Have you ever been locked out? It is very annoying and very inconvenient. From speaking to my customers, keys are usually lost on nights out or left at work or even left at home – only remembered too late once the door slams behind them! At this point, a locksmith is needed to gain entry back into the property. But who do you call? There are lots of choices but who can you trust to do a good job – and are also trustworthy? Here’s some help.
Local is best
Do you know that there are national companies who are using local numbers to portray themselves as local locksmiths – when in fact they are franchises? Why does that matter? National companies have bigger overheads than local locksmiths and so are more expensive. Perhaps you might think that a larger company gives you more security and trust. But consider that a local locksmith has lower overheads compared to national companies. Also that larger companies have someone answering calls and that has got to be recouped – and they may also charge a call out fee. Furthermore, to cover costs they may charge more for any parts required. So whilst the estimated price they give over the phone seems great, usually once they start the job they will add on bits and pieces like a call out charge, higher mark-up on any parts required and also VAT.
Call centres answer your call and because they don’t know the local area well are only able to give an estimated time of arrival using online tools. As a local Sunderland locksmith I know Sunderland very well and I can usually get to you within 30 minutes. If you are stuck outside in the rain, you want someone to get to you fast.
Something goes wrong? You have to argue with a national company and the whole process will be drawn out.
A local locksmith knows the area well, is usually cheaper since they are sole traders and most likely can do a first time fix since their vans are usually well equipped.
How can you tell whether a locksmith is local? If, when you call, you are talking directly to the person who will come to do the job then it is a pretty good bet you are dealing with a local company.
Check out their reviews
The volume of work that a locksmith does on a weekly basis lends itself to opportunities for lots of reviews and these are a good indicator. It is a good rule of thumb to check out the number of reviews, the quality (i.e. real people using normal language) and the average rating of the review. Usually a few reviews will mention the locksmiths name time and again and you’ll know then that the person doing the job is real. The online reviews will also mention whether the job was done competently and quickly. I will always try to gain entry in a non-destructive manner as a priority, but some less competent locksmiths will create a real mess with the job and remedial work will be required. Normally disgruntled people will let this be known on reviews. If there are lots of reviews and none of them mention a bad job you can be sure that you have found a good and competent locksmith.
Here at Sunderland City Locksmiths, our reputation is very important. You only need to look at our reviews to see that we are very skilled and courteous and no job is too small.
“Excellent service – Michael was very friendly and professional. Had a faulty lock which he was able to fix in no time at all, and at great competitive prices. Would definitely use again.”
“Upvc door jammed He came out within an hour. He had the parts with him and everything was sorted in 20 minutes. Very friendly and very reasonably priced.”
Always choose local and make sure that you are using a locksmith who can be trusted with your house keys!