Unscrupulous locksmiths often use out of state call centers to dispatch their technicians.

Not all local locksmiths are local. An online search for a local locksmith might turn up dozens of results, but chances are these results also include contact information for out-of-state call centers. These call centers typically use unskilled locksmiths who hike the price for their services and perform questionable work.

To avoid hiring a call center locksmith, research the business ahead of time. Check out the company’s location. If you speak to someone on the phone, ask these questions:

• Where are you located?
• How will you get into the house? Will you need to drill my lock? Can you tell me the exact process?
• Do you need a picture of the lock?
• Can you give me an estimate? What factors will cause this price to change?
• Do you require cash, or can I pay with a check or credit card?
• What’s the name of the locksmith who will be coming?

If they can’t answer these questions directly, don’t hire them.