Wednesday, 30 November 2011

January 2011 @ Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks

In the run-up to Christmas, Neighbourhood Locks, the local Ipswich Locksmith, were asked to attend a considerable number of lockouts. During the Christmas period, we all have much on our minds, so it is understandable how easy it is to become locked out. In almost all of the cases, we managed to get the Customer back in to their properties swiftly, and more importantly, without the need to destroy their lock, as we specialise in 'Non-destructive Entry'. In the few cases where the lock failed to respond to NDE, and it was necessary to destroy the lock, we replaced it free of charge. This is our unique guarantee as Ipswich Locksmiths, that we will replace your lock free of charge, if we need to destroy it to gain entry, other than in the case of a faulty lock, or security-compromised one.

After the Christmas blues, the Vat increase hasn't been good, however here at Neighbourhood Locks, we are pleased to announce that we still charge NO VAT at all, so effectively you are receiving a 20% discount when you use our services.

We received one call during a heavy snowfall one evening at about 7pm, from a lady that said that she needed to open her shed door, but that the lock had failed. I must admit I wondered what the urgency was to open a shed door, but once she told me that the children's Christmas presents were inside, and that another locksmith she had phoned refused to come out as it was snowing, was hoping I would help. Even though the Client was located in a remote village some distance from us, I assured her that her shed door would be open within the hour, which it was, much to her delight! It is call-outs of this nature that make being a Locksmith such a rewarding Profession.

That reminds me of a call-out I received last Christmas, which involved me changing the lock on a back door, for a lady that had just moved in. When I arrived, there were Plasterers there, who warned me about a 'large dog' that had just bitten the Electrician. I laughed assuming they were joking, but he told me he meant it and that the Electrician had just gone up the hospital. Anyway, the lady of the house got the dog out of the way, while I went down the hall, into the kitchen, (which incidentally had a half glazed door between it, and the hall), which of course remained firmly closed to keep the dog from me. Anyway, there I am, working on the back door, when my mobile phone goes.

'Hello. It's me ****' (The Client). 'I just went out the front door to take the rubbish out, and the door has slammed behind me, and I'm locked out. Can you come and let me in?'.

'No' I replied.

'Why not?'

'Because your dog is the other side of the kitchen door, and wont let me out. Can I get round the side?'

'No. It's a long walk down a lot of streets and will take ages, but just tell the dog to 'SIT!' and push past it.'

'I can't. Listen.' (I hold the phone up to the kitchen door, so she can hear the dog growling and barking at me. It was also jumping up, and hammering on the door and baring its teeth, though naturally this aspect would have been missed on the phone).

'OK. Yes, you're right. DON'T open the door, or he WILL go for you!'

So I didn't. I got on with my work, and eventually her husband came home, with a key. It was so ironic that there was a Locksmith within 30 feet of a 'lockout', but couldn't do a thing.

Another call-out this Christmas, was from a lady who informed me that she needed a lock changing. I asked her the circumstances, as we always require as much information as possible in order to assess what's required, and she informed me that she was locked out. I told her that she would need me to gain entry first, and then I could change the lock, and she then told that her boyfriend could get them back in, and that wasn't a problem, but they would need a new lock. Curious as I was, I asked how he would gain entry, as it was a skilled job, and I was shocked to be told that he would 'kick the door' in, to 'save money'. I have no idea how much they thought a new door and frame would be, but I know that it would have been vastly more expensive than our fees for Non-destructive Entry! The last time I received a quote for a new door, it was around £600.

In every single case where a well-meaning neighbour, or the property owner themselves has attempted to gain entry, it has always ended up costing more, and usually turning what could be a 10 minute opening, in to a much longer job.

Neighbourhood Locks were called to attend what we assumed was a typical failed UPVc door mechanism, but which upon examination turned out to be a long-obsolete mechanism, which I wasn't at all confident about being able to source, and warned the Client of this, explaining that worst-case scenario, would be to replace it with something 'close', though that could need considerable work, however I promised to do my utmost to find the correct replacement. I managed to surprise myself, by locating one of the last three in the country, which made replacing the defective gearbox a straightforward job. Once again the Client was extremely happy, and said that he would be happy to recommend us.

Until next time.. Stay Safe

~ Simon, your local Locksmith, Ipswich.


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