If you lose your keys, lock yourself out or have a broken lock, finding a good locksmith quickly is essential. Unfortunately, it’s in emergency situations like this that rash decisions are made. This is because the need to get it sorted as quickly as possible overrides everything else. You may think that is not really a problem because all locksmiths are pretty much the same. This is definitely one myth that needs debunking. The services and skills that a locksmith can provide, varies enormously. Prices can also vary widely with some locksmiths charging up to 3 times the price that others charge for exactly the same job!
Misinformation surrounding locksmiths is often based on these common myths
1. Picking a lock is easy for a locksmith
Yes, some locks are relatively easy to pick and any half-decent locksmith should have no problem opening them. However, other locks can be extremely difficult to pick and many locksmiths just don’t have the right skills. There are lots of different locking mechanisms already out there and on top of that manufacturers are continually producing even more secure locks for doors. Learning how to pick each type of lock has to be mastered and this can take hours and hours of practice.
Unfortunately, some rogue locksmiths do not want to put the time and effort into this and will reach for the drill straight away, removing the old lock and replacing it with a brand new one. This will cost you substantially more than the cost of a skilled locksmith picking the original lock. It may also damage your door. Looking for a locksmith with non-destructive entry skills is usually well worth the time and effort.
2. Locksmith charges are roughly the same
Unfortunately, this couldn’t be more wrong! Many of the larger national locksmiths charge several times the amount that a small local locksmith will charge. Charging structures also vary widely with some locksmiths charging by the hour. This can be deliberately misleading because you will not know how much you are going to be charged for a job until it is finished. Any experienced locksmith should be able to provide a pretty accurate quote for the whole job just from discussing the problem with you over the phone. In addition, many locksmiths add sneaky extra charges for ‘call out’ or for working at the weekend.
3. All locksmiths guarantee their work
You may think that all locksmiths will fit good quality parts that are right for the job and have passed strict testing. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some locksmiths (to save money) will fit very poor quality locks bought cheaply from places like e-bay. When locks like these fail, good luck trying to get the original locksmith to come back and replace them. On the other hand, a good locksmith will always fit branded locks that meet the required security standards. These locks will usually have the British Standard Kite Mark displayed on the packaging and on the lock itself. Locks like this will usually come with a one year guarantee although, of course, are likely to be good for considerably longer.
It is not hard to see that falling for any of the 3 myths above could cost you. If you are looking for a locksmith in a hurry, make sure you ask about their charges including any ‘extras’ and always get more than one quote. It is also worth taking the time to quickly check out their reviews on sites such as Google, Yell and Facebook.