Monthly Archives: July 2013
Posted on July 25th, 2013 0 Comments
Locksmiths are a dime a dozen in Chicago. So how exactly are you to know who is running a legitimate and who is just trying to make some money? It can be hard, especially if you don’t know what questions to ask or the company is being uncooperative. Still, there are hints and clues you can find to know whether or not the locksmith you are choosing is doing honest business.
What’s Your Name?
Be wary when locksmiths don’t have names. Illegitimate locksmiths might work under a number of different names to avoid getting caught. If you call the number and they answer with the generic “locksmith services”, ask the company for their legal name. Also look for their name on their advertisements. Notice if the ad looks similar to another with a different name. This could be indication that it is the same company operating under different titles. Also, when they arrive, study their car. While some locksmiths do use their own cars for small and quick project, it usually doesn’t happen. Instead, locksmiths drive vehicles with their business clearly marked on it. It might just be lettering on the side of the car or it might be an the entire van. Either way there is usually something that identifies them.
Ask them for their license and identification. In the city of Chicago, the government requires all locksmiths to be licensed with the state. This makes it easier for you as a customer. A legitimate company will provide you with their license number when you ask. Just plug the number into the state site and you can find out if the company is above board in a matter of seconds. Also, when the locksmiths arrives to help you, they should ask you for identification to make sure you have the authority to request the door open.
Always get an estimate. A real locksmith will give a price range and he won’t stray from it. Ask for an invoice as well. Make sure any additional fee is itemized on the invoice including surcharges and mileage charges, etc. This invoice should include the name and address of the business. It’s easier to dispute the charge when you have physical evidence of the exchange.
Insurance is important. Legitimate locksmiths are all insured just in case. That way, if they damage your property the insurance will cover your losses.
If possible, you should pay for your service by credit card. Nowadays, almost all cards have built-in fraud protection. This means if the company is not legitimate and the card senses it will halt the transaction and you won’t lose the money.
Once you manage to find a legitimate locksmith, keep their number in your phone or their card in your wallet. You never know when you need them again. It’s better to have locksmith you can trust in an emergency rather than fumbling on your phone trying to determine which website is trustworthy while you’re locked out in the freezing cold.
Posted on July 12th, 2013 0 Comments
Locksmiths always say that they can a re-key lock, but who knows what that actually means? It’s easy enough to assume. They do something to the lock so that the old key no longer works. There are a number of reasons one might want a lock re-keyed. Maybe there was a break in. Or maybe you just lost your key and don’t want to risk someone trying to enter your home uninvited. Either way, the idea is simple enough. However, how exactly do locksmiths re-key locks?
Well, if you are adventurous or think of yourself as a regular handyman, then you should know that they sell DIY re-keying kits at hardware stores. Each brand has their own kit so before you head out to the store, make sure to check out the locks you want to re-key.
Now each kit is able to rekey six locks. It comes with pins, tools, and two keys. If extra pins are needed, those can be bought separate. The overall idea to re-keying each lock is the same. However, it is always best to read over the instructions anyway.
Insert the key and make sure the lock is unlocked. Then, use the wire tool in the kit and use it to remove the doorknob by inserting it into the knob hole.
Push the cylinder and pop it out of the knob sleeve.
Using the retainer ring tool, push it against the retainer ring to remove it from the cylinder. Keep the ring because it will be needed later.
You need to remove the cylinder plug. To do this, insert the key back into the cylinder and turn either right or left depending on the lock. Then, use the plug follower supplied in the kit and remove the plug. Make sure to keep a constant pressure. The plug contains the springs and pins in the lock. Though nothing will happen if these things fall out, it will be tedious to collect them all later.
Dump out all the old pins and insert the new key into the cylinder plug. Following the instruction sheet, insert the new pins. They are color coded so it shouldn’t be too hard.
Just as you took the lock apart, put it back together again. Stick the knob back into the door and voila! You have just re-keyed you lock!!
Read more information about Re-keying locks
Posted on July 7th, 2013 0 Comments
Being locked out is a horrible experience. During the day, it’s not too bad. The sun is out and there are people around or it’s rainy and no one in their right mind would be outside. Middle of the night though, it’s a scary moment especially if you are female, alone, and live in a shady part of Chicago.
So what do you do? Well, you take out your phone, look for locksmiths in the Chicago area, and call the first one that comes up. You don’t want to wait in the dark. Ah, but is that the smart thing to do?
There are a lot of shoddy locksmiths out there. They get business by flooding the internet and making sure they are the first names you see. They claim they are a local company and that they charge low rates when the opposite is true. They count on their clients to be scared and desperate, thus willing to pay the price for their inferior work. So what do you do to make sure you’re not getting scammed?
Find Your Own Locksmith
This is a preventative measure. On a day when you’re not busy, check out the locksmith listings around town. There are many that list false addresses on their sites because clients hardly visit their location. Find one that actually exists and go in to meet the people who might end up working on your lock in the middle of the night. Keep their number on your phone. That way, if there is ever an emergency, you know you’ll be getting professional service.
In the state of Illinois you must be licensed in order to be a real locksmith. If you’re searching on your phone for a locksmith in the middle of the night, do a quick check to make sure they are licensed. You don’t want an amateur trying to break into your door. They might break the lock or the door which equates to damages out of your pocket on top of the emergency service cost.
A true professional will always try to pick your lock first (unless it’s some sort of electronic or access control lock). Most front door locks are not exceedingly complicated. Give the locksmith a couple of minutes and you should be back into your home with no damage. Of course, if you have more complicated locks guarding your home, locksmiths have a variety of tools available for them to use such as drills and airbag pumps. However, if your locksmith breaks out these tools before attempting to pick your lock, it is a sign of their incompetence.
A true locksmith will quote you a price as close as possible to what they will eventually change you and it will never exceed $100. The fakes not only end up damaging your door, but they will inevitable double, or even triple, the original price. Forgetting you’re keys has just become a third of your monthly paycheck.
At Chicago Locksmith, we provide 24/7 emergency locksmith services and we guarantee we are the real deal. You can call us or come down to our location to check us out. We promise we are a legitimate business that treats you, the customer, fairly. Ask us about our license and our experience. Whatever you want to know, we will answer and ease your worries. That way, the next time you have an emergency lockout, you know exactly who to call.
Don’t fall in the hands of locksmith scam artist see video