Hiring a locksmith requires placing complete trust in them – this requires extensive research before making your selection.
Ask these questions of any prospective locksmith you interview to assess their quality and reliability, helping to avoid scams while getting services you require.
1. Do You Have Insurance?
When hiring a locksmith for your business, it is vitally important that they are insured. State licensing requirements will differ, but any non-insured locksmith should be an instant deal breaker – this includes general liability, professional liability and workers’ compensation policies.
General liability coverage is critical when working at clients’ homes or businesses, since you could inadvertently damage their property during your work. Should this occur, clients could sue for repair costs to their property; without general liability coverage in place, any costs related to repairs would come directly from your pocket.
Professional liability is also essential for locksmiths, as it protects you against claims of negligence or mistakes during a job. For example, suppose you break into someone’s car while answering an emergency call only to discover they don’t have their house keys with them – should the owner sue you, your professional liability policy would cover legal fees and expenses associated with that suit. Likewise, having employees means workers’ comp coverage which covers injuries sustained while on the job – something which could save a substantial sum over time.
2. How Much Experience Do You Have?
Experience is of the utmost importance when it comes to locksmithing. An inexperienced locksmith could cause irreparable damage to your lock, door, or car leaving you with expensive repair bills – this is why it is best to choose an experienced professional with at least five years’ worth of experience in order to avoid unpleasant surprises down the line.
One effective way of gauging a locksmith’s experience is to ask for references from previous customers who can then be called directly and see if they were satisfied with his/her work. You could also visit their website and see if there are reviews from past customers available on there as another great indicator.
Many states mandate locksmith licenses; this means they must pass a background check and complete an apprenticeship program under the supervision of a master locksmith before working independently. This provides a good indicator as to whether or not they take their work seriously.
Reputable locksmiths will also be open and transparent about their licensing status and inform you whether your state requires them to be insured; furthermore they should offer information regarding whether or not their work carries a warranty.
3. Do You Offer a Warranty?
This question is essential as you want to be sure that, should anything go wrong after your locksmith has completed their work, they will repair it at no charge. A reputable locksmith should offer this guarantee so you can feel assured they will deliver quality work while standing behind it.
Before hiring any locksmith, be sure to ask about any additional hardware parts needed and any associated charges. Some services will charge a trip fee for coming to your location so make sure you understand this cost before signing any agreements with them.
Once again, it is advisable to inquire as to the types of locks they can service for emergency purposes. Most technicians should have experience servicing most residential and auto lock types while others will possess expertise with specific lock types like safes and motorcycles.
If a locksmith can’t answer all of these questions for you, it is in your best interests to search elsewhere – this way you will avoid becoming the victim of unscrupulous technicians who damage locks or keys in rekeying process.
4. Do You Have Any Relevant Certifications?
As you search for a locksmith, the number of options may seem endless. Unfortunately, scammers and incompetent locksmiths often hide behind online reviews; therefore it’s essential that when selecting one for hire it meets both legitimate and trustworthy criteria. A great way to do this is to ask about their certifications; any reputable provider should be able to explain them clearly.
Make sure they have experience providing residential locksmith services, and verify whether or not they possess a license in your state. Furthermore, inquire whether there is any insurance coverage in case anything goes amiss during rekeying procedures.
Finally, make sure they can provide references from happy customers in order to help make an informed decision about hiring them or not. If they cannot provide this list of references then perhaps another company would be best.
5. How Fast Can You Respond to Emergencies?
Emergency locksmith services require fast responses. Whether it be lost keys, a break-in, or just needing the locks changed in your home quickly and efficiently – an ideal emergency locksmith should arrive within an hour at most.
Make sure that you research their emergency service fees beforehand to prevent an unexpectedly high bill from popping up later on. Inquire about their hourly rate, estimated total and any extra costs related to hardware and lock parts.
Alongside emergency locksmith services, many companies also offer additional services like installing security cameras and smart locks on homes or businesses. It is important to ask what services the locksmith offers so you can ensure they possess the expertise required for your situation. Inquire also about customer service; this may give an indication of professional quality; look for someone who provides friendly, professional customer service as this indicates reliability and prompt responses to inquiries about services.
6. Do You Offer Upfront Pricing?
Before using the services of a locksmith, you have to be sure to gain an idea of your total costs before beginning work. Inquire as to an hourly rate and estimated total for their services – this will help avoid being duped by unscrupulous locksmiths who overcharge for their services.
As well as inquiring about their hourly rates, you should also inquire as to their flat fees for services like rekeying locks. This will enable you to compare costs from each locksmith so that you can make an informed decision for your own situation.
Finally, inquire as to the methods they employ when gaining entry to homes and businesses. Reputable locksmiths only employ safe and effective techniques that won’t damage your property; pick guns and lock picks are usually employed to gain entry without causing damage to locked doors.
If you need a locksmith that specializes in rekeying commercial locks, inquire as to which brands they work with – this will allow you to assess if they possess enough experience for your task.
7. What Lock Brands Do You Work With?
Home security hinges on having reliable locks that protect against potential threats such as break-ins. Select a locksmith who works with top brands like Schlage, Kwikset and Yale locks renowned for their quality and ability to withstand brute force attacks from intruders.
Locksmiths must also stay abreast of current technology and trends related to lock security, such as smart locks versus traditional ones. A locksmith must understand both their advantages and drawbacks of smart locks; some requiring stable Wi-Fi connectivity while others could potentially be vulnerable to hacking attempts; it is therefore imperative that these concerns are discussed with them prior to installation.
An additional good practice when hiring a locksmith service is to inquire into their standards for technicians. Reputable companies only employ employees that have been pre-screened and drug tested, wearing uniforms with company identification badges when arriving at your door to verify they are genuine locksmiths rather than impostor locksmiths – something which can make all the difference when in an emergency situation such as being locked out with pots on the stove or children who require attention inside your house.