The Path to the Right Locksmith
If you’ve ever been so unlucky that you get locked out of your home, car or office, you know what a hassle that can be.
Of course, the first step is to get the best emergency locksmith in your area. The following tips should help:
– If available, give your roadside assistance service a call first.
– Ask for referrals from friends or relatives.
– Write down the names and contact details of more than one locksmith so you can call them in the future, in case the first doesn’t impress you.
– If the person who answers your call says a generic phrase like “locksmith services” instead of the name of the company, be wary.
– A legit locksmith knows that the proper way of answering a business call starts with a mention of its own business name.
– Never sign an empty work authorization form.
– Select an insured locksmith to secure your property against accidental damage during the repair.
– Have an ID in handy because a legitimate locksmith will ask for it to confirm that you are indeed the owner of the property involved.
– Some emergency locksmiths work out of a personal vehicle, but most will come in a company vehicle with a brand name on it.
– If you have a lock-out emergency, be wary when they tell you upfront that your lock must be drilled and replaced. If they’re legit, they should have a good set of tools and techniques to unlock almost any door.
– Once the work is done, get an itemized invoice covering everything, including the parts, labor, mileage and the price of the service.
If you find a locksmith through the phone book, online or any type of directory assistance, make sure its listed address is authentic. A company may use a local address to make people believe it is a local, but that address, in fact, belongs to another business or a vacant lot. On the other hand, a locksmith may not provide any physical address, but that’s only because they work from a mobile office. So if you come across a locksmith without an address, inquire why.
When the locksmith arrives, ask them to show you identification, their license (if applicable) and a business card. There are nine states in the US where a license is required: Alabama, California, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Moreover, ensure that the company name on the vehicle, business card and invoice is consistent.
Finally, ask for an estimate of all the work and replacement parts needed before work starts. For lockouts, most legit locksmiths will give you an overall estimate on the phone. Ask if there will be additional fees, a charge for mileage or a minimum fee.
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The Art of Mastering Keys