Summary: Find out how to hire a good locksmith so your car is in the best hands… literally.
For the sake of investing in your car, you deserve to know what to look for when hiring a locksmith to make sure that your large investment is in the right hands. The truth is that not all locksmiths are created equal (sorry to break the news to you) but, hey, these 5 locksmith tips & tricks can at least help you in the locksmith decision-making process.
If a locksmith company uses an 800 number instead of a local phone number, this could be considered suspicious. It’s often a sign that you’re dealing with an out-of-state call center, which is a red flag for a locksmith scam.
Be on the lookout for locksmith companies that answer calls with generic phrases like “locksmith services” rather than a specific name. If a locksmith won’t provide the legal name for their business, find another locksmith. And if you find a locksmith with a “local” address, search for that specific address online. See whether any other businesses use that same address. Ask the company to confirm its location when you call.
Fake locksmiths typically quote prices between $15 and $40 to start. They bait-and-switch customers by advertising low prices, then price gouge after they arrive. The usual claim is that the job is more complicated and will cost more. While it’s not abnormal for prices to change a bit if a job really does become more complicated, the suspiciously low price at the beginning is the giveaway.
Tip: When you’re paying to have a local mobile locksmith come to you, this comes with overhead costs. Tools, licensing, training, and transportation aren’t cheap. No reputable locksmith could charge $15 and make enough to keep their business afloat. Most locksmith companies will charge at least $60 for the service call.
If you’re locked out, be wary of locksmiths who insist on drilling or replacing the lock. Most experienced locksmiths possess the skills and tools to unlock nearly any door. You will almost always have the option to either rekey or replace the lock. Drilling is typically only necessary to open high-security locks.
Related reading(s): 9 Tips to Avoid Locksmith Scams
When the locksmith arrives at your home, the most important thing to do is check their identification. All licensed locksmiths have a Master Security License Number. This number should be displayed on their vehicle and their photo identity card. If they say they’re licensed but don’t have their card, I’d suggest sending them on their way.
Still wondering about the importance of finding a good locksmith? ABC News did a video report showing several examples of locksmith scams — it’s a real thing. Do your research now without spending a dime so you’ll be prepared when you’ve got a key emergency.
Related reading(s): 5 Tips to Finding a Locksmith You Can Trust