There are a few questions you ought to consider asking when you phone a locksmith; Why? because it could save you lots of money and some locksmiths are simply better than others.
So, questions you should ask when you phone a locksmith whether it is an emergency lock out or for some routine work.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
Ask for an estimate of how much the work will cost, personally, I always give callers an estimate of how much any given job is likely to cost them and will if at all possible give either a fixed price or maximum cost; always ask if any estimate quoted includes VAT.
I am surprised that the vast majority of people never ask about cost, don’t ever by too shy to ask because any reputable locksmith will provide an estimate based on the average time it takes to do a particular job.
Most locksmiths charge by the hour and will estimate how long the job is likely to take, if you are given the hourly rate check that if they run into a new hour whether they will charge the whole hour or just the actual time taken.
Depending on they type of job, they may in some circumstances be able to provide a fixed quote although this could work out slightly more costly than the hourly rate as it is necessary to allow for unknown variables that might lengthen the time taken.
Clearly any estimate is just that, based on a customers’s telephone description it is impossible to determine all the variables that could cause delay but when the locksmith is working on site they regularly update you, explaining any issues and also provide you options based on what they find to enable you to make properly informed decisions.
WHERE IS THE ACTUAL ATTENDING LOCKSMITH BASED?
There are many so called locksmiths that advertise National coverage. Whilst I can’t comment on their actual coverage they do not cover all areas and some sub-contract to anyone they can get, others might travel large distance which of course adds to the costs. Many of these companies charge considerably more than your local reputable locksmith some considerably more.
If possible check out the website which should have the address from which the locksmith operates.
HOW WILL THEY GO ABOUT THE JOB
If you are telephoning a local reputable locksmith, you are likely to speak to the locksmith that will be attending, if this is not the case then ask to speak to them. You don’t need to know the full technical details but they ought to be able to reassure you they are not going to just get the drill straight out and cause damage that might not be necessary. Drilling locks is usually the last resort.
WHAT ASSOCIATIONS DOES THE LOCKSMITH BELONG TO
Anyone can become a locksmith with no training, whilst some very good locksmiths choose not to belong to any of the associations, you have to be wary of potential “cowboys” too. There are a number of locksmith associations for example the Master Locksmiths Association which ensure a level of good workmanship and reasonable charges etc, check out the association webpages if you have time and the locksmith attending should have identification or certification proving their membership.
IS YOUR LOCKSMITH CRB CHECKED?
As previously stated, anyone can set up as a locksmith, and you are going to trust them with keys to your property, or safe etc etc, if they are CRB checked this ought to prove they have no previous criminal convictions for dishonesty, once agin they ought to be able to show you documentation ort certification proving the CRB check.
WHAT DO OTHER CUSTOMERS SAY
If you are able to do so, have a look at the website, and see if there are any customer testimonials. (Be slightly wary because some unscrupulous individuals can just make these up) Have a good look at the website to see if it seems genuine and that your locksmith is a member of the local community if possible
Many local reputable locksmiths over time become security experts, some have other previous security expertise to add weight to that expertise an can offer other services for example free no obligation security surveys so that you can be made aware of any security vulnerabilities you may have.
You have to put a lot of of trust in any locksmith you employ so don’t be afraid to ask the necessary questions including price estimates to help build that trust.
If you don’t ask a few questions, you might end up paying far too much or having a door that looks like this: