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USA Locksmith / Price scam and unprofessional services

1 United States Review updated:

This company charged me $180.00 to unlock the front door of my third floor condo. After I reluctantly paid I was told to go inside and lock the door to see if it worked. While I did so, the "tech" fled down my stairs. I was not provided a receipt. I called another local locksmith to re-key my mailbox and he said that USA Locksmith scams everyone and for me to go to google and search "dependable lock news" to "see how bad you've been had." Customer service at USA Locksmith consisted of raised, accusatory voices when I asked if it was their standard procedure to have their customers lock themselves inside while they flee, and the "manager" does not return calls. They have a website that guarantees 100% customer satisfaction, though!

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  • Le
      17th of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    Consumers Can File a Complaint Against Phony Locksmiths from the ALOA Website

    The Associated Locksmiths of America, Inc. (ALOA), an international association of locksmith and physical security professionals expanded its website (www.aloa.org) so consumers can file a complaint against phony locksmiths directly to their state'ss Attorney General Consumer Protection Division. For those consumers who used the Internet to find a phony locksmith, they will be taken directly to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.

    This is a great tool for consumers to fight back against these scam artists, says ALOA'ss Executive Director, Charles W. Gibson, Jr., CAE, We were asked by the state Attorneys General to help them identify consumers who have been defrauded. Being linked directly to their complaint procedure will ensure a quick response from the state's top law enforcement agency, and faster convictions for these unscrupulous companies.

    These phony locksmith companies purposely manipulate phone book and internet listings with multiple false addresses and phone numbers to make their companies seem like neighborhood businesses. In actuality, consumers are frequently calling out-of-state operations that are not locksmith companies. The consumer is quoted a reasonable price over the phone, but when a person posing as a locksmith finishes the job, the consumer is charged a considerable amount more for unnecessary and/or sub-standard work.

    The complaint heard most often by consumers is for car openings. The price quoted over the phone to stranded motorist is around $45. When the individual arrives and unlocks the car, he hands the motorist a bill for $135 - $150. This unscrupulous individual tells the frustrated consumer that the $45 was just the service call and that it was another $90 - $100 for servicing the lock. ALOA has record of a number of incidents of elderly consumers locked out of their homes and being charged $900 to $1700 to replace a $12 lock. These out-of-state operations are set up solely to make money by purposely defrauding the public.

    ALOA has also created a 10-point checklist for detecting a locksmith company that may be engaging in this scheme. Many of the items in this checklist are legal by themselves, adds Gibson. However, if several are used together, you may be dealing with a con-artist.

    1. Not Familiar with Your Area. To ensure that the company is local, make sure that they are familiar with your area of town.
    2. Locksmith Service. Unscrupulous individuals often operate under many business names/aliases. Thus, they must answer the phone with a generic phrase like, locksmith service. If the call is answered this way, ask, What is the legal name of your business.
    3. ALOA Logo. Does the Yellow Pages ad contain a logo that makes them appear to belong to ALOA? While many locksmiths do belong to the Association, some unscrupulous individuals trick the consumer by falsely using the ALOA logo. You can always check to see if in fact these businesses are members by calling ALOA, (800) 532-2562 or www.findalocksmith.com.
    4. Unclear Business Name. Look closely at the ad(s). Is the specific name of the business clearly identified? Does it appear that the dealer actually operates under several names? If a Web address is listed, does the name on the Web site match the name on the ad?
    5. Under Same Ownership. This confusing statement, often found in small print at the bottom of a full-page ad in the Yellow Pages, is often legally required to prevent a business from deceiving the public. The statement itself may be a warning sign that the company operates under several aliases.
    6. Service Vehicle. Some legitimate locksmiths will work out of a car or unmarked van for quick jobs, but most will arrive in a service vehicle - a van or truck that is clearly marked.
    7. Identity. A legitimate locksmith should ask for identity and some form of proof that you have the authority to allow the unlocking to be done. You have the right to ask for the locksmith'ss identification as well. Does he have a business card? Does he have an invoice or bill with the company name printed on it? Does it match the name on the service vehicle?
    8. Estimate. Find out what the work will cost before you authorize it. Never sign a blank form authorizing work.
    9. Invoice. Insist on an itemized invoice. You can'st dispute a charge without proof of how much you paid and what the payment was for.
    10. Refuse. If you are not comfortable with the service provider, you can, and should, refuse to work with the locksmith.

    Check for a valid state license number. The states that have licensing for locksmith services (AL,CA, IL, LA, NJ, NC, OK, TN and TX) may require the licensed locksmith company to include a state license number on their vehicles, advertising, and all paperwork. If your state requires licensing, then the technician must show you his/her identity card, which is a good indicator of legitimacy. These licensed locksmiths and their companies have been investigated by the state and found free of criminal activity in their past, and are required to have current valid liability insurance policies in force. States with a licensing law typically have a consumer protection hotline number to call and a mailing address for complaints to be sent to. Do not pay anyone that will not provide you with this information. If your state does not have a licensing law to protect you, ask your legislator for that protection. The Associated Locksmiths Of America (ALOA) supports state licensing for the purpose of protecting the consumer and can assist your legislator in drafting laws to protect consumers from phony locksmith scams.

    The Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) is the world'ss largest organization for locksmiths and other physical security professionals. ALOA is dedicated to being the consumer'ss first line of defense in physical security by increasing the effectiveness and productivity of locksmiths through educational programs and materials that address broad security interests. ALOA'ss activities include the ALOA Continuing Education (ACE) program, the ALOA Annual Convention & Security Expo and the ALOA Training Center, which is based in Dallas, Texas. ALOA leads the way for advanced and improved security performance by providing members and the security community with access to a full range of educational programs and services.

    Contact:
    Tim McMullen, JD, CAE, Legislative Manager
    214-819-9733 x300
    tim(at)aloa.org

  • Le
      14th of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes

    BBB Warns Consumers of Nationwide Locksmith Swindle. You may have been a victim and not even know it. For Immediate Release:

    Arlington, VA – July 10, 2007 – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) today is warning consumers to beware of untrustworthy locksmith companies that are ripping off consumers across the country.

    Victim complaints to the BBB reveal that several locksmith companies, all using similar methods, are significantly overcharging consumers, charging consumers for unnecessary services, using intimidation tactics, and failing to give refunds or respond to consumer complaints.

    “Ironically, these companies operate under names like ‘Dependable Locksmith’ but in reality they exploit the vulnerable situation of consumers who are locked out of their house or car,” said Steve Cox spokesperson for the BBB System. “We’ve found that some locksmiths have made taking advantage of consumers’ misfortune part of their business model.”

    Complaints about locksmith services to the 114 BBBs serving the U.S. increased almost 75 percent from 2005 to 2006, and have continued to come in steadily during the first half of this year.

    The BBB has identified Dependable Locksmith – which operates under more than a dozen different names – as a particularly disreputable locksmith. This company poses as a local locksmith in cities across the country and advertises in the yellow pages using local phone numbers and fake local addresses. A consumer might think they’re dealing with a local locksmith but their phone call is actually connected to a call center located in the Bronx borough of New York City.

    Consumers are quoted a reasonable price over the phone but when the locksmith arrives – typically in an unmarked vehicle – he demands significantly more money than originally quoted, often only accepting cash.

    A complaint from Cleveland, OH, where Dependable Locksmith was operating under the name “Superb Solutions,” alleges the company quoted fees of $39 and $84 for separate jobs, but the bill ended up at $471, which included add-on fees such as a $65 breaking in fee and a $58 fee to uninstall old locks.

    Another complainant reported that the locksmith sent to let her into her car demanded she pay twice the price quoted over the phone. The locksmith offered to drive her to an ATM to get cash – feeling unsafe the victim refused. The victim was ultimately forced to write a check made out personally to the locksmith as he would not let her into her car until she did so. She canceled payment on the check the next morning, but eventually filed a police report after the locksmith harassed her with continuous phone calls about payment.

    The BBB has also heard many complaints from victims who say they were charged for unnecessary services. For example, complainants suspect locksmiths sent over by Dependable Locksmiths of pretending they couldn’t simply pick the lock so that they could charge more and install all new locks in homes.

    Some of Dependable Locksmith’s aliases include, Superb Solutions, Locksmith 24 Hour, Inc., USA Total Security, Priceline Locksmith, and S.O.S. Locksmith.

    Two other locksmith contractors fleecing consumers are Basad, Inc. – which operates under more than 50 names nationwide, such as A-1 Locksmith Service, A-1 24 Hour Locksmith, A-1 Lock & Key Locksmith, and AAA Locksmith 24 Hour – and Liberty Locksmith. Similar to Dependable Locksmith, they pose as local locksmiths and run full-page yellow pages ads with multiple phone and address listings. The phone numbers appear to be local, but connect to national call centers such as Liberty’s in New York City, while the addresses end up belonging to other established businesses in the local area, or are simply non-existent.

    Liberty Locksmith had been a BBB member in Tulsa, OK, but during normal BBB member validation processes, it was discovered that the addresses provided by the company were false. In June 2007, the BBB terminated the membership of Liberty Locksmith for providing false information in its membership application and providing misleading advertisements to the public.

    Like others, Liberty Locksmith and Basad, Inc. use common cons such as quoting one price over the phone, but then charging significantly more on site.

    “These companies are very good at posing as trustworthy locksmiths,” said Mr. Cox. “Before you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being locked out of your car or house, do your research and find a truly dependable locksmith in your area. Ask around and always check with the BBB first to find reputable businesses.”

    If you feel you’ve been taken advantage of by Dependable Locksmith, Liberty Locksmith, Basad. Inc., or others, please contact the BBB to file a complaint, or do so online at www.bbb.org.

  • Le
      14th of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes

    Skepticism The Key To Avoiding Locksmith Scam

    Advertisement
    July 12, 2007

    • Read More Scam Alerts ...

    Perhaps playing on consumers' security fears, a handful of operators, posing as locksmith companies, are ripping off consumers coast to coast.

    The companies, all employing similar tactics, are significantly overcharging consumers, charging consumers for unnecessary services, using intimidation tactics, and failing to give refunds or respond to consumer complaints, according to the Better Business Bureau.

    “Ironically, these companies operate under names like ‘Dependable Locksmith’ but in reality they exploit the vulnerable situation of consumers who are locked out of their house or car,” said Steve Cox spokesperson for the BBB System. “We’ve found that some locksmiths have made taking advantage of consumers’ misfortune part of their business model.”

    Complaints about locksmith services to the 114 BBBs serving the U.S. increased almost 75 percent from 2005 to 2006, and have continued to come in steadily during the first half of this year.

    The BBB has singled out Dependable Locksmith – which operates under more than a dozen different names – for harsh criticism, calling it “particularly disreputable.”

    The group says the company poses as a local locksmith in cities across the country and advertises in the yellow pages using local phone numbers and fake local addresses. A consumer might think they’re dealing with a local locksmith but their phone call is actually connected to a call center located in the Bronx borough of New York City.

    Consumers are quoted a reasonable price over the phone but when the locksmith arrives – typically in an unmarked vehicle – he demands significantly more money than originally quoted, often only accepting cash.

    A complaint from Cleveland, OH, where Dependable Locksmith was operating under the name “Superb Solutions,” alleges the company quoted fees of $39 and $84 for separate jobs, but the bill ended up at $471, which included add-on fees such as a $65 breaking in fee and a $58 fee to uninstall old locks.

    Another complainant reported that the locksmith sent to let her into her car demanded she pay twice the price quoted over the phone. The locksmith offered to drive her to an ATM to get cash. Feeling unsafe the victim refused.

    The victim said she was ultimately forced to write a check made out personally to the locksmith, claiming he would not let her into her car until she did so. She cancelled payment on the check the next morning, but eventually filed a police report after the locksmith harassed her with continuous phone calls about payment.

    The BBB also reports complaints from victims who say they were charged for unnecessary services. For example, complainants suspect locksmiths sent over by Dependable Locksmiths of pretending they couldn’t simply pick the lock so that they could charge more and install all new locks in homes.

    Some of Dependable Locksmith’s aliases include, Superb Solutions, Locksmith 24 Hour, Inc., USA Total Security, Priceline Locksmith, and S.O.S. Locksmith, according to the BBB.

  • Le
      21st of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes

    The Locksmith 'Mafia': Making an Estimate You Can't Refuse. Share July 18, 2007 8:51 AM.

    Mike Mitchell Reports:

    A New York City-based locksmith business has been squeezing out competitors and fleecing customers across the country, drawing nationwide outrage from consumers and professionals alike, according to the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB).

    The CBBB, a non-profit organization that provides information on businesses to the public, told the Blotter on ABCNews.com that Dependable Locksmith is the most notorious of a number of "bully" locksmith companies known by some as "the locksmith mafia."

    A CBBB reliability report about Dependable Locksmith asserts the company advertises in cities across the U.S., using addresses that appear local but are often non-existent. According to the CBBB, dispatchers in these areas pose as independently-run neighborhood locksmiths, and their late arrivals, unmarked vans, excessive fees and insistence on cash-only payments mark the modus operandi of the organization.

    Locksmiths as far as Denver "are literally afraid" to speak out against these companies because of their tactics, said Susan Liehe, spokesperson for the Denver BBB.

    Liehe added, "These sole-proprietor locksmiths are introverted, insanely ethical people who regard this whole operation with apprehension, resentment and fear. When I spoke with them, they couldn't get off the phone quickly enough."

    The attorneys general of Illinois and Ohio sued Dependable Locksmith in December 2005 and June 2006, respectively, for repeated alleged violations of laws concerning consumer protection and deceptive business practices.

    The Ohio attorney general's case is currently pending. The company was ordered to pay $2,875 in fines and cease its false advertising as a result of the Illinois attorney general's case, according to the CBBB.

    "On the phone, they said it would cost $35 to unlock my car," said Carol Pintar of Oak Creek, Wis. "The guy showed up wanting to get paid first, but said $35 was just for coming out. He wanted another $95 to open the door."

    According to Pintar, when she came up short, the locksmith offered her a ride in his car to find an ATM. She declined, and the locksmith ultimately accepted a cash payment of $95 total -- all the money Pintar had with her.

    As of today, the CBBB reliability report for Dependable Locksmith shows more than 100 complaints filed within the last year. Only 12 have been fully resolved. Dependable Locksmith did not return repeated phone calls from ABC News seeking comment.

    User Comments:

    Extortion, what's the FBI doing, it crosses State line.

    I've seen an operation like this in action before. I locked my keys in my car out near a motocross track. The phone book had several listings and I began calling them. Spoke to the first one, the operator told me a guy would be on his way in a little while. Called the second listing. Different number, different address. THE SAME WOMAN ANSWERED THE PHONE THAT I HAD JUST SPOKEN TO!!! I tried another listing. Again, different number, different address. SAME WOMAN ANSWERED AGAIN!!!

    How is this newsworthy?

    I'm a locksmith in southern Arizona & I find this article very depressing! 99% of Locksmiths take great pride in their work and often we open cars, homes and offices for free. You're there to help someone out of a jam and often times when you do it for free or half price folks will call you up later for other work. All good Locksmiths NEVER charge to open a car with a pet or child locked in, it's part of the code. Most of us charge a "trip charge" (most times under $40) to show up and figure out what the cost will be to complete the service. If someone doesn't like the price at that point we smile and wave the trip charge. Bottom line, speak with your locksmith on the phone to get an understanding of the fees we charge... most times we'll be happy to come out and give a quote for free. I hope the 1% of bad apples don't sour the rest of us. Thanks :)

    Hey jeffery... this article **sticks up** for you and your fellow "proud" locksmiths, and it **separates** you from the "bad apples"... its doing you a favor. You serious?

    Dear NYC-er,

    With all due respect, you couldn't be more wrong. This is one nationwide scam that definitely deserves attention. I learned one basic thing from this article: if I get locked out of my car, I'm calling someone I trust--not these hooligans.

    Dear nyc-er. I would like to say that this is a very news worthy story. I would bet that you are probably involved with one of these companies.

    Thank you Mike Mitchell for a well done story. I hope you do follow ups on this one. It is much more sinister than most people know.

    67 year old Ray Miller of stream wood IL was physically pushed and forced to pay 1710.00 to have his lock drilled open when he was locked out from a dependable locksmith employee. He was arrested and paled guilty.

    These people are mostly Israeli nationals here on tourist visas and are not even supposed to be working. They have shown much disregard for the laws and authority's her in Illinois.

    Matt, You haven't got a clue or at Mike said, you are one of them. These people rip-off hundreds, if not thousands of people and ruin locks to open them. They then charge many times the retail price for a junk lock to replace the ones they ruin. If you are not one of them, I hope you don't become one of their victims.

    As for the fines they are charged when they are caught, they are a joke. One of their rip-off jobs will pay any fine.

    These people are not LOCKSMITHS... QUIT calling them locksmiths. They are impostors. If and when you see a man impersonating a police officer do you call him a cop. NO!!! So QUIT calling this scam artist locksmiths.

    Posted by: G.W. NULL | Jul 21, 2007 11:51:42 AM

  • Le
      26th of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes

    The Locksmith 'Mafia': Making an Estimate You Can't Refuse
    Share July 18, 2007 8:51 AM

    Mike Mitchell Reports:

    A New York City-based locksmith business has been squeezing out competitors and fleecing customers across the country, drawing nationwide outrage from consumers and professionals alike, according to the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB).

    The CBBB, a non-profit organization that provides information on businesses to the public, told the Blotter on ABCNews.com that Dependable Locksmith is the most notorious of a number of "bully" locksmith companies known by some as "the locksmith mafia."

    A CBBB reliability report about Dependable Locksmith asserts the company advertises in cities across the U.S., using addresses that appear local but are often non-existent. According to the CBBB, dispatchers in these areas pose as independently-run neighborhood locksmiths, and their late arrivals, unmarked vans, excessive fees and insistence on cash-only payments mark the modus operandi of the organization.

    Locksmiths as far as Denver "are literally afraid" to speak out against these companies because of their tactics, said Susan Liehe, spokesperson for the Denver BBB.

    Liehe added, "These sole-proprietor locksmiths are introverted, insanely ethical people who regard this whole operation with apprehension, resentment and fear. When I spoke with them, they couldn't get off the phone quickly enough."

    The attorneys general of Illinois and Ohio sued Dependable Locksmith in December 2005 and June 2006, respectively, for repeated alleged violations of laws concerning consumer protection and deceptive business practices.

    The Ohio attorney general's case is currently pending. The company was ordered to pay $2,875 in fines and cease its false advertising as a result of the Illinois attorney general's case, according to the CBBB.

    "On the phone, they said it would cost $35 to unlock my car," said Carol Pintar of Oak Creek, Wis. "The guy showed up wanting to get paid first, but said $35 was just for coming out. He wanted another $95 to open the door."

    According to Pintar, when she came up short, the locksmith offered her a ride in his car to find an ATM. She declined, and the locksmith ultimately accepted a cash payment of $95 total -- all the money Pintar had with her.

    As of today, the CBBB reliability report for Dependable Locksmith shows more than 100 complaints filed within the last year. Only 12 have been fully resolved.

    Dependable Locksmith did not return repeated phone calls from ABC News seeking comment.

    Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage.


    July 18, 2007 | Permalink | User Comments (11)

    User Comments

    Extortion, what's the FBI doing, it crosses State line.

    Posted by: marc | Jul 18, 2007 9:24:50 AM

    I've seen an operation like this in action before. I locked my keys in my car out near a motocross track. The phone book had several listings and I began calling them. Spoke to the first one, the operator told me a guy would be on his way in a little while. Called the second listing. Different number, different address. THE SAME WOMAN ANSWERED THE PHONE THAT I HAD JUST SPOKEN TO!!! I tried another listing. again, different number, different address. SAME WOMAN ANSWERED AGAIN!!!!!

    Posted by: Matt | Jul 18, 2007 10:15:43 AM

    How is this newsworthy?

    Typical ABC reported nonsense.

    Posted by: NYC-er | Jul 18, 2007 3:16:20 PM

    I'm a locksmith in southern Arizona & I find this article very depressing! 99% of Locksmiths take great pride in their work and often we open cars, homes and offices for free. You're there to help someone out of a jam and often times when you do it for free or half price folks will call you up later for other work. All good Locksmiths NEVER charge to open a car with a pet or child locked in, it's part of the code. Most of us charge a "trip charge" (most times under $40) to show up and figure out what the cost will be to complete the service. If someone doesn't like the price at that point we smile and wave the trip charge. Bottom line, speak with your locksmith on the phone to get an understanding of the fees we charge...most times we'll be happy to come out and give a quote for free. I hope the 1% of bad apples don't sour the rest of us. Thanks :)

    Posted by: Jeffery | Jul 18, 2007 5:22:42 PM

    hey jeffery... this article **sticks up** for you and your fellow "proud" locksmiths, and it **separates** you from the "bad apples" ... its doin you a favor. you serious?

    Posted by: literate | Jul 18, 2007 5:50:17 PM

    Dear NYC-er,

    With all due respect, you couldn't be more wrong. This is one nationwide scam that definitely deserves attention. I learned one basic thing from this article: if I get locked out of my car, I'm calling someone I trust--not these hooligans.

    Posted by: News | Jul 18, 2007 5:51:38 PM

    Dear nyc-er. I would like to say that this is a very news worthy story. I would bet that you are probably involved with one of these companies.

    Thank you Mike Mitchell for a well done story. I hope you do followups on this one. It is much more sinister than most people know.

    67 year old Ray Miller of streamwood IL was physically pushed and forced to pay 1710.00 to have his lock drilled open when he was locked out from a dependable locksmith employee. He was arressted and pled guilty.

    These people are mostly Israeli nationals here on tourist visas and are not even supposed to be working. They have shown much disregard for the laws and authoritys her in Illinois.

    Posted by: Mike Bronzell | Jul 21, 2007 2:08:00 AM

    Matt, You haven't got a clue or at Mike said, you are one of them. These people rip-off hundreds, if not thousands of people and ruin locks to open them. They then charge many times the retail price for a junk lock to replace the ones they ruin. If you are not one of them, I hope you don't become one of their victims.

    As for the fines they are charged when they are caught, they are a joke. One of their rip-off jobs will pay any fine.

    Posted by: Autolockman | Jul 21, 2007 11:34:19 AM

    These people are not LOCKSMITHS.. QUIT calling them locksmiths. They are imposters. If and when you see a man impersonating a police officer do you call him a cop. NO!!! So QUIT calling this scam artist locksmiths

    Posted by: G.W. NULL | Jul 21, 2007 11:51:42 AM

    I agree with Autolockman. These guys sure are as hell not locksmiths. Around my area, we refer to them as "drillsmiths". I'm a locksmith myself, and people like this are an embarassment to us all. If a "locksmith" shows up to a job in a car, then he's not a locksmith. If a "locksmith" shows up to a job with no equipment in his van, then he's not a locksmith. I can blame comsumers for these guys too. If the consumer refuses to pay these outrageous "fees", and call the authorities when these so called "locksmiths" try to extort them, they might already be out of business. If it's an emrtgency, contact the authorties. They will point you in the direction of a reliable locksmith.

    Posted by: Shaolin912 | Jul 21, 2007 7:38:03 PM

    Shaolin912,

    I agree with you that a locksmith should show up with necessary tools and equipment, but how does the body style of his vehicle determine whether or not he is a locksmith? Please explain.

    Posted by: Paul Leys | Jul 21, 2007 9:13:17 PM

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  • Le
      9th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Avoid Shady Locksmiths:

    When you are locked out of your home, you are in a poor position to haggle. And unfortunately, as this LA Times article points out, there are locksmiths out there who will take advantage of the situation. Just ask Pat McGrath, who was charged $200 when he broke his key in his mailbox lock - $80 for a lock and $120 for 15 minutes of labor. I wish I made $480 an hour. In California, locksmiths are required to be licensed to work in the state, but restrictions are low and enforcement is lax. The best advice to avoid being scammed is to be prepared. Don't wait until you need a locksmith, find a good one beforehand.

    Author: Dave
    Posted: August 9th, 2007
    More Info: LA Times article
    Categories: Security

    Add To: Del.icio.us Digg Google Y! MyWeb Reddit

    Discussion Post Reply

    Title/Content Author

    Avoid Phony locksmiths 08/09/2007 01:15 PM keyman424
    Dave, thank you for your post about the phony locksmiths. How ever if you read to the bottom of the article you would see that they are phony locksmiths and not shady locksmiths.

    My point is you are referring to them as shady locksmiths which implies that they are locksmiths when in fact they are not. This story only touches very lightly on this issue.

    What is going on is that there are rings of these locksmith counterfeiters advertising all over the nation in just about every major city. They are using all kinds of fraudulent advertising to get consumers to believe they are locksmiths. They definitely are not.

    These are israeli foreigners mostly and they are some really ruthless con artists. The mail box lock in the LA Times story is small in comparison to other incidents. Ray miller a senior citizen in Illinois was forced to pay 1700.00 when he was locked out of his home. There are many more of these with most of them ranging 4-5 dollars. There are many stories around the country about these phonies. Google them. or go to aloa.org to see the press room with many news articles listed.

    Remember they are not locksmiths, but locksmith impersonators that are bait and switching consumers. They cant even pick locks but drill them and cause the consumer to purchase a highly over priced lockset to replace the one they just destroyed on your door.

    People call a locksmith because they usually will get in with no damage to the locks.

    They are phony locksmiths.

    Mike Bronzell
    Locksmith
    Chicago IL.

  • Le
      10th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    BBB Warns About Locksmith Scams. Kay RobinsonYou may have been a victim and not even known it. The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to beware of untrustworthy locksmith companies that are ripping off consumers across the country.

    Victim complaints to the BBB reveal that several locksmith companies, all using similar methods, are significantly overcharging consumers, charging consumers for unnecessary services, using intimidation tactics and failing to give refunds or respond to consumer complaints.

    Ironically, these companies operate under names such as "Dependable Lock-smith" but in reality they exploit the vulnerable situation of consumers who are locked out of their house or car. We've found that some locksmiths have made taking advantage of consumers' misfortune part of their business model.

    Complaints about locksmith services to the 114 BBBs serving the United States increased almost 75 percent from 2005 to 2006, and have continued to come in steadily during the first half of this year.

    The BBB has identified Dependable Locksmith - which operates under more than a dozen different names - - as a particularly disreputable locksmith. This company poses as a local locksmith in cities across the country and advertises in the yellow pages using local phone numbers and fake local addresses. Consumers might think they're dealing with a local locksmith, but their phone call is actually connected to a call center located in the Bronx borough of New York City.

    Consumers are quoted a reasonable price over the phone but when the locksmith arrives - typically in an unmarked vehicle - he demands significantly more money than originally quoted, often only accepting cash.

    A complaint about Dependable Locksmith, which was operating under the name "Superb Solutions," alleges the company quoted fees of $39 and $84 for separate jobs, but the bill ended up at $471. It included add-on fees, such as a $65 breaking-in fee and a $58 fee to uninstall old locks.

    Another complainant reported that the locksmith sent to let her into her car demanded she pay twice the price quoted over the phone. The locksmith offered to drive her to an ATM to get cash. The victim, feeling unsafe, refused.

    The victim was ultimately forced to write a check made out personally to the locksmith as he would not let her into her car until she did so. She canceled payment on the check the next morning, but eventually filed a police report after the locksmith harassed her with continuous phone calls about payment.

    The BBB has also heard many complaints from victims who say they were charged for unnecessary services. For example, complainants suspect locksmiths sent over by Dependable Locksmiths of pretending they couldn't simply pick the lock so that they could charge more and install all new locks in homes.

    Some of Dependable Locksmith's aliases include Superb Solutions, Locksmith 24 Hour, Inc., USA Total Security, Priceline Locksmith and S.O.S. Locksmith.

    Two other locksmith contractors fleecing consumers are Basad Inc. - which operates under more than 50 names nationwide, such as A-1 Locksmith Service, A-1 24 Hour Locksmith, A-1 Lock & Key Locksmith and AAA Locksmith 24 Hour - and Liberty Locksmith.

    Similar to Dependable Locksmith, they pose as local locksmiths and run full-page Yellow Pages ads with multiple phone and address listings. The phone numbers appear to be local, but connect to national call centers such as Liberty's in New York City, while the addresses end up belonging to other established businesses in the local area, or are simply non-existent.

    Like others, Liberty Locksmith and Basad Inc. use common cons such as quoting one price over the phone but charging significantly more at the site.

    These companies are very good at posing as trustworthy locksmiths. Before you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being locked out of your car or house, do your research and find a truly dependable locksmith in your area. Ask around and always check with the BBB first to find reputable businesses.

    If you feel you've been taken advantage of by Dependable Locksmith, Liberty Locksmith, Basad Inc. or others, please contact the BBB to file a complaint, or do so online at www.bbb.org.


    Kay Robinson is president of the Better Business Bureau of Central East Texas, serving 19 East Texas counties. To contact the BBB in Tyler, call 903-581-5704, and in Longview, call 903-757-3611 or 800-443-0131, or visit the Web site at www.easttexas.bbb.org. The organization can be e-mailed at info@tyler.bbb.org.

  • Le
      19th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    BBB Warns Consumers of Nationwide Locksmith Swindle You may have been a victim and not even know it. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) today is warning consumers to beware of untrustworthy locksmith companies that are ripping off consumers across the country. Victim complaints to the BBB reveal that several locksmith companies, all using similar methods, are significantly overcharging consumers, charging consumers for unnecessary services, using intimidation tactics, and failing to give refunds or respond to consumer complaints. “Ironically, these companies operate under names like ‘Dependable Locksmith’ but in reality they exploit the vulnerable situation of consumers who are locked out of their house or car, ” said Edward Johnson, President of the BBB. “We’ve found that some locksmiths have made taking advantage of consumers’ misfortune part of their business model.” Complaints about locksmith services to the 114 BBBs serving the U.S. increased almost 75 percent from 2005 to 2006, and have continued to come in steadily during the first half of this year. The BBB has identified Dependable Locksmith – which operates under more than a dozen different names – as a particularly disreputable locksmith. This company poses as a local locksmith in cities across the country and advertises in the yellow pages using local phone numbers and fake local addresses. A consumer might think they’re dealing with a local locksmith but their phone call is actually connected to a call center located in the Bronx borough of New York City. Consumers in the mid­Atlantic region are quoted a reasonable price over the phone but when the locksmith arrives – typically in an unmarked vehicle – he demands significantly more money than originally quoted, often only accepting cash. A complaint where Dependable Locksmith was operating under the name “Superb Solutions, ” alleges the company quoted fees of $39 and $84 for separate jobs, but the bill ended up at $471, which included add­on fees such as a $65 breaking in fee and a $58 fee to uninstall old locks. Another complainant reported that the locksmith sent to let her into her car demanded she pay twice the price quoted over the phone. The locksmith offered to drive her to an ATM to get cash – feeling unsafe the victim refused. The victim was ultimately forced to write a check made out personally to the locksmith as he would not let her into her car until she did so. She cancelled payment on the check the next morning, but eventually filed a police report after the locksmith harassed her with continuous phone calls about payment. The BBB has also heard many complaints from victims who say they were charged for unnecessary services. For example, complainants suspect locksmiths sent over by Dependable Locksmiths of pretending they couldn’t simply pick the lock so that they could charge more and install all new locks in homes.
    Some of Dependable Locksmith’s aliases include, Superb Solutions, Locksmith 24 Hour, Inc., USA Total Security, Priceline Locksmith, and S.O.S. Locksmith. Two other locksmith contractors fleecing consumers are Basad, Inc. – which operates under more than 50 names nationwide, such as A­1 Locksmith Service, A­1 24 Hour Locksmith, A­1 Lock & Key Locksmith, and AAA Locksmith 24 Hour – and Liberty Locksmith. Similar to Dependable Locksmith, they pose as local locksmiths and run full­page yellow pages ads with multiple phone and address listings. The phone numbers appear to be local, but connect to national call centers such as Liberty’s in New York City, while the addresses end up belonging to other established businesses in the local area, or are simply non­existent. “These companies are very good at posing as trustworthy locksmiths, ” said Mr. Johnson. “Before you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being locked out of your car or house, do your research and find a truly dependable locksmith in your area. Ask around and always check with the BBB first to find reputable businesses.” If you feel you’ve been taken advantage of by Dependable Locksmith, Liberty Locksmith, Basad. Inc., or others, please contact the BBB to file a complaint, or do so online at www.mybbb.org. # # #

  • Ma
      24th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes
    USA Locksmith - Misrepresented charges on the cost of service and thern damaged my truck door
    USA Locksmith
    Lynnwood
    Washington
    United States

    Called for services and was misquoted on the price. Then the technicain stated if I paid in cash he could give me a discounted price. Then after he opened my truck door with a air bag and a home made peice of pipe the truck door was damaged and will not open from the outside.

  • Lo
      23rd of May, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Arties locksmith is probably the worst locksmith scam / spam out there.

    go over this post:
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Places/thread?tid=04603988529f25d8&hl=en

    and you'll understand the extent this vile locksmith business, that runs under numerious names (but with only one legit address), has gone in spamming the google maps, and how easily google makes it for creeps like aaron holts / arties locksmith to scam inoccent users.

  • Re
      28th of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes
    USA Locksmith - Rip-off company
    USA Locksmith
    New Jersey
    United States

    This comany is a complete sham. Charges are inflated from the initial quote and the locks are cheap and do not work. The 90 day guarantee is worthless, as they will just keep telling you they will be there to fix the problem until the warranty runs out.

    Never use this company!

  • Jo
      15th of Jan, 2015
    0 Votes

    Yesterday got locked out of my car, my first thoughts were: "Oh my God, what to do?" Luckily found local locksmith: http://locksmith-in.com/car-locksmith. Professional guys, got my help really fast and it was not that expensive. Not the best experience, wish everyone to always have a duplicate of keys! :)

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