BBB Warns Public about Locksmith

6/1/2007

Media Contact
Felicia Overton, Director of Marketing & Community Relations        
602-212-2237
foverton@arizonabbb.org                                      

The Better Business Bureau of Central/Northern Arizona is warning the public about a locksmith conducting questionable business practices in Arizona and four other states.

Basad, Inc., which uses over 50 different trade names (Reporters, editors: see a complete listing of names at the end of this release), has an unsatisfactory record with the BBB of Central/Northern Arizona for unanswered complaints, and has unanswered complaints in Colorado, Nevada, Washington and Oregon. 

“We became concerned when we began seeing a pattern of complaints in a short period of time,” stated Matthew Fehling, CEO/President of the BBB of Northern/Central Arizona. “We have made numerous attempts to contact the company by phone and mail but have received no response.”
 
According to the BBB, the company’s pattern of complaints and a failure to correct the underlying reason for the complaints is cause for concern.  The BBB has received similar complaint scenarios as follows:

Complaints center around the amount quoted over the phone versus the amount that is actually paid.  Consumers are quoted $55.00 on the initial call and upon arrival, consumers are asked for personal information: name and credit card information prior to any service performed.  When presented with the final cost of services, it has doubled, sometimes tripled.  Consumers who generally find themselves in these situations have an immediate need for the service due to calls being placed on the weekends, late at night, or in unfamiliar areas.  Therefore, feeling forced to pay the higher cost.

Complaints also center on the locksmith’s failure to make adjustments or address customer concerns as promised. Some of Basad Inc.’s locksmith technicians suggest customers unhappy with the final cost of services call the
company and request to speak to a manager for possible adjustments.  However, consumers calls made to the company are never returned. 

Complaints also include unprofessional customer service which includes:

  • Technician appearance

  • Foul language

  • Implied intimidation by service technicians

  • Consumers allege service vehicles do not identify the business by name

“While several states in the country require that locksmiths be licensed, Arizona is not one of them,” Fehling said.

The BBB offers these tips for choosing a locksmith:

  • Shop around before you have an immediate need for a locksmith and save the phone number in your cell phone. Check with the Better Business Bureau for a report on the company and look for a list of member companies in the locksmith industry.  Reports are available at www.arizonabbb.org or by telephone at (602) 264-1721 and (928) 772-3410 in Yavapai County.

  • Ask for an estimate from each company you shop around with.  Ask if the fee quoted will cover just the service call or if it also includes all labor and parts.

  • A knowledgeable locksmith will know of any potential circumstances that may arise which would incur extra charges, so always ask for a “worst” case scenario.

  • Find out if the locksmith has a shop rather than just a website or an ad in the phone book.  Ask how long he or she has been in business.

  • Determine if the locksmith is insured and bonded.  Consumers are encouraged to request proof of bonding.

  • Be cautious if a locksmith immediately tells you he has to drill and replace the lock. A BBB member locksmith explained that drilling a lock is usually a last option.

  • If possible, ask for customer references and call them before making a final decision.

  • Get an itemized invoice.  Never sign a blank form authorizing work.  Make sure to get a copy for your records. 

  • File complaints with the BBB (www.arizonabbb.org) and the Attorney General’s Office (www.azag.gov).

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