Security Latches seem to be everywhere!
Young TY likes to point out that the consumer "signed" the generic invoice. There was no company name, and Ty would not identify his company so there is no "contract" with a ghost! But let's clear the air so the consumer understands how professionals perform such services when it comes to signing an invoice. Below you will see a common invoice that provides for two signatures by the customer.
The fist signature (#1) is the Authorization For Services, which basically means you are representing yourself as a person having the authority to hire the locksmith to perform a task. If you mislead the locksmiths then you are committing fraud. It is at this point that the professional locksmiths will ask for your identification and record that information on the document. The second signature (#2) is where the customer would sign off on the completed job, indicating a satisfactory completion. This example does not include those words but as I mentioned, others have customized versions. If not found, either the locksmith should write it or the customer should decline signing it if they feel there is a problem.
That is how it Works!
Much like trade unions who choose to strike or those who assert their right to protest and stand up for what they believe is right, Andrew McColley of Andrews Lock & Key said enough was enough and had the chutzpah to do something about it. Something the majority of locksmiths and other locksmith associations only talk about. He confronted the issue head on and that is how it works!
A word of advice to others like young TY, if you don't want to be exposed for what you are doing, then it is time for you to make choices. You can visit a professional locksmith and seek out advice and embark upon a career path with integrity or find yourself confronted, and possibly the next YouTube star.
For Additional consumer advice, click the following links -
Consumer Lockout Response & Service
To Pick, Bypass or Drill a Lock?
So was TY a bad boy? You decide. Add your comments below
Pruchase professional business forms from Professional Business Products 800-355-6322 or visit www.pbp2000.com
"This is profession does not tolerate indecent thoughts. If the ancestors allowed you to follow this line of work, you must acquire passion for it along with strong integrity" Ngyuen Long
This is a great presentation that many can appreciate. From humble beginnings, this locksmith has learned a profession in which honesty, passion and integrity are expected. His willingness and desire to find a "pupil" to pass on his skills is admirable, yet disheartening. Does this sound familiar?
In the simplicity of this five minute video, Ngyuen Long sums up what every professional understands....being a locksmith is not a joke.
Share your comments below!
Barry Campbell, with Altic Lock Service, of Indianapolis, shows the crowd what the inside of a door latch locks like and explained how they are used. He also brought a Door Devil, which helps keep the door from being kicked in, to show the audience.
Barry is the Director of Operations for the Society of Professional Locksmiths. He is a graduate of Valparaiso University with a degree in Criminal Justice and has worked in private security, investigations, and loss prevention. He is the author of A Homeowner's Guide to Residential Door Security. Barry also is a former professional member of the International Conference of Building Officials and a current Building Safety Professional member of the International Code Council.
Everyday the locksmith is inundated with sales pitches on how they must offer electronic security devices and how obsolete the mechanical locks are. A lot of this comes from the manufacture reps or distributors looking to earn their sales commissions while forcing new products into the market.
There is no doubt that electronic security hardware offers great features and benefits, but they also bring a wide range of problems. If someone where to ask just how to define these devices the single word would be convenience. So when in comparison to a mechanical lock definition we come up with words such as reliable, or durable, simple, or proven. All very different then electronic security.
Think of it in terms of a 2x4 piece of lumber. Placed across a door properly and that door is as secure as an electromagnet. In fact it can be proven that the mag lock has even damaged doors over time, rendering them vulnerable to defeat and bypass. Another example is a digital push button lock (PBL) that relies on AA batteries, it offers multiple users and changing user codes quickly is convenient. A mechanical push button lock on the other hand requires no power, and no batteries, they only offer a single user code, and they may take longer to change a combination. Which PBL would you like to have when an EMF Pulse, real or fictional knocks out all energy or in times of crisis when there are no batteries available or electrical power? The mechanical lock will still be operating!
Watch this interesting video!
In reality both the electronic and mechanical locks work, so when you hear someone trying to convince you that opting for a mechanical lock is a bad choice, it would not be on the grounds of security as much as convenient features which you may not need anyway. Electronics have their place, but not alone at the top of the pile. So are they better than mechanical locks?
Speaking of piles, I write this blog entry after seeing a pile of banged up, failed and otherwise useless electronic security components tossed in the corner of a local lock shop and had to ask what happens to this stuff? At least the mechanical security devices can be cannibalize for repair parts and even rebuild units, but not the electronics unless you are versed in circuit board rework, trace repair, pad repair and who knows what else. I once stumbled up a company that actually offer this service, but is the cost worth it? Is it practical?
If a locksmith wants to be a solder sucker, maker or hacker and can make money doing it, I say all the more power to them because they would have a lot to work with. So for now, the locksmith just keeps them in an e-waste pile called stuff or simply junk.
How do you recycle or re-purpose used electronic gear and products?
Licensing laws should be subject to removal if :
In 2008 policy analyst Adam Summers had a crystal ball when he applied "reason" and common sense in the analysis of occupational licensing. If we apply his view of occupational licensing to the locksmith, we see his reasoning for removal of such laws to mirror current conditions.
His opinion from the past is the reality of the present, but still we see certain locksmith associations and a minority group of individual locksmiths pressing for even more failed licensing. Do they lack reasoning power, acumen, rational or the most basic common sense? Or are they intentionally trying to be destructive? If so why?
What is your opinion?
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On August 11, 2013 SOPL Director of Operations, Barry Campbell wrote a blog article titled Licensing Boards Under Fire from Federal Trade Commission - Restriction of Trade & Violating Anti-Trust Laws. In his article he briefly referenced the locksmith licensing board but added that it is not an issue of locksmith licensing in particular. As a result, while I was attending a trade show in North Carolina I was told I was an "idiot" by a person who was intimately involved in the creation of locksmith licensing and their board. I found the unsolicited remark to be off color and questioned why I would be attacked because of Barry's eloquent presentation of facts that were not initiated by the SOPL or myself and certainly not an attack upon the North Carolina licensing board.
Fast forward to March 17, 2016 and we find an article written by Matt Caulder titled State Looks to Remove 15 Licensing Boards where the North Carolina state legislative subcommittee approved draft legislation that would dissolve 15 occupational licensing boards in the state, included was locksmith licensing. So as I read this new report, I question just who the idiot may really be. I commend Barry Campbell once again for his continued insight into such issues. The opposite of idiot, is wisdom and genius!
The SOPL is the only locksmith organization that is presenting taboo topics to the hardworking locksmiths to help them become educated and informed, and it does so for the good of the order. I find the irony that some who consider themselves the elite chose to call others idiots when the results prove otherwise. An idiot lives only in his own world and who takes no outside input. The SOPL has given input, but others living in their own world do not listen.
The SOPL has responsibly advocated for the hardworking locksmiths who have been faced with unreasonable entrepreneurial interference. We have reported the facts, not created the problem. The idiots did that!
Society of Professional Locksmiths launches new Merchant Verification Compliance program with Pro Compliance, Inc. of San Diego County, CA., with the intent to verify the physical location of locksmith businesses and provide document inspections pertaining to its legitimacy.
Locksmith businesses who participates in this process becomes a verified merchant which distinguishes them from unscrupulous scammers. Consumers will know that a locksmith in compliance is fully screened and has a business address confirmed to be legitimate. Physical business inspections by third party insured Pro Complaint inspectors will include, but not limited to various aspects of business verifications that include photographs of the business and owner in front of business or service vehicle, as well as visual inspections of business documents. Continued monitoring of the locksmiths insurance certificate will also be provided, to ensure their insurance remains in full force.
“This is an industry unification program for all locksmiths, not just members of the SOPL. Pioneered by the SOPL, we are inviting everyone to participate regardless of affiliations. ” Tom Lynch, Founder of the SOPL said. “It provides evidence that a business has a legitimate establishment at the provided address whether it is a retail space or a home based mobile operator. ” Terri Lee, President and CEO of Pro Compliance says “ This valuable tool the SOPL has implemented is now a standard operating procedure which not only assists the locksmith business industry, it will increase consumer confidence for the industry. We applaud the SOPL for stepping up to offer this regulation in this industry.”
“Consumers, manufacturers and national service companies have a lot of jobs and referrals for our industry. Their fear of someone being an unidentified scammer has limited the legitimate locksmiths growth opportunities. That problem has now been resolved”, Lynch says. “This initiative exemplifies self regulation. The SOPL will continue to accept new locksmiths entering the craft who aspire to become compliant, but they will not be given the seal of approval or benefit from consumer exposure or industry referrals until such time of merchant verification.”
“The industry has been desperately seeking bold leadership, and the SOPL has done just that!”, Barry Cambell Director of Operations, said.
To register your company to become compliant, please contact Pro Compliance Source at 760-602-2901 or www.ProComplianceSource.Com. Or contact www,SOPL.us for more information.
Tom Lynch, CRL