Locksmith Ethics, how cheap can actually cost more.
First, I want to start by saying that Locksmithing in Ontario as an industry is pretty much entirely unregulated, other areas of Canada and the US do regulate it, but Ontario does not currently. Anyone can put up a website saying hire me to be a locksmith and no one is allowed to make sure they have any ability to actually work on locks of any kind whatsoever beforehand. This can lead to a number of issues, for one it can lead to inexperienced and untrained technicians in the field that don’t know what they are doing which can have significant consequences if their work leaves a door improperly secured, especially at night for businesses with valueble goods inside, for example. Another issue, and in my opinion the more significant one, are Locksmiths that use false advertising to essentially blackmail and gouge the customer into paying exorbitant fees. They will advertise unbeatable rates and incredible response times like $15 and 15 minutes. These businesses often stick to more simple jobs like lockouts and rekeys. For example, on a lockout they will come to “pick” your lock but then when they arrive will claim its a high security lock that cannot be picked even when it is not because they believe the customer wont know that. Then they will proceed to drill it off the door and once your lock is destroyed they will tell you a new one is $150 and at that point your options are few so you are forced to pay it. So, how can you avoid such an unpleasent experience? There is no one way to completely make yourself safe from unethical behaviour, but its always a good idea to do your research, check if they are qualified in any way, though its unregulated there are credentials you can have. For example, there is an association called “the association of Ontario locksmiths” for which you must prove yourself to be a locksmith in order to join, as well as there are manufacturers that offer courses on their products and certify the completion of said courses. You can also look to reviews online about a given company for information. All of these contribute to a better locksmith experience for the customer, with less hassel and hidden costs. One other piece of general wisdom is you get what you pay for a lot of times, if you see a $15 locksmith 9 times out of 10 you will pay a great deal more before all is said and done, because locksmithing does take experience and expertise and often it takes time, and with those rates you aren’t going to make any money unless unmentioned charges appear. As someone who runs a competing business to these fraudulent companies I can say I know they’re out there, I have seen them, I have lost many customers to their appealing rates. I have even had them try to recruit me, but legitimacy, fairness and customer experience are the most important things to my business. I will also say im not the only legitimate locksmith around, there are plenty, but if you want hiring a locksmith to be a good experience its worth it to do your research beforehand or it can cost you later.