If you haven’t yet used an emergency locksmith service, the statistics show you will eventually. These services can assist during lockouts, repair locks, and more.
Not convinced you’ll ever need to use a 24/7 locksmith service since you’ve made it this long without needing to? The statistics speak for themselves.
Did you know the average American spends around 2.5 days a year searching for things they’ve misplaced? Among the most commonly lost items are car keys. This can be terribly inconvenient when you need to unlock your vehicle or drive to an appointment.
Did you know one study suggests at least two million people in New York City alone lock themselves out of their homes each year? While New York City hosts a high population, it’s far from the only place in America. Can you imagine what the country-wide statistics likely look like?
Did you know the preferred method of entry for burglars is an unlocked door or window? But, if those aren’t available, most burglars prefer to bust in a door, thus breaking the attached locks? Once the locks are busted, it’s easier for another person to enter your home without permission.
In each of these situations, the person you’d call for help is an emergency locksmith company. Choosing the right one for your needs and location is essential. Continue reading to learn how to determine the right locksmith for you.
When Should You Use an Emergency Locksmith Service?
Emergency locksmith services can be anything that happens outside of regular business hours or requires immediate attention. The most common emergency services include lockouts. This is when you lock yourself out of your home, business, or vehicle.
However, other types of locksmith-related emergencies may happen. For example, if your home was broken into and you need your locks replaced immediately. Or if the lock was damaged in another way and you can’t wait until morning for it to be fixed.
Why Should You Find a Locksmith Company Before an Emergency Happens?
One of the biggest mistakes people make is waiting until an emergency arises to find a locksmith company. This can leave you scrambling for any company that’s open in your service area. By choosing any random company, you leave yourself open to the possibility of poor customer service and shoddy work.
Instead, every person should research a reliable locksmith company ahead of time. Then, keep that number programmed into your phone for when you need it.
Locksmith companies do more than lockout emergencies. Whenever possible, you should use the same company for all your lock and key-related needs. In addition, many locksmith companies also handle security systems.
Do They Offer Emergency Services?
The first thing you want to do is ensure the company you choose offers emergency services. Many locksmith companies are available around the clock, but some of them may have set hours.
You can generally find this information on their website. However, if it isn’t available, you should call and ask. Before calling to ask any questions, make a list of everything not answered on their website.
What Other Services Do They Offer?
You may be looking specifically for an emergency locksmith, but it doesn’t hurt to attempt to find one that can take care of all your needs. Locksmith companies generally offer a range of services. A few examples include:
- Installing new locks, doorknobs, and deadbolts
- Repairing locks
- Creating copy sets of keys (including transponder keys)
- Repairing vehicle ignition switches
- Extracting broken keys from locks
Some locksmith companies also work with homes and businesses on their security needs. They may be able to offer valuable professional insight on what security is necessary for your home or business.
Besides the obvious deadbolts or traditional locks, locksmith companies may help set up (and potentially monitor) security cameras. For commercial properties, a locksmith may be able to help with panic bars, automatic door closers, and access control systems.
What Kind of Online Reputation and Ratings Do They Have?
A quick query in your favorite search engine should turn up many online reviews. There are numerous websites dedicated to allowing previous clients to rate service companies. Take your time to check the rating at least two websites.
But don’t rely on ratings alone. While you don’t need to read every customer review, you should browse them. This will help you understand what individual locksmith companies excel at, as well as where the company may fall short.
You’ll want to find the companies with the highest ratings. Avoid any company that consistently receives negative reviews. Negative reviews are (usually) one and two-star ratings, while the most positive is (usually) four and five-star ratings.
Another option is to ask the people you trust if they’ve used an emergency locksmith previously. If they have, ask if they’d recommend the company they used. Be sure to ask why they would or wouldn’t recommend a company to get the greatest understanding.
What Is Their Service Area?
Each locksmith company has a set area they provide services to. Ensure your home is within that location before deciding to use a company.
But what if your home and job are quite a distance apart? In this situation, you may need to keep two locksmith companies saved in your phone. If you can find a locksmith company that serves both areas, however, this is your best bet.
How Much Experience Do They Have As a Company?
The longer a company has been in business, the better. Locksmith companies who provide shoddy work or are routinely late (well past their estimated time of arrival) won’t be able to stay in business for long. The same can be said for companies who price gouge or have hidden fees that significantly increase the original estimate cost.
It’s important to note that some newer companies provide excellent services. However, it can be a gamble, depending on how new the company is. Choosing an experienced company with years of reputable service behind them is always the better bet.
What Certifications or Training Have Individual Locksmiths Received?
You don’t want someone working on your locks who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Be sure to ask how much training and which certifications the individual locksmiths have received. A combination of training, certifications, and on-the-job experience is the best option.
Every locksmith starts new at some point. However, it’s generally preferred that brand new locksmiths be paired with one that has significantly more experience. This ensures the new hire gets training, but quality services are still provided.
Is the Company Bonded and Insured?
You don’t want to work with any company that isn’t bonded and insured. At a minimum, companies should carry both liability and workman’s comp insurance.
When a company is bonded, it means they’ve set aside a certain amount of money. This money is intended to cover any claims leverage against them or their insurance company for accidental damages or other problems. Being bonded is a winning situation for everyone because it means your claims will be paid, and the locksmith company won’t go into debt by paying.
Liability insurance helps cover any accidental damages that happen when the locksmith company is working on your home, business, or vehicle. Although rare, accidents can occur, and it’s best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Workman’s comp insures the people who are working on your locksmith project. If they become injured while on your property, their medical bills will be covered. This way, you won’t be held liable for any medical bills.
What Are the Average Costs of Emergency Services?
Locksmith services will have various price points based on numerous factors. A few examples of facts that affect the price include:
- The service itself
- How far the locksmith will have to drive
- The time of day (or night) the service is required
- Any additional services necessary (like creating spare keys)
Until a service is needed, the locksmith can’t give you an exact price. However, they should be able to provide you with a general price range or estimate of what the service may cost.
For example, they could tell you an emergency lockout service to your home costs X amount of dollars during regular hours and X amount of dollars after hours. They could tell you what the base cost of lockouts or lock changes is. You can compare these estimates against other companies that service your area.
You’ll want to get cost estimates from at least two companies in your area. This gives you an idea of the basic price range for your location to help you avoid being price gouged.
Will They Give You a Written Estimate?
Before the locksmith company starts working, they should provide you with a written estimate of costs. If anything comes up during the project that would raise prices, they should discuss it with you before pushing forward. Then, they should revise the written estimate and have you sign off on the revision.
The most obvious reason for getting a written estimate is that it protects you, the customer, from paying more than expected. Estimates should include all taxes, fees, and associated costs.
But written estimates also protect the locksmith company. Once customers sign off on the estimate, they can’t argue that a lower price was given. Both the company and the customer will have copies of the original estimate.
What Payment Methods Do They Accept?
Locksmith companies may accept a range of payment methods. Be aware this can be different from one company to the next. If payment method information isn’t available on their website, you can call and ask.
Most companies will accept cash or credit card. A few will accept alternative methods like PayPal, checks, or similar. However, if you require an alternative payment method during an emergency, always verify it’s accepted ahead of time.
Do You Feel Listened to When Speaking With Them?
It’s essential to call a locksmith company before using them and speak with one of their customer service representatives. Poor customer service can ruin how you feel about working with a company.
Ask yourself if you feel listened to when speaking to them. Do they answer your questions to the best of their abilities or avoid them? Are they friendly and helpful or rude and eager to get you off the phone?
How Long Will It Take Them To Arrive At Your Work, Home, Etc.?
When speaking to someone on the phone, ask for an estimate on how long it will take the locksmith to get to the locations you’re most often at. Generally, this would include your work and home.
While these estimates may be a little longer if a locksmith company is busy, they can provide a starting point that helps you choose the best company. If one company generally takes fifteen minutes to arrive at your home, but another takes 45 minutes, the first company is the better choice (if it meets all the other requirements discussed here).
More Questions About Choosing Emergency Locksmith Services?
It’s essential to find a locksmith company offering emergency services before you need them. You can use the information above to find the right one in your service area. Save their contact information for future use and feel confident knowing you have someone on standby if an emergency happens.
Do you have more questions about choosing emergency locksmith services? Or do you need reputable locksmith services now?
Contact us today. One of our associates would be happy to answer any questions you still have. They can also send a locksmith out to your location if necessary.