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Disclaimer: Information provided in the online directory on this website is intended to provide a guide to home based and local locksmith businesses in the United States. The information contained is not verified. No warranty, representation or undertaking is made about the content, accuracy and completeness of the information provided. We recommend that you cross reference any service provider to ensure accuracy before hiring. The Society of Professional Locksmiths accepts no responsibility or liability for any loss, damage or injury which may arise from anything contained in this directory listing. No person is entitled to any redress against our organization on any account whatsoever or arising in relation to any information provided.
We recommend the following upon contacting any service provider.
#1 - Ask for a written quote prior to any work, do not sign any paperwork that does not reflect the quote in full, and be sure to read the fine print.
#2 - Ask for identification prior to the start of any work and record the information for your protection. If they refuse, turn them away and find another service provider.
#3 - If you are locked out of your home or vehicle ask the service provider if they will use "non-destructive methods of entry".
#4 - If they insist your lock needs to be drilled to open, ask them if only the "cylinder" will need replacement and what the final cost will be and record it as an add on on the original written quote. If not, consult another service provider in your area.
#5 - If you feel intimidated, being threatened or believe you are the victim of a scam, leave the area and call the police.
Contact the SOPL to report any listing you believe is not valid and we will look into it.
The supposed reasoning of many licensing proponents is that it would establish some sort of minimum standard of competency. The reality is that licenses go to those who pay for them, including scammers. But what of ethics, fair practices, and providing the best possible service and prices to the customer? And what of locksmiths who adopt marketing practices we usually associate with scammers?
As an example, one locksmith has been accused of various unscrupulous practices. The complaint can be found on the Ripoff Report website (https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/terry-whin-yates/vancouver-british-columbia-/terry-whin-yates-mr-locksmith-consumer-scams-education-scams-and-business-scams-vancouve-718436). The subject of the complaint responds, not with a denial or any verifiable correction to any of the accusations, but by posting warnings to consumers about unlicensed locksmiths.
In a separate report, apparently filed by the same complainant against the same locksmith, it is alleged that the subject company “is using a .com URL made up of a local competitor company's name in an attempt to steal business from that company. So pathetic! The website www.robsonlocksmith.com is forwarded to www.mrlocksmithvancouver.com so that people searching for Robson Locksmith, a local Vancouver locksmith will go to this scammer's site. This is fraudulent advertising. The fraud locksmith company, 24hr Mr Locksmith, also uses the name of the owner of Robson Locksmith and "Robson Locksmith" in the meta data of his website.” (https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/24-hour-mr-locksmith/vancouver-british-columbia-/24-hour-mr-locksmith-mr-prolock-mr-locksmith-aaautomotive-locksmiths-scam-artist-locksmi-661722) A screen capture was attached to the report:
The company responded with a denial without evidence, then apparently tries to justify spoofing the competitor’s site by claiming the competitor was not licensed, which would seem to be more of an admission than a denial, albeit with an excuse. They add that “the complaint is a little too detailed for an anonymous posting.” An odd defense at best.
They also say, “Robson Locksmith and Colin Evans are no longer associated with Mr. Locksmith or Terry Whin-Yates.” Yet, if you go to http://www.robsonlocksmith.com/, that’s exactly who you will find. So, if you are a licensed locksmith calling out unlicensed locksmiths, but engaging in tactics associated with scammers, what was the gain? And, does this not prove that licensing can and will be used to protect scammer tactics?
Beyond the blatant hypocrisy that is revealed, sooner or later, by those who support licensing of those in the locksmith trade, is the simple fact that the licensing experiments are proven failures. Purportedly a means to eliminate those in the industry who do substandard work at highly inflated prices, the results of licensing have repeatedly been shown to be quite the opposite. Licensing, itself, is the scam. The failures of licensing to provide the promised benefits continue to show themselves, but three recent news items put it all in a neat little package.
The first, from NBC 5’s Samantha Chapman in Fort Worth, Texas, reports on a “locksmith” damaging a car and overcharging the customer for opening the vehicle. Texas licenses locksmiths, but obviously failed to protect the consumer. If the “locksmith,” or the company he worked for, was licensed, then licensing failed to ensure a minimum level of competency. If he or the company wasn’t, then licensing also failed. It not only failed to protect the consumer, but also failed to protect legitimate locksmiths from competition from scammers. The irony is that the company in question is located only a few miles from the offices of the Associated Locksmiths of America, an organization that has helped to promote these licensing schemes throughout the country. You might think that, under those circumstances, the Texas licensing laws would be the shining example of effective licensing laws if, in fact, there was any such thing. And above all, you would be wrong.
The “investigation” by the Texas Department of Public Safety, which oversees the locksmith licensing that failed to protect the consumer, is also quite illuminating. A spokesperson for the company involved says, in the report, that, "We are aware that the Texas Department of Public Safety is conducting a formal investigation, and we are working with them to get all proper rules and regulations in line and corrected. Since their visit with the owner of the company, we have then ordered new business cards, uniforms for each technician, proper presentation for each technician's vehicle, and invoices that have our phone number and company business license number on each of the items listed above." Wonderful; new business cards, uniforms, and invoices – that’ll fix them!
Then, we have a report from Eric Dexheimer from the Austin American-Statesman, also in Texas. Here, we have locksmith Shayne Gatlin, who “worked hard and grew his operation to three trucks and a retail shop, eventually acquiring more than 100,000 customers. The Better Business Bureau granted him its top rating.” After more than 30 years in business, Gatlin has been refused the renewal of his license because he was convicted of a crime as a nineteen year-old, thirty-eight years ago. Even Jim Hetchler, past-president of the Texas Locksmiths Association, admits in the report that Gatlin is “getting screwed,” though Hetchler fails to acknowledge that he and the Texas Locksmiths Association supported (and presumably, still do) the licensing requirements that are currently screwing Mr. Gatlin. Hypocrisy and failure all wrapped in one.
Finally, we have a report from Ross McLaughlin of CTV-News. A wonderful video report of a licensed scammer doing his thing. Pure and simple proof that licensing neither protects the consumer nor legitimate locksmiths from scammers and their competition. At some point, you would think that licensing advocates would stop pushing their failed agenda but, again, you would be wrong.