A little known fact is that the locksmith industry is not regulated in any way by the Government, Police or any official regulatory body. Unfortunately this means that anyone can work as a locksmith regardless of their capability, skill or training.
Finding a fully trained and skilled locksmith can be difficult if you don’t know what you are looking for and it is very important to make sure that the locksmith you use is knowledgeable and capable of carrying out the job or venture that he or she has been assigned with.
With no official regulation to fall back on want do you do? Well, first off my advice is to keep away from large call centres as they will more often than not let anyone onto their books with little or no vetting and most of the time you don’t even know what company in fact turned up and whether they were in actual fact a locksmith at all. keep in mind, this is somebody you are letting into your home, someone you are putting a lot of confidence into, you don’t want a third party simply sending anyone out to you.
So what is a locksmith call centre? There are a number of these call centres up all over the country at trying to cash in on the price comparison trend. They are fundamentally an agency offering locksmith services, but are not locksmiths themselves. These centres tout themselves as having 1000’s of calls a week for locksmith services and small independent locksmiths are cold called and convinced to sign up with the guarantee of work.
Locksmith call centres claim to have locksmiths in every area of the country, yet people who have used them have found this to be incorrect after waiting 4 or 5 hours for a locksmith then being told by the locksmith that he/she has travelled 100’s of miles hence the 4/ 5 hours wait. The charges are also very high and normally include an expensive call out fee, bear in mind the call centre needs to take their cut from each job.
My recommendation is to always use an independent locksmith that you have found yourself for emergency call out services, fees will be less as there is no middle man taking a cut and many don’t even charge a call out fee, they will just bill you for the job. A lot of people turn to the internet to search for a locksmith particularly after a lock out where you are only equipped with a smart phone.
A local locksmith with typically have a local number, this is the easiest way to spot a local independent locksmith, some may have a nationwide low rate number if they cover quiet a large area, if this is the case then a quick visit to their website should disclose their locality, if a locksmith doesn’t have at least an address on their website keep away from them as there is something not quiet right.
A competent locksmith will more often than not have a decent mobile optimised website that will have their address at the very least and maybe a location map showing their location or the areas they cover. You will usually find a list of services they offer and most locksmiths offer an emergency call out service for home/business lock outs but not all locksmiths offer automotive services so make sure you check that they are suitable for the job.
One more thing to check for on a locksmith website is certification logos and references. Even though the locksmith industry is unregulated there are a number of private bodies that a locksmith can be a voluntary member of, being a member of a number of these unofficial bodies is a good signal that they are qualified and experienced.