Hartford locksmith experts discuss their business
As a locksmith, what are some of the services you provide?
Who we talked to
Scott Williams, owner
P.O. Box 796
Peggy Hobbs, store manager
Phil's Lockshop Inc.
360 E. Main St.
Jim Flaws, owner
Absolute Security Locksmiths
Scott Williams: "We do door replacements, lost key services for vehicles and deadbolt installation. We also do transponder key programming and safe work."
Peggy Hobbs: "We do rekeying, hardware installation and access control systems. We also do safe work."
Jim Flaws: "We install locks, rekey locks, make keys to cars and do lockouts for houses or cars. We can also do some safe work."
Are there any types of jobs you won't do?
Scott Williams: "Alarm installation."
Peggy Hobbs: "I don't open cars or houses when people are locked out."
Jim Flaws: "Not really."
How do you charge?
Scott Williams: "It's based on an hourly rate. A house or car lockout is usually $75 and a safe would be $300 to $400."
Peggy Hobbs: "It's usually determined by the time involved. A safe lockout depends on the condition and manufacturer of the safe. There's no set fee."
Jim Flaws: "It goes with a service call plus whatever parts are needed. A house or car lockout is usually $80. Safes depend on the brand."
Before you start a job, do you require some type of identification?
Scott Williams: "It depends on the job. If it's a home rekey we usually don't, but if it's for a car rekeying, we check every time."
Peggy Hobbs: "Yes."
Jim Flaws: "For people that are locked out, yes. If they already have keys, generally we don't ask."
What's your experience as a locksmith and do you belong to any professional organizations?
Scott Williams: "I have been a locksmith since 1996. I'm a member of the Association of Locksmiths of America."
Peggy Hobbs: "We have been in business since 1974. We're a member of the Locksmith Association of America and the Safe Association of America."
Jim Flaws: "I have 25 years experience. I'm not a member of any professsional organizations."
What makes you stand out from your competition?
Scott Williams: "We're a family business and we do whatever necessary to make the customer happy."
Peggy Hobbs: "Experience."
Jim Flaws: "We provide service that everyone is happy with at a fair price."
Do you have any advice for people who lock themselves out of their cars or homes all the time?
Scott Williams: "Buy a lock box for your home that has a key pad on it. For a car, keep a spare key in your pocket or wallet."
Peggy Hobbs: "Have an extra key. Be aware of who comes to your home to open it. Make sure they're clearly marked as a locksmith service and ask for their identification."
Jim Flaws: "Slow down and smell the roses. Everyone is in such a hurry that they don't pay attention to what they're doing."