Locksmith Services Complaint - Non-Emergency Victim

Review by tnres08 on 2010-05-10
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- On Saturday 5/8 I locked my keys in my car and looked in the yellow pages for a locksmith in the area. The irony of this situation is I had used Popalock previously and was charged $45 and I was trying to beat their price. The first 3 calls rolled to voicemail and I finally got someone at the 3rd number, Locksmith Services. I asked what the fee for their tech was and she said the fee for the call was $29.95 and the tech would give me the total charges when he got there. I should have known if they won't quote you a price on the phone, beware! I assumed, with a $29.95 initial fee and possibly $30 to pop the lock, it would cost me about $50 $60 tops. When the tech got there he asked who I had used previously and what that had cost me and I told him $45. I then asked what his fee was and he said $35 to come out plus $40 for the service or $75. He already had his equipment laid out on my car, so I just watched in shock, wondering if I had time to call someone else.

I felt totally taken advantage of. There was no negotiation of the fee, I was not really in an emergency situation. He wrote the ticket out and I gave him my credit card, which he ran immediately. He left and I called the customer service number on the ticket to complain about such a high fee. I was told that this was basically their fee for emergency calls and it was not unreasonable and they would not consider a partial refund.

Shouldn't there be some scale of fees to keep them from being able to charge whatever they want? I can understand a high fee, if there was a lot of manual labor involved, or there was an emergency. But this was clearly not and if I had been told the fee was $75 on the front-end, I would have declined their services.

I told them I would complain to the Better Business Bureau, which I did, but they did not care.
Comments:6 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-05-11
Posted by saj80 on 2010-05-10:
If you declined their service, who else would you have called? You stated that you had already called three other services. $75 does not sound out of line to me, but I haven't had to call a locksmith for many years so not sure what an average price is.
Posted by Arlene on 2010-05-10:
Unfortunately, even if you had called someone else, you'd have still had to pay the "trip charge" for the guy who initially showed up. He was going to get the $29.95 regardless!!
Posted by Pepper on 2010-05-10:
all i can say is.... if they won't tell you the price quote - the full quote - on the phone
then don't bother using them

and 45 isn't bad, in my opinion
when ive had to use similar services i paid about 40 and that was hmmm... back in 04 or 05.

tho... whenever possible i used a coat hanger. took longer but it was a lot cheaper.
the doors to the car i drove back then would always open from the inside, even if they were locked. so as long as i could loop a hanger around the door handle... i could get into it.

course the door seals were never the same afterwards...
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-05-10:
If you pay and then call to complain, its almost a certainty that you're not going to get any money back.
Posted by S. on 2010-05-10:
Both my auto and home owners insurance cover costs for locksmiths. That charge of $45 was very reasonable. I haven't had to use these services for ages but I have a neighbor who very often locks the keys in her car. Don't think you should have tried to beat the system. It would have been cheaper in the long run. Live and learn...
Posted by Arlene on 2010-05-11:
Only one time did I call a locksmith to come out and open the car for me. I had taken our dog to the vet, went out, put her in the car, and while having my hands full, I had set the keys on the floor and somehow hit the auto door lock thing....good thing I was in the shade and the windows were down a little...but not enough to get the locks to open...those tiny round things that all but disappear when they lock!! and the locking mechanism was on the door itself, not on the arm rest....if it had been where I could see it, I could have hit it with a coat hanger! Only cost $25 but still!!! Now my keys go in my pocket....not laid down in the car!

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