It's always a good idea to price shop. You know you've heard it already – before you decide on any purchase or to hire any service, get at least three quotes to ensure you're getting the best price. How do you manage that though when you've experienced something unexpected?
It is helpful to have an idea of the kinds of fees involved and the way companies bill so you know what you should be expect to hear when you call, what questions you should be asking, and the important things people forget to ask.Locksmith Cincinnati marketing manager, MabellMoreen has provided some insights to help arm people with the information they may someday need.
The first thing you should be aware of is that locksmiths will generally charge a service fee, just to come out. Generally, this fee will range from $25 to $35 but this flat rate can be higher depending on the time of day, and the day itself if it's a weekend or holiday. Some consumers have reported paying service call fees as high as $150. Where you are in relation to the company can also be an issue, especially if you're outside of their normal range or in a rural area.
Flat fee or priced by task
Beyond your service call, the specifics of what you will expect to pay depend on the service you require. Some locksmiths, for instance, will have a flat fee for specific situations, while others may start with a flat rate but then charge extra for various tasks related to a lock out.Moreen says prices may range from $40 to $150, include additional fees if drilling is required, plus a per lock fee.
“If you've lost your keys or fear they've been stolen and want to change locks, you'll pay to get back into the home or business, and then a fee depending on the number of locks that need replacing. Some companies will even charge both to remove the old lock and then to install a new one.”
Know what you have
Many companies will have fairly standard fees for getting you back into your home, vehicle or business, but those prices can vary greatly if you have high security locks, high tech locks or keyless locks so it's important to understand a lock-out isn't an 'apples to apples' thing. Moreen says for instance keyless or smart keys, or high security locks for higher end vehicles can run between $180 and $850 depending on the vehicle.
She says where these high security locks or higher end vehicles are involved, getting quotes ahead of time – and sharing details of vehicle type, special systems, keyless locks and distances typically involved – means drivers can be better prepared if something does go wrong.
“Prices really can range significantly from locksmith to locksmith and are impacted by many things, including the security system, model and age and so on,” says Moreen. “A simple ignition key extraction for instance can run between $60 and $100 and installation of residential locks the customer supplies can range from $40 to $150 or more.”
Figure out what could go wrong so you can ask ahead
It is a good idea, she says, when you are looking for quotes, to come up with a list of questions. Do you charge more if, what if I call you at midnight, what if it's Christmas, what if parts are needed to repair the lock, what if I thought my key was inside but isn't and I need a key cut.... What identification will the locksmith want to be sure I should be accessing whatever it is I want into? What identification should I look for from them to confirm who they are?
Moreen says when consumers plan ahead they can also ask for and receive written price estimates. Keeping a copy in your vehicle or at your home can ensure you are never charged for more than you should be.
Don't take chances
Considering that when people get locked out it is unexpected, and inconvenient, Moreen suggests consumersare proactive in checking out prices on locksmith services in Cincinnati ahead – when they're home and haven't been locked out.