A locksmith is a professional who quickly becomes indispensable. For example, if you find your keys are locked in your house, suddenly a locksmith will become your most needed ally. In order to be prepared for such a situation, read this article and learn how to hire the locksmith you need.
If you need to paint your house, cover all locks before painting doors. If you end up sealing up the lock's hole as the key won't fit, you will need a locksmith's services. It's a lot faster and cheaper than using a locksmith to change them all, although covering all your locks can eat some time.
You can still go to a locksmith and have them make you copies if you have a key that says "do not duplicate" on it. Many people offer these keys because it encourages you to pay them to get duplicates. Before making you a spare, most locksmiths won't think twice.
Carefully investigate any locksmith you consider using prior to making a call. Many locksmiths are nothing more than scam artists who will tell you that they need to drill out your current lock and install a new lock. Therefore, it is important to know who to call before you actually need a locksmith.
Do not be offended if a locksmith asks for your identification or questions you a little. He or she needs to make sure they are helping the person that actually owns the home or the vehicle. You would not want to work with anyone that did not ask questions to verify authenticity.
You should do your research and have the name of a reliable locksmith on you at all times. Look for online reviews and get recommendations from people you know. You want to know that you are not being taken advantage of if and when you are in an emergency situation.
Tell them you want a written and signed estimate before they start the job, before you hang up the phone with a locksmith. Anyone who hesitates is looking to make a few quick bucks. You should also make sure to get a receipt after all of the work has been done.
Make sure that any locksmith you hire is bonded and insured. It would be a good idea for you to hire someone else if they are missing one or the other. Being bonded will help protect you against terrible workmanship and insurance will cover any damage done to your property.
When you call the locksmith, ask him for a couple of phone numbers belonging to his most recent clients. Talk to a few people to determine their experience with the locksmith. This will not take as long as you think it will, and the extra few minutes you spend will be well worth it if you are able to get someone reputable out to your location.
When searching for a reputable locksmith company, discuss any additional charges for the work you are having done. Some companies will charge significantly more for excessive mileage and emergency hours. They could also have a service call minimum where you may pay them over $50 for two minutes of work.
Prior to handing over your keys, make sure you get references from any prospective locksmith. Many businesses are glad to give references you just have to ask. Ask about the reliability and trustworthiness of the locksmith, and also the charges if you need to call during off-hours.
When you need to find a good locksmith, plan on driving around a lot. Rather than simply relying on the information you might get over the phone, visit their businesses in person. This will give you a better feel for the level of professionalism you are dealing with and should get all of your questions answered completely.
Don't allow a situation like this to cloud your judgement, even though it is a bit scary to be locked out of your vehicle in an empty parking lot. If you call a locksmith and someone shady shows up, you should let them know that you will not be needing their services after all. Bad signs include lack of licensing, unmarked vehicles and a refusal to hand over an ID.
Compare the invoice presented to you with the person's business license, card and even signage on their vehicle. If they all match, you're good to go. Be wary if the invoice has no company name. Unless they operate as an independent contractor under their own name, you might be facing a scam.
Also a local address, although look for a locksmith which not only offers a local phone number. Some unsavory companies use a local number but reroute the call to a national call center, sending out someone who may not be on the up and up. A local address means they really are in your town.
A professional locksmith does more than just changing locks on your doors, they should be also be able to install window locks. In fact, they might even be capable of assisting you with an alarm system to really secure your home.
Don't sign any blank forms which authorize work being done! This just opens you up to being fleeced for all you are worth. If you receive an estimate, try to get it in writing. If they arrive and say that the job is going to cost significantly more, send them on their way.
Be careful if they become agitated if you end up turning away a locksmith who comes to your home for whatever reason. This is a person who knows how to pick locks and they've already proven to be unsavory. If they start trouble, prev call the police so that it is on record.
Steer clear of any locksmith who simply uses a generic name for his or her services. Look for a reputable company with a brand name attached. Those generic companies are more likely to be scams, so its best to avoid them all together. Plus, it helps you narrow down the best choice in your area.
Meet your locksmith before you even need to hire them. Visit their location and talk to them in person so you get a feeling for their character. Imagine if you gave them your address and had them show up only to realize you don't trust them - they now know where you live!
Now that you have the "how" covered, the time has come to move on to "doing". That means using these tips to ensure you find a professional who does what they promise. In fact, you'll find it won't take you long to locate someone who offers great work at an affordable price.