When you hire a local locksmith, you need to know the person is on the up and up. You can do that by asking the locksmith or the locksmith company these few questions first.
If you’re one of thousands of people nationwide that locked their keys in their home today, then you’re going to need to call a locksmith.
Although you may need to hire a local locksmith quickly, you still need to take a few moments to ask these questions before you actually hire one. That’s because of the number of fake locksmiths out there who will rip you off.
We’ve gathered this list of questions to help you with situations when you need to hire a locksmith. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Are You Insured?
The first sign of a good local locksmith is one that is covered by insurance. In addition to saying that they’re insured, they should be able to give you the name of their insurance company.
Insurance is important because if something happens while the locksmith is working on your home, it will be covered. This includes if the locksmith injures themselves or damages your property. Either way, they need to be insured so you don’t have to pay for their mistakes.
2. Are You Bonded?
Most professional locksmiths will be both insured and bonded, though both work in similar ways. To get bonded, a locksmith has to pay a certain amount of money to a company who provides them with a surety bond.
Just like insurance, if something happens, the locksmith would then pay for damages out of their surety bond.
Part of why you want to ask about this is because bonding companies run background checks on locksmiths and their business before extending a bond to them. This helps ensure they’re a legit company.
3. What Associations Are You Part Of?
Although a locksmith doesn’t need to be part of an association to practice, it’s a good sign of a qualified professional. This is because in order to continue with an organization, a locksmith needs to meet certain standards.
We are part of two associations: the Bureau Of Security and Investigative Services and the California State Contractor’s License Board.
4. How Long Have You Been in Business?
Length of being in business doesn’t always indicate quality, as it’s always possible that a locksmith with years of experience only recently opened their own business.
However, you still want to be sure that the locksmith coming out to work on your house or car has taken all the necessary steps to become a locksmith. Since the average apprenticeship takes 2 – 3 years to complete, anyone with less experience than that should be avoided.
5. What Proof of Qualification Do You Have?
A legit locksmith should be able to show you proof of their qualifications when they arrive, whether it’s a certification or a membership card to an organization. Ask about qualifications over the phone, and then don’t allow the work to begin until you’ve seen the proof.
Even something as simple as having a business card can indicate that they’re working for a legitimate company as scam artists generally don’t take the time to create, print, and carry business cards.
6. Where Are You Located?
This sounds like a strange question to ask when the address popped up just around the corner from you on Google Maps, but this could help you spot a scammer quickly and save you some trouble.
Locksmith scams involve someone posing as being a local company when they could be in a different state or even different country. They use fake photos and addresses of empty lots to make their business look local, when they’re not.
So, when you call, the locksmith should be able to quickly give you their local address and phone number. If they can’t, then there’s a good chance that they’re not as local as they appear.
7. How Much Should I Expect to Pay for This Service?
Beware the low-cost locksmithing services. These are often scams, and when the person arrives, they’ll claim the job was more difficult than they anticipated and end up charging you up to 10 times as much as what you were quoted over the phone.
This is a good way to know that it’s a scam, especially if you clicked an ad on Google to find them. Words like “locksmith” are at a premium, which means the company pays around $30 for every click. If they then only quote you $19, then something is definitely not right.
If the estimate sounds reasonable and you have the locksmith come out, always ask them to give you an estimate before they touch your lock. They should provide you with the same number. If it’s different, this is a big red flag.
8. Do You Offer Warranties on Parts or Labor?
This is especially important if calling for lock installation or replacement services. Locksmiths that use cheap parts won’t guarantee them because they know they’re likely to break far sooner than you’d like.
Labor should also be guaranteed. After all, if a company has qualified locksmiths, they’ll stand behind them and ensure that whatever they do will last. You don’t want your lock falling apart in a few weeks because it was improperly installed.
All of our parts and labor are guaranteed 100% for one year. We use the best materials available so you can protect your home well.
9. What Other Services Do You Provide?
Another way to spot a scam is to ask about other services that they provide. Few legitimate locksmiths only perform emergency lock-out services. Most will also offer a wide range of security-related services for their clients.
This is because real locksmiths are looking to create repeat customers that will call them whenever they have security concerns for their home or business.
Most scam artists will only do emergency lock-outs because they know people are more likely to quickly pay whatever they ask just to get into their home or car. These people don’t offer any other services because they don’t want to create long-lasting client relationships.
Here at Rex Lock & Safe, we offer a variety of security services. These include commercial surveillance systems, residential lock replacements, car door and trunk unlocking, motorcycle lost key replacements, and safe repairs.
How to Hire a Local Locksmith
The best way to hire a local locksmith is to ask all of these questions before agreeing to have someone come to help you. Since scam artists can charge you hundreds of dollars for a quick and easy service, taking just a few minutes to find out more about the company you’re calling could save you a lot of money.
Our qualified locksmiths are all bonded and insured, and we’ve been in business for over 40 years. To get a free estimate for anything you need done, contact us today.