Lock emergencies can range from inconvenient to downright dangerous, whether you locked your keys in the house or are stranded in a parking lot with a broken car ignition key. Most people never really think about locksmiths until one is desperately needed, but it can be difficult to make smart decisions under stress. Whether you need a locksmith today or are preparing for the future, here is what to look for in a professional locksmith.
Recommendations and Reviews
Ask friends and relatives to recommend a good local locksmith, or read online reviews for locksmiths in your area. Call the Better Business Bureau and ask if there have been any complaints. Word of mouth does not guarantee good service, but it can help you narrow down the list.
Knowledge and Credentials
When you call the locksmith company, make sure they answer the phone with the same business name you found online. Be wary of companies with very generic titles such as “locksmith services.” Ask about state licensing and insurance, as well as a cost estimate. Engage in small talk about the service you need to be sure the representative sounds knowledgeable.
When the locksmith arrives, ask for identification, copies of his or her license and insurance, and a written estimate. Ask for an explanation of any discrepancies between the estimate and the quote you were given over the phone. Steer clear of any locksmith who does not ask for your ID, as locksmiths must be sure that the person requesting service is authorized to have that work performed. If you are asked to sign any documents, read them carefully and ensure any blanks are filled in.
Common Locksmith Scams
If you follow the tips above, you should end up with a reputable locksmith. Still, there are numerous scams in the locksmith industry, so keep an eye out for any of the following:
Spoofing a local phone number: It’s always possible that the local number you dialed redirects to a call center somewhere else. This is why it’s crucial to confirm the name of the business, as well as to pay attention to reviews.
Posing as another company: Scammers sometimes use a business name that is extremely similar to that of a reputable locksmith. Double check the name and business address to avoid this.
Bait and switch pricing: Some disreputable locksmiths like to quote low prices and then add on all kinds of fees. Asking for estimates both over the phone and in person can lower your risk.
Lock drilling: A reputable locksmith will not drill out a lock until multiple attempts to open it have failed, and will explain to you why drilling is required. Some dishonest locksmiths will drill first, solely so that they can then charge you for an expensive new lock.
The majority of locksmiths are honest, hardworking professionals. Still, it is an industry with more than its share of scammers, so it is vital to protect yourself. Follow the tips above to find a trustworthy locksmith, and program that company’s number into your phone so you will always have it at your fingertips.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are ready to form a relationship with a reliable, trustworthy locksmith, contact Texas Premier Locksmith today at (866) 948-8188.