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View Full Version : selfsighting b/c I felt ripped off D:


HotelMinion
07-11-2015, 08:08 AM
This is sort of a self sighting I guess...after looking online. Lots of people have been thru what I went thru and they were equally as angry, so...I guess it wasn't that big a deal.
Ok, so, I locked myself out of my car. I've been driving for about 15 years now, and I've only done it once before, about 10 years ago. Didn't call a locksmith back then, but I had to walk 8 miles in 90 degree weather because I had locked my phone in there too...yeah, it was like walking across the Sahara. Anyway, I vowed I'd never do that again. And I haven't until...
Yeah. I did it again oops.
This time I called a locksmith because I didn't want to have to break my window, because my car is my baby and I didn't want any harm to it. I know that people use coat hangers to unlock it, but I didn't know how and was afraid I'd damage my door or something. Best to leave it to the professional right?
>.<
So luckily I had my phone with me and was able to call directory for them. (Another fee.) Long story short, they were later than they said they'd be, and they charged me more than they said they would. I was pretty pissed off, to tell the truth. It cost me around $175, for 5 minutes of work. Now, if they said that it would be that much or given me a ballpark, I would've been less angry. But no, they had to jack up the price by 300%.
I guess I just have to chalk this up to a learning experience. By the way, I didn't scream or curse at him, but I did call his company (I made sure to point the blame at the COMPANY) robbers. He still looked unhappy, and acted like I took a knife to him. I felt ashamed later but really? $175 for 5 min of work??? Really???
We charge that for 22 hours.
And my car's door feels weird.
ALso I know that some give an extra key to someone in case of emergencies and my friend did have one but...he claimed he didn't even tho I'm sure he did! Some friend. :(

Kittish
07-11-2015, 10:07 AM
Might not do any good, but then it might. File a complaint against the company with the Better Business Bureau.

Monterey Jack
07-11-2015, 12:36 PM
That does seem pretty absurd to charge for so little work.

bhskittykatt
07-11-2015, 01:10 PM
That does seem like a lot of money for an unlock. Were you in a remote area? Because if they had to drive out a ways that's the only way I can see justifying that charge. I know around here, locksmiths charge around $60-75 for car unlocks in town.

jedimaster91
07-11-2015, 03:11 PM
I have AAA on my cellphone plan for a few buck a month and they'll come out for free a couple times a year. It seems like you did get charged an awful lot. :(

Yfandes
07-11-2015, 03:36 PM
How on earth can they justify quoting one price and then charging another? (provided of course that the job wasn't more difficult than expected - and it sounds like it wasn't). This is also where a bad review on social media is totally justified.

I recently managed to lock BOTH sets of keys in my truck (don't ask).
Happily I have AAA so they came out, and I'm so glad they did instead of trying myself - apparently on my Frontier, if you try to use a slim jim you can trigger the side air bags! He used these little blow up things to crack the door a bit and push the unlock button on the door on the other side, took about 20 minutes. I didn't mind because I was glad I didn't hurt my baby.

Went out and made a spare spare key that will never leave the keybox except in emergencies.

Mikkel
07-11-2015, 04:40 PM
I know that people use coat hangers to unlock it, but I didn't know how and was afraid I'd damage my door or something.

Straighten the (wire) coat-hanger, form a small hook in one end, slide the hooked end past the rubber strip in the top of the door, catch the button on the inside of the door and *click*, the door is open. If your car has some kind of anti-theft function, (mine will disconnect the buttons on the inside if I press the remote twice) you are lost. Then a locksmith will have to pick the manual lock to unlock a door.

notalwaysright
07-11-2015, 06:49 PM
The roofers at my parents company were so notorious for locking themselves out of their work vans (and sometimes personal vehicles) that we bought a Slim Jim. We tried to have spare keys, but this was more "all-purpose." Then one of us would have to drive out with it and make sure to bring it back to the office. Still cheaper than a professional, and these weren't nice new vans which needed to be babied. I thought it was fun. Anyways, I know that's not helpful for your situation.

Like others said, totally not cool to quote one price and then change it without a reason! And not a little amount, but you said 300%?! That's crazy. I may not have had that amount available on my credit card.

NecessaryCatharsis
07-11-2015, 08:33 PM
The fee for that 'five minutes worth of work' is actually for a lot more than what you see, so I don't know if you were charged a reasonable amount or not. That said,

Quoting one price and charging another, completely not cool. I would be filing a complaint also. It's hard when the quote is on the phone only, but you should be notified in advance of any change in fee, and why, so you can decide if you would like that service at that time or not.

wolfie
07-12-2015, 03:41 AM
My understanding is that you were quoted $X, gave the OK, the locksmith did the work and told you "That'll be $4X". Charging 300% more than the quote without warning (i.e. "Those cars are difficult to open - we charge $Y for them instead of $X") is dirty pool. If he'd upped the price between arriving and doing the work, I'd have been tempted to ask him to wait a couple minutes, and call a glass shop.

"Hello, Acme Auto Glass? I've got a $Make $Model $Year and I've locked my keys inside. How much is it to replace the front door window, and how much to replace the back door window?"

With the boosted price, it could have been cheaper to break the window and get it replaced than to have a locksmith open it - and with some high-tech cars, it's very easy for the locksmith to damage something in the door, but they won't take responsibility for the damage.

HotelMinion
07-12-2015, 04:23 AM
That does seem like a lot of money for an unlock. Were you in a remote area? Because if they had to drive out a ways that's the only way I can see justifying that charge. I know around here, locksmiths charge around $60-75 for car unlocks in town.

I had asked for a locksmith in my city but after looking at the receipt I realized that they were actually 2 cities away, about 15 miles. No wonder it took so long. Also, it was the weekend and I read online that they charge more for some reason. This was early in the morning tho so I doubt there was any traffic yet.

Straighten the (wire) coat-hanger, form a small hook in one end, slide the hooked end past the rubber strip in the top of the door, catch the button on the inside of the door and *click*, the door is open. If your car has some kind of anti-theft function, (mine will disconnect the buttons on the inside if I press the remote twice) you are lost. Then a locksmith will have to pick the manual lock to unlock a door.

Yeah my car has a car alarm that I lost the stop button for, so I was afraid that it'll go off and never stop, but luckily it didn't thank goodness. Phew.
My understanding is that you were quoted $X, gave the OK, the locksmith did the work and told you "That'll be $4X". Charging 300% more than the quote without warning (i.e. "Those cars are difficult to open - we charge $Y for them instead of $X") is dirty pool. If he'd upped the price between arriving and doing the work, I'd have been tempted to ask him to wait a couple minutes, and call a glass shop.

"Hello, Acme Auto Glass? I've got a $Make $Model $Year and I've locked my keys inside. How much is it to replace the front door window, and how much to replace the back door window?"

With the boosted price, it could have been cheaper to break the window and get it replaced than to have a locksmith open it - and with some high-tech cars, it's very easy for the locksmith to damage something in the door, but they won't take responsibility for the damage.

Yeah at first they quoted me $50, but the guy said that he meant that was the starting price and that it goes up from there. Okkk....I thought it mean a $20 more not $125! I don't know what the price for a new window would be but I'm pretty sure it would've been more, like $300. That's what everything seems to cost at the shop nowadays anyway :\ It is no wonder the I take the bus when I can.

sstabeler
07-12-2015, 10:56 PM
actually I do wonder if the extra distance might explain it. Bear in mind that the $175 isn't just for the 5 minutes the guy took to unlock your door- it is also to cover the time taken to get to you. (depending on the speed limits, it could have taken an hour for them to both get to you, and get back.) Remember that from their point of view, you're probably asking them to come quite a long way to help you get out of your own screwup. (Though that doesn't entirely excuse them- they should really have mentioned something when you told them where you were)

Catwoman2965
07-13-2015, 01:10 PM
actually I do wonder if the extra distance might explain it. Bear in mind that the $175 isn't just for the 5 minutes the guy took to unlock your door- it is also to cover the time taken to get to you. (depending on the speed limits, it could have taken an hour for them to both get to you, and get back.) Remember that from their point of view, you're probably asking them to come quite a long way to help you get out of your own screwup. (Though that doesn't entirely excuse them- they should really have mentioned something when you told them where you were)

And they may have a minimum charge, for distance, which if they do, they certianly should have told you about.

Mr Hero
07-16-2015, 09:37 AM
Wait, I have an idea! Call a locksmith!

sportsmom
07-17-2015, 03:50 AM
Ok, I'll weigh in here since my husband is a locksmith who owns his own company.

First off, they should have given you a price up front and been faithful to that price. They had the address to get to you, they knew where you were before they left for you, they had the means to give you an accurate price and failed to do so. That is a problem.

Also, yes, you will absolutely pay more for evening or weekend work. They advertise 24 hour service and offer it, but they arent5just sitting around a shop waiting for calls to come in. I can't even count the number of times we have been heading out to dinner or a movie as a family when hubby gets a call and we have to interrupt our family time. If you call at night or on a weekend, they are on OT at that point.

As for it being "a lot of money for not much work" I will agree that $300+ for a simple lockout is excessive, but that $80 that my husband would charge to come out at 8:00 on a Wednesday evening when we're hanging out as a family? Completely justified. It is a skill just like being a plumber or an electrician. If you don't complain about their rates, don't complain about the locksmith's. My husband is bonded, certified, and continues his education about his field and new technology at least twice a year. He has worked hard to gain the skills he has and is committed to getting even better. He has become the best safe guy in our area, and is searched out by businesses for his expertise, and his employee is the go to guy for automotive work. You better bet they are going to charge an accurate and fair rate for their work.

Sorry, but it truly bothers me when people don't see locksmiths as the skilled tradesmen that they really are and don't think about the background as to why that emergency call a half hour away at 10:00 on a Saturday night is going to cost you $120. It isn't just about the 2 minutes that the customer sees them.

Gilhelmi
07-17-2015, 11:47 AM
I keep a hidden "house" key "near" my house (using the latest in "mad science" hiding technology) and a spare car key someplace in a "compartment of doom", just for the times I know I will lock myself out of the car. But my plan does carry the risk of someone seeing me retrieve my keys and knowing my "devilish" hiding spot.

I keep a second spare key in my tool box at work. A location you need a ID badge to access.

My third spare key is in my, completely legal, conceal carry "holster" (more like a fanny pack, that no one has yet questioned me why I do not keep my wallet or phone in it :confused: oh well, better for me that way)

Gilhelmi
07-17-2015, 11:54 AM
Sorry, but it truly bothers me when people don't see locksmiths as the skilled tradesmen that they really are and don't think about the background as to why that emergency call a half hour away at 10:00 on a Saturday night is going to cost you $120. It isn't just about the 2 minutes that the customer sees them.

I agree, I dabble with lock picking as a hobby (I am not very good at the tumblers). It is a good deal more difficult then one might think. I imagine the difficulty curb is upped when you get to cars, as they are thief magnets, companies design more elaborate means of preventing "key-less" entry.

Just how to get into my single car would be worth $2000-3000 or more, if I was the only customer. So Locksmiths have to learn how to get into dozens of different vehicles to bring the price down to a reasonable 50-100 dollars.

aulocksmith
07-18-2015, 01:00 AM
with some high-tech cars, it's very easy for the locksmith to damage something in the door, but they won't take responsibility for the damage.

Most late model cars, you just spread the door a little from the frame with an airbag, and use a longreach tool to operate the inside handle (drivers door only). Automatically unlocks and opens the door. Much easier, and less risk of damage.

Sorry, but it truly bothers me when people don't see locksmiths as the skilled tradesmen that they really are and don't think about the background as to why that emergency call a half hour away at 10:00 on a Saturday night is going to cost you $120. It isn't just about the 2 minutes that the customer sees them.

Amen! I get sick of people always complaining about the prices I charge, and think that my work is only worth 1/4 of what their bill is.

Seshat
07-18-2015, 08:38 AM
Based on the OP's message, I think she was most upset about the way the price was inflated.

Yes, it's frustrating to pay a tradesman to do a job when one doesn't have much money; but if one needs the knowledge and skills a tradie has, it's only fair to pay for it.