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Cheltenham locksmith's warning after name 'hijacked' via Google

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 22, 2012

annoyed:  Ollie Stankovich, who runs his own locksmith company

annoyed: Ollie Stankovich, who runs his own locksmith company

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LOCKSMITH Ollie Stankovich is warning people to be wary of national companies passing themselves off as local firms.

The 27-year-old, who has run Cheltenham Locksmiths for five years, said customers are being caught out by businesses advertising their services on Google.

It comes after Ollie tried to stop another firm from misleading people – and wound up being visited by the police for blackmail.

And while the detectives have now admitted there is no case to answer, he has decided to pass on the details of the companies to Trading Standards officers for them to investigate further.

Ollie said he was first told of the problem when a customer told him they had clicked on a competitor's link thinking it was his.

He added: "Recently I have been losing work due to national companies claiming to be local locksmiths when in fact they have been misleading customers by simply using local telephone numbers and then sub-contracting out the work to locksmiths from the area at a massive cost to the customer.

"I spoke to one customer who was charged nearly £300 pounds by a national company while I would have charged £90 for the same work.

"I wrote to one company, asking them to change the header of their advert on Google Pay Per Click as it included Cheltenham Locksmiths, which is my registered company name. When they did not reply, I emailed them to say I would click on their advert, costing them money as they are costing me money.

"The next thing I know, I received a telephone call from West Midlands Police claiming there had been a complaint made for harassment and blackmail."

Ollie was visited by officers earlier this week to be told the investigation would not be continuing. But he is determined not to leave the matter there.

"The police have said it is a waste of time but I have now spoken to Trading Standards and they are going to look into it," he said.

"It is wrong to be posing as a Cheltenham company when they are based elsewhere.

"I have spent the last five years trying to make a name for myself so it is frustrating when somebody comes along and uses my name to advertise their business."

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  • I am still registered as Cheltenham locksmiths but now trade under Ollie's lock & Safe http://tinyurl.com/bt8zxhs

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  • Tim = a very damaged individual with nothing better to do with his time. Good luck in life my friend you will need it.

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  • TimMessanger  |  January 08 2013, 12:01PM

    Just to keep this one going, ollie why haven't you corrected the neta data on you website? meta name="description" content="Gloucester Locksmiths are a CRB checked independent locksmiths company based in Cheltenham, The company has been established since 2008 and the owner has been a locksmith for 6 years." I'll be in contact with trading standards to mention your double standards and the CRIMINAL offence it looks like you may have committed! That will do wonders for your CRB check won't it!

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  November 16 2012, 2:20PM

    Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!

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  • eyeopener  |  October 24 2012, 10:21PM

    @ Cheltenham Locksmiths "I don't why you wish to constantly attack me , all I've done is made people aware that some companies use false telephone number and pose as local companies when in reality they are a call centre based in London ect." They attack you because they are trolls and love baiting. Your best course is to let the article speak for you and ignore TM and his cronies. When he says "Out of YOUR memberships how many are to the MLA's standards?" he is getting so bogged down in minor details that he has completely lost the plot. Tim is very nice deep down - well very deep down, well almost unfathomably deep down.... BUT he's not very good at seeing the larger picture. People who are seeking local traders are using Google and being misled by National Companies who then sub-contract locally and sting the public with inflated invoices. I know you can envisage all of that... I know the TIG readership can envisage all of that.... but if TM comes back, don't bother typing an answer. If you must respond, draw him a picture!

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  • Dr_Hfrrrrr  |  October 24 2012, 5:03PM

    Ah, Tia. I miss her. Did she ever go back to school?

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  October 24 2012, 11:15AM

    Blimey, is this article still going.....................? And I thought Tia was long gone!

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  • I don't why you wish to constantly attack me , all I've done is made people aware that some companies use false telephone number and pose as local companies when in reality they are a call centre based in London ect. By using false numbers that's intentionally trying to deceive customers. That's the issue here ,not local tradesmen using the words Cheltenham locksmiths you can search most local locksmiths sites and they have this as their page name or is either on their page or as a heading on their advert. I REPEAT I HAVE AND NEVER WILL HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS.

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  • And just to point out I have not had one compliant about about the service or work carried out on any door by any customer In 8 years of being a locksmith. Customers are welcome to ask me for testimonials my discloser sheet (CRB) is readily available to any customer. I am totally transparent my name address and contact details are on my website. My UK Locksmiths association card is always on me if people need Identification. All my work is insured and guaranteed.

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  • http://tinyurl.com/96df9u3 Misleading??? Also so you seem very caught up on the law Tim have I broken any laws. I will repeat myself for a forth time just to clarify. I worked for and was trained by an MLA company for 3 years day in day out if the MLA dropped their membership fees I would be more than happy to join. Its just not cost effective for a soletrader like myself. They are suppose to be a non profit organisation so I can't see why membership is set at such a high price. Just to point out that The ICL has more rigorous testing than the MLA they only allow non destructive methods and the exams are a lot harder. The problem being still not cost effective. You mention Gloucester Locksmiths that have been around for 40 years you would expect them to know what there doing with all that experience in the industry they are also members of the MLA. Now guess who i worked for, for 3 years.

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