BBB cautions against questionable locksmith services - WSMV Channel 4

BBB cautions against questionable locksmith services

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A man who needed a locksmith after locking his keys in the car said the situation quickly became scary when he said the locksmith threatened him.

Jason Panter was in a hurry to get to an important meeting when he locked his keys in his car.

"I was somewhat panicked," Panter said. "I was like, ugh, just one of those mornings."

Panter got on Google and called for help. He called the first company he saw, and they told him it would be 45 minutes before someone could come help.

"An hour and a half went by," Panter said.

Then they quoted him $29.99, and that didn't happen either.

"He said, 'No, it's going to be $80 or I'm putting a wheel lock on your car. So I can disable your car until you come with the money,'" Panter said.

Panter tried to send the so-called locksmith away.

"Very threatening, trying to be very intimidating," Panter said.

Next, he called 911 when he said the locksmith became aggressive and continued threatening him.

Kathleen Calligan, with the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee, sees it all the time.

"Oh, my gosh, this is a major, major concern in the market place," she said.

People who need help think they're calling a legitimate business but they end up getting taken advantage of.

"Googling is the worst thing you can possibly do," Calligan said.

Instead, Calligan recommends getting on the BBB website and searching for an accredited locksmith or take a recommendation from a friend.

"They shouldn't just drive up and demand money before they provide service," Calligan said.

The locksmith should be driving a marked vehicle, and you should always demand a receipt.

A lot of times when you call, these shady businesses will answer with something generic like "locksmith service" or "locksmith."

If that happens, ask what is the legal name of the business, then verify it.

Also, if you are not comfortable with the locksmith once they arrive, you can and should refuse to work with them.

The following Middle Tennessee locksmiths have an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau: Captain Locksmith, Quick Locksmith, Allied Lock Master, Pro Locksmith of Hendersonville and 24/7 Locksmith of Goodlettsville.

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