Keys, phone, wallet. We keep this list in the back of our mind as a reminder, anytime we leave. And we remember every time...until that one time...when...we totally forget. Oh no! You’ve been locked out! Suddenly discovering that you’re stranded somewhere without your keys ~ whether from your vehicle, your home, or your business ~ then no matter whose fault it is, it’s never convenient and always infuriating, especially after hours. But there’s no cause for despair. Don’t waste your valuable time! The first thing to do is, call that friend of yours who keeps your spare key for you. If you don’t already have someone like that, first, look to see if perhaps you left a window or another door open. Maybe you’ll be able to get back inside. However...if you’re not so fortunate, then consider the following.

Any place you’re stuck, particularly after dark, you may be worrying over whether the help you need will ever arrive at all. But don’t waste your energy. Should you actually toy with the possibility of shattering a window, risking being mistaken for a cat burglar? Of course not! Plan ahead, so you’ll avoid the whole scenario!

Before an emergency happens, obtain the name of a dependable locksmith. A good first step is to find a reputable locksmith before you ever need one! Do your homework beforehand, and you’ll avoid getting overcharged or scammed.

Consult your friends for their recommendations. Word of mouth from a satisfied customer is always your best bet.

Track down a legitimate local locksmith company. If you don’t receive a reliable recommendation from someone you trust, now’s the time to do your research. Open your local phone book, and also surf the Web.

Compile a list of locksmith companies in your area, with phone numbers and addresses. Choose locksmiths specializing in the services you require, and confirm that each street address goes with each locksmith. A fraudulent company might list a false address, claiming it’s local when it really isn’t. So, using the Web, make sure to match each company’s address with its telephone number. If a person answers your call with a nonspecific salutation such as “locksmith services,” instead of the full company name, then ask for the legal business name. If that individual doesn’t give you a satisfactory answer, then scratch that company off your list. Please note also that a perfectly good locksmith could decide not to list a street address, because their business is mobile, directly dispatching a professional locksmith who’s local to each customer. Therefore, if there isn’t an address, find out the reason.

You can consult your local consumer protection agency, too, as well as your state’s attorney general’s office. You can also ask the Better Business Bureau if there have been any complaints.

If you’re locked out of your automobile, then if you’re a member of a roadside assistance company, call right away. Roadside assistance organizations always keep a list of pre-approved subcontractors which are already known to be trusted to expertly carry out standard services, such as giving your vehicle a jump, unlocking the car, and so forth.

If you don’t belong to a roadside assistance company, then track down an conscientious automotive locksmith specialist, who possesses the expertise necessary for programming your transponder “chip” key, to replace car locks and car keys, to install a new ignition cylinder, and so on.

Request a formal estimate. Even if you’re in a lockout emergency, always ask for a written quote before you permit any work to start. It should include labor; parts, if applicable; and any extra charges. A first-rate locksmith will tell you either the exact price or a ballpark figure on the phone. There could be a minimum fee; there may be an extra cost for work after hours; and there could be a mileage fee, too. If the price the locksmith says doesn’t agree with the price you were told on the phone, then say thanks but no thanks.

Confirm the locksmith’s credentials. When the locksmith arrives, request ID, proof of license, and a business card. The invoice should include the business name. Verify that the name on the vehicle is the same as what’s on the invoice and the business card. To adhere to acceptable security procedures, a locksmith must authenticate your identity. Prior to any work beginning, you’ll be asked to show identification to prove that you’re the actual property owner ~ whether of your automobile, your home, or your commercial building.

Be skeptical if a locksmith claims that your lock has to be drilled or replaced when there’s an emergency. An accomplished locksmith expert will bring the right tools, and be knowledgeable enough to inform you that such extreme measures would be unnecessary. A topnotch locksmith is truly qualified to unlock just about anything.

A superior locksmith is fully insured, suitably licensed, thoroughly background-checked, officially certified, and appropriately bonded. If your property were to be damaged over the course of a service call, or if the locksmith were to do substandard work, then the locksmith must demonstrate proof of insurance. Accordingly, always ask if there’s a warranty.

When you have finally found a premium locksmith, keep that company’s information on hand for future reference ~ on your fridge, in your wallet or purse, in your smart phone, and at your work’s break room’s bulletin board. You will always be able to get out of trouble if any issues arise with keys and locks ~ automotive, residential, or commercial.

Whether you’re seeking a capable locksmith in an emergency, or you must find a locksmith technician to do a special project for you, you certainly don’t want to hire just anyone when it comes to dealing with problems with locks and keys. An outstanding locksmith will happily answer all your questions and go over your concerns. If you live in Mableton, Georgia, choose a locksmith company of good standing such as Mableton Locksmith GA, where staff locksmiths work 24/7 to provide automotive, residential, commercial, and emergency locksmith solutions, and free consultations are available.