By Alex Ramirez, Armor Lock and Key
While small business owners take the decision to allow keyholder access very seriously, when a business needs the services of a locksmith many will simply call the locksmith that can complete the needed task the cheapest or the soonest. And while there are instances that immediate service is vital it is also imperative to build a trusting relationship with a local locksmith.
Build a relationship with a Huntsville locksmith
While it’s not always possible, selecting a locksmith before you find yourself in an emergency situation is a good idea. Check with your local consumer protection agencies and the Better Business Bureau, ask your friends and family for recommendations, and speak to your selected locksmith company on the phone.
Huntsville and north Alabama like most communities are served by locksmiths with brick and mortar stores focused on traditional lock and key services and newer mobile locksmiths that come to your location anywhere in Huntsville or the surrounding area to service cars and door access.
Be wary of locksmiths with catchy low-priced advertisements that show up at the top of your search, locksmiths with multiple ads that look similar but with different names, and businesses answering the phone with “locksmith services” instead of a company name. These could be indicators that you’ve reached a fake locksmith. Such operations are scam companies, and your call will be forwarded to an out-of-town dispatcher who will then “immediately” send a “locksmith” to your location. The locksmith is often untrained, may demand cash up front, and may damage the lock beyond repair then charge you for a new one. The final blow is often an inflated price once the job is finished.
Most legitimate locksmiths arrive in a clearly marked vehicle and carry photo identification – ask to see it – more than anyone the locksmith understands the importance of your asking for verification of credentials.
Be wary of the drill
While there may be situations where drilling is the only solution, it should always be considered as a last resort. Most experienced locksmiths have the tools and the training to unlock almost any lock without drilling.
Ask for proof of insurance before any work is done. If your property is damaged during a repair — or if faulty work leads to later loss or damage — the locksmith’s insurance will cover your losses.
Never sign a blank form authorizing work in advance. Doing so could mean you’ve agreed to allow an unscrupulous locksmith to damage your lock and then charge you a high price to replace it. If you must sign first, please read the fine print. Get an estimate up front, and pay only when the work is completed.