When you pick up the phone and call for service to a locksmith, plumber, electrician or any other service provider – what are the chances you are speaking to someone local?
Nowadays, if you are calling a big corporation, the chances are very low. Usually, calls are forwarded to a call center, somewhere in another state or even another country. We have all sat through the automated menus. You are prompted to push a series of buttons, so they can properly direct you to the correctcall center employee to answer your questions. The automated menus can be cumbersome and somewhat annoying, but the customer support can be even worse. The reason being, is that most of the answers to you questions are pre-programmed responses, written in an operating manual. The person who is actually answering your questions is not an expert in the field, they are usually just a pleasant personality on the phone.
This is especially true within the locksmith field.
Do a quick Google search for a locksmith in your area. It is a given you will see multiple advertisements for locksmiths calling themselves “24 Hour Locksmith” or $15 Local Locksmith” while advertising a impossibly fast response time, for an incredibly low rate. If you have read my other blog about locksmith scammers, you know what comes next. It’s a classic bate and switch operation. These companies also utilize a nation wide locksmith call center, that dispatches unqualified technicians, based on your particular location. As a consumer, it becomes your responsibility to feel these companies out and decipher who is who and the the best way to do that, is by asking questions. Just like a friend or colleague, the more information you ask about them, the better you know them. Here are some questions to ask before hiring a locksmith:
1. Ask for their current location. If they can not give you that information openly and freely, they are hiding something.
2. Ask the name of the technician who is being dispatched. Any service company should be able to identify the man coming to your home and/or business. If they can not, do you really want that person arriving at your door?
3. Ask if they are licensed and insured. While not all states require locksmiths to be licensed (Massachusetts does not) all of their technicians should be insured.
4. Ask about price. While every job is different and varies from site to site, an honest local company should be somewhat knowledgeable in regards to your specific issue. Chances are they have seen it before, know what it entails and can give you a good idea what it might cost to take care of. $15 is far to low for any service company to send a man in a truck to your house. From a business perspective, they would be losing money on gas and employee pay before they ever got to the door.
5. Finally, ask about the other services they offer. For a call center, this will usually generate a list of automated responses, with some really basic and simple services, but if you have a local company on the phone, they can usually go into much more detail and list a lot more services than you would expect!
The key is to ask questions and be persistent on the phone. Once you are a few questions into the conversation, you will have a much better idea about who your dealing with and wether they are truly local or not. If you are interested in finding out more about The Flying Locksmiths services, contact us and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have by phone or email. You can also visit us at 1115 North Main Street in Randolph.