Information on Locksmith training, certification, licensing, and operating a business.
I was away from town over much of Christmas, I decided that I'd pass any calls for work to a new guy who'd contacted me a few times to ask for work. So I dropped my work mobile off with him before going away to deepest darkest Devon. I reasoned that I'd have liked someone to do this for me when I was starting out a few months back. I was only expecting a few calls anyway and the guy seemed pretty competent and enthusiastic when he demonstrated some skills at my house so I didn't have any major worries, although he failed to open a ERA Pro-fit with my ICL curtain pick but I accepted his reason that he was only familiar with his own CB picks as his technique looked ok.
First call he took on went fine as it was just a simple mica job on a nightlatch. But the second was a nightmare where he failed to pick a Chubb (according to the client) deadlock and screwed up drilling (and presumably picking) a Euro cylinder before giving up.
I only found this out from calling the clients back yesterday to check how things went. Fortunately this second client was understanding and we managed to come to an amicable arrangement.
Obviously I am seriously dis-chuffed with this guy and wont be passing work to him again but is this a common problem with passing on work, especially with informal arrangements? And more importantly how can I prevent this happening again?
Cheers for any info,
- Posts: 160
- Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:29 am
- Location: Bristol
if a chubb he can be forgiven for not picking if no pin and cam to hand, but not for failing to drill with 1 small hole.
sub contracting is a potential nightmare, as you found to i guess your cost, all i could suggest is to find a like minded local locksmith you build up trust with over time, before needing his services, or join a body of like minded locksmiths and pass work with trust from member to member where each members ability is proven.
im lucky and have an excellent all round locksmith ive built up a working relationship with over years and we cover each other, which works fine.
- Posts: 339
- Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:38 pm
- Location: Kent
Unfortunately I've also found the majority of Subcontractors are useless. I've gave away a few warrant runs to help newbies out and every time without fail I've been let down. One after struggling on a lock for about an hour went to his van to get a different tool when he received an imaginary call saying his daughter was ill and he had to shoot home. He used the same excuse two days later again after struggling on a lock. My mates wife knows his wife so it wasn't hard to find out the truth!
I phoned every locksmith in two yellow pages offering warrant work if they can pick locks and not one took me up on the offer as they only drill. The problem is most have only done a basic course before setting up in business and as there is so little work out there they can not afford the time off to do further training. One muppet even tried to nick work off me by going direct to my contacts. His loss as I returned the favour and after opening all the doors non destructively I took his main contract and to top it, I'm getting more money than he was on.
It's not all their fault as realisticaly for every 100 people who do the training about 10 can afford to set up fully and of these 2 will have the natural ability to pick. I believe natural ability as I have spend weeks helping people out with tips on picking and some of them will struggle opening an envelope, they just don't seem to get it. Mind you I may be a shi# teacher. Then take these 2 and put them on a door with an aggresive customer at 2am in the pouring rain and soon you are down to one. This one if he is any good will already have enough work and will therefore not work for you.
Looks like it's best to just not sub the work out!
- Posts: 236
- Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 5:02 am
- Location: Scotland
I've got employees and friends that I refer work to. If my employee's are busy or not available, then I refer the customer to a friend.
My friends do the same for me and we all have the same agreement...I pay them a percentage for a referral and they pay me the same. We all work on an honor system, but it keeps us from being liable for each others work.
- Posts: 575
- Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 5:35 am
- Location: Georgia
Only used subs 3 times and regretted it every time.
Locksmiths are simply to specialized in their own methods of technique and business practice to generally be happy with someone else's work.
Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things.
- Posts: 38
- Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:47 am
- Location: Great State of Nature-Oregon
For all the reasons above, I have no desire to sub out work, or take work as a sub. I believe if a locksmith is incapable of taking a job, that he should refer the customer to someone else in the area.
I would never ask another locksmith to pay me money just because someone dropped a dime on my phone number first. And likewise, if another locksmith called me to ask if I'd take a job, I would accept, but only if it is MY job on MY invoice. I figure if the locksmith can't service that customer, the customer would eventually find me anyawy.
- Posts: 2832
- Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 5:23 pm
- Location: Socorro, NM New Mexico Tech
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