1. The only fail-proof option is to prepare.
The only guaranteed solution that you are going to have a trusted locksmith is to find one before you need one. If you had someone help you with a lockout before and you liked them, save that company’s number. Better yet, do some research now and find a reputable company that you can all in.
2. Check if they’re insured and licensed.
If they find it hard to answer that question, or refuse to answer, that’s a big tip that you may not want to do business with that locksmith. If they say yes, make sure you see the paper work when they arrive.
3. Spend time reviewing the company’s online presence.
This might seem obvious to some, but it’s still worth mentioning. Before you start dialling the number of a local locksmith, take a look at their online presence.
First, you’ll want to look at their website. Is it professionally made? If it is and they list a ton of credentials and accreditation, you can feel a lot more comfortable in calling them because they’ve been vetted by other professionals. Another thing to look for is if they make sure their contact information is listed clearly. If you find they operate under multiple names, or a really generic name, or their site doesn’t list a whole lot of information, consider these as red flags.
The next step would be to check out their reviews. Obviously, you want a company with good reviews, but be careful! Some companies pay for good reviews even when they offer subpar service. A great tip is to read the negative reviews and see if the comments carefully to check if they are serious or if the feedback is just about some minor misunderstanding (which happens a lot of times).
4. Refuse additional services that aren’t needed.
If a locksmith starts discussing altering your locks or repairing them when you simply need to be let back in, refuse! A professional locksmith has the correct tools and skills to get you back into your home, vehicle, or office without breaking your locks. Oftentimes, a scammer will attempt to sell you on additional services that you don’t really need.
5. Ask for a quote
Once you have described the problem in detail, ask them to quote the price of the service in full before they arrive on the phone. Extra fees can pile up, like after-hours fees, emergency fees, or mileage fees for the technician. If you don’t want any surprises in the bill, make sure you ask them if those fees are included in their quote. If they’re hesitant to answer or get combative, you probably don’t want to do business with them.