A locksmith is more than a professional, he can really be a life saver. You will already know this if you have been late for work and locked out of your car. If you have a quality locksmith on side, you’ll never be left in the cold, so check out the tips below on how to select a good tradesman.
If you have a key that says “do not duplicate” on it, you can still go to a locksmith and have them make you copies. Many people offer these keys because it encourages you to pay them to get duplicates. Most locksmiths won’t think twice before making you a spare.
Try to call the same locksmith every time you are having a problem. It may seem embarrassing, but this is something they are used to. You don’t want to trust too many people with this kind of job, so once you find someone reliable you should give them all of your business.
Do not let the locksmith begin work until he or she has given you an estimate. Rather than simply getting a verbal estimate, insist that the locksmith write the quote down on paper. This way, you have proof of the number that you were quoted. As long as you agree with the price, work can commence at that point.
If you call a locksmith and they answer the phone with a generic phrase, you should definitely be a bit wary. Opening the call with “locksmith” or “locksmith services” means that they may be avoiding giving you a legal name. This is not acceptable for anyone that has the ability to access your home.
When you initially call a locksmith, make sure you question them about the type of services they perform. You do not want to have them come out to your location, only to find out that they do not service cars or they do not have what they need to take care of your situation. Chances are, you are going to be in a hurry to get the situation resolved, and you do not want to waste time.
If you call a locksmith and they show up in an unmarked vehicle, you should be a bit concerned. Most legitimate locksmiths have a company vehicle. While having a plain car does not guarantee you are dealing with someone underhanded, you probably don’t want to risk your security by working with them.
Ensure that the locksmith is licensed before hiring him. This certification ensures that he has the necessary skill to perform the work. Each state offers licensing of locksmiths. When the locksmith arrives, ask for identification, a business card and his pocket license. This will help ensure that the person you are dealing with is who he says he is.
Inquire as to whether or not the locksmith you hire is bonded and insured. While this may seem like over-regulation to some, it can really save a homeowner from potential disaster. If anything breaks or otherwise goes wrong while the locksmith is servicing something on your property, you will be competely covered!
Find a locksmith who has current credentials and stays active in learning more about his trade. While this is just a bonus, you can be assured that a locksmith that is a member of an association or earns additional certifications is up on current trends. It also helps to tell you he is not some fly by night operation that will leave you high and dry!
Contact your local Better Business Bureau to ensure that there are no complaints lodged against your locksmith. The BBB will have records of any complains along with what the locksmith done to try to remedy any complaints filed. A reputable locksmith may have one or two complaints filed against him; however, if numerous complaints are recorded, look elsewhere.
Before you hire a local locksmith, check your local laws. Many states have regulations in place to protect consumers from fraud and sub-par work. For instance, California mandates licensing. Know how the laws in your area are set up to protect you and make sure that they do! You’ve got too mcuh at stake not to.
When looking for a locksmith, try to avoid any company that does not answer the phone with a specific name. These companies will frequently subcontract the work out to other vendors. You need to have a company that hires their own employees and does not farm out their work to anyone and everyone.
Before you agree to hire any locksmith or think you can just call them at the drop of a dime, ask if they charge more for your specific location. Many businesses will add on extra charges if you happen to live more than 20 miles from their base location. Know this in advance to avoid an outrageous bill.
After a locksmith has changed the keys or locks in your home, try them yourself before he leaves. While his work is no doubt top-notch, new keys and locks can be tricky. Make sure you can figure out the knack or get his advice on how to break them in, so that you’re not frustrated about it later.
Call roadside assistance before calling a locksmith. They may offer you their own locksmithing services, or they can refer you to a trustworthy local professional. If you don’t have roadside assistance, call your insurance company as they may offer similar services or references. Regardless, they’ll know who you can call.
Compare the invoice presented to you with the person’s business card, license and even signage on their vehicle. If they all match, you’re good to go. If the invoice has no company name, be wary. Unless they operate as an independent contractor under their own name, you might be facing a scam.
Now that you know how to find a great locksmith, you just have to do it! Take the time now so that you’ll be prepared if something bad happens. When you’re left on your doorstep with your keys gone, you’ll be glad to have their number already in your speed dial.