Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I have purchased some popular numbered security seals. Your brochure says that these don’t work. Why do you make this claim?

A: Numbered tags are simply elaborate cable ties imprinted with a unique number. They bind the zip sliders of your bag together in a similar manner to a padlock. However, as shown on this website, it is a simple matter to breach (break open) the zip chain of a suitcase and then to use the tied sliders to re-close the forced section of the zip. The end result is the numbered tag remains intact providing no clue to the intrusion.

Q: Will a Tell-Tag stop people breaking into my luggage?

A: No. Nothing will stop a criminal from breaking into your luggage. Tell-Tag has been designed as a detection system only. It will let you know when luggage tampering has occurred. Don’t forget – it’s more important to worry about what may have been added to the contents of your luggage, than what may have been stolen. Let your insurance company worry about stolen goods.

Q: Is Tell-Tag suitable for clam-shell type suitcases?

A: No. At this stage, Tell-Tag is suitable only for “soft-sided” bags that are secured with a double zip, or a single zip with a docking point.

Q: How does a Tell-Tag advise me of luggage tampering?

A: When you retrieve your luggage at the end of your journey, a quick visual check of your Tell-Tags will give you this information. The instructions packaged with Tell-Tag, or published on this website, give you a step-by-step guide in regard to checking your Tell-Tags properly.

Q: What should I do if I suspect luggage tampering?

A: Volunteer this information to your airline representative, Customs official or airport authority before attempting to pass through Customs or any other official channels, and ask them to check the contents of your luggage (all items). Making such a proactive declaration will eliminate any question of criminal intent on your part in a potential drug trafficking incident.

Q: If I stick a Tell-Tag label to my fingers, will I “void” the Tell-Tag and make it useless?

A: Yes. Take care when you fit the Tell-Tag. Follow the instructions carefully to minimise the chances of this happening.

Q: The zip stop of the Tell-Tag looks like it is made out of paper. Won’t this rip easily?

A: No. It may look like paper, but the zip stop is made from a specially spun-bonded and laminated plastic material, and is extremely tear-resistant and robust.

Q: Do I need to use a padlock with a Tell-Tag?

A: A padlock is not necessary for detection purposes. We suggest however, that you fit a "smart" padlock such as ClipLok to provide security and peace-of-mind. In this situation, when threading the shackle of the padlock through the overlapping zip slider hoops, pass it underneath the zip stop, so that it will be easier to examine the zip stop when you retrieve your luggage. Check the instructions if you are unsure.

Q: Should I use a padlock if I travel to the USA?

A: In accordance with upgraded security requirements in the USA, the Transport Security Administration (TSA) reserves the right to examine the contents of your luggage at any time. If you have a padlock fitted to one of your bags, and that bag is selected for a contents examination by the TSA, they will simply remove it (and in the “clipping” process, probably destroy it - unless the lock is a ClipLok). Advice of the examination however, will be placed in your bags by the TSA.

Q: Can I use a Tell-Tag in the USA?

A: You can use a Tell-Tag anywhere - with, or without a padlock. However, Tell-Tag cannot provide continued protection after a luggage search. Instead of a Tell-Tag therefore, a ZipChek should be used in conjunction with a ClipLok (ZipChek will be available from this website soon). ZipChek is essentially a Tell-Tag without a single-use seal, and relies instead, on an accompanying padlock such as ClipLok, for security. ClipLok’s clever design will allow both the lock and the ZipChek to be reinstated after a bag has been searched by the security agencies.

Q: Can I put a Tell-Tag on all the zips on my luggage?

A: Tell-Tag has been designed for use with double zip closure systems. Tell-Tag cannot yet be used with single zips (such as those fitted to some external pockets, unless there is a nearby attachment point fixed to the bag). It is thus advisable not to use the external pockets of your luggage, and to leave open any zips such as this. For this reason, many luggage manufacturers are now moving towards double zip closure systems in the design of their external pockets.

Q: Is a Tell-Tag easy to fit to my luggage?

A: Yes, and comprehensive instructions for the fitting of a Tell-Tag are included with each retail pack.

Q: What if somebody replaces my Tell-Tag with one of theirs?

A: In that situation, you will know it. Most people can recognise an attempted forgery of their own signature, even if the forgery is a good one. For this reason, you should make sure that you use your own signature on the Tell-Tags that you fit to your luggage.