Ask friends, family, and colleagues for their personal recommendations. Word of mouth from satisfied customers is always your best bet. If you come up short, then it’s time to do your homework.
Start as you usually would. Look for locksmith companies in your local phone book and on the Web. For each one, note the phone number and address. If there’s a business address listed, verify that the address genuinely belongs to that locksmith. Sometimes, a disreputable company will include a street address, claiming it’s local when it’s actually not. You can easily match phone numbers with street addresses using the Internet. If a person answers the phone with a nonspecific greeting such as “locksmith services,” rather than a company name, be skeptical. Ask for the name of the business, and if the person won’t say, cross that one off the list and call the next one.
Write down the names of all the potential good locksmith companies you find, with their phone numbers and addresses, in case you don’t want to choose the first one you call. Keep track of which locksmiths specialize in the services you’re seeking.
It’s essential that you investigate each carefully, because some perfectly legitimate locksmith companies might not be including their street address because they operate a mobile business so that they can dispatch one of their professional locksmiths local to you. Therefore, just be sure that if you call a locksmith without an address listed, that you ask why.
Remember, you can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints on file. You can also consult your local consumer protection agency as well as your state’s attorney general’s office.
Find a legitimate locksmith before an emergency occurs. The best way to track down a trustworthy and legitimate local locksmith is to look for one before you need help. Do you want to augment the security of your place of residence or of your business? Maybe you want to have bump-proof locks installed, upgrade your locks to deadbolts, or a put in a keypad. It could be time to change out all your locks for numerous reasons. Maybe you want to enhance your security with an anchored safe, a video surveillance system, a smart key routine, or you’d like to have an intercom system installed. Whatever the case may be, do your research so you won’t get overcharged or scammed.
If an emergency does happen, such as being stranded from your car without your car keys, if you’re a member of a roadside assistance service, call them first. Roadside assistance companies keep their own list of pre-approved companies, which they regularly subcontract with, so you’ll already know they can be counted on to perform standard services properly - such as unlocking your vehicle, giving you a jump, and so forth. If you’ve relied on this service before, you’ll already know they can be relied upon to do exactly what’s needed.
Otherwise, find a locksmith company specializing in automotive lockouts and other automotive challenges such as replacing your car keys, programming transponder keys, repairing an ignition cylinder, and on.
Always ask for a formal estimate. Whether the lock job you require is emergency or routine, always make sure before any work begins that you get a formal written quote including all parts, labor, and fees. If you’re locked out - of your home, your vehicle, or your business - a legitimate locksmith will give you a ballpark estimate of the total on the phone. Press for information about any additional charges before you hire the locksmith. Ask if there’s a minimum fee, extra fees for responding to a call after hours, or a mileage charge. If the price the locksmith gives you upon arriving doesn’t match the estimate given to you over the phone, then say thanks but no thanks.
Check on the locksmith’s credentials. When the locksmith arrives, request identification, as well as a business card and license. The locksmith’s invoice should have the company’s name. Confirm that the name on the locksmith’s vehicle matches the invoice and the business card.
For security purposes, the locksmith must request your identification, too. Prior to starting work, a legitimate locksmith will verify your identity to authenticate the fact that you’re the genuine property owner (whether it’s your vehicle, home, or business).
The locksmith you choose ought to be a true professional - fully insured, officially licensed, appropriately bonded, properly certified, and thoroughly background-checked. If your property were to be damaged during a service call, or if the locksmith were to do faulty work, the locksmith must carry insurance to cover your losses. Depending on the locksmith service that’s provided, the work may be guaranteed by a warranty.
If you’re locked out, you should suspect any locksmith’s claim that it’s necessary to drill or replace the lock. A topnotch professional locksmith is able to unlock almost anything, bringing the right tools, and possessing the in-depth experience to know that such drastic moves aren’t needed.
When you’ve found a legitimate locksmith, and you’ve had a good experience, keep that company’s name on hand for future reference - on the fridge, in your wallet, on the bulletin board at work, on your smart device - so you’ll always be able to get yourself out of trouble if problems arise with locks and keys. Whether you need a locksmith for a one-time job, or you want to hire an expert to work on an ongoing basis, you’ll want that person to be a consummate professional. Whether it’s a locksmith service pertaining to your home, your car, or your place of business, you definitely don’t want to allow access to just anyone.
If you’re not in a crisis with keys and locks at the moment, then now is the time to find the right locksmith! The best locksmiths will give you a FREE consultation, so don’t hesitate to ask for one. At Cambridge Locksmith Services, for example, the staff mobile professional locksmith technicians carry out residential, automotive, commercial, and emergency services, serving the customers of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 24/7.