Seeking an emergency locksmith can have you rushing for the first name online, but it’s wise to keep your business under lock and key until you know who you’re hiring. While there are many legitimate locksmiths out there, there are also some imposters who are less than reputable. The good news is, these tips can help you learn how to spot an honest locksmith - and avoid scams!
Determine the Locksmith Services You Need
Decide exactly what service you need. That way, when you contact a potential locksmith, you can ask if they can perform the right types of services. For example, different locksmiths may have different specialties or abilities.
Some common locksmithing services include:
- Installing mechanical or electronic locks at residential and commercial properties
- Rekeying or changing locks
- Repairing locks
- Making copies or duplicate keys
- Replacing electronic access cards and key fobs
- Responding to emergency calls in case of accidental lockouts or broken locks
Find Out If They Can Provide the Service
You could always try an online search or a local directory to find a locksmith. Unfortunately, when it comes to locksmiths, this tends to be an unreliable path to take. Instead, let us do the hard work!
Here at TrustDALE, we believe in building a community of trust, where consumers get great services at fair prices, and companies sell great services for a fair profit. We support our community by investigating companies to see if they meet our transparent seven-point standard.
We then certify a select number of top-performing companies, and back your purchase with the best guarantee in the marketplace.
Once you’ve selected a locksmith from TrustDALE, give them a call to find out what services they offer and whether they cover your area. If the service you need isn’t urgent, find out which locksmith companies can schedule someone to come at a time that is most convenient for you.
Check If Any Locksmith Providers Are Covered
Did you know that your homeowner’s insurance, business insurance policy, or automobile association membership may cover the cost of repairing, or installing locks? If these services aren’t covered, they may have a list of providers which charge a discounted rate for members. Hopefully, your insurance or auto club membership company has vetted these locksmiths.
If you have insurance or are a member of an association like AAA, make sure that the locksmith company you choose is covered by it. You may need pre-authorization to qualify for coverage, so make sure you’re aware of all the requirements. Check with your insurance carrier or membership association to find out the necessary steps.
Get an Estimate for the Cost of Services
Always find out how much you will need to pay for the service BEFORE you schedule it. If you do have a membership that offers coverage or discounts, make sure that the locksmith’s written estimate reflects that. Confirm that the estimate includes all of the related fees. Remember to ask for a written copy of the quotes requested. You may have to specify these requirements a couple of times, but an honest locksmith should be happy to provide this.
Request to See Credentials
Only 15 states require locksmiths to have a valid license to do business. But some locksmiths have put in the effort to acquire credentials anyway. Locksmiths certified by the ALOA, for example, have verified professional knowledge and skills.
You should also request to see the locksmith’s business card. Make sure that the name of the company matches that on the estimate. This type of documentation ensures that they are legitimate service providers. Before a hired locksmith begins performing any service, ask to see his or her credentials and business card. If they are honest and have professional certifications, they should be glad you asked and happy to show you.
Pay Attention to the Documentation
Finally, when the locksmith shows up to do the repairs or services needed, ask to confirm the estimate that was already provided over the phone. Do NOT pay for the service or get out your cash or credit card until you have agreed to the work quoted.
The locksmith may ask to see your ID and fill out an authorization form. Don’t worry, this is actually a sign of an honest, reliable professional. They should ask for identification and other information to confirm that you are in fact the property or car owner before starting the job.
The typical authorization form, asks for your Name, Address, Phone number, ID number, Locksmith services requested, and Signature.
This is a standard procedure and should not make you feel uncomfortable. However, you should always read the fine print just to know what you’re agreeing to.
Get an Invoice for the Services
When the work has been completed, make sure that you get a copy of the invoice with the final cost of services. This invoice should include any replacement locks, the locksmith’s labor time, and any special emergency service fees or pricing. You may need to submit this itemized document to your insurance company or membership association for reimbursement later, so keep it safe.
Red Flags to Avoid
Here are some signs that a locksmith might not be an honest professional.
- Their prices are too good to be true. Often the price you end up paying is much higher.
- There is no specified address for the business, and they don’t have an updated website.
- There is no specified service area or the service range is very large. This is often a sign that you are contacting a middleman which will add extra fees to the locksmith’s service charge.
- Lack of professional certifications, including ALOA certification (though keep in mind Georgia does not require these certifications).
- They won’t provide an estimate over the phone for the repair work needed.
- Bad online reviews.
If you are ever in need of a locksmith, you want to be sure you can find an honest one. And when you use a TrustDALE certified professional, you're always protected by Dale's trademark
. So start looking for a trusted and honest locksmith in your area today!