Report: #692019

Complaint Review: 1 800 locksmith

  • Submitted: Mon, February 07, 2011
  • Updated: Mon, February 07, 2011
  • Reported By: milesman39 — Bethlehem Pennsylvania USA
  • 1 800 locksmith

    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I live in Bethelehem, PA and needed to have a minor repair to a broken deadbolt lock (some tumblers broke). I went to Yahoo maps to look for a local locksmith and found one a mile away. Although there was a  bubble with 1-800-locksmith over it, the phone number was a local one.

I called, described what was needed (a new cylinder to be rekeyed to my house key), made an appointment and asked for a price. I was told there would be a $75 service charge but that it shouldn't be much more for the repair (most service call charges are waived once or folded into the cost of the repair once you use the company). I was never told what the actual charge would be and I was never given a total price or even an estimated price for the job. I asked if the store was at the address listed on Yahoo maps to verify how close they were, and was told they were in fact at that address.

The locksmith showed up, replaced the lock and handed me a bill for $180.00 for what's usually a $40 job! I was ticked off and complained to the repairman he told me that it would have been much cheaper if I'd called him directly because 1-800-Locksmith sets the price and automatically loads the $75 on. He said they weren't in Bethlehem but Brooklyn (obviously I was lied to when I called) and that they set up local numbers on the internet so it seems like they're local. He said he has to take the work to stay busy because they control the internet advertising for the area (it's true: most of the locksmiths on Yahoo maps showed up with 1-800-locksmith -  even though local numbers are listed, your call doesn't go to the local locksmith's shop, it goes to Brooklyn; Brooklyn's great but it's not near Bethlehem and definitely not as cheap to get stuff done).

I called the number back and a different rep picked up - I complained about the price but he said he'd heard the previous rep give me the total - I told him that definitely was not the case and he apologized, easy to do when you just got someone's money.

You're better off looking in a hard copy of the Yellow Pages instead of going this route. Please don't get scammed like I did.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/07/2011 02:49 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Thanks for the info and for correcting me on the price

AUTHOR: milesman39 - ()

I appreciate your feedback on my post - yes, maybe it would've cost $100, but that's still better than $175.

As for the locksmith who came out, we never had a conversation about the price or job because 1-800-LOCKSMITH was the middleman for everything. He said he would've preferred I called him directly too (and gave me his card) - I have no idea about his ethics, but I do understand the "Wal-mart Effect" in play here. This is when one large business controls the territory based on advertising and/or consumer demand (e.g., people looking for the lowest price) and is therefore able to dictate prices.

It's too bad the locksmiths in the Lehigh Valley can't band together to refuse to work with 1-800-LOCKSMITH, the same way towns have refused to allow a Wal-mart in their area. Small businesses like yours are threatened by this type of thing and the consumer suffers by paying more (and if I pay more, I want it all to go to the small business owner, not having it split with someone answering a phone in Brooklyn).

Thanks again for you post - hopefully saves some other people from being punked like I was.

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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Realistic counter information

AUTHOR: Legitimate Locksmith - ()

Good for you to complain against one of the scammers.

First and foremost, as one of the LEGITIMATE locksmiths in the Bethlehem area, you are absolutely correct in searching for a locksmith with a real local address.

Secondly, I hate to tell you that your job, being done by a legitimate locksmith, would cost a lot more than $40.  Pretty much all of the legitimate guys in the Lehigh Valley are going to charge at least a $75 trip charge, plus whatever needs to be done.  Your lock was probably repairable, and the entire job could have been done for about $100.  1-800-LOCKSMITH typically uses guys who aren't skilled and don't know that much about locksmithing.  I have done work for 1-800-LOCKSMITH myself from time to time, but I don't discount my services to them at all.  They pay me my full price and then charge the customer over and above my cost.  I don't go out until the customer knows the full price up front.  They try to negotiate with me, but I don't change my prices for them.

Shame on the person that came out, because he is no better than 1-800.  He should have given you a complete accurate estimate up front before doing the job.  The real sad part is that he probably overcharged you for the lock.  It is more than likely a cheap $5 lock that they charged you about $75 for.

What everyone needs to do is call numerous locksmiths in order to get a good approximation of local costs.  Also, if someone shows up to do work for you and their truck says "Handyman", or doesn't have any letting all over it, like a professional business vehicle, send them away and call someone else.

BTW, I am not putting my company name up here, because I am not using this as an advertisement for work, I am using it as an instruction to help others avoid getting scammed.
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