One of the hardest things about calling a locksmith in Houston is to separate a legitimate locksmith service from a fake one. There are too many locksmiths in Houston and not all of them are legit.
In fact, there are a lot of scammers in our profession who overcharge you, and damage your property, and simply cannot be trusted with the safety of your family. They also bring disrepute to the locksmith profession as a whole, which hurts even a well established, legitimate locksmith service such as ours.
So, it is important to identify locksmith scams quickly, so that you don’t get targeted by one. Let’s discuss how to tell a real Houston locksmith from a fake one.
Do your research. Know who you’re going to call.
Doing your research could save you a lot of time and money. Don’t just call the first name you see in the phone book. Talk to your neighbors or coworkers about the locksmiths they have used and ask for a recommendation.
Do a bit of online research to check the locksmith’s reputation. Check the locksmith’s rating on sites such as Yelp. Find out if they have been registered with the Better Business Bureau and whether there are too many user complaints against them.
Also, most important, check if the locksmith has a physical address. Any locksmith that does not have a physical office and exists only on the internet cannot be trusted.
Call the locksmith service in Houston. Ask for a quote.
Be wary of locksmiths who answer their phone with something generic, such as “locksmith service”. A legit company would give you their registered business name. Next, ask the locksmith for a quote.
If their prices are too low, it is possible that it could be a scam or that there are hidden costs that they will tell you about after reaching your location. Generally, it would cost you $105 to $150 to call a Houston locksmith for a lockout situation on weekdays and anything from $150 to $250 on weekends and holidays.
Ask the locksmith for their license
Texas is one of the states that require a locksmith to be licensed. Don’t hesitate to ask the locksmith for a copy of their license. If they hesitate to give you that, turn them away immediately and have nothing to do with them. A legit Houston-based locksmith service such as ours would have no issues with providing our customers with our locksmith license if asked for it.
Note the locksmith’s vehicle
Make a note of the vehicle used by the locksmith to arrive at your location. It is okay if the locksmith has advertising on their van, but is the vehicle clearly marked?
That’s important, but not necessarily a red flag as some locksmiths prefer to keep their vehicles unmarked because of fear of getting targeted by miscreants on the streets, eager to get their hands on their tools. Regardless, note the number plate of the locksmith van, as well as the make and model of the vehicle.
Make sure the on-site estimate given by the Houston locksmith matches that given on the phone. If there is a big difference, ask why. It is possible that you missed out on some of the details on the phone. The locksmith should be able to give you a proper breakdown of the prices.
Don’t allow the locksmith to start work unless you agree with their on-site estimate. Don’t pay till you are satisfied with their job. If they try to bully you, call the police.