Topic: General Chatter
As an emergency locksmith in Cannock we are always dealing with the general public and meet all sorts of weird and wondeful characters, it's what makes the job more interesting. There are however certain things which we encounter on a weekly basis that really grind our gears, ceratinly my own. Here are my top five annoying things that customers do or say to locksmiths.
1> The know it all / I'm an engineer and I can't fix it.
I don't know why people like to drop this line when you are repairing their door? It's like they're saying "look mate, I am equally qualified or moreso and have already taken a look. I am not sure you can fix this". Of course they shut up as soon as you unjam that door they have been trying to open for the last week. These are the type of customer that like to stand over your shoulder suggesting better ways to do things or give unwanted opinions. I know a lot of less pateint locksmiths would pack up tools and leave, I get on with the task and smile. One of my favourite ones was a big burly chap that had been trying to chop a padlock off with some bolt cutters and failed. I took my cutters out and I could see him grinning since I was half his size. Five seconds later his padlock is off and the meathead is dumbfounded. It's all about technique not strength mate...
I don't mind a little bit of haggling before the job, I understand that in a lot of cultures this is the norm and I can give or take a few quid in certain circumstances, otherwise I will pass on the work if they're too keen. One thing that really pisses me off however is the customer that wants to haggle after the job is completed. The majority of time a firm NO will be enough to get your money but there are some that really push it and it's hard to remain professional.
3> Not giving the full story
A close relative of the haggler, this customer uses deception to get a better price. They will call a locksmith for a lock change but fail to mention important details; They have no keys and are locked out, or the door has been kicked off it's hinges and has been in the back garden for a month. You end up adjusting your quote accordingly on site only to be told "I'll get back to you then..." These customers usually end up blocked on my phone, I can't stand being messed around.
4> How much if I have my own lock?
I personally do not reduce my rates to fit a customers own lock unless I know full well it's the correct one for the job, and even then it's not by much. I have entertained this idea so many times in the past only to be handed a knackered old lock and they've still have the cheek to ask how long my work is guaranteed for. When you start dealing with these sort of customers the likelihood of the job coming to bite you in the ass further down the line increases and no locksmith likes a call back.
5> Do you do a free call out?
For a genuine local customer this is not a problem, number five is aimed more at the people that want you to come out, diagnose the problem and suggest the solution but then tell you they will call you back so they can have a go themselves first. Having slipped up on occasions in the past by giving away too much information I have learned to keep my cards close to my chest. "This is how much it's going to cost to resolve your issue", they can take it or leave it but I am not really willing to divulge any further anymore. At the end of the day our locksmith knowledge and expertise is what we charge for so it would be silly to turn up and give it away for nothing.