There is no worse feeling than getting home after a long day, exhausted and ready to put your feet up, and realising that your house keys are not where you thought they were. Your brain rewinds and plays back to that morning when you put them on the side to pick up before you left, but at the critical moment got distracted by the dog stealing your gloves, or the baby throwing up on your trousers, so you dealt with that and rushed out, inevitably 5 minutes late and without your keys.
It can happen to any of us.
So what do you do, after searching your bag and pockets for the 20,000th time in a futile effort for it not to be true? Perhaps you scale the property for any open windows, try and reach in through your letterbox, before finally conceding that this is a job for a professional.
Great. You’re looking at a few hundred pounds plus call out fee, aren’t you?
I’m not going to sugar coat it: there is a fee for calling out a locksmith. They have a business to run after all, and are being called away from their families, their meals, and perhaps even their beds at a moment’s notice to provide a service. However, if you call a locksmith and they quote you hundreds of pounds for a lock out, which they will get to in a few hours, you need to put the phone down and fast.
The sad truth is that many locksmith businesses claim to be ‘local’, when they are actually based miles away. When you call someone out who a. says they charge a callout fee, b. charges over £130 to come out and get you in, and/ or c. says it will take them over an hour to get there (without being on another job already), the chances are, you are being ripped off. Some businesses even claim to be local by registering false addresses in many different towns!
A good, local, locksmith should be able to give you a very clear arrival time (probably within the hour unless they are already on a job, in which case they may be able to recommend someone else to you), and the price will be fair for the time of day. (For example, HT Locksmiths have a fixed starting rate of just £69 for a daytime lockout, which includes everything.)
So how can you be sure you are getting a reputable, local locksmith?
Type in ‘local locksmith [your location]’ into Google.
Treat paid adverts at the top of the page with caution, and take note of the map section.
Find one that lists your location specifically, and call them.
On the phone, ask for arrival time, where they are based, and how much it will cost. Check if there are any extras on top of that. A reputable locksmith will not mind being asked these questions, as they are well aware of the national players!
By following these tips next time you are locked out, you are not only saving yourself a significant amount of money, but you are likely to be in your home enjoying your well-earned cup of tea much faster!
Remember to SHARE this information with anyone you know who might find themselves in this position! You never know when it will come in handy!