I've been a locksmith since 1998. I've done automotive, lots of residential, and now mostly commercial work. Used to locksmith in the Chicago area, now the Austin area.
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I ended up dating a girl who's car I unlocked. Another time, a lady who was going through a rough time straight up asked me to have sex with her! I declined and left as fast as I could.
There are no magic tricks. No blanket recommendation for breaking in a car. Too many cars require different methods. I can give you advice on how to PREPARE for it! Either sign up for a AAA membership ($50 a year which includs 3 free car openings) OR buy a small combo lock box & install it under your car. Only takes 2 screws. Just don't screw it into your gas tank. ;-)
I used to a lot. For really close friends, I just did it for free unless they wanted to tip me. And then friends of friends started calling. I would just charge them a flat $20.
Your best bet is to have one bookmarked before you actually need one. Get referrals from friends, check the Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and keep your eyes open for actual brick and mortar lock shops in your area. A lot of phonies will list an address online or in the yellow pages, but it will be fake. The fakes use local numbers that redirect to a national call center. They hire local contractors who will upcharge you once (if) they show up. LOTS of scammers out there.
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You should never pay that kind of money to have a locksmith open a car or house that takes 5-10 minutes. Prices vary depending on where you live, but that's ridiculous! They're ripping you off. You are being taken advantage of. There are some nationwide companies who hire subcontractors to work on commission. They quote people a small rate on the phone (which they're most likely in another state), & then the contractor charges whatever he wants to make. They use local phone numbers & fake addresses to make themselves look local. If you're ever quoted a price on the phone, ask the tech what the price will before he does any work. If it's not the same, or if he tries to add more without warning after the job is over, refuse to pay & call the police. He's probably trying to rip you off. It should always make sense. Obviously emergency calls in the middle of the night will be more expensive.
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