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Did i get screwed?

altmannaltmann Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So it's 3am and for some reason or other I had to call a locksmith to come open my door after I had flown in for the holidays.


The guy comes out, says it's gonna be $39 for the visit and $109 to drill my door. OK cool. That's a little much but ok.

He drills the door and installs a new lock saying "oh the lock will be more".

How about $149 more. Putting me at $300 for a fucking lock on my door (not to mention he didn't even fix the door correctly which i don't even want to BEGIN to go into).

Is that normal? That seems outrageous and I'm really pissed. Anyhow, if anyone knows anything about this stuff let me know.

altmann on
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  • DrZiplockDrZiplock Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Yea, sounds like you got ripped off.

    1) It shouldn't have cost that much
    2) He should have told you that there would be extra charges BEFORE installing the new lock

    I don't know that there is much you can do about it now, however.

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  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Quick google search comes up with this:

    Link

    Summary:
    1) Did they even try to pick it? Should have been able to do this instead of drilling.
    2) You were WAY overcharged for drilling
    3) They may not have had to replace the entire lock
    4) Even if they DID have to replace the lock, unless it was a damn good lock you were overcharged for that, too.

    The only thing that seems reasonable is the trip charge and given that it was 3 am it seems like you got a good deal there. As for what to do about it, though, you may be up a shit creek.

    Is this an independent guy or part of a company?
    - First, call some other local locksmiths and ask what they would have charged.
    - If he's part of a small business you may be able to go to management.
    - If he's an independent contractor, then call him back and see what you can work out.

    If those options fail, then call... I guess the Chamber of Commerce, maybe the Better Business Bureau. There is going to probably be a government body that regulates locksmiths but they wouldn't likely be able to do anything about what you were charged.

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  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Tomanta wrote: »
    Quick google search comes up with this:

    Link

    Summary:
    1) Did they even try to pick it? Should have been able to do this instead of drilling.
    2) You were WAY overcharged for drilling
    3) They may not have had to replace the entire lock
    4) Even if they DID have to replace the lock, unless it was a damn good lock you were overcharged for that, too.

    The only thing that seems reasonable is the trip charge and given that it was 3 am it seems like you got a good deal there. As for what to do about it, though, you may be up a shit creek.

    Is this an independent guy or part of a company?
    - First, call some other local locksmiths and ask what they would have charged.
    - If he's part of a small business you may be able to go to management.
    - If he's an independent contractor, then call him back and see what you can work out.

    If those options fail, then call... I guess the Chamber of Commerce, maybe the Better Business Bureau. There is going to probably be a government body that regulates locksmiths but they wouldn't likely be able to do anything about what you were charged.


    You got overcharged, but you also had a 3am call, so some of that fee can be written off there. I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying it's a valid argument on their part.

    The BBB isn't going to do anything to fix this. Everyone flocks to them, but this is a situation where they will put it in a report, and unless everyone reads that report no one will know any better. Places like that, plumbers, tow truck companies, etc. get reported all the time for shady practices, but they're still in business.

    You got mega ripped, but you learned a very valuable lesson, so take it was a positive. Next time you'll be more on the ball, and use this when you inevitably have to deal with the plumber, tow truck guy, auto shop, etc. Always inquire into the fine print.

    (I once paid $200 for a plumber to come out and screw a plastic cap onto the washer and dryer hookup beacuse it was still dripping, and I was worried the handle was busted. He waited till he got there to tell me that it's common for them to still drip if they're old, and that's what the plastic caps are for. a .10 cent part cost me $200)

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  • altmannaltmann Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    ugh, yeah.

    I'm thinking I'll call a real locksmith somehow. Now I'm just worried about getting re-screwed when he comes out to fix it.

    My Flickr. My Fruitfucker computer and my Annarchy computer. See my PAX 2006/07/08 Flickr sets

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  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    So you had to pay him to fuck up your door, and now it's fucked up till you get a new lock?

    edit: if that's the case, just go to lowes or home depot and buy a new door lock and put it in yourself. All you need is a screwdriver.

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  • altmannaltmann Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The lock is in there.

    But the handle does nothing... It's kinda complicated. I can only open the door with a key. The thumb-handle doesn't move the metal bolt thing at all now. I want to murder this guy.

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  • Double_FacesDouble_Faces Registered User
    edited December 2007
    replaced my own lock the other day.

    Took five minutes.

    And about 5 bucks.


    That doesn't help you though.

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  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The one thing I've learned when dealing with trades like plumbing or locksmithing for example, is that everyone has a minimum charge. Even if you want a plumber to come out and stop a leaking pipe which may only take 5 minutes of his time, he may tell you (upon you asking him) that his minimum charge is $X.

    You will also know remember that you should ask what else may need to be done with your situations as you ask. In their defense, he may have thought he only had to do a little drilling, but upon further inspection may have needed to do more than the norm for whatever reason, ripping you off is a probable reason.

    At this point, it might be best to contact the company to see if they won't give you a lock compatible with your door for no charge since the lock you paid for sounds like it won't work out well with the door setup. Expect them to say no.

    After that, you might be better off heading to a local hardware store or retailer and buying a lock comparable to the previous one you had and installing it yourself. Make sure you get the old lock to compare as it'll help alleviate the need for working on the door to make the lock fit.

  • altmannaltmann Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I called the lock company and surprisingly the woman was helpful and she said I was still under warranty and that they would send the guy out to fix my door properly. I asked for a different repairman but she said he had to do it himself. I figure the guy will come out and bitch and moan about my "old door" but frankly it's not that old.

    She said I would not be charged any money and I made her repeat that about 4 times and got her extension and name and she was happy to help. Said to call her if the guy was giving me any problems.

    Hopefully I'll get a working door out of it.

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  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Sorry to hear that happened to you altmann. If it makes you feel any better, I had an outlet in my room that was smelling alot like a dead animal. So I shut off the breaker to my room and opened it up, and saw (what I thought was) some frayed wires.

    Immediately called an electrician, and he came out for $250. He looked at it, stripped off some of the cable, wrapped it up, and put an outlet on it. Was out within a few minutes. I felt like a dumbass.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    That's a bit much for a drillout, I don't know your local market.

    Was the lock glued or did it have a key broken off in it? If not he should have tried to unlock either that or other doors with picks first.

    Was he older? It sounds like maybe you got stuck with a shitheel apprentice.

  • altmannaltmann Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    This guy was shady. I've done construction before and I know how to use a drill and this guy had his dewalt set at max and just full-bore tried to unscrew everything and in the process stripping a screw like an idiot. He was hispanic and kept saying "my friend" to me and I could see him struggling.

    It's ok, he's coming out again and I'm not taking any of his crap and if he says he can't do it then I'll just call the lock place back and he'll get a bad rep with them.

    My Flickr. My Fruitfucker computer and my Annarchy computer. See my PAX 2006/07/08 Flickr sets

    "Look at that subtle off-white coloring, the tasteful thickness of it... Oh my God, it even has a watermark."
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