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What is bait and switch?

A lot has been made about bait and switch tactics in the locksmith industry, but many may be left wondering, what exactly is bait and switch, and why are locksmiths doing it? While we will provide readers with an idea of what bait and switch tactics are, Pronto Locksmiths always has, and always will, offer fair pricing to our customers and you can call at any point to receive a no obligation price quote.

Step 1: The Bait

There is a simple reason that bait and switch locksmiths are able to continue to thrive, and that is lack of preparation on the side of the customer. If you are able to complete research before you are in need of locksmith service, then you are unlikely to run into this type of issue in the future. What generally happens when someone is locked out of their home or vehicle is that they turn directly to a search on their smart phone and usually call one of the first choices there. When calling this first locksmith, the customer may ask for the price of the service, and when they do, are given that the service “starts at” a low, seemingly reasonable price. The customer accepts and a locksmith is generally dispatched to their location.

The Switch

After the locksmith arrives on scene he will complete service as the customer had recommended, however he will then hand the customer a bill which could be as much as five times more than the initial “bait” price. Either through intimidation or the customer not wanting to waste anymore time, the customer will generally pay the larger fee and go back about their day.

How it Happens

There are two main reasons that locksmiths are able to get away with this. The first being that many customers do not have a specific locksmith to turn to when they are in need of service. Since many customers have begun turning to digital sources to find their locksmith, it is easy for these unprofessional and predatory services to come up above more reputable locksmiths in online searches. These unprofessional locksmiths know this, and they also know that anyone who has lost their car key or is locked out of their home is likely in a rush to get back in. They use this to their advantage and assume that customer will pay this inflated price once it is provided. Some customers do, but for other this can be extremely frustrating and make you feel as if you were taken advantage of. There are easy ways to avoid this happening to you.

To prevent yourself from becoming a victim of bait and switch, you only have to make sure to complete a few minutes of research when you have the free time. Whenever is comfortable, make the call to a few local locksmiths and verify their pricing, with quotes, to ensure that you will never be up-charged once you are in an emergency situation. By strengthening customer knowledge, we can help to rid ourselves of these “bait and switch” locksmiths who prey on the misfortunate of everyday customers.

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