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How to Choose a Locksmith

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A locksmith is a great resource, but many people don't think about what locksmiths they might use until an emergency has arisen. Security experts recommend taking some time to choose a locksmith you can rely on in the case of an emergency.

  • Don't wait until an emergency. When you need a locksmith it will be crucial to find someone who is reliable and reasonable. There are some people who will take advantage of an emergency situation, making it all the more important to pick out a locksmith when you have the time to make an intelligent choice.
  • Get the names of several locksmiths. The idea is to do some research and find the locksmith who seems most qualified and who charges a reasonable price for services. It's best to get names based on recommendations from friends and family members, but you can also pick out some companies to investigate based on ads in the newspaper or phone book.

Questions to Ask a Locksmith

  • Do you work 24 hours? It makes sense to have one locksmith whether the emergency is in the middle of the day or the middle of the night.
  • Are you bonded and insured? More than a yes to the question, you want to see the papers and a legitimate locksmith will be happy to show you proof of insurance.
  • What is your experience? Find out how long the locksmith has been in business and ask about some of the services that he or she offers.
  • Can I have some references? Any legitimate business owner should be able to provide references. But don't just hang on to a list. Call the previous customers and ask if they are still using or would use the locksmith again.
  • Can I have a price list? This serves two purposes - to list the services that are offered and to establish a price for those services.
  • Are there fees for after-hours calls? Make sure you know just what to anticipate in the event of an emergency. Some locksmiths may charge more after a certain hour, or may charge a trip fee. The goal here is to establish all possible charges so nothing can be added while you are in an emergency situation and can be taken advantage of.

Check the Credentials of a Locksmith

  • Call the Better Business Bureau. The BBB keeps records on complaints issued against local companies - both the number of complaints and how many of those complaints were satisfactorily resolved.
  • Check with the state locksmith organization. Virtually every state has such a group that can offer advice and information on locksmiths throughout your state.

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