I locked a wireless entry key pod in my car in the parking lot of Annapolis Mall. On my iPhone I requested the name and number of "Pop A Lock" in Pasadena. Pop A Lock is a company myself and family have used several times over the past 10 years, they have always done a good job and charged $60-$100. I requested their service to unlock my car at approximately 2:30 p.m., was told by the person that answered the phone they were on a job and would give me a 25 minute head up. Little did I know that Joseph Horton whose number came up listed under Pop A Lock, is actually with a company called "Around the Clock", never stating he wasn't with Pop A Lock. Joseph told me to look for the white van with the orange letters, which are the same colors I think of when I think of Pop a Lock. The van pulled up and Joseph asked me if I had used them in the past and I said "yes many times over 10 years". I pointed to my car across the parking lot, Joseph pulled up to my car as I was walking to meet him, without discussing costs, he opened my car in less then 2 minutes, while explaining how most people can't get into my type of car. I was comfortable that he opened the car before we discussed the price because I had used Pop a Lock in the past and knew a price range. Joseph had to let the car next to me pull out, and he was sure to back the van up after the woman pulled out, now I know it was to block me in. I asked him what I owed him and he said "do you have a credit card?" I said, I'm paying cash, what do I owe you. He said "5-5-0-5-0", I thought he was being funny but I said, "you don't mean $550. He said "yes, that is the charge". I said I've used Pop A Lock for 10 years and I've never paid anything like that. That's when he said "we aren't Pop A Lock, we are Around the Clock". I told him his number was listed as Pop A Lock. I told him I could have had my car towed to the dealership cheaper than what he was charging me. That's when it hit me that this was a scam, the number listing, the white and orange, the key as part of the logo. My heart dropped, I told him I can't pay you $500, how can you charge that? I felt so betrayed and fooled. He said, $375 for the service call and $175 for opening the car. I said "that's crazy, you were only here 5 minutes. He said "it's higher because it is after 5pm. I said "I called you at 2:30 and have been waiting for you. I continued to freak out telling him, this is a scam, asking him for the name of the owner, he said he understands how I feel but its not his company (turns out it is his company) I started to cry, I told him I lost my job two months ago and $500 was so much money right now and I only had $280 to my name. He kept pushing for a credit card and I told him I didn't have one with me. He said "I'll wave the cost of opening the car but you have to pay the service fee. I told him I was going to make sure the public knew about this scam and the finally agreed to take $285. I counted the money out to him with tears running down my face. I told him to make sure his boss knew I was going to contact a local TV station to warn consumers. Joseph acted as if he was doing me a favor. He said, "is this really all the money you have" then he handed me back some money and said "take this back because I don't want you driving without money on you". Then he handed me a clipboard with a receipt for $195 and asked me to sign. I thought $195 is still a lot but better than $550. I wrote across his receipt "I FEEL I HAVE BEEN SCAMMED AND RELUCTANTLY PAY THIS MONEY" then I signed my name. He said "I can't turn in a receipt like this, and I said "that's the only one your getting. After he pulled off, I looked at the money he gave me back and realized he had just had me sign a receipt stating I paid $195 but he had only given me back $30. The total for opening my car was $250. I called him on the cell phone and told him he may have gotten my money, but I will make sure you are exposed. When I came home and began to search the web for complaints about him, I found this website, many other complaints, and on BBB he has had 17 complaints in 36 months. Please contact me if you have been scammed, I'm hoping to have a news station run the story and I know many others will come forward.
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