From our experience here are 10 TIPS TO HIRE A LOCKSMITH 🙂
1. Make sure your locksmith is licensed – If required in your state or city ask to see their locksmith license (in NYC it looks like a driving license with picture, license number, address and expiration date), as well as their ID so you can rest assure the person you hired or spoke to is at your door. If it’s a large company ask the name of who will be coming out to service you and they should be licensed as well. Some companies will hire workers that are not licensed even though they will give you or advertise a locksmith license on their website.
2. Pricing #1 – At Embassy Locksmith we have no problem giving pricing over the phone, once we can see the door and locks, all we ask is for you to send the photos and we can quote without coming out. A lot of locksmith companies avoid giving pricing so they can bait you into scheduling and once there do the work.
3. Pricing #2 If you didn’t get a price over the phone make sure you KNOW and AGREE to the price before any work has been done. Best is to ask for it in writing before the locksmith starts working so the price won’t change at the end of the job.
Factors that could change the price and are acceptable are door/lock adjustments or condition that may need extra work and the labor is longer or more intense. You should ask what is the hourly rate beforehand to avoid any over charges.
4. False Advertising – If the advertised price or quote is too good to be true, it usually is! All the ads for “$29 locksmith” and if you call and ask for pricing and you are told anything lower than $75-100 for the job (which is a very low price as is), than chances are it is a scam or bait and switch and they will tell you after the work is done that was only the service fee for them to come out. We for instance have a regular service fee of $55 that is applied to labor and parts, we usually have an running where you can save on the service fee or if it is a large job or return customer, we will waive it altogether. We tried very hard to work on the wording that it is clear that additional charges apply for the labor and materials and we remind customers who purchased in writing.
5. Local locksmith – This may be harder to verify than you think if you are looking online. There are a lot of companies that advertise locally but are actually a large company that send out locksmiths all over and usually they are the scammers. Google maps does a good job of verifying that there is an actual physical location even if they are mobile as we are. See how we are listed as an example:
When you call ask for the location, cross street and address and if you are familiar you should know if they are too. We will give you our address but explain we do not have a store front. If you are looking for a locksmith that you can go to make sure the listing has a photo of the storefront and check the street view on maps.
6. References – Just like in any trade ask for references and follow up on them. We have may returning customers that would happily agree to be a reference for a new customer.
7. Reviews Check listings on sites that have verified reviews like and , a free listing site, even though their screening is automated.
8. Compare – Call a few different locksmith companies before scheduling and compare pricing, availability and your overall impression. It may be tempting in an emergency locksmith call if you’re locked out of your car or house to have a few come out but I would not recommend this. There is nothing more annoying than spending time and money (gas) going to a call and the person is not there or you arrive and someone is already there working. You are also putting yourself at risk as you may create a hostile environment if you have a few people show up at same time and some may want to charge you for not cancelling.
9. Background check – You can check with the ,keep in mind if nothing comes up there were no filed complaints for the info you provided, some companies dont advertise their legal names. Also a BBB accredited business paid to their BBB badge so that doesn’t always mean much.
If in your city and state a locksmith must be licensed check with your local government agency that issued the license. In NYC locksmiths must be licensed and you can check their license status on the website or you can check , like the BBB only if there were complaints filed you will get results. NO RESULTS is GOOD = no COMPLAINTS.
10. Rely on your gut – Your gut feeling is usually right, so if you did not like who arrived get an estimate and kindly decline the service. Follow steps 1-9 to reassure yourself you are comfortable and keep their card or number handy for future use if you were satisfied with the service, return customers usually get discounts 🙂
10 ARTICLE LINKS WITH TIPS TO HELP YOU HIRE A LOCKSMITH:
1. IN THE NEWS:
Visit msnbc.com for , , and