If you need a 24-hour locksmith, you may be in such a hurry to get back into your home or car that you don't bother to ask them any questions, instead just telling them where you're at before hanging up and waiting. This can be a mistake, as you need to ensure that you're safe and that you don't get overcharged. Note a few important questions to ask an emergency locksmith when you need to make that call.
1. Ask for a maximum price estimate before they arrive
It may sound strange, but a locksmith might raise their rates if they find you locked out of your car in front of a nightclub versus being locked out of your house. They might think that if you have money for drinks and a party, then you have money for them! They may also raise their rates for someone who is stranded in the middle of a strange city, reasoning that you'll simply be that desperate to get back into your car. Whatever the situation, always ask for the maximum amount that they will charge while you're still on the phone, so you know they won't take advantage of you once they show up.
2. Ask what information they need about your lock to open it safely
A skilled locksmith will rarely need to actually break a lock to get in; they should be able to manipulate the tumblers or pins inside to open the lock without damaging it. However, they may need to bring certain tools for certain home entryway locks or for certain makes and models of cars in order to do this. Ask what information they need about your locks to open them safely, rather than assuming that all locks are the same, especially if you have upgraded alarms or other security features that have been added to the locks themselves.
3. Ask how you'll identify the locksmith
If you're calling late at night and especially if you're alone, ask how you'll identify the locksmith. You don't want someone to be driving by and notice you standing on your porch, pacing, or walking around in front of your car, and realize that you're locked out and take advantage of the situation. Always ask if the locksmith you're calling will have identification, will arrive in a marked van, and the like, so you know whom to trust when you're on your own and locked out of a house or car.