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One of the more frequent questions I get (and I mean daily) is from someone who’s lost a key to some lock and doesn’t want to pay the callout they’ve been quoted because they have seen it done on You Tube and it looks easy. I feel their pain. Many a time I’ve had to get an emergency tradesman round only to see them twist a knob, tighten a screw, etc. then invoice me for a similar amount. It hurts!

He charges a callout because he spent time learning all about locks. He spent time learning so that he can identify your lock and work out how to open it. He spent money on a wide variety of tools and techniques because he knows certain types of locks might be resistant to MICA, or an EPG, it might require single pin lock picking, a technique on which he has probably spent hundreds of hours, hundreds of locks, and a few lock pick sets perfecting.

It’s easy to say, and believe me we hear it all the time, that a locksmith arrived, stuck a little tool in the lock and it was open in seconds, only then to complain when he asked for the full callout that you initially quoted them. Do you want him to take an hour, to sweat, to have cuts on his fingers? Because if that’s the issue, don’t worry, he already has! The reason he can get the job done in seconds is because he’s already done the sweating, he’s already spent the hours learning, hours upon hours of practising, learning, studying, becoming excellent at his chosen skill. He did that so you don’t have to, so that he doesn’t have to when you want the lock open.

So rather than complain when a locksmith opens your lock in a matter of seconds, be glad you can carry on with your life faster than expected. Of course, there’s another answer to not paying the callout, and I promise you’ll never have to pay another locksmith. Get the skills yourself, get the tools, learn the techniques, and you’ll never need to call a locksmith again.

How to Reduce Locksmith Costs

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The best advice we can give on reducing the cost when you hire a locksmith is to get at least three different quotes to determine the best price.

However, don’t be mistaken into thinking that a job done quickly should be cheap.

You’re paying for the countless hours of training, the tools purchased and the knowledge of the locksmith, not the minutes taken to do the job.

  • Providing as much accurate information
  • Give the locksmith details on the lock and lock-related problem – this will help the locksmith give you a more realistic estimate of the work required and therefore cost
  • Read the price checklist
  • Below are some questions to ask the locksmith help prevent you from being overcharged.

10 Questions to Ask Your Locksmith

We have put together the below price checklist of some questions to ask a locksmith:

Pricing and Cost of Job

  1. Is the price quoted a fixed price for the job? Check whether all costs (product, labour, etc are included.
  2. Is it an estimate or firm quote? Some may quote an estimate because once on-site it may take more time.
  3. If an estimate, what elements may change? An example is that a higher security product may cost more.
  4. Is VAT included? Not all locksmiths charge VAT as they need to be VAT registered.

Labour Cost

  • Is labour included in the price? Labour may be extra, so always check.
  • Is labour charged per hour? If so, what is the rate?

Callout Fee

  • Is there a callout fee? There may be different charges depending on after hours, weekend or public holidays.
  • What does the callout fee cover? Some callout fees do not include any time on site.

Cheap Locksmiths and Sub-Contractors

  • Is the person quoting you doing the work themselves or are they sub-contracting?
  • If they are sub-contracting, ask who they are sub-contracting to and who will be billing you?

For your peace of mind, excellent service, affordable prices and quality locks give Jay a call on 082 651 6416, you won’t be disappointed.