For most homeowners, there are a few events that require a locksmith. So make sure you know who to call before it happens.
Angie Hicks with Angie's List explained, "The best way to protect yourself when hiring a locksmith is find one before you need one. All too often we hire a locksmith in an emergency situation. Oftentimes we'll skip out on research. Find a company you're going to use and tuck that number away in your wallet so you always have it handy."
While most locksmiths are reputable contractors, a number of scams have cropped up over the years from locksmiths who offer emergency lock-out services. Hicks said, "Beware of locksmiths that show up in unmarked cars and not in a company uniform and if you ask for ID they fail to deliver it. If any of these scenarios happen you should choose another locksmith."
And watch out for extra fees.
Barry Campbell is a Locksmith. He said, "If you're calling for emergency service, quite often there will be additional costs if it's after hours, weekends can be more, holidays can be more, even the weather can have an effect on it, the distance that needs to be traveled to get to you. All these things may add to the cost that you'll be charged."
If the locksmith's on-site price doesn't match the phone estimate, don't allow the work to be performed. Campbell added, "They usually show up, tell you it's a high-security lock that they have to drill it. I've seen them use hammers pliers, everything else and just tear the lock off or they might damage a car. Then you get a bill for many times over than what they quoted you."