While locksmithing is the science of making and defeating locks, there is also a science to selecting the right locksmith. The key to this science is choosing a locksmith BEFORE you need one. Waiting until you have locked yourself out of your home, office, or car is NOT the time to make a hasty decision by agreeing to pay the first one who answers your call for help. While you might be inclined to lump all locksmiths together, Washington State does not require a license for their locksmiths so it pays to carefully vet your locksmith when they could be rekeying your locks. The following tips from the Better Business Bureau and the Associated Locksmiths of America will make your search a productive one.
The 3 C’s: Call, Confirm, Check.
Call the business and be wary if the business answers their phone with a generic greeting like “locksmith service.” Ask what their legal business name is, and if they are unable to give it to you, it’s time to move onto another locksmith. A reputable business will answer their phone with their specific business name.
Check their credentials. Be sure that the locksmith you hire is insured so you will be protected just in case the repair leads to damages. When they arrive, confirm that their service vehicle is marked with the business name. If not, at the very least, the person should be able to provide identification and a business card. Also, doublecheck to see if the business name and logo match the name and logo on the invoice and vehicle. This confirmation works both ways; a reputable locksmith will also request to see your identification to make sure it’s your property they are doing work on.
Check with friends, family, or neighbors for recommendations of reputable locksmiths in your area. Check to see how long the business has been around and whether they have been rated on consumer sites like Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau. Check to see that the physical address of any locksmith you are considering is local. Check to see if they are available 24/7 because of course, you never know when you will need their service. Check if they will give you up-front estimates and read their reviews. Check to if you will be charged extra if you need them in the middle of the night or if there are charges for their mileage.
The Two Most Important Qualities for your Locksmith
The main benefit of knowing a good locksmith is the trustworthiness. If you lock yourself out of your car, you may be meeting a staff member of this company at 3 in the morning on a deserted road so it’s paramount that you trust the individual that will be helping you out of a sticky situation.
Dependability is equally important in the traits you are seeking. As always is the case, lock problems happen at the most inconvenient of times, usually when you need to be somewhere else or are in a hurry. Professional locksmiths are expertly trained in how to open various types of locks quickly and efficiently. So, when you are checking their credentials, be sure to inquire about the experience level and training of all their staff. It does you no good if the company owner is the one with all the experience and he’s on vacation when you need his help.
The most important reason why it makes good sense to shop for a reliable locksmith before you need one is that you will save yourself time and unnecessary headaches because you will have already developed a relationship or at the very least, a comfort level with this company before you need them to get you out of a jam. Remember, it’s always your right to refuse service if you don’t feel comfortable with them.
If you live or work in the Bellevue area and want to hire a locksmith you can trust, make an appointment with Bellevue Locksmith or stop by for a cup of coffee at 404 NE Ravenna Blvd. in Seattle; we would love to start the process of earning your trust. We have been in business since 2003 and are committed to providing the highest quality locksmithing services, so please put 206-966-4669 in your cell phone’s contact list.
Our trained auto technicians can make, replace or repair keys, repair and replace ignitions, unlock trunks and toolboxes as well as extract broken keys. If your home’s door locks need to be rekeyed or you need help with your garage door or mailbox locks, Bellevue Locksmith is ready to assist. Our commercial locksmiths are experts with master key systems, panic bar repair and replacement and can provide maintenance and service contracts so your business can run smoothly.