Tips from a Locksmith
Before you call a locksmith, here’s some things you can try.
We are proud to say “call us” at WeLock. We are here to get you back into your home safely. That said, there are a few things you can try yourself first…
Try getting in yourself
If you only shut the door and your keys are inside it is actually often not too hard to use a piece of plastic to open the door. Using the plastic from a thicker water bottle, cut it to about 15cm long and 7 to 10cm wide. Position it about 15cm below the lock and slide it into the crack between the door frame and the door and try to wedge it in at least 7cm. Slowly wiggle it and move it up along the edge of the door keeping the plastic wedged in the crack. Some force might be needed if the crack is tight. If you are lucky you can open the door in only a few tries.
Check the lower ads
Look at the ads that are lower down on Google – even on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th page. Ones that don’t advertise a super low price to open your door is a place to start. Remember: to be at the top of the popular “Locksmith” search terms in Google AdWords the rip-off Locksmiths pay more than €20 per click, on average. This means if the ad says €7, €9, €12, or €22, you know when they arrive at your door they are already at -20€. Since the conversion rate for AdWords is not 100% these Locksmiths might even have two clicks per actual service call, which would mean they are down €40 before they even start your job! It’s not a foolproof method but one part of many to look out for.
Check the van
Ask them what their van or car says on it. Most rip-offs arrive in an unmarked car, van or with temporary locksmith signs on them. They could and will still lie about this so ask for the number of the locksmith who will be coming. Then call and ask that person what their car/van says on it so you can spot them. If they say it says nothing then you have a clue of what you're in for if you proceed with this provider.
Check their history
Ask the person on the phone what their history is in locksmithing. When did they begin locksmithing or working for that company? A good locksmith has the same address and has been there for many years. A rip-off will quickly brush over the question. A good one will be proud even if they are relatively new at the job.
Ask for exact prices
If you don’t ask, dodgy locksmiths will hide the full cost until the last minute. Service call, hourly cost (first 15 minutes), new cylinder cost, drilling cost… the list goes on. If they tell you they need to come and see what the full situation is to give you a price then they are leaving you open to be charged €200, €300 or more.
Are they registered?
Ask about association memberships and license numbers. If they seem to not like these questions they probably don’t have or care about them. A good locksmith will have pride in these associations and licenses.
From our previous post on rip-off locksmiths, Rico and Luca have learned how difficult it was to find an honest locksmith in the time before WeLock.de. We hope things will go much better for you.
Jeffrey Bryan Cobb