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Looking for a Locksmith

While looking for locksmiths today on my smartphone, I got one heck of an eye opener. I never knew there were so many locksmiths in my little town of Benicia CA. All I wanted was to see where my listing appeared in the bunch. I have to say I was disappointed to find that there were many locksmiths I had never heard of higher up on the list than me. How could this be? Most of them had local telephone numbers and even local addresses. Closer scrutiny to the addresses revealed that they were not locksmiths at all! There was a pizza parlor,  a cigarette shop, a dry cleaner, a coffee shop, a mail drop, and an address for somebody's house.

The online directory of locksmiths, and other service providers has turned into a cesspool of shady scum bags all trying to put one over on vulnerable consumers. Local telephone numbers all remote forwarded to the cell phones of scammers. Fictitious addresses hoping to fool consumers into believing that they are close by and ready to respond quickly. It's a mess, and it makes me feel ill! In my little town, you have a one in ten chance of reaching a legitimate locksmith by browsing the online listings. In larger cities, the chances are even worse. The worst part of this is that you usually don't call a locksmith until you have a reason to. More often than not, that reason comes in the form of an emergency.  You are locked out of your home, you have lost the key to your car, or some other such reason. This is not the time to be trying to determine who is and isn't a reputable locksmith.

What's the solution? I don't have one. I do however have some suggestions. Call any business you frequent and ask them who they use for their locksmith work. Businesses use locksmiths much more often than individuals do. They have locks changed when employees come and go. They have safe combinations changed for the same reason. Chances are they know a good reliable locksmith.

If you have to choose from the online listings, pay attention to the way they answer the phone.  Do they answer using a company name, or just a "hello locksmith"? Ask questions.  Ask where they are located before letting them know where you are. Nail down exactly what the fees are going to be. What is the trip charge? what is the fee above and over the trip charge for the service you need performed? What types of payment do they accept. Be wary of anyone who demands cash payment.

If you are told that the service call or trip charge is $25.00, move on to another company. This is 2011, not 1965! It is economically impossible for a professional locksmith to drive a modern insured well equipped service vehicle across town or further for $25.00! What you can expect to get for $25.00 is a gypsy in a rental car with a DeWalt drill and a big pair of chanellock pliers. He will drill a huge hole down the center of your door lock  and tear what is left of it off with the piers, and try to intimidate you into paying $300.00 for the privilege. For another $150.00 he will replace the lock with a $15.00 Chinese import lock from Home Depot complete with it's own key that does not match the rest of your house locks.

 Happy Hunting!


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Reader Comments (1)

Cool idea to ask businesses who they use as their locksmith. It is true businesses use locksmiths more than the average everyday person. They would know best which locksmith you should use for your home. I'll have to remember that advice next time I am looking for a home locksmith.

May 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave Thompson

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