How to Choose a Trustworthy Locksmith
When choosing a locksmith for your security needs, Houston Safe and Lock recommends using the following guidelines to ensure you are not taken advantage of in an emergency lockout situation or during/following lock services at your home or place of business:
- Be advised that several Houston locksmiths are serious scammers and even put phony local addresses in their advertisements.
- Select a reputable Houston Locksmith with a physical brick and mortar office location in Houston.
- Always triple check the invoice or receipt given to you by a locksmith. In Texas, the company name, address, phone number, and license number must be printed on the invoice. You should never hesitate to file a complaint with the Texas Department of Public Safety if you encounter any discrepancies with a Houston locksmith.
- A more effective way to identify reputable locksmiths is to see if they are members of such organizations as Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), Texas Locksmiths Association (TLA), Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA), or Safe and Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA).
- Beware of “Bait and Switch” pricing, especially over the phone. Scammers will mislead you into thinking that the trip charge is the only payment due. All locksmiths, Houston area or not, have a set fee for the initial service trip charge in coming out to your location. The actual services rendered, including labor and parts, are added onto the trip charge. Beware of any locksmith that quotes rates that are too good to be true. Scammers will often quote a very low price to get your business, but upon arrival at your location, they will find reasons to charge you more. When calling a Houston locksmith always inquire with the technician how the total price will be calculated, then ask again when the locksmith arrives. Though legitimate Houston locksmiths are not entirely able to quote an exact price over the phone, always remain cautious of outlandish price increases.
- Call only local numbers; avoid 800 or 888 numbers as those tend to be call centers located out of town, out of state or, in some cases, out of the country.
- By the State of Texas Law all Locksmith’s are required to carry a “Pocket Card” on their person at all times. Texas Department of Public Safety issues the Pocket Card and has the locksmith’s name, photograph, registration number and expiration date. If this pocket card it is not visible make sure to ask to see it. If the locksmith does not have one, send him away. If he insists payment or refuses to leave, call the police.
- Since state licensing and bonding information is available to the public and is covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), use your resources and check the TXDOT website to ensure the company’s license and bond are still active and has not expired or been retracted due to unsavory business practices. When you make an initial call to a locksmith in Houston, make certain that the company is insured, licensed, and bonded through The Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDOT), as required by law. As a consumer you have the right verify any company. If the company you call refuses to give you their state license number, then refuse to give them your business.