Nearly everyone has that frightening moment when you realise you’re locked out of your home or car. Calling a locksmith is often the first thing that springs to mind, but how do you choose the right one amongst all the companies who advertise locksmith services?
Check the address
Calling a local locksmith is the best option so you don’t get stung with high call out charges, but when you make contact, check the address listed really is where they’re based and travelling from. Otherwise, callout charges could suddenly be multiplied. If you’re looking for locksmith services in Cardiff a good choice would be Tonys Locksmith. There are websites that can match a phone number with an address, which may be useful to you. Some legitimate locksmiths operate mobile businesses and don’t list an address or a landline phone number. In this case, when you call, ask if this is the case.
When your call is answered
Note how your call is answered when you make contact. A company name should be clearly quoted rather than the generic ‘locksmith services’. Don’t be afraid to ask for the company name. If this name is withheld, look elsewhere.
Get an estimate
Make sure you ask how much the service will cost before engaging in the deal. It should be possible to get an accurate quote over the phone so you don’t get a nasty surprise when the job’s done and there’s little option but to pay up! Ask about extra fees too, as these can sometimes apply (e.g. out of hours work). Ask if the locksmith charges specifically for mileage, or if a minimum fee applies. Check the price again with the locksmith when they arrive, before starting the work. If the price seems out of step with what you’ve been quoted, you’re within your rights to cancel the job. It’s also best not to sign any documents you haven’t clearly read and understood.
Insurance and ID
Check if your locksmith’s got liability insurance. In the event of any property damage or faulty work you’ll need to be able to apply for compensation. Ask for ID, such as a business card and check this matches the company’s name. You should also be asked for ID too, to ensure you’re the legal home or vehicle owner. Another thing to look out for is the locksmith’s own vehicle. Most legitimate tradesmen will arrive in a van bearing their company name.
Ask about the job
If you’re locked out, check how the locksmith intends to get in. Be cautious if the solution offered is drilling and replacing the lock. Most professional, trained locksmiths can get into almost any door using a variety of techniques, some more expensive than others! When the job’s done, get a breakdown on the invoice to cover labour, any parts, mileage, and the price of the call-out itself.