In general, when you need a locksmith, there’s a bit of a crisis duration at hand. And not surprisingly, there are people who would take advantage of customers who find themselves locked out of a home or car at what always seems to be the worst possible time.
Most locksmith companies are completely legit and aboveboard in how they deal with customers, but we have put together a list of seven important tips to help you make sure that you have the best odds of a positive transaction.
When you telephone a potential locksmith, pay attention to how they answer the phone. It’s not uncommon today for your online search queries to lead to phone numbers that are manned by nonprofessionals. Often, these phone banks are trying to find opportunities to sell your potential job to unscrupulous locksmith entities who will mark it up by finding things to fix that might not even be necessary.
Always request an estimate up front based on your understanding of what the issue is. Even insist on it if you are attempting to schedule a locksmith to come out to your house.
Make sure to clarify any extra charges that might result over and above those described for doing the work. This can include service call minimums, mileage beyond normal coverage area and certainly emergency hour response.
And when the locksmith arrives at your home, make sure they are driving a clearly identified truck that matches the name of the business with whom you had the phone conversation. Only nonprofessionals drive around in unmarked work vehicles and this is a big red flag that you might be about to do business with someone who does not have your best interest at heart.
And don’t let the locksmith into your home without some form of identification. There are some states where locksmith must be licensed, and you can certainly ask to examine that license or a copy of it. At a minimum ask for some identification that firms that the individual is an employee of the locksmith company that you set up the appointment with.
Review the job with the locksmith after his arrival. Note carefully any differences from the estimate you arrived at on the telephone, and make sure that any additional cost is completely clarified before any work begins. It is your right to dismiss any contractor who has changed the terms.
Finally, be wary of a locksmith who insists on either replacing or drilling out locks before they have been thoroughly examined. And even when this is suggested, have an in-depth conversation with the locksmith about the necessity. Very few professional locksmiths lack the ability to unlock pretty much any door or even window.