Top 10 Tips to Hiring a Reliable Locksmith
Category : Blog
Hiring a locksmith can be highly frustrating and dangerous if done the wrong way. You don’t want to give an unqualified or ill-intentioned person access to the locks for your business, car or house. Put your security in the hands of a properly trained and reliable locksmith, who you know can get the job right without ripping you off or worse.
With all the uncertainty surrounding hiring a locksmith, you must do your due diligence on the options available before deciding. This article will highlight 10 tips for finding a good locksmith who can solve your lock problems effectively and efficiently.
1. Learn the Warning Signs of a Scam
Like in any industry, locksmithing has its fair share of scams that people looking to hire a locksmith need to know. A locksmith scam may be hard to spot because the scammer often tries to pass as a reliable company or locksmith. However, we’ve compiled some warning signs that indicate a locksmith scam. Familiarizing yourself with these can save you from falling prey to fraud in the future.
Unfamiliar With Your Area
Most locksmith scammers understand that customers prefer to work with trustworthy, locally owned businesses to support their city’s economy. With this in mind, a scammer may claim to be your neighbor, even though they may not be. One indicator that your locksmith may be lying about being local is if they ask for highly detailed directions to your neighborhood.
If a locksmith has an established presence in your community, they’ve probably driven around your area before and should have a general idea of where you are. Another red flag is if the locksmith claims to be local but asks questions that make it seem like they don’t know the area.
If a company answers their business phone with a generic “locksmith service” or something similar, this could be a sign that they use multiple aliases to run locksmith scams. For peace of mind, it is essential to determine their company name and do further research on the business.
Because they understand that most people try to hire a reliable locksmith, many locksmith scams advertise their business as part of a professional locksmith association like the Associated Locksmiths of America. Be sure to check with these associations and make sure your locksmith is telling the truth. If they don’t maintain memberships with these reputable organizations, it’s probably a scam!
2. Look Locally
One of the best tips on our list of what to look for in a locksmith is to pick a company located near you. Staying within your community or area of town means your locksmith can reach you faster. If you have an emergency and need a quick resolution, a local locksmith is your best bet to quickly get into your home or car.
Another reason to hire locally is that out-of-area locksmiths may have insurance that is not valid in your area, primarily if their headquarters is in a different state from where you live. You likely can’t hire them if they don’t have insurance coverage in your area. Hiring a local locksmith ensures their insurance will cover your location and not leave you out to dry if a problem comes up.
Lastly, hiring a local locksmith gives you the chance to learn more about them by asking for referrals and talking to people who have previously hired the company. You can see what locals say about their work and decide if they’re a good fit.
3. Get a Referral From a Friend or Neighbor
One of the most trusted and reliable resources you can lean on for locksmith hiring advice is that of your trusted friends and neighbors. Ask them if they’ve ever used a local locksmith or if they know someone they can recommend. If they have a suggestion for you, don’t be afraid to ask questions about their recommended company’s pricing, service and work quality. The more information you can gather, the better!
4. Prioritize Established Companies
If you want to know how to find a professional locksmith, look at how long the company has been in business. A trusted locksmith will have years of experience helping their customers with any locksmithing problems. In general, if a locksmith has been in business for a decade or more, you can trust them for all your needs. You can also look for family-owned operations that have been serving your community for generations.
5. Pick Someone Certified
Just like you wouldn’t let an uncertified mechanic repair your car, you shouldn’t hire an unqualified locksmith to fix your locks. As discussed earlier, Associated Locksmiths of America certifies locksmiths who have demonstrated the ability to handle any lock problem. ALOA offers many certification levels, but we recommend asking your locksmith about their qualifications. If they can provide proof of certification, you can be more confident that they are a proficient and capable locksmith.
Fifteen states, including Maryland, require locksmiths to earn certification to practice commercial services. Professional locksmiths, like those we hire, take extensive tests and undergo background checks to demonstrate their skills and earn their licenses. Certified locksmiths are more reliable, trustworthy and professional. Be sure to always check for licenses before hiring a locksmith. Ernie’s licensed professionals would be happy to talk to you about our certifications!
6. Ask About Affiliations With Any Professional Associations
Professional locksmiths often join industry associations during their apprenticeships and training, and maintain those memberships once they go into business for themselves. Asking your prospective locksmith if they belong to any of these organizations is a great way to assess their credibility and experience within the industry.
7. Check for Insurance
While this tip comes in seventh on our list, don’t overlook the importance of asking a locksmith whether they have comprehensive insurance before hiring them.In the rare event something goes wrong, you’ll be glad to have that insurance policy’s protection. Fully insured locksmiths should willingly provide you with proof of insurance upon request and offer coverage that protects you and their company in case of any problems.
8. Hire a Specialized Locksmith
If you have a specific locksmithing need, we highly recommend hiring a locksmith who specializes in that area of expertise. If you lock yourself out of your car, call an automotive locksmith instead of one who usually works on houses or businesses, and vice versa if you need a locksmith for your home!
9. Check Online Reviews and Listings
Like asking friends and neighbors, another fantastic resource you can use to determine a locksmith’s skill and credibility is online review listings and pages. Online reviews are locksmith customers’ chance to write about their experience with the service.Reviews provide you with insight into the quality of a locksmith’s work and how they treat their customers.
10. Be Security-Conscious
Even if you do your due diligence when hiring a locksmith, it is still crucial to be security-conscious when they arrive to work on your property. Many scammers successfully operate undetected for so long because they know how to get away with it, so don’t neglect to double-check for any red flags when they arrive.
Most locksmith companies invest in branded vans and uniforms for their workers, so clients know they’re getting the real deal. Ask for their ID and licenses to verify they are who they say they are. Lastly, make sure they can provide proof of insurance and ask them to explain their insurance policy and what it covers in detail.
Choose Ernie’s Lock Company for Your Locksmithing Needs
If you follow these tips for hiring a responsible locksmith and take all the necessary precautions, you will work with a company that completes your job effectively and efficiently the first time.
If you need locksmithing services from a dependable company in the Maryland area, reach out to Ernie’s Lock Company today to get an honest and upfront quote on our services. To learn more about the areas we serve and the services we provide, contact us via phone at 301-277-1126 or fill out our contact form online!