So you have been on a night out got a little too drunk and lost your keys, you’re stood at your front door, no one else is home or you live alone, it’s 3am and your parents will not be too please if you get them out of bed again to bring you the spare key,  what do you do? Do you call the number that annoying guy made you put in your phone earlier? Do you call a cab and see if your friend is still awake or do you call out a locksmith and hope it doesn’t cost too much?

It might be work in the morning for you so you might not want to be travelling backwards and forwards between your friends house – it’s also not very comfortable sleeping on a sofa anyway –  also nobody wants to be setting off early in the morning to get to their parents house to pick up their spare key so the best thing to do might be to call a local locksmith but you do need to be careful because the locksmith industry has become awash with amateurs and rogues all eager to take your hard earned cash for a sub par service.

Always Choose a Local Independent Locksmith Over a Large Company

locksmith leeds west yorkshireWith a lot of industries choosing the large corporations or the big companies with lots are employees is usually the better option, however with the locksmith industry it the total opposite. You always want to choose the local Independent Locksmith over the large corporations or the big companies every time.

A local Independent Locksmith will actually be local to you so you won’t be stood their waiting for hours which can be annoying and dangerous if its late at night and you’re a young women who’s just returned from a night out and most local locksmith with advertise 30 or 60 minutes call times in the local area.

A local Independent Locksmith will not usually charge a call out fee either, A Call out fee is commonly charged by the large corporations or the big companies as a way of bumping up the final invoice, a local Independent Locksmith is looking for repeat work and positive local feedback so will typically offer a more pleasant service all round.

Avoid the so Called National Locksmith Companies

When searching for a local locksmith online via a smart phone, which most people tend to do when they find themselves locked out of their home, office or vehicle you see an increasing number of what are know as national or nationwide locksmith companies mixed in with the genuine local independent locksmiths search results.

To people outside of the locksmith industry these appear to be large corporations or companies employing 100’s or sometimes 1000’s of highly skilled locksmiths so many people do choose these companies thinking they will be getting a professional, reliable service, which unfortunately could not be further from the truth.
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These national locksmith companies are nothing more than call centres and do not employ a single locksmith, there are various business models around at the moment but they all operate in a similar way which is, the local locksmith registers with one of these companies and pays an annual or monthly fee, when work comes in from that area the job is passed onto the locksmith from or near that area, however, the call centre, sorry, national locksmith company gets a fee per job too ( their cut) and also insists on extras such as call out fees, fuel fees etc to bump up the final invoice as much as possible with some customers reporting being billed up to £300 for a job that would have cost £60 with a local Independent locksmith.

These call centres will also never turn a job down whether they have a locksmith on their books nearby or not leaving some customers waiting up to 5 hours.

Also, the type of locksmiths who sign up to these national companies are usually the ones who struggle to get their own work or have a bad reputation locally which is typically down to poor online feedback when trading under their own name or business name.

Make Sure the Locksmith You Use is Professional Trained and Skilled at their Job

The locksmith Industry is one of those industries where certification or training is not a legal requirement; anyone can set up as a locksmith and start touting for business with little of no training and many people do.

People have called out a so called professional locksmiths to gain entry to their home after losing their key and had some amateur ‘have a go’ locksmith turn up with a hammer and a drill and start butchering their door and lock, well anyone can do that, give me a hammer,  a drill and enough time and I’ll gain enter through a locked door, that’s not a skill, It’s called breaking and entering, only you’re paying someone to do it, a professional locksmith will always attempt non destructive entry first by means of some manual or electronic lock picking tool or a specialised letterbox access device.

Also, many locksmiths who claim to have had training have only done cheap online courses which only show you the basics and have a 100% pass rate whether the student is competent or not so these course and the certificates they produce are pretty worthless so the only real and worthwhile locksmith training you can get is in person from a qualified professional tutor at a recognised locksmith training college, the largest and most respected being Train Locksmiths in Atherton, Manchester which run a number of different courses from beginners courses and automotive courses right through to advanced and tutor level courses..

A career as a locksmith can be a very lucrative one but remember in these modern times of social media and online feedback, cutting corners, overcharging and offering a bad service often back fires leaving you with no alternative but to sign up with a national call centre, however as more and more people are made aware of how these call centres operate their days are numbered meaning that honest, hard working and reliable independent locksmiths will always reign supreme.