Locking yourself out of your own car or your home can be such a hassle. It would be great to have a family member (or even a friend) deliver a spare or extra key. However, there are times when a simple request like this simply cannot be granted. In this case, you will need to place a call to an emergency locksmith. But prior to making that call, there are some things you will need to consider.
Beware of Local Locksmith
In finding an emergency locksmith, your first instinct would be to grab a phone book or make a search online for local locksmiths. You need to take caution because there are companies that advertise with a local address and telephone number under 30 or so different names. The numbers may all be different but if you try to call them, they all point back to a single call center, most likely in a distant city, where telephone operators blindly send off untrained persons to perform the job. You need to take extra caution in hiring someone local, especially if that company
1. Quotes a price over the phone but refuses to discuss any further
2. Has locksmiths that arrive in unmarked vehicles
3. Has locksmiths that ask for significantly more money upon arrival on site
4. Only accepts cash payments and nothing else
Tips for Picking Emergency Locksmith
We are often advised to weigh our options well in selecting a locksmith to work with. However, during emergency situations, we do not really have much a choice. Nevertheless, this does not mean we simply need to work with whoever is available. The following tips can help us increase our chances of hiring reputable and legitimate local locksmiths.
1. Avail of roadside assistance. If you have subscribed to roadside assistance services through your car dealer or insurance company or on your own, calling them would be your priority. Roadside assistance services typically have pre-approved locksmiths to conduct services like jumpstarting batteries, delivering gasoline, changing flat tires, towing, and of course, unlocking cars.
2. Ask for recommendations. Seek the recommendations of family and friends for reliable 24 hour locksmith services. Keep a list of their referrals for future reference.
3. Confirm locksmith addresses you find through the Internet, phonebook or directory assistance. Take note that there are locksmith services that have listings with local addresses but in reality, they belong to vacant lots. If they do exist, it is possible that the address is for a different company. So before you make a deal, make it a point to check if the address belongs to the locksmith as listed through online services that allow you to match addresses with phone numbers.
4. Be wary of how locksmiths answer the phone. If the locksmith company you are calling answers with a broad phrase, for example: “locksmith service” instead of a specific company name, take caution. Ask for the complete name of that business. If the person on the other end refuses to answer your question, do not think twice about calling another locksmith.
5. Get an estimate before the work begins. Ask for an estimate of all the work that needs to be done, along with all the replacement parts that will be used. Ask about additional fees, especially if the service call is after regular hours. If the locksmith charges differently from what was agreed over the phone, do not allow any work to be done. And most importantly, do not sign blank forms for “authorizing” work.
6. Only work with insured locksmiths. During the service, our property can get damaged. Faulty work can also lead to damage or losses. In these cases, it is very important to only work with a locksmith who has the insurance to cover whatever losses might be incurred from the work done.
7. Ask for identification. This is quite important. Reputable locksmiths bring business cards, licenses and necessary identification with them. Check if everything matches – including the name on the vehicle and on the invoice.
These are only some of the very important things that need to be considered in picking an emergency locksmith. Not every lock smith out there can deliver what the company has promised. So always exercise caution, more especially during emergency cases.
If you would like more information, simply head to our home page at Locksmiths in Austin.