If you find you need to employ the services of a local locksmith, they should have the skills, tools and expertise to do the job requested.
We’re often asked to repair failed locks on uPVC doors. This should be a fairly straight forward job, we carry over 70 different locking systems for uPVC doors, so would complete the job quickly.
We’re also asked to unlock doors where the keys have been mislaid / lost or left inside the building and then the door has closed locking the person out. This should be a fairly simple pick open of the lock. The experience of being locked out can be distressing for the customer as it’s not often you have to call on a locksmith to solve a problem; so who do you call? – especially if you’re alone and it’s late at night.
Looking on your phone for a local locksmith can show lots of results from the search and most look like they’re local. At the top of a Google search page, the top 3 or 4 businesses listed will have “Ad” written next to the wording. They are paid for ads and most likely are national companies. If you need a job doing – no matter what the trade, it’s good to use a local business as they will be with you sooner, and may well have done work in that street before. They won’t charge exorbitant prices, and because they work locally will typically do an outstanding job as they’d like to get further work in the area – and because they enjoy they’re work.
If you call a local looking phone number you aren’t always guaranteed to get a local business. National companies buy local numbers to trick you in to thinking they have an office locally.
If the person on the phone asks you for your card details it’s likely to be a national company.
Ask them if they will have the parts on the van to be able to complete the job on the first visit. There are rare occasions that we don’t have an obscure locking system on the van to replace a failed one, but will always keep the customer informed and will always leave the property secure.
Ask for the total cost. It’s not difficult to tell you the cost for the call out / time on site. With an idea of the problem you have with a door lock a price can be given for a lock replacement etc – even if it’s a ‘worst case scenario’ costing. You need to have an idea of the cost before asking them to attend as some companies have been known to charge a small call out price and then a larger price to do anything when they are there. It can end up costing many hundreds of pounds just for the lock, plus labour and for the national companies you will pay VAT on top of the bill as well.
It’s difficult to think clearly when in a stressful situation, but if the person you call is ‘pushy’ or persuasive, it’s best to put the phone down and call someone else. We’re always happy to attend to give a free quotation, and then can leave you to think about it with no pressure. We’d love to do the work for you, but it must be your decision and you must not ever be backed in to a corner feeling like you have to get the job done there and then. The decision should always be yours. Don’t ever pay for someone to come and give a quote. There are plenty of local honest businesses that are willing to give a free no obligation quotation. Don’t be forced to employ someone’s services when you have doubts about them.
I tell you all of this because when you need help quickly it is often easy to go with the first phone number you call and then possibly regret it because of the large bill or the bad workmanship.
If you can step back from the situation for a minute and think, you’ll have some clarity in the middle of a potentially stressful situation.
We think about the bigger picture. We want your security to be the same or better when we have finished the work. We’d like to think we may get a review from a very satisfied customer now and then.
Some places you could call are thinking about how much money they can charge you as they don’t care about ever getting another call from you in years to come, a review or even your security! Please think. Stay safe and secure.