Have you ever been locked from your car or home? Either you can't find your vehicle keys or you locked yourself too much of your home. First thoughts are typically to turn to family and friends for help or perhaps a set of spare keys, however this may not exercise. Next steps are to contact a locksmith in your area. However, before sealing the deal with the locksmith business, you need to consider the reliability and honesty of the company. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the country's consumer protection agency, has uncovered that some locksmith companies may advertise in your local phone book, but may not be local whatsoever. Worst, these 'technicians' may not have qualified professional training at all and can cause further damage to your property.
Check Locksmith Locality
This has been noted and reported through the FTC in the past: A company not situated in your area has a name for its business that is similar to the name of other local locksmiths in the area. This company advertises within the yellow pages and online directories using a local address and phone number. However, in fact, there is no store front and the local number is transferred to a place far from your local town. Then, you might not be given a quote for the locksmith service or given an incorrect quote. When the locksmith arrives, he may want more income and you feel pressured and stuck. If the locksmith only accepts cash, that's also a sign that the business is no authentic local locksmith.
Sometimes you can detect these falsely "local locksmiths" as they may have multiple listings - sometimes over 30 listings in a single phone number. Each one of these listings are under different names, however the phone numbers are all directed to just one central answering services company. There, operators, who might not be trained individuals, are sent to your location.
How to Best Choose a Locksmith Company
There are reliable and honest local locksmith companies available. The best suggestion is to do your research and due diligence before you find yourself locked out or perhaps in an emergency locksmith situation. Maybe you are thinking about increasing your home security by using deadbolt locks, changing locks and door keys, or even installing a home alarm system. This is a great time to sit down in front of the computer and research different companies. Make sure to read reviews, make sure that they have a local hair straightners themselves, and compare quotes over the telephone. Additionally, reach out to co-workers, family members, and friends for any personal recommendations they may have.
Once you've found an established locksmith, keep the company's contact information in a rut such as your wallet, phone, or address book. This could save you time, anxiety, and cash in the future.
Tips for Emergency Locksmith Situations
Obviously, if you are dealing with an emergency locksmith situation such as being locked from your car, home, or office, you don't have the same luxury of sitting in front of the computer and punctiliously checking the legitimacy of the locksmith companies. Below are great tips for such scenarios:
If you're locked out of your car and also have a roadside assistance service call them before a locksmith. Many times, these lock out services are contained in the membership or even though the car dealership or insurance provider depending on when you bought the vehicle. If a company answers the phone with a generic phrase like "locksmith services," rather than a company-specific name, be alert. Ask for the legal name of the business. When the customer representative does not give a solution, call another locksmith. Get a quote for all work and replacement parts from the locksmith before work begins. Ask about extra fees before you agree to have the technician arrived at your location. Companies may charge extra for answering a call in the middle of the night or for driving long-distance. Ask if there is a charge for mileage, or perhaps a minimum fee for a service call. Never sign an empty form authorizing work. If the price decided on over the phone does not correspond to the price of the job when the technician arrives, do not allow any work to be done.
Ask if the locksmith is insured. If your property is damaged throughout the work, it is important for the locksmith to possess insurance to pay for your losses.
It is essential to note that 9 states require locksmiths to be licensed: Alabama, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Nj, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. The technicians during these states should be able to provide their license number.