Choose a Reputable, Trustworthy Houston Locksmith
When you have an emergency lockout situation or during/following locksmith services at your home or place of business, King Safe and Lock recommends using the following guidelines to ensure you are not taken advantage of:
- Look for a reputable Houston locksmith with a physical brick and mortar office location in Houston. Be advised that several Houston locksmiths are serious scammers and even put phony local addresses in their advertisements.
- Avoid calling 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. A locksmith with a good reputation should also be a member of organizations such as Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), Texas Locksmiths Association (TLA), Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA), or Safe and Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA).
- When calling a locksmith in Houston, make sure the company is insured, licensed and bonded through The Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDOT), as required by law. Use your resources and check the TXDOT website to ensure the company’s license and bond is still active and has not expired or been retracted due to unsavory business practices. State licensing and bonding information is available to the public and is covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Know your rights as a consumer; trust and verify. Refuse to give business to any company you call who refuses to give you their state license number.
- State of Texas law requires locksmiths to carry a “Pocket Card” on their person at all times. Issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the card has the locksmith’s name, photograph, registration number and expiration date. Always ask to see the pocket card if it is not visible. Send away any locksmith who does not have one, and call the police if that locksmith refuses to leave or demands payment.
- Beware of “Bait and Switch” pricing, especially over the phone. There are set fees for the initial service trip charge for coming out to your location that all locksmiths, Houston area or not, have. The actual services rendered, including labor and parts, are added onto the trip charge. The trip charge is not the only payment due, but scammers will mislead you into thinking that. Quote rates that are too good to be true are just that. Please be aware that some dishonest locksmiths may offer initial services for a very low charge in order to get your business. Then they may try to upcharge you once they arrive on site. Be sure to ask the locksmith how the charge will be calculated and get an estimated price while on the phone. When the locksmith arrives ask them to provide the agreed dollar amount before they begin their work. An exact price over the phone may not be available from legitimate Houston locksmiths, but outlandish price increases are not standard practice.
- Triple check the invoice or receipt given to you by a locksmith. In Texas, invoices from locksmiths must have printed on them the company name, address, phone number and license number. Never hesitate to file a complaint with the Texas Department of Public Safety if you encounter any discrepancies.