5 Tips to Find a Local Locksmith
It seems as though, as time goes on, it becomes more and more difficult to find quality service-people. There are so many people out there who will promise you the moon, but they just don’t deliver the goods. Here are some things you can do to find a local locksmith you can trust.
Don’t Wait to Find a Local Locksmith
Many people don’t think about calling a locksmith until there is an emergency. Then, one day they lock themselves out of their home or car. Once that happens, they are pressured by the circumstances to rush to find someone who can fix the problem. This sets them up to be taken advantage of, and no one wants that. The best way to avoid this is to find a local locksmith you can trust before you have an urgent need. Sure, it may take a little time, but having someone already in your contacts list can save you from being the victim of a scam when you find yourself in a bind. Here are five tips for finding your go-to locksmith.
Make Sure the Locksmith is Really Local
Don’t be fooled by websites with local phone numbers. Many “local locksmiths” you find online are merely brokers. They give phone numbers with local area codes to appear local, but calls to these numbers actually go to distant call centers. These people take the phone calls, but they don’t do the work. They contract with people near you and split the service fee. How well do they actually know the people they are dispatching to your home? Have they checked qualifications? And, are they charging more because they need to share the fee with the actual service-provider?
Pay attention to how your call is answered. If the person says something generic, like “locksmith,” or “locksmith service,” it may indicate that she is in a call center. Local companies usually answer with their actual company name. Also, check for a physical store in your area, or mobile vehicles bearing the locksmith’s name to ensure you are calling a truly local locksmith.
Reputation is King
When buying real estate, the three most important factors are “location, location, location.” When choosing a locksmith, it is “reputation, reputation, reputation.” You are letting these guys into your home, and they are working on elements of your home that involve your security. In a nutshell, they can literally take the keys to your kingdom. Therefore, it is critical to find a local locksmith that you can trust.
Ask friends, relatives, and neighbors for recommendations. These are some of your best resources. People are generally more than happy to share information about vendors they like, or exchange horror stories about bad experiences. A positive recommendation from a trusted source gives you a great advantage.
Ask the Locksmith for References
When you find a local locksmith you are considering, ask for references of people in your area for whom he has performed work. Many satisfied customers will agree to provide references for someone whose work they liked, and with whom they felt comfortable. Locksmiths who are good at what they do should have no problem sharing references with you.
If you live in a place that requires licensing, make sure any locksmith you choose can produce a copy of his license. Currently, only 14 states* require state licensing of locksmiths, although there are some local municipalities in other states that require licensing within their jurisdictions. One example of that is Miami-Dade County in Florida. Florida does not require state licensing, but Miami-Dade County requires locksmiths operating in the county to hold a county-issued license.
While licensing is no guarantee, it does provide some indication of legitimacy. For example, to be licensed in Miami-Dade County, a locksmith must have been apprenticed to, or working as a locksmith for at least one year. This information must be attested to by a locksmith supervisor, business owner, or other person affiliated with the locksmith industry. In addition, Miami-Dade will perform a background check, so if nothing else, the license will tell you the guy does not have a criminal record.
Check the Locksmith’s Insurance
This is a must. Make sure to find a local locksmith who has valid liability insurance. And, don’t take his word for it; ask for proof of insurance. Accidents happen, and if someone gets injured, or something gets damaged in your home, you will want to be protected and compensated. Your locksmith’s liability insurance should cover that.
Remember, when you wait until you are in an emergency situation, you put yourself at a disadvantage. There are many locksmith scams out there, and you don’t want to fall victim to any of them. So, do your homework in advance, and find someone who you know will treat you right. That way, when the need arises, you can keep an already stressful situation from becoming even more stressful.
If you are in southeast Florida, and need to find a locksmith that meets all the above criteria, Lock N More is the answer. Lock N More is a licensed, full-service, 24-hour commercial, residential, and automotive locksmith, and a trusted name in south Florida.
*Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia