Today I received and email from a person who stated they would not have anything to do with the SOPL because it was associated with a locksmith dispatch scam. WOW! I thought to my self did I do something with the SOPL that I forgot to tell myself about? I don't think so! After some thought I realized this person was referring to the 1-800-UNLOCKS relationship with the SOPL.
I think it is about time the facts are presented in a blunt fashion to dispel the ignorance of those who do not do their research or get involved in their industry enough to know the facts about services within their own peer group. 1-800-UNLOCKS is a legitimate nationwide locksmith DISPATCH network. It is not a scam operation like the ones being found in the news. 1-800-UNLOCKS has been around for a long time. They had some issues in the past with some operational problems and that has been corrected a long time ago and has nothing to do with any "scams" so in fairness and to show everyone how I am not a shill for them, I will say the only thing I don't like about 1-800-UNLOCKS is their website, which by the way I have openly criticized to them.
So let see if I can help both the misinformed Locksmiths and the consumers about this service. It is a DISPATCH service which routes the consumers call DIRECTLY to the local locksmith registered in their network for the callers area. It is not a remote out of state SUB-CONTRACTED scam. What 1-800-UNLOCKS does is pre-screens real working locksmiths who chose to pay for a territory and be allowed to use the vanity number to route calls directly to their business rather then into a phone bank. So, the consumer actually gets an established locksmith in their neighborhood, not some dispatch center a 1000 miles away who sends out some guy who is 2 hours away and has no clue about the skill sets or craft of locksmithing.
So to set the records straight, 1-800-UNLOCKS works for those locksmiths who take the effort to market the vanity number in their territory because the calls come back to them and help to promote a professional franchised image without the cost of a franchise fee and the consumer is serviced professionally. To the best of my knowledge, 1-800-UNLOCKS maintains a standard of performance and if they fell a provider is not operating above board, they reserve the right to pull the territory. Do a Google search and you are not finding locksmiths registered with 1-800-UNLOCKS involved, period.
So I am completely comfortable having 1-800-UNLOCKS associated with the SOPL since they are not a scam in my opinion and others in this business who know what it is about. I actually believe that if misinformed locksmiths spend more time opening their mind to the idea of what 1-800-UNLOCKS could do to improve their image and bottom lines then they would be better off doing it. In the face of real scams that are going on, 1-800-UNLOCKS is the locksmiths secret weapon to create their own threaded cooperative network to combat these scams and recapture the call volume that has been lost to this nationwide dilemma.
It all comes down to marketing which many locksmiths are just flat out terrible at doing, and that is a subject for another days blog post.
Tom Lynch, CRL