There are a lot of shady businesses out in the world and it is difficult to tell the difference between a reliable, legitimate, well-run business from a dodgy half-baked operation. Drawing the line is even harder when you know nothing of the field in which the business is operating. I want to try and alleviate your worries by giving an overview of what signs to look out for when dealing with a 24 hour mobile locksmith. If you have been recommended a locksmith by a family member or a friend, getting jibbed on the bill or on the service itself is less likely. Otherwise, having some sort of guideline would go a long way in making a better decision.
First and foremost, you would want to know if your potential 24 hour locksmith is legitimate. Do they have the necessary license(s) and/or certification(s) to run their operation in your area? The requirements vary from area to area so you want to approach the appropriate authoritative figures (e.g. your local council, Attorney General) and check whether a license or certification is needed. A certification of some sort adds to a locksmith’s credibility even though having a formal education like attending a college may not be necessary.
On the matter of credibility, presenting a professional image is important. Logic dictates that a mobile 24 hour locksmith must have a vehicle with sufficient space from which to perform his or her work. Usually the vehicle of choice is a work van. It may not need to be the latest model or the top of the range brand, but it should convey a level of professionalism to the locksmith’s customers. For example, on the side of the van, look for whether there is a company sign or logo painted on. Also, the insides of the van can give you a clue as to how seriously the locksmith takes his or her role. If you see that all their tools are in disarray and just plain unorganized, that may bring reliability and quality of their work into question.
The tools a 24 hour locksmith possess are another indication. For a small time single operation, a locksmith may choose to use extension cord and your home electricity to the power to his or her tools. They do this because it is a less expensive option, and this shouldn’t harm their credibility especially if they are just starting out and have little capital. If they claim to use the absolute best equipment, then they should have their own generator that runs off their van’s power. Also, they should have a level and sturdy work bench (for rekeying locks) as well as shelves for storing and organizing various items in their van.
To conclude, I’m basically saying that you should be wary of who you allow to tend to your car or enter your home, especially when they will be dealing with security related matters. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.