Don’t wait until you’re locked out at night to contact a locksmith. If you are prepared, you can find a good company and keep their details to hand.
Do your research
Know ahead of time who you’d call, should you ever have a need for this kind of service. Keep that number in your phone, wallet, purse and car. Once you have identified potential companies, use Google and yell for impartial testimonials and feedback and select a company that is well established with good customer reviews.
Many people look for phone numbers with local dialling codes, please bear in mind that if you are asked to quote a reference number on enquiry, this is likely to refer to the area you calling from and that company is not local and you have contacted a national call centre who will pass this work on.
Be wary of 0800 and Freephone numbers and having to quote a reference number, or if they request a deposit over the phone prior to any locksmith visit on site. These are all tricks that companies use to get the call booked in and then you may wait all day for someone to turn up.
Clarify call out, hourly rate and parts charges, many companies claim not to have call out charges, however they charge for every 15/30 minutes and this soon results in a hefty bill and likely to include hidden costs. Before agreeing to any job, make sure you get information about any extra charges such as for mileage, service call out minimum time or emergency hours.
Reputable locksmiths should be able to give an estimate of cost and diagnosis of the likely problem over the phone. Once on site they should diagnose the full problem and give any unforeseen costs before proceeding
Peace of mind
Any good locksmith should have full public liability insurance and carry some form of ID If required. If a company promises to be with you within 15 minutes and are not, the likelihood is that they won’t be with you as they are not local and you should call them. A good locksmith that is delayed will call ahead.
Check the locksmith’s vehicle; it should be marked with the company details.
A good locksmith should not cause damage to your property when carrying out the work and any additional work needs to be agreed in advance.