I love the Wed Ladies Day Extra Discount! Thanks Andrew for making the extra Keys for my roommates and changing the locks for us! You Rock!
Jade Lynn, via Facebook
A Phoenix Locksmith Blog
The Life of a Locksmith, this blog follows the owner and locksmith of Andrews Lock and Key around the Phoenix metro area servicing Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, and Chandler 24 hour a day 7 days a week with scheduled calls and emergency calls.Check us out every Sunday on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX at 11:00 AM on 1100 AM radio.
Over the last three or four days (I have kind of lost count) Andrew and I have been hard at work making improvements to the website. Getting this blog live was a big one. We also added a few more pages to the site outlining our service area. We still have more to add there but it is coming along. We added a section with a short bio of both Andrew and my self with links to our social media sites (Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, etc.).Another big thing we accomplished was launching the Andrews Lock and Key YouTube channel. We have one video uploaded right now going over how to decode and cut a Schlage key on the new Ninja Laser made by Bianchi. We have a few more videos we are editing including some introduction videos, so soon you'll get to see the ugly mug behind the blog. I have been doing a ton of writing and web site research trying to get the information out there to our customers. It has been a long few days but very informative. I hope some of this information helps current and future customers.
So one of the biggest problems locksmiths face day to day is having to compete with the hundreds of locksmith scammers that are out there. You might have heard of them but what are they? When you google locksmith you will be flooded with results claiming $15-$20 service calls. You think that sounds like a good deal so you call them up.
When they answer the phone they typically greet you by saying "locksmith" and when they are pressed to provide a legitimate company name they fall short and are unable to do that. They tell you over the phone that it is $15-$20 for the service call, then $50 for the first hour of labor "on up" or "at minimum". Say you called them because you were locked out of your house.
Any legitimate locksmith is going to try and pick the lock first. They are going to try your door to figure out if both locks are locked or just one. When a scammer arrives they are going to give you a higher price and tell you that they need to drill the lock right away. If the technician that arrives goes right for the drill with out trying to pick the lock then you need to decline the work and ask him to leave. When you call a legitimate locksmith they should greet you with the company name or give you the company name right away when asked.
They should be able to give you a fairly accurate price quote over the phone. When they arrive they should greet you and ask about your problem right away. They should try and assess the situation before beginning any work. If the quote they gave you over the phone needs to change for any reason up or down in price they should tell you before starting any work. These are the signs you're dealing with a true professional locksmith. Please save our number in your phone and give us a call any time, day or night, and we will be there to assist in any way possible.
So about two weeks ago I got sent out on a re-key for a customer who just had his home burglarized. I got to the house and the customer was a younger guy that just moved from the east coast to Arizona to go to ASU. His girl friend broke up with him after they got out here and he was left with nothing. It was really clear just by the look on this guys face he was burnt out. The re-key was pretty quick, it was only one lock. I ended up spending almost 2 hours at the house talking to him about security measures he could take, the laxed gun laws in AZ, some good sources for fire arm education, and some pointers on how to properly secure his house.
He showed me how the burglars got in. He didn't close his back door all the way. He was in a hurry, didn't slide it closed all of the way, and so it was left unlocked and open. Right as I grabbed my phone to call Andrew he was already calling me. He had been speaking to the property owner about installing a charley bar. For those of you that don't know what that is, it is a bar that installs on to the sliding door that stops it from opening. It sits about mid door and has a locking pin that keeps the bar secure when it is in the down position. The customer also had his spare car key stolen and was worried about the thief's coming back in the night to take his car so I recommended buying a wheel club.
It was a pretty good feeling helping this kid out. Part of me felt really bad for him. When I was a kid someone broke in to my childhood home and made off with a ton of my moms jewelry as well as my music collection and stereo. I remember how my family and I felt that day and wanted to try and make this guy feel a little better if I could..
So on Tuesday of this week I got a call to do a re-key out in the Arcadia district. Andrew offered to go with me but I was insistent that I do this one on my own. I have been trying to do more calls on my own lately and I had been successful on all of the jobs I had done on my own. Until this one. The dead bolts were straight forward but the door knobs weren't. I took one off and it had this weird piece on the back that kept the lock cylinder from coming out of the housing. I called Andrew and sent him a few pictures of the lock to try and figure out how to get the knob apart. He walked me through a few different things but nothing worked, the lock wouldn't come apart. He finally said he wouldn't need to take the knob apart to re-key the lock and left it at that. It didn't take me long to figure out that I had enough room to remove the tail piece and slide a plug follower in to the cylinder. Then the next problem. I repined the lock but because I was second guessing my self the lock just felt funny to me. At this point I start to feel pretty dehydrated and of course I forgot to stop and get some water on my way to the job. So I try and push forward but nothing seems to work for me. I cant get a simple dead bolt reinstalled and I cant get a key to move freely in one of the locks. At this point Andrew calls me and asks for an update. Needless to say I was not doing as well as I or he had hoped and I was no where near as far a long with job as I needed to be. Andrew ended up having to come to the job and help me finish. I had no confidence in anything I had done and thought I was doing something wrong the entire time. After Andrew got on the job site and double checked everything I did he let me know everything I had done was right. So why did I think I made all of those mistakes? Lack of confidence and dehydration are my guesses. I need to learn to trust the training I have received as well as make sure I have water with me at every job. The Arizona sun is no joke and will quickly make you lose your head.
Today we got a call to go and re-key a house close to the shop. This is kind of my first taste of locksmithing. I have hung around the shop and Andrew has shown me a few things but this is my first time working at a customer’s house. Andrews said it was pretty standard residential rekey. We had about 6 locks to re-key for the home owner. It went pretty well until the end. Andrews tackled most of the house but I did a few of the locks. I got everything off the house pretty ok, got my locks shimmed and rekeyed, started putting the locks back on the house, and that’s when things stopped going smoothly. The last lock on one of the back doors gave me a hard time and me being me thought I just needed to use more force to get the deadbolt back on the house..... I was wrong. The tail piece on a deadbolt is made to go only one way and I had it going the wrong way. The difficulty I was having was me wedging the tailpiece the wrong way in to the lock. So after getting schooled by Andrew I had to run to the shop and pick up a new lock because we used all the new locks we stocked on other doors in the house. Came back, shimmed and rekeyed the new deadbolt and put it on the door. The customer was happy and I got a "trophy" from my first broken lock. So the lesson from all of this: don’t force the lock and pay attention to details. Thanks for reading everyone.
Andrew and his staff have done A LOT of work for my company and myself personally. They have always been timely, very communicative, and just all around good guys. Andrew has always given me the BEST PRICE in town and he is always easy to get a hold of when emergencies arise (I've locked myself out a few times). Thank you Andrews Lock and Key!
Josh Harris, via Google+
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Andrews Lock and Key | 65 South Sycamore, Suite 1A | Mesa, AZ85202 | 480-437-4022 | Map