5 Questions to Ask Your Locksmith
Being prepared is the most important step to prevent you from becoming a victim of a locksmith scam. Nearly all of the stories you hear about people being ripped off by locksmiths are caused because the customer had no previous information about the company and they used shifty tactics to take those customers for a ride. When you are contacting a locksmith to decide if you want to save them on your phone make sure that you ask these ten essential questions. It will allow you to understand the pricing as well as service availability within your area.
1. Are all of your services available 24/7?
Most mobile locksmith companies now claim that they are 24 hour companies that can offer their services to customers around the clock. An important question to ask is whether they offer all of their services 24/7, or only lockouts. This is because many times there are technicians working overnight who do not have the experience or training that normal business owners technicians may have. The overnight technician may be able to open your door, but can he provide you with a new vehicle key if you have lost yours? This is also important if you are choosing a one man locksmith operation, is he going to be able to help you at two in the morning? Does he have cover when he is on vacation or not in the area.
2. Are there different charges for overnight and day time services?
A locksmith may be offering a cheap flat rate for lockout service, but that could only be for during business hours. In some locations additional charges of up to $100 can be seen for services that are completed overnight versus during the daytime.
3. If you are available for overnight service, do you use subcontractors?
The use of subcontractors is more likely to occur for companies that are larger than your average one town locksmith company. The reason you will want to ask this is because subcontractors may attempt to charge more than a normal employee would since he is responsible for his own gas and insurance. Of course if a company does have a subcontractor available that does mean that you can receive service and does not necessarily mean you will be overcharged.
4. What are your estimated wait times?
Most companies will feed you a line that they can be on scene in 15 minutes, while it is possible for some companies to do this in some areas, there is zero chance that you will receive a 15 minute response time at three AM, unless of course, your locksmith lives next door. Ask how long you could expect service in the middle of night and during the day, if they give you honest times for both, it is just another reason to trust that company.
5. What are your final prices?
This is the big one. Locksmith companies will use a various ways of displaying their price to make customers think that the service is cheaper than it is. One of the most infamous ways is that when a company displays a price list, all of the price are listed as “starting as” and then have no limit to what the charge could possibly be. In addition to this companies do not even have explanations for why these prices may vary. So when you call your locksmith to do research ask how much the total cost would be to unlock your home both at night and during the day. If the company you are calling does not oblige by your request for an exact price, you have a huge red flag that this company is not to be trusted. Do the same for the replacement of your vehicle key or unlocking your car door. If you do not have the time to talk with a representative on the phone, drop an e-mail to the company and they should respond with answers to your questions.
If you can run all of these questions by a locksmith company without any red flags raising in your mind, the company you are calling can definitely be trusted to complete service for you without being ripped off. There are plenty of other questions you can and should ask a locksmith company for your specific locksmith service, but these questions will help you get a good idea of how the company works.