The lowdown on locksmiths and how to choose wisely

 

Don't turn a picnic into a panic
Accidentally locking yourself out of a house or car is a very common experience. It's one of those frustrating scenarios that can cost you precious time, not to mention the sudden expense for something you normally wouldn't budget for. Yes, it's an emergency. No, it's not a matter of life or death. We've all been there and we've all survived. The main reason most people end up employing a bad locksmith is due to rushed, decision-making. So, before you do anything, take a deep breath, relax and calm yourself with the knowledge that the problem can be resolved easily. Remember, you only want your lock picked; not your pocket.
Most people make the mistake of storing car insurance policies in the glove compartment. House insurance documents tend to be left within the confines of the family home. In the heat of the moment, it's easy to forget that these policies nearly always include clauses that cater for such unfortunate events. Insurance plans can provide emergency call-out services, relieving you of the tiresome task in hand. You are guaranteed a reputable, reliable locksmith through your insurance company so don't be afraid to cash in on your policy. It's these kinds of situations that made you buy insurance in the first instance.

Get picky yourself
If you've exhausted your list of family and friends, and they can't recommend a locksmith personally, put in a call to The Master Locksmiths Association. MLA licensed locksmiths are CRB checked as well as fully vetted and qualified. Many fraudulent locksmiths rely on your sense of panic to make a quick buck. No matter how you source a locksmith, ask a few simple questions before you employ their services. Inquire if they are bonded and insured. Ask if they can provide legitimate paper qualifications on arrival. Find out how long the locksmith has been in business. Request that they bring valid, up-to-date references with them. Just check out the reviews of the locksmith to see what past customer say. A good example website is Tony's locksmiths in Cardiff who provide access to online reviews which you can read from their website.

Make sure your locksmith lives locally. Even if they tell you they do, they often don't. A savvy locksmith will rack up extra charges for travelling expenses and they won't tell you this until they're at your side. Finding a local locksmith has the added advantage of allowing you to visit their offices in person. You can also file away their number and be safe in the knowledge that should you lock yourself out again, you know who you can call. It's also a good idea to agree on a total fixed rate that covers the entire job before they call out. This eliminates any misunderstandings over additional charges and fees.

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