Generally speaking, a person who repairs car locks, as well as locks in residential and commercial buildings, is known as a locksmith.
This is a profession that’s actually quite ancient. As long as there’s been keys and locks, there have been individuals that specialise in working with them.
Most people think that locksmiths only pick locks and while this might be what they mostly do, that is not the only service they offer.
There many things that a locksmith can do including:
- Rekeying or replacing locks for doors and windows
- Providing access control systems
- Cutting keys
- Providing locks for safes
- Auto locksmith services
- Providing quotes & recommendations on security upgrades
- Handling lockouts
Now that you know the role of a locksmith, it is important to know what to look for so that you don’t fall prey to locksmith scams.
Whether it’s an emergency involving your car or home, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you pick the right professional.
Taking all of this into account, the following are some tips to help you select a trustworthy and reliable locksmith.
Find a Local Locksmith
If you would like to know about the skills and authenticity of a locksmith, it’s always wise to do some research in advance and contact them to ask a few questions.
You should stay away from locksmiths that do not provide a name. Try and look for one with a local address and ask them to confirm their location once you contact them.
Also, avoid a locksmith who uses a 1800 number instead of a local one.
Check Their License and ID
You should ideally ask to see the locksmith’s license and identification. Locksmith licensing is required in all Australian states therefore, it is against the law to work without the proper credentials.
A reputable locksmith will ideally ask you for your ID to ensure that the car or home belongs to you. It’s important to be wary of locksmiths that arrive with a different business name or with an unmarked vehicle.
Ask for an Estimate
Unscrupulous locksmiths usually start by quoting a low price in order to entice clients and then spike the price later on.
The average cost of locksmith services is about $60 so if they quote anything lower than that, it should be a red flag.
The fees paid to these specialists include licensing costs, tools, transportation to the site, and continued training. It is imperative to get a cost estimate before allowing them to start work, even if it is an emergency.
Inquire About Additional Charges
Before finalising costs with a locksmith for things such as mileage, emergency hours, and service call minimums, it is imperative to discuss any additional charges.
Unscrupulous locksmiths have a reputation for saying that your car or home lock needs a full replacement. This obviously costs more money and the lock may not actually require replacing.
A reputable locksmith should answer all your inquiries regarding lock repair as well as how they will gain access to your house or car.
If they do not answer or seem like they don’t know what the task entails, you should seek out another service provider.
Beware of Fluctuating Bids
If a locksmith gives you an estimate on the phone but then quotes a higher price on-site, don’t allow them to proceed with the task.
Some locksmiths may inflate the bill or demand payment for substandard work.
So there you have it, the various responsibilities of a locksmith and how to pick a reputable one in case of an emergency.