Revised on January 16th, 2017 by Maeghan Duckett
What’s the best way to pick a reputable locksmith? Consider researching locksmiths before you need one, the same way you would a plumber, electrician, or other professional. If you’re dealing with an emergency, like being locked out of your car, you really don’t have much time for thorough research. Regardless of whether you are locked out of your car or home, you need new locks installed, or you require other security work, the Federal Trade Commission offers these tips to help you hire a legitimate, local locksmith.
- Call family or friends for locksmith recommendations.
- If a company answers the phone with a generic phrase like “locksmith services,” rather than a company-specific name, be wary. Ask for the legal name of the business. If the person refuses, call another locksmith.
- If you find a locksmith in the phone book, on the Internet or through directory assistance, and a business address is given, ask the operator to confirm the address shown in the ad. If the ad doesn’t show an address for the business, find out why. A legitimate locksmith who operates a “mobile” business or runs the business from home will be able to explain that.
- If you’re locked out of your car and have a roadside assistance service, call them first. Roadside assistance plans often have a list of pre-approved companies to perform services like unlocking cars, jump-starting batteries, changing flat tires, delivering gasoline, and towing.
- Get an estimate for all work and replacement parts from the locksmith before work begins. In cases of “lock-outs” (being locked out of your car or home), most legitimate locksmiths will give you an estimate on the phone for the total cost of the work.
- Get verification of identity. Ask for the locksmith’s identification and business card. Make sure the information on the business card matches the company name on the invoice.
- Show your identification. A legitimate locksmith should confirm your identity and make sure you really own the property or vehicle before starting work.
“Consumer Information.” Finding a Locksmith | Consumer Information. Federal Trade Commission, Aug. 2016. Web. 10 Jan. 2017.
Wisconsin, BBB Serving. “Better Business Bureau. Start with Trust®.” Locksmiths – BBB Educational Consumer Tips – BBB serving Wisconsin. N.p., 2014. Web. 04 Jan. 2017.