JBP’s highly successful consumer communications campaign for the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) has raised awareness of rogue locksmiths charging customers more than six times the going rate.
Working closely with the MLA, JBP’s research-led initiative established data and examples of customers that had been hoodwinked by so-called locksmiths. The challenge for the industry is that it isn’t regulated so anyone can set up in the profession, making it easy for unqualified and sometimes unscrupulous individuals to trade as one.
A study conducted amongst the MLA’s membership revealed the number of times they’re being called out after customers have been let down by those posing as professionals. Similarly, the MLA included details regarding calls it had received from customers reporting their experiences of poor service and extortionate invoices. This was backed up by a customer reliving their nightmare experience having been charged more than £1,000 for a job which, in reality, should’ve cost between £200-300.
The resulting media story with the headline-grabbing title: Research Reveals Surge in Rogue Locksmiths – Stark Warning to Homeowners as Trade Body Predicts Increase as Pandemic Grips Nation generated significant national, regional newsprint and broadcast coverage. The story was recently featured on the BBC’s Rip Off Britain (2:50-12:35) and stories appeared in the Mirror, Daily Express, thisismoney.co.uk – the Daily Mail’s online money channel – and a ripped-off consumer told their story on You & Yours – Radio 4’s consumer affairs programme.
The story was also picked up by regional media across England including the Southern Daily Echo and Ipswich Star, plus titles in Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Devon, Leicestershire, Plymouth, Stoke-on-Trent and Surrey.
As a result, the Master Locksmiths Association witnessed increased social media engagement with a record number of Facebook shares plus Google Trends identified a spike with the ‘locksmith’ search term. They’ve also been “inundated” with enquiries from consumers wanting details for their nearest MLA approved company.