Important Information about Locksmith Service
Whether you are looking through the phonebook or local newspaper or conducting a search online, you will find numerous possibilities for a locksmith. The challenge is that virtually every locksmith makes the same claims, although some fail to deliver. For this reason, it is important to learn about locksmith services prior to needing assistance.
A reputable locksmith company will have accreditation with the Associated of Locksmiths of America (ALOA), hold appropriate licensing if required by the state, employ certified technicians, and have plenty of positive customer feedback. Sometimes finding this information can be tricky, but a reputable company will be happy to answer any questions or provide whatever proof a potential customer needs to feel satisfied.
Choosing the Right Locksmith
One challenge is that the U.S. government does not oversee the locksmith industry. In addition, many professional locksmith technicians do not have adequate training. Then, there is a third challenge having to do with physical location. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), many locksmiths that advertise in the local phonebook are not local and have no professional training whatsoever.
To gain more publicity, some locksmith companies advertise in multiple locations yet have just one local place of business. For example, with Los Angeles, California, being a big city, a locksmith company may advertise in that area, when in fact it is actually located more than hour away. Therefore, when someone calls for a technician in Los Angeles, there will be no way of knowing the company is actually far away and will add on outrageous fees for driving to the job.
When hiring a locksmith or conducting a search for names to keep on hand, here are some considerations.
- For an emergency vehicle lockout, start by contacting roadside assistance services. They maintain a list of preapproved locksmith companies and can make excellent recommendations.
- If a locksmith is found in the phonebook, newspaper, or online, always confirm the business address is the actual company address. This will not only ensure the technician is nearby but also prevent you from being scammed by a company that does not exist but tries to get credit card information over the phone prior to dispatching a technician.
While emergency lockouts are slightly different, if you hire a locksmith to perform work at a home or business, you should receive an estimate of labor and parts before you authorize the work. A reputable locksmith will provide an estimate over the phone without hesitation. As part of this, you need to ask about hidden or additional fees that might be tacked on later.
- Something else to consider is that an honest locksmith company will have work orders and other documents that include company name, logo, address, and phone number. At no time should a blank form be signed.
- Finally, it is important to choose a locksmith company that insures all of its technicians. That way if something were accidentally damaged, it would fall back to that company’s coverage.