Rip-Off in San Francisco

Three locksmith trucks were stolen and gutted by thieves recently. The trucks were empty of everything, tools, key machines, even the cabinets.

Take care of yourselves out there and don’t leave your truck where it can be easily accessed.

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Unhappy Customers

A locksmith company that dispatches from out of state has a lot of unhappy customers all over the United States. They are licensed in California and we got a complaint from a customer in Southern California about exactly the tactics that are seen in the following videos from news reports all over the country.

In Colorado, that state has made the company change its advertising: but apparently they are still using the same business model as seen in the Denver video.

Honest locksmiths don’t overcharge. They don’t intimidate customers. They don’t give unrealistically low prices over the phone. They are licensed and will show you their license when they arrive to assist you. They don’t drive up in a beat-up jalopy.

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Bad Locksmithing – Help Your Customers Get It Right

The CLA gets calls from locksmith customers who have been victimized by scammers. Today it was a licensed business that operates in California but dispatches nationally from Michigan. This customer did obtain a license number from the dispatcher, but didn’t ask for a license from the “locksmith” who turned up to let her into her house. He quoted her $189 to open her lock even though the dispatcher had told her $50 – $15 to arrive and $35 per hour labor.

To add insult to injury, he got upset, argued with her and intimidated her when she told him she would pay him the $15 and she wanted him to leave so she could get another locksmith. She let him do the job. He wrecked her lock (he didn’t pick it) and she had to get a “real locksmith” to fix what he had ruined.

She called the CLA to find out what a reasonable price would be for a non-emergency (11 a.m., not a rush) lock out and to find out how she could have managed it better.

Here are some customer hints:

1) Ask to see a locksmith license before letting anyone work on your lock. If the person has no license or shows you a driver’s license, don’t argue with the person. Ask them to wait while you contact the dispatcher. Call the dispatcher and ask for a “licensed locksmith” to perform the service. If they tell you this guy is OK, tell them it’s not OK with you and that if he does not leave you will call the police to have him removed.

2) If the technician gets intimidating, call the police.

3) Be prepared. Keep a local licensed locksmith or licensed mobile service on your phone contacts list for any emergency. Take the time to check them out for licensing and ask about their hourly rates. Then you won’t be surprised.

Keep your residential customers informed about how easy it is to be scammed when you don’t know the locksmith you’re calling to your home or car. The last thing they need is an untrustworthy, unlicensed locksmith.

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SB 750 Vetoed by the Governor

Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed legislation that would have allowed an exception for some manufacturers from delivering key codes to locksmiths.

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October Class, October Swap Meet

Save two dates in Northern California – October 14 is the SWAP MEET – in San Francisco from 10 to 2. The next week on Saturday, October 20, Bob Natoli will be presenting a class in Sacramento 8 to 12 at Clark Security – the class offers an intensive, hands-on session handling how to plan door hardware installation. They’re shipping in doors for this class – and students will get a free opportunity to learn the ins and outs of putting together a proposal.

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Low-Voltage Electric Class – Saturday, Sept. 22 – Oakland, CA

Time is short – and you can still sign up for the Low-Voltage Electric class for locksmiths THIS SATURDAY in Oakland at Wilco Supply.

Bob Natoli will be presenting a hands-on class that includes wiring and all the details you need to know when you’re putting electronic access onto a door.

Call 650-451-8145 mornings or email to sign up for this free class.

Details on our website’s Events Calendar –

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Fran Kruss, wife of CLA member Jerry Kruss, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 15. Please keep Jerry and his family in your prayers.

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Roll of Shame – SB 750 Passes the Assembly

Here is a list of those who voted for and against SB 750 to give BMW exclusive rights over their key codes, preventing locksmiths from doing their jobs. Check the link below for assembly members who favored a multi-million-dollar foreign corporation over California’s small businesses.

Hopefully, Governor Brown will recognize this bill for what it is – and veto it.

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Northern California SWAP MEET October 14

Here’s your chance to spend a beautiful fall Sunday in San Francisco – at the LOCKSMITH SWAP MEET. If you want a table (or 2 or 3) download the Registration Form from the website and send in your check. Admission is $5 in advance or $10 at the door.

Raffle prizes are rolling in – so don’t miss out on lots of fun / snacks / bargains!

For details – go to the CLA website Events Calendar.

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One More Vote on SB750

The state assembly is about to vote again on SB 750 – the BMW-sponsored legislation that would eliminate the need for them to share key codes with locksmiths and prevent locksmiths from doing any work on their vehicles.

It you believe that car owners in California should have the choice of whether to use the services of a foreign car dealer or a locksmith, please contact your legislator with your opinion.

California’s legislators ought to have more concern for California’s small businesses (locksmiths) and consumers (car owners) than a multi-million-dollar foreign corporation, when every other car dealer is required to securely provide key codes to qualified locksmiths.

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