How To Find A Safe, Affordable 24 Hour Locksmith
Late night lockouts are the absolute worst! You’re tired, you’re probably cold, and now there’s a sturdy steel lock standing between you and your comfy bed. To make matters worse, you’re now going to have to pay a 24-hour locksmith to let you back into your own home.
Ideally, someone you know will be able to recommend a locksmith near you and save you quite a bit of worry. However, it’s possible that you will end up having to deal with a complete stranger. So, how do you decide who to hire and, by extension, give access to your home?
Unfortunately, in the precarious position you find yourself in, unscrupulous service providers may offer lower “introductory” prices to get you to click on their listings first. They may also offer price ranges and have hidden fees that are not disclosed until they arrive at your door. Some may not even be all that experienced, or even have the appropriate licenses (if your state requires them).
These practices are all too common, especially among 24-hour emergency locksmiths, focusing their business on letting you in when you are locked out late at night.
You’ll be glad to hear that there are plenty of reliable, trustworthy locksmiths out there. And, there are a few tactics you can use to distinguish the good ones from the bad. Use the following tips to ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting into with whichever locksmith you decide to hire.
Always get a price upfront
While most locksmiths will charge a higher price for service after normal business hours, you should always ask for a full quote of the price before you hire anyone.
Be sure to give the locksmith as many details about the job as possible. Tell him the brand of your lock. Is there a deadbolt or just a doorknob to unlock? Is the key broken inside the lock? The more complete the picture you paint for him, the more accurate the quote will be. These details also help the locksmith to come prepared and tackle the job as efficiently as possible.
Don’t forget to ask about extra fees for work done after hours, during holidays, or on weekends. It’s always good to know if there is a fee and exactly how much it is. If the rate seems shockingly high, don’t be afraid to call a couple of other locksmiths before making your selection.
If possible, have the professional put the quote in writing so you can use it as a point of reference in the event of a pricing dispute.
Ask For A Timeline
Now that you have a quote, ask the 24-hour locksmith for a timeline. How long until he will be able to meet you, and how long does he estimate the job will take? This will ensure that you are not waiting for hours for him to show up, and will allow you to compare with other providers, if you choose.
Phone A Friend
Once you’ve given the locksmith a full overview of his task and secured a quote, it’s time to arrange a meeting place.
If it’s your home that needs unlocking, you’ll likely want the locksmith to meet you there. However, because it’s the middle of the night and you’re meeting with a complete stranger, it’s wise to have someone accompany you while you wait for your technician to arrive. Now is an appropriate time to wake a friend, family member, or neighbor to come to your rescue. Surely they’ll be sympathetic and willing to help you out. Have your friend stay with you while you wait for the locksmith, so you’re not sitting alone in the dead of night. Ask them to keep you company until the work is complete and you are safely back inside your home.
Ask For Identification
It isn’t unreasonable, or even unexpected, to ask your locksmith to show you his license before he starts the work. If you live in Alabama, California, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Caralina, Oklahoma, Tennessee or Texas, your state requires locksmith service providers to carry a license. You can ask to see it or ask your provider to confirm that he is, in fact, licensed. Any true professional will have no qualms about showing identification. It’s a good idea to snap a photo of his license for your records in case any issues arise in the future.
If your state does not require licensing, check and see if there are reviews online about the technician’s services. You should be able to tell fairly quickly if the professional has offered good service in the past.
Additionally, a professional locksmith will ask you for your identification or proof of ownership before they unlock your home for you. Verifying that you are the homeowner, or a resident of the house, is protocol, to ensure that they aren’t granting access to just anyone! If your locksmith doesn’t ask YOU for ID before commencing the job, definitely ask for his.
Ask For Details About What The Job Entails
Don’t hesitate to ask the locksmith to walk you through everything he is doing while unlocking your home. Aside from being educational for you, this will help you reconcile the services he performs with those that end up on the bill at the end of the job. If anything on the bill seems inconsistent with the work he described to you, address it right away.
Some locksmiths don’t know how to pick locks. This means that they will drill into your door, often causing property damage, in order to grant you access to your home. By asking what the job entails, you can choose to hire a locksmith that knows how to get you back in without breaking your door and increasing the cost.
Stop Future Lockouts Before They Happen
Though there are plenty of helpful, professional locksmiths who rely on your business, ultimately it’s better to avoid lockouts altogether. Who needs the stress?
You can prevent future lockouts by saving virtual copies of your keys to the KeyMe app. That way all you need to do in the event of a lockout is visit the nearest key copy kiosk and print a duplicate copy of your key!
Additionally, KeyMe also has a database full of trustworthy and vetted locksmiths across the country. If you need a 24-hour locksmith visit www.key.me/locksmiths or call us at 855-343-5776 and we’ll connect you with the right professional for the job.