Thirty red, brightly-lettered Anderson Lock trucks are a common sight in Des Plaines. Our ever-growing family-owned company is now in its fourth “brick and mortar” location on Oakton Street.
Although we are primarily a commercial sales and service company, we’ve done residential rekeying, and new lock installation services, in our immediate geographical area for over 60 years.
Not long ago, a longtime residential neighbor Googled Anderson Lock to schedule a service call to replace her front door lock. When the locksmith arrived in an unmarked car, not wearing a uniform, the customer became suspicious. When he said he had traveled a long distance, and there would be a trip charge, she knew he wasn’t from Anderson Lock.
After asking for identification, she asked the non-Anderson Lock locksmith to leave. She later called us to report the scam, and to schedule one of our licensed, bonded, uniformed, experienced, skilled and friendly lock techs to replace her lock.
Call centers, often out-of-state, maybe even out of the country, use high-tech tactics to trick Google. People naturally assume that their search engine’s algorithm filters possibilities then lists only locksmiths that have earned good reviews. But, according to consumer research, locksmith scams, instead of going away after several high-profile television news stories exposing their unscrupulous ways, are becoming an epidemic. Consumers pay exorbitant rates because they are eager to get into their homes or cars.
Phony locksmiths advertise our company name with a suffix like “24/7” and a link to a page that contains, on the left side of the page, our name, correct address, correct phone number (in tiny print) and other correct information— however, in a prominent box on the right side of the page, are the words, “We can connect you with a local locksmith–click to call now” followed by a large-type phone number. Folks who call that number are connected to a call center without a legitimate local address or license. After taking your information, they dispatch a rogue locksmith, who likely will not know how to pick open a lock. Many accounts tell of a lock being drilled open, necessitating the purchase of a replacement lock.
That is how our residential neighbor mistakenly called a “locksmith call center” when she intended to call Anderson Lock.
Careful consumers will note that the name at the top of the page is “24/7 Locksmiths.io”, and they may also read that the reviews are from Hawaii, Missouri, Virginia, New York and Connecticut. None of the reviews are local!
Cortney Wascher, Anderson Lock’s President / Owner, was appointed to the Illinois Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor and Locksmith Board of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDPR) in 2009. The Board is charged with “providing expert knowledge and advice on disciplinary matters and professional performance and conduct.” Private Detectives were licensed in Illinois in 1937; in 1993, locksmiths were added to the IDPR Act.
Cortney is committed to assuring that citizens of Illinois are safeguarded from unscrupulous business practices, and that the locksmith industry maintains its trustworthy reputation with proper regulation of locksmiths through licensing and P.E.R.C. cards (Permanent Employee Registration Cards).
Folks who are locked out of their house or car are often desperate, and do not carefully read the ads. Anderson Lock does not do car lockouts, and rarely does house lockouts, but there are many legitimate local locksmiths who do. They may not place big splashy ads, but they can be found online. Our advice is: “Get a spare key before you need one!” But even that might not prevent a “lockout.” If you need a local mobile locksmith, check online directories like ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) and verify the locksmith’s address.
And, if you want to replace your locks, come into our shiny showroom, choose from our large assortment, then schedule an installation. Other “inside” lock services include rekeying locks that customers bring in, repairing locks, and cutting keys. You’ll see how we earned our reputation as a trusted locksmith company with friendly, uniformed, skilled lock techs!