Calling a locksmith out to help you is pretty much your only option if you're locked out of your house or vehicle, or if one of your locks isn't working properly. When you're in this situation, you're putting a great deal of trust in a stranger, and yet most people simply call the first locksmith whose details they find, without giving it a second thought.
While the majority of locksmiths are legitimate, there are a few scammers out there who take advantage of people's trust. Keep yourself protected and make sure you hire a genuine professional by following these guidelines.
Ask questions on the phone
When you call a locksmith, ask them a few questions to see how they respond. They should be able to give you an estimate of the cost of the work and how long it will take, based on information you give them about your lock and situation. Feel free to ask them anything you're unsure about or test their knowledge. A legitimate locksmith won't mind giving you answers and reassuring you.
Check their credentials
Before your locksmith begins any work, it's important to check their identification. Ask if they can also provide any proof of membership to a professional body or other official documents. Even a business card can help you tell the difference between a real locksmith and a scammer. Professional locksmiths understand that this is important, and they'll be happy to provide proof – they may even offer it before being asked. Be wary of anyone who can't or won't show you some form of reliable ID.
Trust your instincts
A legitimate locksmith should provide a friendly, helpful and professional service. If something doesn't seem right, it's best to give someone else a call. Look out for people with an unfriendly manner, or those who try to pressure you into extra services. If the price suddenly shoots up compared to the estimate you were given, it could be because the lock is unexpectedly complicated. However, if there are genuine reasons for the price increase, the locksmith will be able to justify it in a believable way.
Be prepared in advance
One of the best ways to ensure you avoid dishonest locksmiths is to get a recommendation from somebody who's used a genuine one in the past. Unfortunately, that's difficult to do when you find yourself in an urgent situation. Take the time to get recommendations and check potential locksmiths out before you need one, and keep a phone number with you at all times. If you ever find yourself in need, you'll save time and worry by being prepared.
For more information, contact your local mobile locksmith service today.