Wichita man warns of inexperienced locksmiths

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A Wichita man warns others of inexperienced locksmiths who are contracted out by non-local companies.

Sunny Guillroy looked online and called the first locksmith that appeared to have a local phone number.

"His truck had no logos, company logo, no nothing. He didn't actually give me his card until he left," said Guillroy.

Guillroy called 365 Locksmith Service with a phone number that began with a 316 area code. He thought he was calling a local company and an experienced locksmith.

But two hours and $150 later, Guillroy is still without a key that can start his engine.

"He should've said 'I don't have that kind of equipment. I can't do the job.' But he just carried me along, fed me along as the day went on, and charged me $150 and I ain't seen him since," said Guillroy.

Established locksmiths say this is a problem.

"Just because they have local numbers doesn't mean you're calling local places. Those numbers do route to 800 numbers and call centers and they have techs all over the area," said Jeff Cole, owner of Complete Key & Lock.

For nearly 20 years, Cole has been in the locksmithing industry. He said locksmith scammers and those with inexperience are putting a bad name on his profession.

"They will come out and try to provide a service. Usually the service is not complete or not to satisfactory results and a lot of it is from lack of knowledge, lack of tools, lack of equipment, but yet they still charge the customers very astronomical amounts," said Cole.

KAKE News reached out to the locksmith in question and he said he won't provide a refund to Guillroy. He also stated that the company he works for pays him a commission.

We also called 365 Locksmith Service and a representative said they provide mobile services in multiple locations, despite a phone number with a local area code.

Cole advises people to always do research before committing to a locksmith, find local and reputable providers, and notice red flags such as unmarked vehicles or representatives with no company clothing.

For more helpful tips from AARP regarding locksmith services, click here.

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