Dependable Locks Inc. — Unethical business practice!
My girlfriend and I went to home show just off of downtown Kansas City. When getting out of the car, I made the mistake of locking my keys in the car. We are from a different part of the metro, so I didn't know any tow truck companies or lock smiths in the area. So I simply called 411 and had them contact me with a random lock smith co that was nearby.
They put me in touch with Dependable Locks Inc (based out of Bronx NY... 295 W 231st Bronx NY 10463) They don't seem to have a Kansas City address, when I reverse search their number, I get a number of listings for lock smith companies with different names. The following is the first:
1 24 Hour St Louis A Emerg A Locksmith
street address not available
Kansas City, MO 64106
Anyways, about my story. I explained to the lady over the phone that I had a 2017 Ford Focus and my situation. She took down my info and said she would send someone out. I then asked her how much it would be and she clearly told me "$39 service charge plus $15 for unlocking". $54 didn't seem so bad and it was cold out, so I decided to go ahead with the service just to get into my car as quickly as possible. She said it would be 20-30 minutes, a full hour later a locksmith showed up.
He then asked for my ID and registration. I told him I had my ID, but my registration was in the car. He said fine, he'll get that later. As I was digging my wallet for my ID, he put a piece of paper under my nose and asked me to sign it. I asked what it was and he said "the work I will be doing". I glanced over, and it said "Waiver of 3 day", had my name, "service call" "unlock" and some numbers that didn't mean anything to me. So I signed it figuring it was code for the work he would perform. At the bottom is says "I expressly acknowledge and waive the right to cancel the sale within 3 business days"
He then stuck my ID in his pocket (he told me he'd keep it until he saw my registration..just seems like a clever excuse to hold onto something of mine). He then spent literally 1 minute unlocking my car. After I opened the door, I showed him the paperwork he needed and he told me he'd be back with my bill.
He returned a few minutes later with a bill for $145.40. I was shocked, I told him there most be some sort of mistake. He said nope, "thats what this job costs". I then told me I was quoted around 55 dollars over the phone. He told I was incorrect that the charge is $39 and *"15 dollars and up"* for unlocking. I told him the lady never mentioned the "and up" part.
I also told him I don't see how $15 dollars can become $96 when it don't take him my job any longer then one if he had to slim jim an 76 Buick. He just told me that is how it was.
We went around and around for several minutes before he told me "Why did you sign the paper if you don't want to pay $145". I asked him what paper and he told me the first paper I signed agreed to that price. I told him nothing on the paper states anything about price. He then pointed to the number 96 (no dollar signs or anything that says price around it) and told me that is the price we agreed on.
I was shocked, this paper is nothing like any other bill, estimate or work order I had ever seen. And nothing on it says I agree to a price. I called the company back and spoke to the same lady as before. She said she didn't take my call and said she had no idea why I would think the price is $15... She said it starts at $15 and goes up. I called her on her lie and she just ignored me insisting I spoke to someone different.
We argued for a long time and finally I paid by credit card (he called it in, I wasn't allowed to myself).
Finally after I paid I asked the guy why didn't the lady just give an accurate quote over the phone. He told me she didn't know what he was unlocking. I pointed out that I clearly told her it was an 07 Focus. He then said, she would have no idea about the price. I explained to him that she should have a general idea of a price and should have been able to tell me something roughly in the ball park.
Do I have any recourse. I'm sure I was scammed. I reported it to the BBB. Is there any way to get my money back? Has anyone had a similar problem? I probably shouldn't have paid him. But like I said, it was cold and I couldn't stand being outside in some parking lot much longer.