National locksmith call centres
As a family run locksmiths working in the Medway and Maidstone area of Kent since 1998, I have over the last 7 years or so, seen a growing number of locksmiths advertised in the Medway Towns listing local phone numbers and fake post codes that are in-fact national franchises or multi-utility call centres posing as one of your local trusted locksmith companies.
Sadly the knock on affect of using these call centres on genuine locksmiths in your area and on the unsuspecting public, are horrendous. Firstly it drives up the cost to the customer not only in the Medway towns but to many other areas that find themselves in need of a local locksmith.
These national locksmith franchises and multi-utility call centres spend vast amounts of money on massive advert campaigns, which over-shadow those of your local genuine locksmith because they pay for top listing positions with Google Ad Words and bing. The cost of these massive adverts covering our local search engines and directories like yellow pages are passed directly onto you, the customer, doubling the bill you would normally pay a genuine professional Medway locksmith like Loyal Locksmiths.
When calling one of these national locksmith chains or call centres you will probably be asked for a credit or debit card, potentially leaving yourself open to a bill of around £220 or more for the simplest of jobs that would have cost you about £80 using a genuine local locksmith.
Most reputable and experienced local locksmiths would never take on work from a third party national locksmith franchise or multi-utility call centre, therefore if you do use one of these options, you would probably be left with the gullible locksmiths with no or little experience, more than likely amounting to a few months at best. Most of them would probably be from other areas travelling some 30, 40 or even 50 miles to service your lock or window security, also potentially leaving you with no guarantee from unknown, poor quality products and shoddy workmanship. If you then found you needed them to return to adjust or make a correction, the chances of getting the same or any locksmith back would be highly unlikely. Even if you were seen by an experienced local locksmith via such a centre, you would then run the risk of them being an unscrupulous trader who does not care how much cost the national centre is passing on to you as the chances are they would not see you again.
So what’s the solution
The first thing to ask when calling a locksmith is, “are they local to your area, where are they based and if it’s an emergency, how long will take them to arrive? Remember if its a national company, they could keep you waiting several hours and still bill you if you cancel.
If you are looking up a locksmith from a smart phone or ipad you should be able to see where the locksmith is based via Google places or maps. Most lock professionals that are established and have been around in your area for many years, will have a familiar sounding name, like Loyal-Locksmiths.
Don’t wait until you need to call a locksmith, browse the internet for a locksmith and familiarise yourself with a couple local to you should you ever need to call on one.
When considering what professional to use, most small family run outfits have a reputation to upkeep and will probably go that extra mile to keep their customer happy and usually present you with a smaller bill than a national call centre or franchise would have done.