When you’re a home or business owner, one of the best ways to be prepared for emergencies is to keep a list of trusted service providers. Too often, we find ourselves looking for service personnel when we’re in the middle of a crisis, which makes us vulnerable to costly scams, sub-par jobs, and hasty decisions.
This is especially important when it comes to picking the right locksmith, since choosing the wrong one can be expensive and dangerous. In fact, the best time to find a reliable locksmith is when you don't need one.
If you don’t have one on your contact list yet, set aside some time to find a responsible locksmith that’s ready to step up when you need their services.
Today, we’d like to share with you 5 essential qualities a good locksmith must have. If that sketchy-looking locksmith offer doesn’t have any of these, run!
1. They must be licensed to operate in your area.
In many cities, locksmiths are legally required to have a license to operate. For example, to work in New York, a locksmith must go through a training program and complete an apprenticeship before being eligible to receive a locksmith license.
Always ask to see their identification and license before starting the work. Proof of identity will give you the certainty that you’re working with a professional, and the confidence to turn away those who aren’t willing to provide it.
Another important fact related to this is that the locksmith must also ask to see your ID and proof of property ownership, or that you’re authorized to ask for the service. This detail is vital for them to know that they’re not helping you trespass other person’s property.
2. They must offer 24/7 service.
Let’s get real, 99.9% of the circumstances in which you’ll call a locksmith will be for emergencies. Maybe you’re coming home from a red-eye flight only to find out you left your keys on the plane. Or you got distracted while texting your friend and locked yourself out of your car on your way to work.
Having a locksmith company that offers 24-hour emergency services in your neighborhood gives you the tranquility that a trusted professional will come to your aid whenever you need it. No more wasting precious minutes by ringing every locksmith in town if you already have the contact you need in hand.
3. They must have good references
In the service industry, you’ll know that someone is great at their job by what their customers have to say about them. Word of mouth is more powerful to assess the skills of a professional now than it was decades ago, thanks to the internet.
Whether you studied that potential locksmith’s Yelp reviews or got a good word about them from a loved one, always make sure to get at least another reference before agreeing to the job. This protects you from scammers and gives you additional reassurance as a consumer.
4. Money Transparency
It happens to many of us: we ask a service provider to help us with an issue, and they want to charge you extra only for looking at the problem, or they offer you (or demand) expensive parts to solve it that you don’t need.
A responsible locksmith is always willing to give you a free quote for their services and to inform you if they charge an additional fee for emergencies. They will also be very clear on what parts they need to complete the job, their price, and their quality, without trying to upsell you.
The best way to ensure this is by asking your locksmith enough questions to make sure you understand what they need for the job, and that you don’t pay more than you should. Don’t accept the services of any locksmith unwilling to give you an estimate up front.
5. They are experienced in working with your specific type of locks.
A significant reason why you should look for a trusted locksmith before you need one is that not all locks are created equal and not all properties have the same security needs and traits.
While searching for a locksmith, you should take into account whether they are familiar with the type and brand of locks your property has. If so, they should be able to identify your problem in minutes and provide good service, which will save you the time and money of searching for service again.
The best locksmith for you is the one that has all of these qualities, and that earns your trust thanks to its proven track of work, reasonable fees, and attention to service. The best way to find them is by going to your browser’s search bar and typing Locksmith +[your postal code].
For example, if you’re in the East Village, you could type any of the following:
Our security experts and locksmiths at Empire City Locksmith are ready to provide any help you may need when it comes to your home, car or business security. Give us a call, and we’ll be there!