Providing competitively-priced services (residential/commercial/automotive), with exemplary customer service!
Being able to enlighten & educate my clients on lock science/function, and security measures they should take to ensure their safety, and retention of their personal property.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I will ask specific questions to elicit responses other than "the lock doesn't work"; for example, does the key turn 360° degrees (in a deadbolt) without retracting the bolt? That's an indicator of a worn-out or broken clip holding the tailpiece in place inside the lock----a VERY easy repair situation----but there ARE "locksmiths" out there who will try to upsell a client on a new deadbolt device (and charge them 5-10 times what it would cost to get the replacement at a local big box store)...those scammers give legitimate locksmiths a bad rep...
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have graduated from the Foley Belsaw Locksmith Training Course, as well as the prestigious California Institute Of Locksmithing in Van Nuys, CA. I also attend training classes with the CA Locksmith Association, and other courses thru various yearly expo's in L.A. & Orange counties...
Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.
My prices are competitive to other fellow licensed locksmiths in the L.A. County area; I am not in the "highest-priced" category, nor the lowest (although I tend to give lower prices and PERFORM in the high-price realm, so customers will definitely see & get value for their project!). I base my rates on a flat rate basis, for the most part, and it is rare that I will need to raise my price (usually in the case of missing/incomplete information, or miscount of locks/devices to be worked on in the job). At any rate, I will usually either "throw in" the additional work, or give a discount on it (clients are not always aware of of situations/circumstances that warrant extra work to be done...and I try my best to alleviate their embarrassment and the awkwardness in a scenario that results in an adjusted job quotation)...
How did you get started in this business?
Hmmm...I came from a medical background of 32-plus years (18 1/2 yrs in the Army Medical Corps, and the rest as a nurse), but became burnt-out, and switched careers to commercial truck driving (always excelled at map reading/orientation in the military...so that, and my love of driving, made it a good fit at the time)...
About 5 years into driving, I had a heavy-lifting incident which resulted in permanent disability...but 3 months before that scenario, I locked myself out of my tractor at an Arizona truck stop, and my company contracted a Phoenix locksmith to come out and get me back into the truck. It took him exactly 6 seconds to pick the door lock on my Freightliner (I was counting silently: "one-one-thousand, two...")...
As we chatted for a few minutes before he left, he said the thing that etched my interest in lock science on the stone tablet in my mind; he had been a locksmith for 14 yrs at that point, and virtually EVERY day in the field, he would get a "head-scratcher"...a "what-do-I-do-with-this?!?" situation, which appealed tremendously to my love of new challenges.......but I'm a nurse/turned truck driver----how would I be able to become a locksmith?
3 months later, I was out on Worker's Comp. for 17 months, gathered some tools and equipment on my disability checks, and when I got my W.C. settlement, took the schools, incorporated my business, and the rest is history... 😀
What types of customers have you worked with?
Mostly residential clients (lock-outs, broken key extractions, rekeying locks, repairing and/or replacing locks, "fresh install's" [drilling doors for new lock installations], door and hinge adjustments/repairs, etc.), commercial clients (all of the above tasks, with simple master keying procedures), automotive clients (older vehicles----2008 and older----key duplication & origination, transponder programming, etc.)
There are other tasks/skills I perform, but I can't think of 'em at the moment! 😉 Note: I don't work on safes nor electronic access control- type work.......but I CAN refer you to associates who DO, and you can trust, because I trust them to NOT sully my reputation by doing mediocre work! 😱😂
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I helped a "starter home" couple some time back, who had a boatload of locks to be rekeyed, and I gave them a discount based on volume of locks to be worked on. When I get there, I see that ALL of their locks are Kwikset-brand "Smart Key" locks, that are designed to enable a homeowner to rekey their locks without the expertise of a locksmith to be needed. I demonstrated the simple procedure to them on the first lock (charged them a full rekey price for that), and then rekeyed the remaining locks for about 75% off the price I had given them, and wished them well...!!! 😁
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?
Make sure that your locksmith is licensed by the California B.S.I.S. (Bureau of Security and Investigative Services); that lets you know that they are legitimate professionals in the state...
What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?
Try to carefully articulate/describe the issues they are having in their particular situation...if a lock is malfunctioning, illustrate what it is doing wrong ("the 'dohickey' [latch, is what I would surmise they are referring to! 😉] on the edge of the door is not pulling back far enough to open the door when the handle is turned all the way")...the more info provided, the easier it is to judge a job situation and give an accurate price quote...