Report: #588099

Complaint Review: Around the Clock Locksmith 443-534-9604

  • Submitted: Wed, March 31, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, October 27, 2011
  • Reported By: Susan — Pasadena Maryland United States of America
  • Around the Clock Locksmith 443-534-9604
    8971 Ft. Smallwood Road
    Pasadena, Maryland
    United States of America

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

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.
Is this Ripoff Report About you?
Ripoff Report A business' first line of defense on the Internet.
If your business is willing to make a commitment to customer satisfaction Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation? Fix it the right way. Corporate Advocacy Program™

Set the record straight: Arbitration Program

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/31/2010 09:15 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

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
Also a victim?
Repair Your Reputation!

Updates & Rebuttals


#1 Consumer Comment

Horton 3 Criminal Charges, FINALLY!!

AUTHOR: Michele R. - (USA)

 Yesterday, Horton received 3 criminal charges for his actions from locksmith services he provided to me Feb 2009.  Just google- Channel 2 news maryland=watch the video report.  He is to be sentenced tomorrow, District Court 251 Rowe Blvd, Annapolis, MD 21401 1:15pm Court room 3.  It is my wish that all those who are victims of Around the Clock Locksmith and Joseph Horton, attend the sentencing tomorrow.  Hope to see you there!
Respond to this report!

#2 Consumer Comment

Fair price?

AUTHOR: Mike - (United States of America)

You must be kidding!  I am a locksmith and I have NEVER charged that much to open a car.  Not even on a holiday.  As far as the $550 first attempted charge, I don't use the language of what I think of that.

Readers may want to do a search for "scammer locksmiths" and see what is going on.  These scammers steal legitimate locksmith's phone numbers, and sometimes even addresses.  Locations listed in some of their ads have been empty lots, post offices, etc.  When asked, they say that they are a mobile locksmith, (so am I), and give these address as "points of service".  Barnyard fertilizer!  I still list my home address in my ads.  These "local" phone numbers sometimes go across the country somewhere and the people are dispatched from there. 

Ask for a TOTAL cost for opening a car when calling for service.  A regular locksmith should be able to give you a figure.  Unless it is something like a bad battery and you can't use the unlock button to get the door open, and the increase should only be a small one if any at all.  If they try to jack up the price, don't pay it and call the police immediately.

You may be told that your car or house has high security locks on them and they cost more to open.  You may be told that they have to be drilled, and some may, but the charge should not be higher to do so.
Respond to this report!

#3 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Michele R. - (USA)

Have you been ripped off by this company after 8/2/10? If so, PLEASE contact Ms. Lucy Cardwell of Marylands Attorney General at  She NEEDS to hear from YOU!  Let's FINALLY STOP THIS GUY!!

Respond to this report!

#4 Consumer Suggestion

I Contacted The Chief Gene Jones- WORTHLESS


I contacted the Prince Georges Fire Chief and he REFUSED to do anything. He told me to "call the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department". I FAXED him the AG complaint against Joe Horton and our fearless (WORTHLESS) chief told me to "write a letter". I guess criminals in Fire Fighter unforms is just A-O-K in PG County.

What a WORTHLESS, LAZY, CROOKED Government we have.

Respond to this report!

#5 Author of original report

Thanks Michele

AUTHOR: Susan - (United States of America)

I want to thank Michele for not giving up and fighting the good fight.  When I found you on here, I must say I was discouraged at the amount of resources you reached out to without response.  I too had gone through all the same channels and was concerned people were just blowing smoke.  Thank God that article was published in the Gazette and people started to listen.  Joseph preys on the elderly and women but he didn't count on meeting women like you and I.  I would love to talk with you Michele.  Email me if you would at (((ROR redacted))).  I would imagine we will meet in court. 


CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
Respond to this report!

#6 Consumer Comment

Horton is a Volunteer Firefighter.....

AUTHOR: Alex G - (U.S.A.)

Joe Horton, the owner of Around The Clock Locksmiths is also a pretend fireman with the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company in College Park, MD. I have already contacted the boss of this group, James Crisman and told him about what kind of low life criminal he has among his ranks. He really didn't seem to give a s***. How would YOU like to have a fire or be in an accident and allow this clown Horton  to have unsupervised access to your valuables or personal items? He is a THIEF and a CON ARTIST who should have NO business in a position of trust as a volunteer Fireman. Feel free to call them at 301-474-1550. Maybe a complaint to the Prince Georges County Fire Department is in order. Horton is a cockroach and should NOT be allowed to get away with his criminal activity. There are consequences to bad acts and it is time we turned up the heat and SHAME this guy out of town.
Respond to this report!

#7 Consumer Comment

Your Pets Aren't Safe Either

AUTHOR: Rabbi Pedro Goldstein - (U.S.A.)

I was vicimized by Joseph M Horton too. I hired Around The Clock to change the locks on my house. He seemed like a nice guy at first until I caught him in the back bedroom trying to have sex with my german shephard Gunther. He 'claimed' he was only petting my dog. If that was true how come his pants were unzipped? How this Bozo stays in business is beyond me.
Respond to this report!

#8 Consumer Comment

Joe Horton is a Sex Fiend

AUTHOR: Leonard - (U.S.A.)

I am Joe Horton's neighbor at  Milestone Way in College Park. He lives in unit x and I have personally seen him peeking into windows late at night. He was once caught by the security guard sitting in his van next to where some kids were playing MASTURBATING. This guy is not only a crook but a PERVERT TOO! Why do you think he offers to unlock with kids inside for FREE? He likes to look at little boys and fantaize about molesting them. I know a guy who used to work for him who said his van was FULL of gay porn and the seats were always "sticky" from semen  after Joe had driven it. Beware - This guy is SICK and DANGEROUS. Keep your kids AWAY from him.
Respond to this report!

#9 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Business Response

AUTHOR: Around The Clock Locksmith - (USA)

Around The Clock Locksmith charges fair and reasonable rates for their services. This is a case where a customer is mad at themselves because they had to pay for locksmith services because of their mistake. Around The Clock Locksmith provides a unique service that responds immediately to assist our customers in a time of need.

Just an FYI-

Around The Clock Locksmith didn't unlock any vehicles last night. This is a bogus post!!

Respond to this report!

#10 Consumer Comment

Those charges are a major ripoff.

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

I hope they close that scam artist down already.

I used to live in Florida, and you have to be so careful before you hire a locksmith.

I had a car that needed a door key made. I asked over the phone how much it would cost and was quoted $175.00, which seemed fair. Remember, I was not just needing a 2 minute slim jim which I could have done myself, I needed the key cylinder to be removed from the door, and a key made.

So this around the clock place trying to get $550.00 just to unlock the door is a massive ripoff of epic abusive proportions. Even the $250.00 they got (claiming it was less), was way too much. You could have had the car towed, and stayed at the Hyatt Regency for less then what they were trying to charge.

I made the job pretty easy for the locksmith by removing the door panel before he arrived. When he was finished he handed me a bill for $350.00. I told him I was quoted $175.00 for the job, and he told me that didn't included the service call charge.

So in other words, when you call them up for a quote, they leave out what the actual total price is going to be with the service charge, and then you are stuck once they complete the job and hand you the bill. Because they know d**n well if they quoted the actual ripoff price, no one would use them.

Scammers, there needs to be some regulation as vehicle lockout situations can potentially be a public safety issue as well.
Respond to this report!

#11 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Leonard - (U.S.A.)

It is time to FIGHT FIRE with FIRE!

I locked my keys in my car last night at the local mall and called our good friend from Around The Clock to come assist me. He showed up in his 4 wheel crime mobile and just before he opened my door, I found an extra set of keys in my pocket and canceled the unlock service and thanked him for coming out but I no longer needed his services. He came UNGLUED and said I owed him money for the "service call" and I told him that there was NO CONRACT because there was no "Meeting of the minds" in regards to what he would be charging and that he never disclosed that there would be a charge for the response before he offered to come out. He theatened to call the police and I beat him to the punch, whipping out my cell phone and punching in 9-1-1 myself telling him that he was committing the felony of FALSE IMPRISONMENT by blocking me from leaving. I also told him that the cops would LOVE to hear about how he scammed and cheated our military personnel. I told him i hoped all his permits and licenses were in order and that there had better not be any equipment violations on his truck since Im sure the police would impound his truck it it was found to be unsafe.

His room tempature IQ finally kicked in and he drove off, calling me every name in the book.

A few more "dry runs" like this and he might get the hint that he is not welcome in our town.

Respond to this report!

#12 Consumer Comment

That Pretty Much Shows You To Be A LIAR


Well, well Mr. "We Charge A Resonable Rate" Horton you got NAILED! It takes a pretty low snake to get the attention of the Attorney General's Office. It is amazing how you sleep at night scamming and cheating people. I bet you voted for McCain and are a member of the Tea Bagger's Party complaining about all this Government regulation that is hindering your business (illegal operation). You need to be in JAIL.
Respond to this report!

#13 Consumer Suggestion

Maryland attorney general cease and desist order.

AUTHOR: Robert - (USA)

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357

Attorney General Gansler Issues Cease and Desist Against Maryland Locksmith Company
Around the Clock Locksmith Allegedly Overcharged Consumers

BALTIMORE, MD ( April 7, 2010) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has issued a Cease and Desist Order against a Maryland locksmith, ATCL-MD, Inc., T/A Around the Clock Locksmith and its owner Joseph M. Horton. The Consumer Protection Division has charged Around the Clock Locksmith and Horton with billing consumers exorbitant fees, such as more than $4,300 to replace a lock and deadbolt, and fees as high as $1,400 simply to respond to a consumers request for locksmith services. According to the Divisions Statement of Charges, Around the Clock Locksmith refuses to give consumers an estimate of its fees or provides extremely low estimates. When consumers balked at paying the undisclosed fees, the company allegedly charged the consumers credit card without prior authorization.

In addition to overcharging consumers, Around The Clock Locksmith and the companys owner, Joseph Horton, are accused of falsely using a competitors name to steal the competitors customers and misrepresenting that the company is a member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. The Consumer Protection Division ordered the company and Horton to immediately cease and desist from engaging in these and other unfair or deceptive trade practices. A hearing is scheduled for June 28, 2010, after which the Division will determine the amount of any restitution, penalties and costs that Around the Clock Locksmith and its owner must pay.

You cant provide a low estimate to get your foot in the door and then charge multiples of that estimate to perform the service, said Attorney General Gansler. The Order requires the company to provide realistic estimates and to stick by them.

Consumers should always ask for price estimates before requesting any service and be wary of companies that will not provide estimates. Consumers may contact the Consumer Protection Division to find out if there have been complaints filed against a business by other consumers. For more information, consumers may call the Consumer Protection hotline at (410) 528-8662 or 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free.

Respond to this report!

#14 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Business Response

AUTHOR: Around The Clock Locksmith - (USA)

Around The Clock Locksmith charges fair and reasonable rates for their services. This is a case where a customer is mad at themselves because they had to pay for locksmith services because of their mistake. Around The Clock Locksmith provides a unique service that responds immediately to assist our customers in a time of need.
Respond to this report!

#15 Author of original report

The Gig is Up

AUTHOR: Susan - (United States of America)

I cannot tell you how happy I am today to Read "Attorney General Issues Cease and Desist Against Maryland Locksmith" Around the Clock.  That's you Joe.  In case you haven't seen the articles, look in the Sun paper from yesterday and today.  Looks like its finally time for you to be accountable to the citizens you've ripped off.  I was getting gas at Safeway yesterday and saw your van at the store on the corner that does taxes, I guess your getting things in order, huh?
Respond to this report!

#16 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Business Response

AUTHOR: Around The Clock Locksmith - (USA)

Around The Clock Locksmith charges fair and reasonable rates for their services. This is a case where a customer is mad at themselves because they had to pay for locksmith services because of their mistake. Around The Clock Locksmith provides a unique service that responds immediately to assist our customers in a time of need.
Respond to this report!

#17 Author of original report

Continues to Sweat

AUTHOR: Susan - (United States of America)

So fair and reasonable that he stole from "real" men that serve our country.  Stay tuned because there are many more you will answer to soon.
Respond to this report!

#18 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Business Response

AUTHOR: Around The Clock Locksmith - (USA)

Around The Clock Locksmith charges fair and reasonable rates for their services. This is a case where a customer is mad at themselves because they had to pay for locksmith services because of their mistake. Around The Clock Locksmith provides a unique service that responds immediately to assist our customers in a time of need.
Respond to this report!

#19 Author of original report

still sweating.......

AUTHOR: Susan - (United States of America)

Joe keep repeating yourself and maybe you will start to believe your lies.  Again, I refuse to even address your lies.  Michele and I are not alone, others are coming forward.  You didn't count on the article in the Gazette getting you this publicity. You are a scam artist.  Yes, Irvine, between myself, husband and two grown children, I have needed Pop A Lock "several" times over the past 10 years.  If I didn't, there wouldn't be a need for their service, so apparently, I'm not alone.  Regardless, Pop A Lock has always provided great, quick service with a charge of $60 - $80 and that's why I chose their service. Thanks for the AAA tip.  I've used Pop A Lock 5 times in the past 10 years at a for less than $350.  This scam artist wanted to charge me $375 for the service call alone.  I called him at 2:30pm and he shows up after 5pm so that he can charge after hour rates, just another part of his scam. 
Respond to this report!

#20 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Business Response

AUTHOR: Around The Clock Locksmith - (USA)

Around The Clock Locksmith provides quality locksmiths services at fair and reasonable rates. $195.00 to respond immediately and unlock a vehicle is a fair price. GE charge $275.00 just to ring your door bell. I believe that most people would agree.
Respond to this report!

#21 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

If you have had to use a locksmith "several times" over the last 10 years.  Perhaps you need to seriously look into getting an Auto Club Membership(you know the one with the 3 letters at the beginning of the alphabet or similar company).

Because for about $60 a year, they provide that same service and it does not matter if it is after hours or not.  In fact unless it is an extreamly busy day I would not even think you would have had to wait the 3 hours. 

Just in this case even at the $100 you were expecting you would still be about $40 ahead.  Since they generally allow you multiple calls per year you would only be more ahead if this ever came up again, and in your case it sounds like it might.

Another side thing is that while I am not defending this company.  A lot has changed in 10 years.  So if you are comparing the price today with what you payed even a few years ago, that may be no longer a valid comparison.

Respond to this report!

#22 Author of original report

Joe Is Starting To Sweat

AUTHOR: Susan - (United States of America)

Joe I promised you when you scammed me that I would cost you more than you stole from me, and judging by these responses it appears I've already accomplished that with your attorney's fee.  But, more than that, I want women and the elderly to know that you are out there and you will take from them.  I'm not even go to argue your lies.  Your dirty business practice is falling down around you and the proof will be in the pudding.  I will be happy when everyone you've hurt comes forward and you go to jail for what you've done.  Your obviously getting very nervous with the recent Maryland Gazette article "Army Bans Use of Pasadena Locksmith, and my complaint, because before now you've never responded to any of the truth posted about you on the internet including Michele.  I believe your attempt to clean up your mess is a little to late and soon you may have to earn an honest living.
Respond to this report!

#23 Consumer Comment

Master of Lies!

AUTHOR: Michele R. - (USA)

You tried to collect $550.00 to unlock a car door! When you were not able to collect her credit card, you collected $250.00 cash for your service and you still try to lie with the statement that you collected only $195.00? You take advantage of people in vulnerable situations, how do you sleep at night?

You have a POP-A-LOCK Mountain Rd, Pasadena, MD listing on the internet! Can you not read? POP-A-LOCK was who she thought she was calling, due to your FALSE listing! You are such a snake!

This guy's My Space page reads like a "want to be COP!"

His My Space page: "I'm The Only John Wayne in this Town".

Ha, Ha! You are not MAN ENOUGH to EVER be a REAL Police Officer. You prey on people in vulnerable situations and break the law!

Respond to this report!

#24 General Comment

There may be a solution

AUTHOR: Russ - (United States of America)

I am a new Pop-A-Lock franchise owner in Florida. Let me start by saying that I am not speaking on behalf of anyone else associated with any other Pop-A-Lock. The comments and/or opinions are mine alone.

Contacting Tim McMullen with ALOA is a good idea. ALOA and Pop-A-Lock, as well as many legitimate locksmith companies in Florida, have been working very hard to lobby the state Senate to pass legislation requiring locksmith registration in our state. As it is, and MOST FLORIDIANS don't know this, there is absolutely NO regulations for locksmiths in our state. This has opened the door for hundreds of "scammers" and rip-off artists in Florida. My point is simply that Maryland is not alone in this!

ALOA and all of their supporters, Pop-A-Lock etc., have had a lot of success lately in our efforts to drive these scammers out of business! Several have already been put in jail for various charges.

I don't know if Maryland has any regulations, but I'd be willing to bet that your state is much like ours. Locksmithing in Florida is, by all accounts, not even a recognized profession. You have to have a license to cut hair and nails, but you can be a convicted felon and still locksmith here.

Call you state legislature. They'll listen. It will take a lot of work, but it's worth it to keep yourself and others from the financial and emotioanal harm caused by these individuals.

Thank you for your loyalty to Pop-A-Lock. Remember that you can always find us at


Respond to this report!

#25 REBUTTAL Owner of company


AUTHOR: Around The Clock Locksmith - (United States of America)

This customer was told exactly how much it would be to unlock her vehicle. We are not affiliated or associated with Pop-A-Lock whatsoever. We have never have been or claimed to have been.

Our vans are clearly marked with Around The Clock Locksmith all over them. Unless you have trouble reading it would be hard to not notice the difference.

The $195.00 that this customer was charged was agreed to. The customer paid for the service that was rendered.

We believe that the $195.00 that this customer was charged was a fair and reasonable fee for unlocking a vehicle after normal business hours.

Please feel free to email us at: should you have any further questions.

Respond to this report!

#26 Consumer Comment

Around the Clock Locksmith-MASTER OF LIES-NOT LOCKS!

AUTHOR: Michele R. - (USA)

Please contact Ms. Lucy Cardwell, Assistant Attorney General at: and file a complaint. 

Joseph Horton is not a POP-A-LOCK employee. I reported his false listing to POP-A-LOCK and they have requested twice that he remove this false listing. POP-A-LOCK met with the Attorney General on Tuesday, 3/30/10.

Please contact Tim of the ALOA and file a complaint. The ALOA= Associated Locksmiths Of America.

Please check out the March 31, 2010 Maryland Gazette Article   Section: Money

"Army bans Pasadena locksmith"

Good luck trying to get the media to listen to us everyday folk! I was ripped off by Joseph Horton on February 9, 2010. Since then I have done the following:

Filed a complaint with the BBB- Mr. Horton refused assistance from the BBB for resolution.

Filed a claim with my Bank- Card Member services denied my claim as a "Rate Dispute"

Filed forgery and false documents charges- The State's Attorney refused to prosecute, (I refused to sign his receipt and Joseph Horton sent two forged receipts to the bank and the BBB)

Filed a complaint with Consumer Protection Division, Federal Trade Commission, and the ALOA.

Sent letters to the Maryland Gazette, The Capital, Governor O'Malley, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, WBAL (NBC-11), WBFF (Fox 45/WB54), WJZ (CBS-13), WMAR (ABC-2)

Filed complaints and poor reviews on every link I can find for Joseph Horton. I search daily for he has added new addresses and phone numbers.

I will now file a Civil Case for I'm not sure what will be accomplished thru the Attorney General's Office, if anything.




Respond to this report!
Ripoff Report Recommends
ZipBooks Accounting Software

Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.