Information on Locksmith training, certification, licensing, and operating a business.
Got a call this morning to set a time up for 12:30pm for a Corvette and a GMC 1500, both mid 90's models. I show up 10 minutes early, and the mother says, "he went on errands. Go home and he'll call you back later".
I said, "Excuse me mam, but we had a 12:30 appointment and he's suppose to be meeting me, and I'm 10 minutes early".
She said, "just go and I'll have him call you when he comes home".
I thought this was kind of odd she wanted me to leave instead of wait till 12:30pm, so I decided to go park around the corner and wait until 12:45pm, and right about the time a GMC 1500 turns into the Cul-de-sac. His mother and father are standing outside talking to him when I pull up.
I walk up to the guy and introduce myself and told him we had an appointment to key 2 vehicles.
He says, "Oh, I found my keys and I tried calling you but there was no answer". Kind of funny I wear my phone on my waist and had no calls.
I told him I never received a call and I would need some money for driving 15 miles. I was hoping to at least get a service charge.. As soon as I asked him, he starts going off that it wasn't his fault I didn't answer the phone, and that I'm a bum for begging for money. I was no better than the bums at 7/11 begging for money. "Get out of here, you bum", the dad was yelling. It was kind of comical watching these people who appeared to be Gypsies, all red-faced, throwing their arms up in the air.
So I left shaking my head not getting any compensation, or even an apology, but insulted and cussed at instead.
To make matters worse I passed up a lock-out to a friend when I was on my way to make keys for these 2 vehicles.. Unbelievable..
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- Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:48 pm
Sucks that you had to go through that nonsense man, I feel for ya. I've been through it a few times myself.
This is actually one of the MANY reasons why I quit my job at the locksmith shop I was at and also one of the main reasons why I'm not too interested in starting my own locksmith business or even going back into the automotive locksmith field.
Having to deal with these kind of people and experiences week after week can really take a toll on a person's "faith" in humanity and rob the joy out of the work we do.
If a lock is a puzzle, then its key is the complete picture
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- Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 9:33 am
I have run into these situations in the past.
There are a couple of options for future jobs- one is possibly requiring a cc number in order to place the service call- option to pay with other method is available.
We have previously done this for lockout work, especially at night. Nothing worse then showing up at 3am to the lockout, and they are long gone.
From what I understand, placing a service call in Florida acts as a binding verbal agreement or whatnot; if laws are similar where you are, you could stay at the property and call the police.
The company I work for has done away measures such as requiring credit card numbers because the percentage of no shows/ late cancellation are rather low. There are enough customers that would have to be turned down because their card is locked in the car, or they only have cash/check, etc that its not worth it. However, if service is provided and the customer is refusing to pay, our policy is to phone the police, though I've never had to do this personally.
I'm with you though, I hate when this happens. Drives me even more crazy to pull up to a far out lockout, and see a competing locksmith just pulling away, and the customer is already hiding away. I mean, when a person pipes are backed up, they dont call three plumbers and see which one happens to get there first, or order pizza from three places and take the quickest. Or do they, lol.
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- Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 3:23 am
- Location: Florida
You are entitled to claim money for this situation but the cost and time spent chasing it isnt worthwhile.
Just hope they lock themselves out one day and then refuse to help them
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- Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:15 pm
- Location: UK
Been there before. Sucks and it's not worth the hassle to stick around.
One thing I put forth an effort to do on scheduled meets. Even though sometimes my dispatcher disapproves... Is to call the customer before you drive out there.
It's happened many a times where a job gets scheduled as the first job of the day. Which means the customer has had all night to find the keys or work something else out. Simply calling before you go can help prevent wasting your time going out, only to find out they've found their keys and forgot to call, or something.
Other than that I think yng_pick nailed it. Typically the only times I request a ccard up front is when it's something like a basic lockout farther away. You know, one that will take an hour to drive to. It runs more than a standard lockout too.
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- Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:58 am
- Location: SLC, Utah
yng_pick wrote:I'm with you though, I hate when this happens. Drives me even more crazy to pull up to a far out lockout, and see a competing locksmith just pulling away, and the customer is already hiding away. I mean, when a person pipes are backed up, they dont call three plumbers and see which one happens to get there first, or order pizza from three places and take the quickest. Or do they, lol.
This is fairly common sadly. I once asked why they called several locksmiths at the same time. He was quite defensive and said he had been let down by "tradespeople" (huh!) before and didn't want to be stood outside all night by when someone said they would come and then not turning up. He had a sort of point, I myself have have plently of people say they will come to do a job, and then just never turn up (I won't mention the EIGHT gas fitters who all said they would fit a gas fire, only the ninth one bothered to come - Took me three months to get a gas fire fitted).
So perhaps it might be an idea to have a pre-made "statement" to read out to anyone who calls about you are a professional who takes it very seriously. Say something like when a customer calls you out, you will turn out and be there for them - But if they have phoned anyone else, you will charge them xxx for the callout anyway and then ask them if they have called anyone else out, so you can turn the job down. Most people will be honest if faced with the prospect of having to pay you something anyway, especially if you can convince them you WILL turn up if they ask you to.
I suppose it will depend on the type of person you tend to get where you are, but generally something like that modified to your area might keep more of them on the straight and narrow?
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- Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:53 am
- Location: UK
Not quite the same, in my last days as a UK locksmith I was called out to quote to rectify faults on a complex access controlled steel gate.
I get to the office complex and start the long process of establishing just what the client is trying to achieve, about 5 minutes into the conversation another locksmith turns up to quote (who I happened to know very well). I ask the client in passing - how many quotes are you getting ?
When she replied 5, I was speechless. I asked a question :
As you don't have a spec, your going to get 5 different specs of differing quality, depending on the skill of the locksmith. Which quote will you accept ??.
Answer - the cheapest.
I thanked her. Advised her to call me when the cheapest job broke down when they wanted it done right and walked away. I knew I would not be the cheapest, not by a long way as I would only use quality parts and do the job right.
So - I cancelled. On them.
- Posts: 244
- Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:55 am
This is what cancellation charges are for. I always inform the customer that there is a charge if the job is cancelled, and that this charge is payable immediately, by remote card payment if they cancel the job. The charge varies depending on the job - a lock out cancellation is higher than for a routine non-emergency, and if a job requires ordering parts or cutting additional keys, these parts must also be paid for.
Some people query the charge, but most are fine with it. If they subsequently cancel, most are fine with paying, and are apologetic that they've wasted your time.
The customers reaction to the charge is also helpful in gauging how serious they are, and if they've booked other people.
NB: In the UK, agreeing to the charge isn't actually legally binding, so some people will just be utters gits and refuse to pay, despite having agreed to. Ce la vie, you can't win them all!
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- Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:36 am
You can fall fowl of distance selling regulations taking any payment over the phone and the fines could finish you so be carefull.
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- Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 5:02 am
- Location: Scotland
Distance selling regulations allow the customer to refuse to pay(because of a statutary 'cooling off period') but if you process the payment with the customers consent, the worst they can do is a charge back, unless they're prepared to perjure themselves.
To clarify - I don't take card details up front and process the payment without explicit consent, I wait till I receive a cancellation call, then say 'As agreed when you made your booking, there is a cancellation charge - please can I take your card number and I'll process your payment'.
Only as very small number of customers refuse the charge, and most of those pay if you send them an invoice
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- Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:36 am
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