Ripped off by a locksmith

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Thegame14
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Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:10 pm

at our vacation home, we accidentally closed a locked door and left the house, the handle on the inside turns even though the outside is locked. It was around 10PM. Called a local locksmith, he said someone would be there within 25 minutes and price would be between $100-$150 depending on how long it takes to fix. I call an hour later and ask where the guy is, I am told he will call me back. I get a call 15 minutes later from the technition and he says he was sleeping and the dispatcher didn't wake him up. He finally shows up an hour and a half later then the original call, uses a piece or plastic, (I tried a credit card, but there is a border around the door so it needed something to bend around a corner), and within 10 second opens the door, asks me to sign on his app, I ask what is the fee he says $150. I said I was told $100 if it was quick and you have been here no more than 30 seconds, and he says it is what it is. I sign and then get an email saying the bill is $177.50 he added an additional 15% "tip" that I didn't know about. I contacted CC company and disputing the $77.5 but even debating if I should dispute more for showing up so late. He also had a bad attitude, I told him this was an issue being late since we have a 3 year old and wife is pregnant he said it isn't his fault he was sleeping and dispatch didn't wake him, well it is someone's fault.... not mine...

Should I call the company of just let the CC chargeback run its course?

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cheese_breath
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:17 pm

You should have called the company first. It's possible they might have made it good, or maybe not. I'm surprised the cc company didn't ask you if you called the company.
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whodidntante
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by whodidntante » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:20 pm

Merchants hate chargebacks because it costs them something, delays their payment, and can endanger their ability to accept cards. Call them first. It's part of the chargeback process anyway. Write down who you spoke with and what was promised to you by that person.

yohac
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by yohac » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:25 pm

Since it's already in dispute, they'll just show your signature for the 150. I doubt you'll get credit for more than the bogus tip.

onourway
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by onourway » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:28 pm

Locksmith scams are so common it's difficult to find one that's not scamming you in some way.

Good luck.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:37 pm

You may have to write a formal letter of complaint to the company (perhaps the president of the company, you'll need to get that info). Don't send it certified mail initially. Tell them you're going to file a complaint with the better business bureau and the financial consumer protection agency.

Don't forget to notify the company you'll be putting your experience on social media (and then do it, unless they make good on the situation). If you put it on social media be careful to just state the facts and nothing that could be interpreted as defamation of character. The facts speak for themselves:

1. Their dispatcher failed to call the locksmith (unprofessional)
2. They said someone would be there in 25 minutes but someone only showed up an hour and half later (their word is not their bond, unprofessional)
3. You had to call a second time (after an hour) (shouldn't have had to do that, unprofessional)
4. They said $100-150 depending on difficulty. Since it wasn't difficult, you assumed lower rather than higher range. He charged highest range for minimal time. This begs the question, when would he have actually charged you just $100 if not for this type job? Would there have been an even easier/less time consuming job than this one? (illogical, unprofessional, vague pricing, etc).
5. He said the job was $150 (which you signed for) but then illegally (yes illegally because he charged your credit card an amount you did not agree to pay, nor were never informed and based on his lack of timeliness and attitude would never have given a tip at all). charged your credit card (fraudulent/unprofessional/illegal/scammy).

The rest of the details (3 year old, wife pregnant, etc.) add to the difficulty of the situation for you (condolensces there) but aren't relevant to just describing all the 5 things above he/they (the company) did wrong and what are they going to do to make it right? Definitely let the company know the dude is charging a different amount to the card than he is getting the customer to sign for. He is giving himself a tip. Last I checked, that's at the discretion of the customer. You never were given that choice.

I'd say you should definitely get the tip refunded. Not sure you can get another $50 (the difference between what they "should" have charged, $100 and what they did $150). Because the pricing was vague, it'd be up to you to get the company to explain when they would have charged you $100 instead of $150 if you want the other $50 back. You signed for $150 so I believe that's what you'd have to pay, unless you can convince the company otherwise. But you should not pay the extra tip charged since you didn't agree to it and would never have paid it.
Last edited by arcticpineapplecorp. on Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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greg24
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by greg24 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:43 pm

Most rules are out the window when you're expecting basically an emergency service after 10pm.

Be glad they came and got you in the house. At most, you were "ripped off" for $27.50, money that went to the guy you had woken up to answer your emergency.

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mhc
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by mhc » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:43 pm

If you agreed to pay it (you signed), then what is there to dispute?

barnaclebob
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:45 pm

I've read most locksmiths charge people before unlocking because people see how easy it was then refuse to pay. I'm curious as to what he could have done had you only agreed to pay $100 since your door was already open.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:49 pm

greg24 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:43 pm
Most rules are out the window when you're expecting basically an emergency service after 10pm.

Be glad they came and got you in the house. At most, you were "ripped off" for $27.50, money that went to the guy you had woken up to answer your emergency.
sorry, that's the wrong attitude. There is not a monopoly on locksmiths. The OP could have called another locksmith if he had known this is how he would have been treated.

And to say the $27.50 went to "the guy". Um, no. Part of the $150 went to "the guy" to open the door. The rest went to the company (and dispatcher) to cover costs for running a sh-tty business. So no. The locksmith is not entitled to any of that $27.50. Not a single cent. He is paid to do a job (out of the cost quoted at $100-$150). That's it. If the OP wanted to give the guy something for his troubles, that's up to him (and his family). But the OP did not want to tip the guy because of his attitude, the inflexibility of the $150 charge (why this and not $100 or $125 or some other amount under $150?) and the lateness (regardless of who's fault it was).

Last I recalled the reason to give a tip is for superior service (that's as in above and beyond). Not late service (grossly over what was promissed) along with a side order of bad attitude.
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

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wabbajack
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by wabbajack » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:53 pm

greg24 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:43 pm
Be glad they came and got you in the house. At most, you were "ripped off" for $27.50, money that went to the guy you had woken up to answer your emergency.
+1
Ask for the $27.50 back. That's like a server at a restaurant giving themselves a bogus tip.
As for the rest of it, sounds fair to me.

Jags4186
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:57 pm

mhc wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:43 pm
If you agreed to pay it (you signed), then what is there to dispute?
Sometimes you can be in a situation where signing is the only practical thing to do. Also, none of the CC processors require signatures anymore so I doubt the signature means much.

e5116
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by e5116 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:00 pm

Wow, people really suggesting to go through a 7-step process to save $22.50?!? My time is much more valuable than that. I would personally just let it go. Maybe leave a (negative) review somewhere if it makes you feel better or contact the company itself and tell them what happened.

This reminds me of a story about a repairman who fixed a giant ship engine. He examined it and simply used a hammer to tap something, which instantly fixed it. He gave them a bill that charged $2 for tapping with a hammer, and $9998 for knowing where to tap. :) So, yeah, you're not paying for the real "labor," you're paying for the knowledge.

ddurrett896
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by ddurrett896 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:10 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:10 pm
Should I call the company of just let the CC chargeback run its course?
Since he added the tip I would dispute the entire transaction.

Thegame14
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:12 pm

I did like you said and called the company. I asked to speak to the owner, the person who answered said he was the owner, but I would never know if he is lying. He said the tip he refunded as it shouldn't have been added on, he said a button was accidentally clicked, but again I wouldn't know if this was true or not. He didn't say anything about the $100 vs $150 he just said the lateness and attitude was unacceptable and he will review that phone call which is supposedly taped, but I think the tech called from his cell, so probably not. I am going to still let the CC dispute run unless I see the $50 refunded.

Yes if you said was it worth it to get back into the house for $150 yes, but you shouldn't promises times or prices and not keep them, they said $100-$150 depending on difficulty, he was literally there for 30 seconds including in and out of car and walking to door, so it should have bene $100, now why did I sign for it. 3 year old at 11pm who is cranky, pregnant wife who has HG like princess Kate, and is pissed off and just wants to get into house, so I didn't want to escalate the situation any more than it already was.

Thegame14
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:13 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:10 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:10 pm
Should I call the company of just let the CC chargeback run its course?
Since he added the tip I would dispute the entire transaction.
I was debating this, but I figure the company still provided a service so they shouldn't be 100% at fault, but then again, they have a dispatcher who doesn't give accurate times or quotes, and tech who sleeps instead of being on the job, and I gave them bad review on an email they sent to me after the job and no one called to talk to me about it, so maybe I should dispute it all, but already put the dispute in, not sure I can amend it.

cbr shadow
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by cbr shadow » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:22 pm

e5116 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:00 pm
Wow, people really suggesting to go through a 7-step process to save $22.50?!? My time is much more valuable than that. I would personally just let it go. Maybe leave a (negative) review somewhere if it makes you feel better or contact the company itself and tell them what happened.

This reminds me of a story about a repairman who fixed a giant ship engine. He examined it and simply used a hammer to tap something, which instantly fixed it. He gave them a bill that charged $2 for tapping with a hammer, and $9998 for knowing where to tap. :) So, yeah, you're not paying for the real "labor," you're paying for the knowledge.
I'm thinking about filing a complaint about the CPA who does my taxes.. All he did was click around on a few keys on his keyboard and didn't even get out of his chair! :happy
Kidding of course, but I agree about "paying for the knowledge".

goodlifer
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by goodlifer » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:22 pm

I got ripped off by a locksmith, too. My house sitter locked herself out on a weekend, so we gave the go-ahead to put the charge on our credit card. We were told it would be around $250, which we thought was a rip off to begin with. We were charged $450, $50 of it was for a new doorknob that was $9.99 at Home Depot. It wasn't even an outside lock. When I called the locksmith to complain, I was told he had no record of going to my house or talking to me. When I called the phone # associated to the charge on my credit card, it was for a mechanic in a different state that somehow knew of the charge but refused to talk to me. So I disputed the charge with my credit card and the entire amount was removed. So if you call the office and they say that they don't know what you are talking about, I would suggest just going right to disputing it. I was told by the CC rep that there is a lot of locksmith scams.

I would definitely call and complain to the boss. It isn't the dollar amount, but the way you were treated. He should never have put a tip on the bill and needs to be stopped.

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dm200
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by dm200 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:26 pm

For an organization I run (part time), we had an "emergency" need for a locksmith on a weekend (get a broken combination lock cabinet opened) and were very pleased at both the promptness of the response and the low and fair charge.

What I learned, though, is that most (maybe almost all) of the call services act as a referral to local locksmiths and do not have a direct financial connection.

Silk McCue
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Silk McCue » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:27 pm

Time to strategically hide a spare key outside the house that takes effort to get to and is not anywhere near the door. That's what I do.

Cheers

Thegame14
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:41 pm

the weird part is that when I talked to the owner, he didn't know about the amount being disputed. To me that is strange, if I was an owner I would know about dispute charges I would think immediately, also didn't mention the bad review I left from the confirmation email. I am thinking of canceling the original dispute and opening a new one and disputing the entire amount. thoughts?

Pacman
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Pacman » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:50 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:10 pm
at our vacation home, we accidentally closed a locked door and left the house, the handle on the inside turns even though the outside is locked. It was around 10PM. Called a local locksmith, he said someone would be there within 25 minutes and price would be between $100-$150 depending on how long it takes to fix. I call an hour later and ask where the guy is, I am told he will call me back. I get a call 15 minutes later from the technition and he says he was sleeping and the dispatcher didn't wake him up. He finally shows up an hour and a half later then the original call, uses a piece or plastic, (I tried a credit card, but there is a border around the door so it needed something to bend around a corner), and within 10 second opens the door, asks me to sign on his app, I ask what is the fee he says $150. I said I was told $100 if it was quick and you have been here no more than 30 seconds, and he says it is what it is. I sign and then get an email saying the bill is $177.50 he added an additional 15% "tip" that I didn't know about. I contacted CC company and disputing the $77.5 but even debating if I should dispute more for showing up so late. He also had a bad attitude, I told him this was an issue being late since we have a 3 year old and wife is pregnant he said it isn't his fault he was sleeping and dispatch didn't wake him, well it is someone's fault.... not mine...

Should I call the company of just let the CC chargeback run its course?
If you dispute for more than 15% tip, then you are the one doing the ripping off. What if you had an incompetent locksmith that showed up who was learning on the job and took 3 hours to finish - would this person deserve a higher fee?

Thegame14
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:56 pm

Pacman wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:50 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:10 pm
at our vacation home, we accidentally closed a locked door and left the house, the handle on the inside turns even though the outside is locked. It was around 10PM. Called a local locksmith, he said someone would be there within 25 minutes and price would be between $100-$150 depending on how long it takes to fix. I call an hour later and ask where the guy is, I am told he will call me back. I get a call 15 minutes later from the technition and he says he was sleeping and the dispatcher didn't wake him up. He finally shows up an hour and a half later then the original call, uses a piece or plastic, (I tried a credit card, but there is a border around the door so it needed something to bend around a corner), and within 10 second opens the door, asks me to sign on his app, I ask what is the fee he says $150. I said I was told $100 if it was quick and you have been here no more than 30 seconds, and he says it is what it is. I sign and then get an email saying the bill is $177.50 he added an additional 15% "tip" that I didn't know about. I contacted CC company and disputing the $77.5 but even debating if I should dispute more for showing up so late. He also had a bad attitude, I told him this was an issue being late since we have a 3 year old and wife is pregnant he said it isn't his fault he was sleeping and dispatch didn't wake him, well it is someone's fault.... not mine...

Should I call the company of just let the CC chargeback run its course?
If you dispute for more than 15% tip, then you are the one doing the ripping off. What if you had an incompetent locksmith that showed up who was learning on the job and took 3 hours to finish - would this person deserve a higher fee?
so then companies can lie about their prices over the phone and you think that is ok. Good to know...I would love to see you get a quote from a contractor for your house and when the bill is 50% more you will gladly pay it....

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:56 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:57 pm
mhc wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:43 pm
If you agreed to pay it (you signed), then what is there to dispute?
Sometimes you can be in a situation where signing is the only practical thing to do. Also, none of the CC processors require signatures anymore so I doubt the signature means much.
My father had a situation once where he was disputing a charge (he took his car in for one repair and then his car window was broken at the garage. He thought it was their responsibility to fix and eat the charge since it happened on their property and they failed to secure it and it wasn't the reason he brought the car to them in the first place), but they were making him pay for the repair before they'd release his car. He felt his car was being held hostage (those were the words he used) if he didn't pay for the repair he didn't schedule or authorize. As he was signing the charge slip (but before he signed it), he wrote "paid under protest". The store owner was livid, but my father said it was the only way he would sign the bill. We talked about it as we left the mechanic and my father explained two things:

1. it's always better to pay with credit card rather than cash if you have a dispute. That way you can have the credit card company and the merchant fight it out. And you have recourse.
2. Writing "paid under protest" on the charge receipt and then signing it showed the credit card company he was only signing to get his car released (if he didn't pay, he couldn't have gotten his car). So this was his way of getting his car, but at the same time protesting the actual amount he was being charged.

It was a valuable lesson. I have never had to do this (but came close once or twice). Fortunately I've had situations resolved before it came to that. But I have had credit card companies charge back in rare instances. This is a valuable service credit card companies provide, if people know their rights and what's available to them.
Last edited by arcticpineapplecorp. on Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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abner kravitz
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by abner kravitz » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:57 pm

I used to have an electronic lock with keypad on my vacation home, for hassle-free renter and guest access. I don't have a vacation home anymore, but I got an electronic lock for my regular home. I wouldn't do without one now.

Anyway, if I was quoted $100 to $150, I would assume it was going to be $150 and pay it. I'd raise heck over the "tip" though.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:03 pm

e5116 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:00 pm
Wow, people really suggesting to go through a 7-step process to save $22.50?!? My time is much more valuable than that. I would personally just let it go. Maybe leave a (negative) review somewhere if it makes you feel better or contact the company itself and tell them what happened.
This is not about time or money. It's about principle. As you can see the business owner is not even aware of what is going on (what was charged, the tip added, etc.). Taking the time to contact the company may correct this situation so it doesn't happen to someone else (kinda like when bogleheads got ripped off by EJ but find it in their hearts to warn others), may result in the discipline and/or firing of an individual prone to stealing from customers (if this is/was a pattern. It could have been a fat finger situation as suggested). And at the very least gives information to the company they can use to stay in business (if improve) or go out of business (if ignore).

Think about the companies you deal with. You do so because they do what they say (deliver as promised and provide what you pay for). Companies make mistakes. There are learning curves, etc. The only way businesses can improve is through customer feedback. If the OP doesn't give it, the business can't improve (if they even want to). While he's doing it because he's pissed at the situation, he's also providing a valuable service to the company (if they choose to view it as such). Feedback is valuable, but you've got to drop the defenses to benefit.
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

mptfan
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by mptfan » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:06 pm

abner kravitz wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:57 pm
I used to have an electronic lock with keypad on my vacation home, for hassle-free renter and guest access. I don't have a vacation home anymore, but I got an electronic lock for my regular home. I wouldn't do without one now.
Can you recommend one?

LordB
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by LordB » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:36 pm

Most locksmith places you find these days are actually run by central call centers who then subcontract out the actual unlock. They are very deceptive and pretend to be local. My guess unless you were very careful you ended up with one of those and that would also explain the longer than normal wait. If you took the first google hit it probably was one of these. As you might guess they take a big cut so the actual locksmith has every reason to be deceptive.

While I agree that OP should have tried to resolve this with the company odds are the 'company' is actually a huge company that is mostly just a specialist in deceptive online advertising.

If you want to be really mean file a police report. This is fraud and in theory they could choose to investigate. They probably won't, but it is worth a shot.

Anyways I wouldn't feel guilty charging back the whole thing. They tried to steal from you and if they really disagree with the CC companies conclusion they can bill/sue you for the full amount (they won't...).

3-20Characters
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by 3-20Characters » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:45 pm

Cheap, low tech solution for next time.

https://www.amazon.com/Master-Lock-Comb ... B0002YP1VC

Pro tip: you don’t have to secure it to door handle (obvious location). Anywhere where it is afixed to something immovable will do.

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dm200
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by dm200 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:48 pm

LordB wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:36 pm
Most locksmith places you find these days are actually run by central call centers who then subcontract out the actual unlock. They are very deceptive and pretend to be local. My guess unless you were very careful you ended up with one of those and that would also explain the longer than normal wait.
Yes - that is my understanding and very limited experience - especially for "after hours" when you cannot directly call a local place.

corysold
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by corysold » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:48 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:56 pm
Pacman wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:50 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:10 pm
at our vacation home, we accidentally closed a locked door and left the house, the handle on the inside turns even though the outside is locked. It was around 10PM. Called a local locksmith, he said someone would be there within 25 minutes and price would be between $100-$150 depending on how long it takes to fix. I call an hour later and ask where the guy is, I am told he will call me back. I get a call 15 minutes later from the technition and he says he was sleeping and the dispatcher didn't wake him up. He finally shows up an hour and a half later then the original call, uses a piece or plastic, (I tried a credit card, but there is a border around the door so it needed something to bend around a corner), and within 10 second opens the door, asks me to sign on his app, I ask what is the fee he says $150. I said I was told $100 if it was quick and you have been here no more than 30 seconds, and he says it is what it is. I sign and then get an email saying the bill is $177.50 he added an additional 15% "tip" that I didn't know about. I contacted CC company and disputing the $77.5 but even debating if I should dispute more for showing up so late. He also had a bad attitude, I told him this was an issue being late since we have a 3 year old and wife is pregnant he said it isn't his fault he was sleeping and dispatch didn't wake him, well it is someone's fault.... not mine...

Should I call the company of just let the CC chargeback run its course?
If you dispute for more than 15% tip, then you are the one doing the ripping off. What if you had an incompetent locksmith that showed up who was learning on the job and took 3 hours to finish - would this person deserve a higher fee?
so then companies can lie about their prices over the phone and you think that is ok. Good to know...I would love to see you get a quote from a contractor for your house and when the bill is 50% more you will gladly pay it....
They did say it would be $100-$150 and charged you $150. I'm not sure they were lying about their prices. Was there a distance factor involved? Perhaps he had to drive a distance outside their normal zone, so you were charged for driving time in addition to the time on the job?

abner kravitz
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by abner kravitz » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:51 pm

mptfan wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:06 pm
abner kravitz wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:57 pm
I used to have an electronic lock with keypad on my vacation home, for hassle-free renter and guest access. I don't have a vacation home anymore, but I got an electronic lock for my regular home. I wouldn't do without one now.
Can you recommend one?
I have only used the Schlage FE575, but I've been very happy with it. It looks and feels like quality to me. It is basic with no internet connectivity, etc. and costs about $100. I assume you can get all kinds of bells and whistles and other designs if you want.

The battery (one 9V) should be good for about 3 years, but I change it proactively every couple of years. It also has key operation.

Thegame14
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:51 pm

they said $100-$150 depending on difficulty, he literally spent 5 seconds to run the piece of plastic up the crack in the door to open, and was at the house less then 2 minutes. so I think that would be the lower end of difficulty. also they said 25 minutes and he took over an hour and a half, because he admitted he was sleeping, when I told dispatcher I had a toddler and pregnant wife waiting. When the actual tech called me he was less then 5 miles away one town over.

knightrider
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by knightrider » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:57 pm

After being ripped off by locksmiths, I now keep a spare key hidden outside my house. I also keep a spare key hidden in the exterior body of my car.. I've saved thousands of dollars from this !

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Alexa9
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:09 pm

I think you are overreacting because it was a bad experience.
The only shady thing was the tip that they agreed to waive.

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N1CKV
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by N1CKV » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:18 pm

Have you talked to the company yet? If you have an did not get a satisfactory response the best thing you could do, in my opinion at least, is to start writing reviews and complaints.
Write in a complaint to the BBB.
Write a 1 star review on yellowpages.com, Google reviews, Yelp, facebook and any other place you can find.

After blasting them it is likely you will hear from the owner with a resolution.
I have met a lot of people that claim to love money, but they also seem to be the same people that are in the biggest hurry to get rid of it.

mmcmonster
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by mmcmonster » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:30 pm

e5116 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:00 pm
[...]This reminds me of a story about a repairman who fixed a giant ship engine. He examined it and simply used a hammer to tap something, which instantly fixed it. He gave them a bill that charged $2 for tapping with a hammer, and $9998 for knowing where to tap. :) So, yeah, you're not paying for the real "labor," you're paying for the knowledge.
Along a similar vein, I remember reading an article about the conundrum about locksmith experience and pricing.

As a member of the general public, we would likely spend more on a locksmith and give a tip if they spend a good amount of time and effort in opening a lock. However, this is the sign of an inexperienced locksmith.

On the other hand, if the locksmith takes a quick look and opens the lock within a minute and charges you the same amount, you would feel cheated and certainly not tip them. On the other hand, this is more likely an experienced locksmith. :oops:

Dottie57
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:42 pm

OP, you were in need of the service. Most places put a premium on after hours service. I would dispute the tip, but pay the full service amount.


My key broke in the ingition of my car late at night. Called a lcksmith who rekeyed it and removed the key. It was expensive (took my breath away), but I could use my car. 30 years ago.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:44 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:45 pm
I've read most locksmiths charge people before unlocking because people see how easy it was then refuse to pay. I'm curious as to what he could have done had you only agreed to pay $100 since your door was already open.
Moral of the story- locksmiths should make it look hard to open the door. Then people will appreciate it more.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:04 pm

If you have a garage, just hide a key somewhere and you will never be locked out again. Assuming, of course, your garage-door opener works, or you have a keypad.

Even though I cannot drive, I have a spare set of keys in my wheelchair storage bag. This is as a result of being locked out one time. As well, our DDs each have a key to our home.

The cost of the job seems high, but who knows what the going rate in your locale might be? I once had a job that involved an occasional callout. The rate was twice my highest pay, with a minimum of two hours. Usually I could clear issues in ten, fifteen minutes. I don't think the customer would have felt better if I had taken the minimum two hours to actually fix their issue. They just wanted things fixed NOW. Kinda like your issue, no?

The tip was clearly out of line, though.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

cantos
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by cantos » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:18 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:51 pm
they said $100-$150 depending on difficulty, he literally spent 5 seconds to run the piece of plastic up the crack in the door to open, and was at the house less then 2 minutes. so I think that would be the lower end of difficulty. also they said 25 minutes and he took over an hour and a half, because he admitted he was sleeping, when I told dispatcher I had a toddler and pregnant wife waiting. When the actual tech called me he was less then 5 miles away one town over.
If it was so easy, why didn't you do it? The speed in which he did it is irrelevant to the price. He did a great job. You don't like the attitude and the tip forced on you, fine. I couldn't care less if my locksmith was a jerk if I was locked out of my house late at night and he unlocked it. In fact I'd tip him out of sheer gratitude. What was your option? Sleep outside?

corysold
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by corysold » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:19 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:44 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:45 pm
I've read most locksmiths charge people before unlocking because people see how easy it was then refuse to pay. I'm curious as to what he could have done had you only agreed to pay $100 since your door was already open.
Moral of the story- locksmiths should make it look hard to open the door. Then people will appreciate it more.
Great point.

Would you have gladly paid $150 if he spent 20 minutes and made it look really hard?

Thegame14
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:21 pm

no, but I would have more gladly paid if he showed up on time and was pleasant to deal with.

MtnTraveler
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by MtnTraveler » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:46 pm

Dispute the tip. You were willing to pay $150 but you are mad about the attitude and the fact that the locksmith had to be woken up and you had to wait in the meantime after YOU locked yourself out.

A few years ago we had a similar thing happen while visiting my elderly parents and due to a broken door lock all of us ended up locked out on a Saturday night. We barely had cell service and went with the first company we called. It took 30 minutes for the tech to arrive and then he proceeded to be on-site for the next 3-4 hours (I don't remember) trying to get us in and do the least damage. It was cold, my stepmom and daughter were cuddling to try to stay warm, we were starving, my daughter was overdue for her seizure medicine. The whole time the locksmith was on-site he was getting other calls for service and I'm sure all those people were mad that they were waiting so long. I guess we could of been mad that he didn't just drill out the lock from a back door from the get-go but we were just happy to be inside again.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by LiterallyIronic » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:09 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:12 pm
3 year old at 11pm who is cranky, pregnant wife who has HG like princess Kate, and is pissed off and just wants to get into house
You were willing to pay the $150 because you weren't willing to shop around for a better rate. The tip is the only part you can (and should) dispute.

theplayer11
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by theplayer11 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:56 pm

it was your fault for locking yourself out..

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cheese_breath
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:31 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:04 pm
If you have a garage, just hide a key somewhere and you will never be locked out again....
I had two keys in my garage because I forgot where I hid the first one. I wanted to put it somewhere nobody would find it, but then I couldn't find it either. :oops:
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

spin_echo
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by spin_echo » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:37 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:09 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:12 pm
3 year old at 11pm who is cranky, pregnant wife who has HG like princess Kate, and is pissed off and just wants to get into house
You were willing to pay the $150 because you weren't willing to shop around for a better rate. The tip is the only part you can (and should) dispute.
+1.

2pedals
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by 2pedals » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:46 pm

Get it in writing before the work is started. If the on-site written estimate does not match the phone estimate, don’t allow the work to be performed. If you are overcharged or scammed you should contact your state attorney general's office.

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8foot7
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Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:20 pm

I’d have let the $150 go, until the stolen tip. Make no mistake; that’s theft. At that point I’d do the same as OP and dispute all but $100.

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