It sounds like a pretty ominous title, and the unfortunate truth is that there are, as in every industry, rogue traders out there.
The locksmith industry has seen its fair share of scam artists hitting the headlines over the years, and at Tyne Tees Locks we work with our customers reminding everyone to always ask for ID before they let anyone into their home, let alone someone who is going to potentially get them back into their property after being locked out!
In the UK the locksmith industry is unregulated, which, yes allows us the freedom to get on with our work without all the red tape, but it also invites just about anyone in to call themselves a locksmith – those who are untrained, unqualified, and unprofessional.
When choosing a locksmith, it’s essential that you carry out your research beforehand, checking out all of their credentials, reading up on customer reviews, making sure they have a landline number as well as a mobile – even in emergency cases.
Of course, there are plenty of brilliant, trustworthy locksmiths in Newcastle and throughout the Northeast – we simply need to be able to identify the good, from the bad.
If you’re looking for a locksmith in Newcastle, who can replace or repair locks, fit new locks, or someone in an emergency who knows what they’re doing and can help you asap – you need a professional (you need Tyne Tees Locksmiths).
In our last post, we provided some key questions that you could and should ask a locksmith before, during and after they carry out any work for you, helping you to avoid those rogue locksmiths.
We’ve also provided below some of our top tips and signs to look out for when finding your perfect locksmith.
Are they local?
Yes, anyone can travel, and yes anyone can say they can reach you and that it’s not a problem. But knowing that a company you’re using is local provides you with peace of mind, that they have an office near you, so you could potentially check out their premises if you needed too. And with a local company you will often find a higher level of customer service!
Those companies who only offer a national number are much bigger so lack the personal touch. Not only this but a lot of the work they get is then sub-contracted out to other locksmiths — locksmiths who are not always vetted and don’t have their credentials checked. Oh, and they tend to be much more expensive too!
Working with a local locksmith means you will receive a higher level of customer service, the team can genuinely be with you faster, they know the area so are more likely to be trusted, and they have a physical location to visit if you need to.
Do they come recommended?
With the increase in social media and our ability to voice our opinions online instantly, checking out reviews online about a company you’re looking to use is a must.
Checking out the company’s customer testimonials as well as their independent reviews will also allow you to form a pretty strong opinion of the team in question, those that you should be using and those that you should most definitely be staying clear of.
You can also check with friends and family, ask around your local neighbourhood to see if they have any recommendations and have the first-hand experience of using them.
Sometimes these personal recommendations can be people’s safest bet.
Are they certified or an accredited locksmith?
It might be easy to call yourself a locksmith and hope that you can pick a lock, but it is harder to prove that you are certified or accredited, without having the formal logos and identification to prove it.
To put your mind at ease that you’re using true professionals, look for a locksmith who carries an MLA (Master Locksmith Association) logo or a CRB logo, to show that they are approved and safe to work in your property.
You need to feel confident that the person you are letting into your home is a person you can trust 100%.
What services do they offer?
Not every lock situation is the same, and in some locking situations, you may require a specialist locksmith. It’s important to know what you’re looking for and then to know if the locksmith in question can provide this service.
For example, do they have experience working in residential properties, commercial premises, and vehicles providing an auto-locking service. There are also emergency call outs and if this is something that they can not only offer but because it’s an emergency they can provide the highest level of service and reach you quickly, with a solution in hand.
As we mentioned, it’s also important to ask questions, such as how much do they charge? What is their response time? Do they have ID? Etc.
Quickfire signs you’ve found a lousy locksmith:
- You still don’t know the full price of the job, even though you’ve asked them on several occasions. Watch out for those “hidden charges” and make sure you know right from the start just what it is you’re being billed for.
- They don’t ask you for your ID, to prove that the property they’re about to enter and get you back into, is actually yours!
- They use more destructive methods than necessary when trying to repair locks or get you back into a property (a professional locksmith will always try to use the least destructive techniques first and can often do this without damaging your locks).
- They’re messy! They don’t clear up after themselves and leave more mess than what you first started with!
- You don’t get a full itemised invoice let alone a receipt for the work carried out – meaning you have no proof of the work done and no guarantee if anything else should go wrong.
At Tyne Tees Locksmiths, we pride ourselves on being a local family business. Operating in Newcastle and throughout the Northeast for over 25 years, all our locksmiths are qualified and fully certified, and CRB checked. We’re here to support you, whether this is with new or replacement locks, an emergency call out service, or as an auto locksmith – we’re on hand to help.
During this festive season, don’t be scammed or tricked into cheaper lock repairs by rogue locksmiths – call the professionals at Tyne Tees Locksmiths on 0191 438 6595.