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Local-Lock Complete Locksmith Service / Unauthorized billing!

13715 Richmond Park Dr nJacksonville, FL, United States Review updated:
3.35
I had locked my keys in the car early one morning. I called the first locksmith I found in the yellow pages that offered 24 hour service. They said it was a $45 dollar service charge depending on the vehicle and would be there 20-25 minutes. This was at 7 am. 7:50 the locksmith showed up and my service charge was $45 indeed, but because my vehicle was a Tahoe, there was an addt'l charge of $85. A grand total of $140! I later called and asked for a price and again was quoted $45... I asked if it matter the time or area and he said maybe an addt'l $25 depending... interesting in that I just pd $140. I called the company that morning and told the dispatcher that I was over charged. He said the would get with the tech and get back with me. One hour later I called him back and he said he would call me back before noon. Again, no call. I finally tracked him down and he told me that was what they charged. I then spoke with the owner who said the same thing. I suggested maybe they warn people about their prices. I called several local locksmiths and asked their prices for after hour emergencies and did not get one quote over $50.
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Fr
  9th of Feb, 2008
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I just want to let you know that you were scammed by a phony locksmith company,

Thesew companys are Israeli and are definately crooks.

They are not real locksmiths in most if not all cases. They are diliberately ripping off consumers with bait and switch tactics.

If you google Phony Locksmith, news and locksmith, you will find links to many storys around the nation that expose exactly what has happened to you.

These phony locksmiths have expanded across the country so much that they have litteraly taken over every city in the united states. They use extremely deceptive advertising in the yellow pages and on the internet, and 411 listings. They advertise services they do not perform, use 100,000 + phony listings with local addresses that are actually other businesses that are completely unaware that their address is being used.

These guys are nothing but low life scammers that are here from over seas ripping off american citizens.

I suggest you file a complaint with the attorney generals office in your state.

Please take the time to do this as these guys operate across state lines and the attorney general can possibly help.

Also a report to the BBB is good because they keep a record of complaints that are comming in from these companys. However the BBB really cannot take no action, but it helps document what is going on nation wide with these scammer companys. The BBB has also issued a nationwide consumer alert regarding these companys.

The FTC has also issued an alert.

Good Morning America did a story last month about these guys and National public Radio (NPR) did a story also.


Consumers beware The story above is happening to thousands of people everyday across the country.

If this has happened to you Make sure you file complaints with the BBB and the Attorney generals office.

If it hasnt happened to tou and you find your self in the same situation do not be afraid to tell them to shove off. If you stick to your guns all you are liable for is what you were quoted. Call the police if necessary.

Also these companys if you ask is this the total price will then tell you it is 15.00 and up depending on the car and what tool they have to use etc.

These guys have only one type of car opening tool where they bend open the top of the door frame and insert it in. They use the same tool every time.

Any REAL locksmith will give you a complete quote over the phone. There is a rare occasion where things might go higher such as you had a non professional trying to open and they pulled all of the linkage rods out inside your door cavity etc, but this is rare.

And one last thing these guys pull the same crap with house openings except they always drill your lock and destroy it and con you into buying a 5.00 junk lock for 100.00 and up along with their 100-200 or more fee to drill the lock.

They are everywher and in every major city in the USA. Beware of them and if you find your self being a victim do not hesitate to file complaints.


A real Locksmith
Fr
  9th of Feb, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
THis is the link to the Good morning America story about these same phony locksmiths described above.

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/player?ip=98.199.193.30&affil=&debug=&catId=&id=4072007

Copy and paste to your browser if you cannot click on it.
Fr
  9th of Feb, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
By the way if you notice under the post above there are some ads by google.

These are all phony locksmith companys operating nation wide.

Pretty Ironic.
Le
  9th of Feb, 2008
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Nationwide 'Locksmith Swindle,' Says Better Business Bureau
Consumer Complaints Are on the Rise
Some locksmiths have been accused of overcharging customers. (ABCNews Photo Illustration) Jan. 2, 2008
Share About 250,000 Americans make emergency calls to locksmiths daily, according to Associated Locksmiths of America.
The panicky feeling they get once they realize they've locked themselves out of their homes or cars may soon be replaced by anger, though, because according to authorities, several companies prey on locked-out consumers.
Related Stories
Locksmith 'Mafia' & Can't-Refuse EstimatesTop GMA stories
Complaints about locksmiths have increased and include accusations of overcharging, shoddy workmanship, lowball telephone quotes and unnecessary work. The Council of Better Business Bureaus said twice as many locksmiths complaints exist as did two years ago. In 2005 there were about 250 complaints, while 2007 is expected to top 500, according to the Better Business Bureau.
The problem has become so troublesome that the Better Business Bureau has called it a "nationwide locksmith swindle."
An undercover investigation by San Francisco affiliate KGO revealed how unscrupulous locksmiths can prey on people who are locked out. For example during an investigation a locksmith the affiliate called to unlock a storefront door said he couldn't pick the lock and would have to drill it. By the time he was finished drilling and replacing the lock, the bill came to $890.
The problem has become so troublesome that the Better Business Bureau has called it a "nationwide locksmith swindle." It turned out that locksmith had been dispatched by a New York-based locksmith company.
Meanwhile, legitimate local locksmith Sam Napier said he could have picked the lock in less than one minute and the cost would have been about $80 to $100.
Not all the rip-offs are huge and can be $25 or $50 extra. Overall, these charges could add up to millions across the nation.
Among the cities where these types of schemes have been caught on tape by investigative reporters include Seattle, New York, Orlando, Fla., and Colorado Springs, Colo., and San Francisco. Suburban Chicago resident Ray Miller paid the price when he locked his keys in his house. A locksmith charged him nearly $1,700 to unlock it. "He came here to do his job and get his bill. He works on commission," Miller said.
Le
  11th of Feb, 2008
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Undercover Locksmith Investigation

Last Update: 2/07 10:53 am

Reported by: John Matarese

It's happened to almost all of us: You lock yourself out of your home, car, or apartment. Your only hope: A locksmith.

But the Better Business Bureau has a warning about an emergency locksmith company that it says could cost you a lot more than you bargained for.

The Common Complaint

You know the feeling: You lock your car door...Then realize your your keys are inside. That's exactly what happened to Heather Slavey of Florence, Ky.

But this mom had to do something...So she grabbed the Yellow Pages, and called a locksmith with a big ad and local number called "Always Ready."

It promised 15 minute service, 24 hours a day, at a good price.

The Escalating $39 Charge

"They quoted me over the phone 39 dollars," she explains.

But Heather's receipt tells another story. She says "when they got there, they had an additional charge of $110."

The total charge, which she had to pay on the spot: $149...a far cry from $39.

She was furious, telling me "I feel like they were misleading and deceptive!"
In addition, her receipt shows that "Always Ready" was really a company called "Dependable Locksmith" out of the Bronx, New York!

What the BBB Files Say

The Better Business Bureau says Heather's experience is common. It's issued a warning about what it calls a -- quote -- "Nationwide locksmith swindle" involving "Dependable Locksmith."

The BBB says"Dependable" --which it says uses more than a dozen names -- has an "unsatisfactory" record with 217 recent complaints.

But was Heather's inflated bill a fluke? We decided to test them.
We go Undercover

We asked a newsroom producer --Suzanne -- to call "Always Ready"... after we locked her out of a Chevy Blazer in a public parking lot.

The phone rep quoted her $39: Sound familiar?
As we rolled our hidden camera...a man in an unmarked SUV soon pulled up. But he had some bad news : It would cost her another 110 dollars.

At this point, however, who's going to call another locksmith? So Suzanne allowed him to grab his tools, at which point he popped the door, and gave Suzanne a "high five."

But she wasn't high fiving. As the receipt showed, he billed her $149 dollars...not the $39 originally quoted.

What did he say when we confronted him with our camera? He jumped in his SUV and peeled out of the parking lot.

Back in the newsroom, I called "Dependable" for their side of the story. I left two messages with phone reps. Neither was returned...Nor is an e-mail I sent to their website.

What You Can Do

So don't let this happen to you:
When calling a locksmith, look for an ad with a local address.
Ask where their office is located.
Finally, ask if there may be extra charges....so you don't end up with a bill you can't afford.
The Latest

Meantime, the arm of the law is starting to notice.

The state of Illinois has pulled "Dependable's" license to practice in that state.
And former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro filed suit against a Cleveland area locksmith called "Superb Solutions' ....that the BBB report says was just another name for "Dependable Locksmith" out of New York. That case is still pending.

So ask questions and Don't Waste your Money. I'm John Matarese.
Do
  11th of Feb, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
As a Locksmith in the Northeast We are losing respect fast from customers because of these scammers. Recently a good customer of mine, an elderly widow, whom I've serviced her locks for a few years tried to reach me one late evening. I don't do the late night work anymore and she ended up calling this so called locksmith that used the name "seinfeld" This person speaking broken english met her at her door and said $140.00 I open your door. The elder lady living in a $300,000 dollar home on nice street was told he wont open door unless he gets cash. Her check book was inside the house with keys and didn't have cash on hand.Luckily a neighbor was willing to fork over the dough. The so called locksmith AFTER ONLY 30 SECONDS said he couldn't pick the lock must be bad lock.He then destroyed the face of the lock with tin snips and turned the knob with a screwdriver. He then said $160.00 more and I replace lock. The lady was smarter than that but did turn over the orig.$140.00.

The next morning I returned her message she wanted me to go out and replace the lock. I drove out and replaced it and rekeyed to match her house keys for $100.00 total. The so called locksmith left the torn out lock on the door with jaged metal shards ready to slice anyones hand. I AM NOW BACK DOING THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT THANKS TO THESE CLOWNS!! CANT STAND SEEING PEOPLE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF,ESPECIALLY ELDERLY.
Do
  12th of Feb, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
We were scammed by this company today. Quoted "about $45" on the phone and when they opened our car they insisted the charge was $130.00! I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and will file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office if the company does not refund all of my money. I'm sure they make up for it with all the other people they have scammed and not refunded.

What else can we do? NEWS2JAX...are you listening to this?
Le
  18th of Feb, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Locked Out And Ripped Off?
Amanda Pavlik
It's a warning everyone needs to know about before you find yourself in an emergency situation, locked out of your car or home. It's happened to many of us at one time or another.

While there's no doubt most locksmiths are reputable and provide you the rescue you need, the Better Business Bureau says it's receiving a growing number of complaints about companies that have customers paying a lot more than they bargained for. It leaves folks saying they're being swindled and in some cases robbed by locksmiths.

The BBB says they've received more than a thousand complaints, most over the past year or so, about companies that have legitimate sounding names and use local phone numbers with fake addresses. But when you dial the number, you're transferred to a call center that could be thousands of miles away.

They're not forthcoming about where they're located. They quote you a price and dispatch one of their representatives in your area.

“They’re very unprofessional. He demands two, three, even four times the amount quoted over the phone and he’s not going to let you into your house or car until he gets it," says Alison Preszler, Better Business Bureau.

She says the scammers know how to take advantage of the vulnerable situation of folks who are locked out of their houses or cars.

The locksmith industry is aware of these questionable companies and is warning that people aren't just being overcharged.

"They may tell the consumer that they need new locks and that they’re prepared to put in some high security locks in for them and they turn around and put in substandard locks," says Tim McMullen, Associated Locksmiths of America.

Locksmith Jason Gage is outraged these companies are giving his business a bad name.

"It’s an epidemic. Out of all industries, the locksmith industry should be the one that a consumer knows that they can call and they’re going to have somebody that’s going to be honest, trustworthy," says Gage.

So how can you make sure the locksmith you're hiring is trustworthy? The BBB says be weary of servicemen in unmarked cars, who don't wear uniforms or present identification.

"The Better Business Bureau recommends that you do your research ahead of time and find a reputable locksmith before you find yourself in an emergency," says Preszler.

If you're looking for a locksmith, the Association of Locksmiths of America says it can make recommendations for a reputable company in your neighborhood.
Story Created: Feb 18, 2008 at 5:28 PM EST
Le
  26th of Feb, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Better Business Bureau Says Jacked-Up Prices Can Leave You Out In The Cold

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / PRURGENT

Wallingford, CT – February 25, 2008 – If you have ever locked yourself out of your home or car, then you know the feeling of relief when a locksmith shows up. But Better Business Bureau warns that emergency locksmith companies sometimes take advantage of people in such situations by adding charges --- sometimes four times as high as quoted over the telephone.

Better Business Bureau files say it is a common practice:
Someone gets locked out of their car, calls a locksmith and is quoted $39.00 for the service.

In the case of a Florence, KY woman, however, a company charged not only $39.00, but also an additional $110.00 for a total of $149.00, payable on the spot, a far cry from their original quote. The company she called, “Always Ready,” was, in fact, a company called “Dependable Locksmith,” operating out of the Bronx, NY.

Better Business Bureau says the Kentucky woman’s experience is common and issued a warning about what it calls a “Nationwide Locksmith Swindle” involving “Dependable Locksmith.”

“Dependable,” which BBB says operates under more than a dozen names, has an unsatisfactory record with 160 complaints in the last 12 months, for a total of more than 220 in the last 36 months.

Another scam involves locksmiths who recommend the installation of high-security locks and then turn around and install sub-standard locks.

BBB says they've received more than a thousand complaints, most over the past year or so, about companies that have legitimate sounding names and use local phone numbers with fake addresses. But when you dial the number, you're transferred to a call center that could be thousands of miles away.

They're not forthcoming about where they're located. They quote you a price and dispatch one of their representatives in your area.

To prevent becoming a victim of the locksmith swindle, Better Business Bureau recommends:

1. When you call a locksmith look for an ad with a local address.
2. Ask where their office is located.
3. Be wary of servicemen in unmarked cars, who don't wear uniforms or present identification.
4. Finally, ask if there may be extra charges, so you don’t end up with a bill you cannot afford.

It is better to find a reliable locksmith before you need one. You may either visit out web site www.bbb.org, or call us at 203-269-2700 extension 2.

Website Link: http://www.bbb.org


Contact Info:
Howard Schwartz
94 South Turnpike Rd. Wallingford, CT 06492
Phone: 203-269-2700 ext 103
Website: http://www.bbb.org
Th
  23rd of May, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Indeed you were misled by the locksmith.
At the same time though, $50.00 for an after hours auto lockout WILL RUN YOU MORE THAN $50.00.
Regardless of service, unless a locksmith happens to be parked next to you.
Le
  30th of Jan, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
CHAMPION LOCKSMITH - LIBERTY LOCKSMITH
3 20 Astoria Blvd
New York New York 11370
United States of America

Submitted: Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I locked myself out of my apartment. I called Champion Locksmith and asked how much it would cost for them to let me back in. The price quoted over the phone was $50, and I was assured somebody would be there within thirty minutes.

Forty-five minutes later, somebody finally arrives. It takes him approximately five minutes to undo the lock. What he didn't tell me is that whatever he did also destroyed the lock, so I needed a new one. He then said that the cost was $350 to unlock, and $125 for the new lock-- the total cost was nearly ten times what I had been told over the phone. When I explained the quote I had received, he said, "Well, that's just the service charge." Apparently, you don't find out the real price until your lock has already been destroyed.

Then, he didn't want to take my Discover Card. I insisted, because their phonebook ad has the Discover logo on it. I signed the slip, with a note saying that the price didn't match what I was quoted. I acknowledge that I owe Champion a reasonable fee for the services legitimately provided, but lowballing the quote by a factor of seven is simply unacceptable, as is picking the lock without letting me know in advance that doing so would destroy it. If they don't resolve this on a consensual basis, I'll report them to the New York State and City Consumer Protection Agencies. I'll also dispute the charge on my credit card. Even if they succeed in ripping me off, I won't make it easy.

Don't use these guys under any circumstances.
Gl
  28th of Feb, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Got locked out of my house. Called Complete Locksmith Service. They quoted me $35 service charge over the phone. The guy that came in tried to unlock the lock, but pretended he could not. The lock is simple door knob lock. I believe he on purpose pretended he can;t open the lock so he could replace it. So he ended up replacing the lock with cheap $20 lock. He ended up charging us $260 cash only, no checks accepted, , , And that's for 30 min of work... They are taking advantage of people in situations like that!!!
Jo
  22nd of Oct, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I am sure that you people have had a real bad experience but just to share my experience as it was really good to hire services of Run Local Locksmiths technicians. I went off locking the door inside out by mistake as the new technology door of high security, I called one of the local artisans and they said we can not give this services as this technology is not with us . I placed two guards on the door that night and tried another artisans they replied in the same manner. I called Run Local Locksmith as they operate 24hours*7nights and even on holidays. I called them at night around 12am and the technicians was available at my place in 15mins he checked the door and replaced the lock in 25mins with the high proficiency and effectiveness. I was so happy and delighted with the services that the charge of $450 seemed too reasonable to me. I believe when it comes to services no one can be as good as them . The company and the technicians are wonderful at there work.

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