Door hardware and locks have a life cycle, and depending upon the type, grade and application, may or may not be repairable. It is often more cost effective to replace then to repair. Higher grade hardware often is repairable, however repair parts can often be costly and it becomes more cost effective to replace with a new lock. Each scenario is different and must be examined.
A professional locksmith will ask several questions from the consumer prior to arriving at your location. Consumers should ask questions. A more educated estimate can be given and it allows the locksmith to be better prepared to resolve the problem quickly and educate the consumer as to their best solution. Any person who claims to be a locksmith, but will not spend the time to ask questions or listen to the consumers concerns, is probably not a good choice for service.
Although a fair estimate can be given over the telephone, a final estimate should be given after the locksmith actually sees the door hardware, it's installation and condition. Ask your locksmith for a written estimate, but keep in mind that sometimes when a piece of door hardware is removed, there could be other problems found. Improper prior work or bad installations and missing parts must be corrected in order for a warranty to be honored.
The "alleged locksmiths" referred to as "scammers" often are incapable of repairing a damaged lock since they do not know how to make repairs, obtain proper replacement parts or have access to purchase them through the supply houses or distribution channels. They also don't engage the consumers as described above.
Professional locksmiths who understand consumer protection, customer care and door hardware want to talk to the consumers. Like retail clothing chain store legend Sy Sym's slogan said, “An Educated Consumer is our Best Customer.”
As a consumer you should ask your professional locksmith any of the following questions:
What are my options?
Is there alternatives?
What is the cost comparison?
What is the cost of ownership?
What Grade is the product?
Is there a warranty on the product?
Is there a warranty on the installation?
Is it repairable?
Is it cost effective?
What is the best value?
Members of he Society of Professional Locksmiths participate in continuing education and professional development programs to provide the consumer the best possible service.
Call your local SOPL Locksmith to receive professional advice and service.
What questions do you think should be asked?
Tom Lynch, CRL