If you’re like many Americans, you may not know a locksmith until you need the services of one. It’s time to call a locksmith when you lose the only key to your office or need to change the lock on your front door immediately. Knowing an honest and reliable 24 hour locksmith can help make a stressful situation a little less hectic.
5 Tips for Finding a Good Locksmith
You may think all locksmiths offer the same basic services, so finding a good one shouldn’t be that hard. Aren’t they all the same? Without doing your due diligence, you could end up with a smith who leaves you hanging for hours unable to get into your car, or one who shows up to your home unprepared to do the job you’ve called them for.
- Ask friends and check review sites for recommendations. Chances are at least one of your friends or family members has needed a locksmith in the recent past. Hearing their positive—or negative—experiences can help point you in the right direction.
- Check safety practices. If you’re calling a stranger to come to your home or meet you in an empty parking lot late at night, you need to know they can be trusted. A trustworthy locksmith should verify your information and ask for identification. They will also ask for some proof that the property in question belongs to you. Not all states require licensure for locksmiths, but don’t hesitate to ask for a business license number. Avoid any locksmith who is unwilling or unable to provide you with that information.
- Compare prices. The cheapest choice isn’t always the best choice, but your locksmith should at least offer competitive prices. Late-night rates may be more expensive, but pricing should always be clear and easy to understand. The Better Business Bureau is a great resource for learning if a company has a history of unfair practices.
- Find a locksmith that is trained in multiple services. Locksmithing has been around for centuries, but a locksmith’s skills shouldn’t be stuck in the past. The basics any company should offer include lockout services, re-keying, reprogramming fobs and transponders, and installing or repairing locks.
Tip #5: Choose a 24 hour Locksmith
This tip gets its own section because it is actually the most important of them all. It doesn’t matter how trustworthy, skilled, or knowledgeable a locksmith is if they don’t offer 24-hour service. After all, if your lock emergency was happening during regular business hours, you could probably call the auto dealer or landlord or even a friend for help.
Locksmith Red Flags
Sometimes the process of elimination can help with decision making. Here are a few red flags to avoid when searching for a good locksmith:
- Reviews that talk about the locksmith working slowly. It could indicate the smith doesn’t have experience or that he’s dragging out the time to increase charges.
- Prices that are too good to be true. Rates that are significantly lower than average can point to a lack of expertise or dishonest practices.
- A lack of reviews or internet history. Sure, it’s great to support a new business, but an absence of customer reviews or a one-page website that looks unprofessional are warning signs that a business may not be trustworthy.
With a little of research, you can find a skilled, trustworthy locksmith who is available when you need them.