It is not as simple or easy as it would seem to find a good locksmith. There are some steps you can take to ensure that you get the best service possible. First, be sure that the locksmith you choose is actually locally-owned and has a physical address. Some locksmith companies say they are local in their advertisements, but they are not. They may contract with local people to come out to you. This can be inconvenient, if the driver only accepts cash.
It is worth taking the time to search for a good locksmith before you need them. Check out their reputation with the Better Business Bureau or another consumer reporting agency to be sure that they are the best. Try to find recent consumer reviews for the company too, both negative and positive, which should be easy to get from a number of online sources. Find out how long the locksmith has been in business.
When you call a locksmith, ask for a quote for the work you need done as well as the cost of parts, so there are no surprises. If you are calling to get your car door unlocked, be sure to ask up front if there will be any extra fees for mileage, or for emergency service. In addition, you should find out whether the company is licensed and insured. Most U.S. states do not require that locksmiths be licensed. You will want a reputable, experienced locksmith who is insured because any number of things can go wrong–your car or the lock could become damaged during the work.
Another advantage to finding a reputable locksmith is that you will get an invoice that details all of the work, parts and any other costs so you are sure that you are not being charged more than you should be. You will also have greater peace of mind knowing that a professional is doing the job, which is especially important if you are contracting for a job that involves locks on your home or business.
In most cases where a person is locked out of his or her car, the existing lock can almost always be opened as long as the locksmith has the right tools, so beware if you are told that the lock needs to be replaced. In that situation you should probably call another locksmith company.
If you are unhappy with the work that the locksmith performed, be sure to file a complaint right away with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC will add your complaint to its database so there is proof of negligence, shoddy work, etc.