Unfortunately, the odds are high that all of us will need the services of a locksmith at some time in our lives. It can be frightening to trust a stranger to access your home or business, and there are a few people who may try to make some extra cash off of the situation.
It’s also unfortunate that, in any industry, you get the few ‘cowboys’ who tend to ruin it for the rest of us. Frustrating as it may be, we’ve create a guide on how to choose a locksmith you can trust.
Check their reviews
Any locksmith ‘worth their salt’ will have online reviews from a number of sources. At the end of the day, our industry is built on trust which is why customer reviews are such an important factor.
At Abbey Locks, we invest lots of effort in making sure our customers are left happy with the work we’ve carried out, whether it’s lock fitting and repair or a security survey or That’s why we ask our customers to publish reviews on the review platform that suits them. Our current reviews at the time of writing are 4.9/5 on TrustaTrader, 9.1/10 on TrustPilot and 9.9/10 on CheckaTrade.
Research before you need them
Be prepared by looking at local locksmiths in your area before you need one. If you’re in Watford, like many of our customers are, a quick internet search will bring up a lot of results, but asking other people for first-hand feedback is a more personal way to choose. You can take the time to check the company’s credentials, look over their website, find out if they offer an emergency locksmith service or even check out their location. Save the number in your phone once you find one you like.
Get an estimate and ask how to pay
When you call you should be able to get an estimate of what the work will cost over the phone. They should be able to break that cost down for you as well, including emergency fees that may apply.
BEWARE, any locksmith that offers a low “guaranteed” rate, it’s very likely to go up once labour and service fees are added after the work is done. When the locksmith arrives get a written copy of the estimate. This gives you the ability to dispute the work they do, and the written estimate should match the one you were given over the phone.
Ask what kind of payment they accept before they start work. Locksmiths who ask for cash only payment is almost sure to be a scam, all companies today accept cash, cheques and credit cards.
Look for a recognisable name
This does not mean a name you already know, it refers to the work every business puts in to get their name out and be recognised by people who need their services. Be wary if they answer their phone in a generic manner, such as “emergency locksmith service” instead of using a unique company name.
Having the company name, logo and phone number on the vehicle is easy advertising, and the technician should be in uniform and willing to show you their company ID. If someone shows up in an unmarked vehicle or can’t prove who they are, you should not let them in.
You could even run a company search at companies house to double-check their credentials.
Look for locksmiths with experience
In the films or tv shows, a locksmith will tend to drill through a lock or break down a door to gain access. In reality, this is a very rare occurrence. A skilled and experienced locksmith, who knows what they are doing, will usually change a lock will very little damage, if any.
If they want to destroy your lock in order to fix it, they either aren’t any good or aren’t legitimate, and they just want to charge you more for the work. Either way, that’s not the person you want doing the job unless they provide full justification for doing so.