Essential Tips for Choosing an Emergency Locksmith in Newcastle

Anthony |2nd May, 2024
a photo of an emergency locksmith at work

Let's not waste any time here: you are in an emergency and need a locksmith to get you out of it. You decide to take your phone and make a Google search to find a locksmith who can help. But before you rush into it and expose yourself to rogue locksmiths, opportunistic companies praying on your emergency, or full-on corrupt locksmiths, take a breath and consider the following:

Emergency, not panic

Most locksmith emergencies won’t be resolved within the next half an hour, or sadly, sometimes even within the next hour. Why? You need to find a locksmith who answers the phone. He needs time to get there, and he will need more time to resolve your issues, whether it’s a lockout or a door that needs fixing. So why not take a few minutes to select a locksmith who will do a good job?

General considerations

Large, national companies will usually be the more expensive option. Independent locksmiths, as well as franchised locksmiths, will usually be the cheaper options. Why? Ultimately, whoever comes to your door will be a “local” locksmith. The only difference is whether you'll pay them directly (more affordable) or a national company through them (more expensive). So before you choose who to call, consider you might already be paying more if you call whoever comes up first on your search.

The 3-minute assessment

So, how do you choose the right locksmith for you? Here are a few things that will help and won’t take more than 3 minutes of your time:

  • Did you know? The first several results you will see on Google whilst searching for an emergency locksmith will be paid advertisements. Paid advertisements aren't proof of skill, reputation or reliability. They are proof that someone has paid money to appear on top—no more, no less.

  • Cross-reference information: If a specific locksmith caught your eye, Google their business name. It is a good sign to find a consistent stream of congruent information. You might want to pass if you see many different phone numbers, addresses, and other conflicting information.

  • While you're here, glance at their reviews: positive reviews can be bought, but negative reviews can hardly be hidden. If you googled someone's company name, several pages should be available: Google reviews, Facebook reviews, Trustpilot reviews, Check-a-trade reviews, and a few others. Anything below 4☆ (with at least a few dozen reviews) is a huge red flag.

Immediate signs

If you would rather skip the 3-minute assessment, here are some immediate signs that indicate a locksmith you might want to avoid:

  • 0800, 030 and any non-local landlines are usually a sign of larger operations, e.g. national companies, e.g. more expensive, without a guarantee for a better service. Mobile numbers are usually best, especially if out of hours, as listing with local landlines might not pick up at all, even if their listing says “24-hour emergency locksmith service.”

  • Who answers the phone? If the person who answers the phone isn't a locksmith, you already have a problem. Be sure that whoever you are speaking to can understand your situation or, even better, is the same person who will attend after the phone call.

  • Vague answers: you might want to ask questions before giving your personal information: how much will it cost? Are you going to drill my locks? How quickly can you attend? If the person you are speaking to cannot give you clear answers, this is not a good sign.

In any of these cases, or if you feel something is wrong, all you have to do is remember you have not yet committed to anything. As such, you can simply use your trump card: say, “I’ll call you back,” and call another emergency locksmith. Is it ethical? You decide. But I assure you it gets the message across.

A quick word on callouts

Some locksmiths might charge call-out fees. While this can be a genuine way for professionals to ensure their time is being compensated for, the definition of a callout fee will vary depending on whom you ask. That being said, a callout fee should not be used to pressure a customer into paying more money. Some unethical locksmiths may feel frustrated that you cancelled the job because you found your keys or that you just sent them off because you don't want them to drill your lock, and this may lead them into trying to charge you a call-out or cancellation fee. If you ever face this situation, remember the bottom line is clear: unless discussed and agreed beforehand, you are not obligated to pay anything. So feel free to firmly, yet politely, state you won't pay any impromptu fees.

Logical turn of events

If you followed some or most of the steps above, you should be in an excellent position to have a qualified, reasonably priced professional at your door and reasonable expectations that everything will go smoothly. You have spent a couple of minutes checking this emergency locksmith's reputation and skill; you spoke to them personally on the phone, you have an estimate of how much the service costs, and you have a rough idea of how your emergency is going to be handled. And as if it was foretold, a great locksmith has now resolved your emergency; you are now back inside your home and have paid what you agreed to pay.

In other words, thanks to your diligence and a couple of extra minutes well spent, you have successfully found an emergency locksmith, and he did do a good job. Congratulate yourself for not having fallen victim to a rogue locksmith, and remember to keep your newfound trusted, local emergency locksmith's number for anybody you know who may need one in the future.

 | Updated: 2nd May, 2024

Guide,Locksmithing,Emergency Locksmith