Hiring a locksmith to re-key an old and worn-out lock on a door or to pick a car door lock in case of an emergency are common occurrences in the lives of many people. And while most repairs go smoothly and hassle-free, there are times when things go terribly wrong. It usually happens when locksmiths lie about their actual training and experience and they do not truly possess the advertised skills. They might do it because they are desperate to have more customers, or simply because they are trying to scam people.
The truth is the locksmithing industry is one that is known for the high number of con-artists. Since the job of a locksmith is extremely sensitive due to the very nature of their work – being granted access to locks and keys, fixing them or making copies – many people express their concern when hiring a technician. And when damage is done to a property because of poor quality or improper work, things tend to get even more complicated. Suing a locksmith for damage done to a property is possible under certain conditions.
When contacted to handle a lockout situation, authorized and licensed locksmiths are obliged to ask for proof of ownership of a vehicle or home. They an ask for a photo ID, registration or insurance. Skipping this step is not only a sign of a locksmith being hasty about their job, but also an indicator that they might refuse to be held accountable for any potential problems that might rise. For example, when a locksmith causes dents in a car door while picking a lock, and they do not ask the customer to sign any waiver proving the damage has been caused by them. Should the customer try to hold the locksmith responsible for the dents or scratches, they will most likely refuse to do it. Moreover, chances are they will refuse th admit they were responsible for their actions and be overall uncooperative.
Threatening them with a lawsuit might also not do the trick. But what ca be done then?
You should have a car mechanic assess the size of the damage done to your car. If you have hired a home locksmith to handle an emergency door lockout, talk to a residential locksmith that is authorized and insured. If you are not sure where to find one, you can hire a company that incorporates all categories of locksmithing services, including emergencies. One example is the Authorized Locksmiths service that caters to the needs of customers in all US states and even covers 24 hour lockout emergencies.
Inquire about their rates and services and find out how much it would cost to have a lock picked or re-keyed. Save their number on speed dial – you never know when you might need to find a fast and reliable lock technician to help you out.
Once you have this damage appraisal done, get your camera or phone ready and take photos of the damage. A car mechanic can also examine the car.
You can file a small claim at a municipal court or a common pleas court and get in touch with an attorney to simplify the process.