• Report: #261770
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Wed, July 18, 2007
  • Updated: Thu, September 03, 2009

  • Reported By:Montrose New York


*Consumer Comment: BASAD Services Inc is a Scam

*Consumer Comment: I too have been scammed.

* : False Allegations

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Locked out? Don't fall for locksmith scam

Most locksmiths are honest. A few are not. According to a new warning from the Better Business Bureau, these untrustworthy locksmiths are "ripping off consumers" across the country. The BBB says this "nationwide locksmith swindle" has already resulted in more than a thousand complaints.

"We know that there are thousands more people across the country who have been victims and don't even know it," says Alison Preszler with the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The BBB blames most of the problem on two companies: Dependable Locksmith (New York) and Basad Inc. (Englewood, Colo.). These two firms also operate in other major cities across the country using dozens of generic aliases, such as AAA Locksmith, A-1 Locksmith and 24 Hour Locksmith names that are also widely used by reputable companies.

The BBB says unhappy customers complain that Dependable and Basad significantly overcharge, charge for unnecessary services, and use intimidation tactics. In some cases, the final bill is four times as much as the quoted price.

"They have made taking advantage of people who are locked out of their house or car part of their business model," Preszler says.

In Oak Creek, Wis., Carol Pintar was locked out her car on a cold night in December. She looked in the Yellow Pages and found a locksmith in nearby South Milwaukee. They told her the price would be $35.

The locksmith arrived in an unmarked vehicle, rather than a commercial van. That's usually the case with these dishonest operations. Pintar said he demanded payment upfront another warning sign. But the price wasn't $35 as quoted. It was $95.

"I did give him the money, but I really felt funny about the whole situation," she says. "I just knew it was some kind of scam, so I called the Better Business Bureau."

The BBB's Alison Preszler told me, "Many victims have come to us and said they knew they were being taken advantage of, but felt helpless to argue."

Show me the money
Noelle, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio felt that way. She asked me not to use her last name because she has already been harassed by the company. Last August, after returning to a friend's house from a rock concert, Noelle realized she had locked her keys in the car. It was 2 a.m.

Noelle looked in the phone book and found "24-Hour Locksmith." She called and was told the charge would be $40. When the locksmith arrived in an unmarked vehicle he told Noelle he'd have to break the door to get it open. "He said he'd have to use a crow bar or break the window," she told me.

But there was a better option. For another $60, he could use a Slim Jim and pop the door open with no damage. Noelle agreed to the new fee of $100.

Once the door was open, Noelle was told the bill was $250.

"And I was like, excuse me! How do I owe you $250?"

The guy told her there were fees and service charges. And because she was going to pay by check, there was a check-processing fee. He volunteered to drive her to an ATM to get cash, but Noelle didn't like that idea.

"He would not give me my keys back until I gave him a check for $250. I was very upset because I realized I was being taken advantage of," she told me. But she needed to get into her car, so she paid.

A few days later, Noelle decided to visit the company, to complain in person. She found several locations listed in the phone book, but they all were bogus addresses.

A common trick
Each of these companies uses a slick trick to appear as if they're a local locksmith. They place ads in phone directories and on the Internet using fake local addresses and phone numbers that ring at a call center in another part of the country. For instance, dial one of the Dependable Lock companies and your call will be routed to New York.

"Consumers think they're calling a reputable locksmith and they're quoted a price that seems very reasonable," says Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO of the BBB of Metropolitan New York. "Then these people show up and charge more than you expected."

For the record: I called both companies and could not find anyone who would talk to me about the BBB's allegations. The attorney for Dependable Locks returned my call, but would only talk off the record. His only on-the-record comment? No comment.

The bottom line
The Better Business Bureau suggests finding a good locksmith before you need one. That's a good idea, but most people don't do that.

So, how do you protect yourself? Be careful. Don't pick a company at random based on an ad in the phone book. If you're stuck in a situation where you need help right away, try to find a familiar name.

If you can get to a computer, you can check the company online 24/7 on the BBB's Web site. If not, call a friend and see if they know of a good local company.

If you're a member of AAA, you might want to use their locksmith service.

Be suspicious of anyone who shows up in an unmarked vehicle. Never pay before the work is done. Whenever possible, use a credit card. It has built in fraud protection. Finally, if you're not comfortable with the person who shows up, don't use them.

If you do get burned, let someone know about it. File complaints with the Better Business Bureau and your state's consumer protection or Attorney General's office.

Montrose, New York

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/18/2007 09:17 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/depenable-locksmith/new-york-new-york/depenable-locksmith-and-basad-inc-depenable-locksmiths-uses-many-names-and-misleds-people-261770. 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.

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#1 Consumer Comment

BASAD Services Inc is a Scam

AUTHOR: Christopher - ()

Here is an instance that happend tonight. I out of town and get a call from my wife that she is locked out of the house. Confused, I asked how that happened. Well, we have two dogs, she took one out to the backyard, and the other jump on the door incidentally also locking the door. So I get of the phone with my wife, and immeditately google "Locksmith Noblesville, IN"

I'm not sure the relationship to BASAD Inc or BASAD Services Inc in the above 'Rebuttal', but I can confirm the above Ripoff report and above complaint comment is consistent with my experience. We were told $45 ($30 service fee + $15 emergency call fee) but were charge $120 + $15 with the technician arrived. If it wasn't for the fact that I was out of town, my wife at home alone, locked out of the house and it being only 5 degrees outside, I would have told her to refuse services and I would have found another locksmith. 

They company use MULTIPLE alias, and copycat websites with different local phone numbers that all call the same dispatch service. I first suspected something was up when after my wife was told 75 minute response time,  I started looking for a faster locksmith, and what I thought was a different local service, turned out to be the same company, but completely different names: Loyatly Locksmith and Locksmith of Noblesville. I continued to search for a local, but after calling the company back, they apperently called my wife and said 25 mins. Which about what another REAL local guy said it would take him, and I said 'well, the first company is already called and on the way, so  I'll stick with them since it will be the same time". 

They did show up ~25-30 minutes later, in an unmarked vehicle. They did tell my wife the $135 price before performing the service, and she said the technician was really nice. But you have limited options when waiting outside already for 30 minutes in freezing weather without a coat, hat or gloves. I didn't know the company was a scam, until I got the charge alert on my phone stating the $135 charge from "BASAD SERVICES INC", when I search the company low and behold the few search results...Ripoff Report!. 

I'm writing my experience here, but the company is very crafty, using multiple websites with local numbers to hide immediate redflags that typically come up with bad companys. So I am guessing for most readers, they are here because it is too late, they have already caughed up 3x - 4x more than they should have.

I would like to see more post that suggests how to stop companys like this. They are not not BBB accredited, and while being accredited is optional it does appear there are a few associated companies at least listed on the BBB with similar complaints. However, complants to the BBB will do absolutely nothing if they aren't accredited. I think your best bet is to file a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

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#2 Consumer Comment

I too have been scammed.

AUTHOR: CBKey - ()

I had a locksmith come to my home.  The company claimed to be BBB accredited but it turns out that was just an image on their website and they actually were not.   I was charged over $1,000 to change locks in my home.  Instead of the name of the locksmith company, the charge on my card was from BASAD SERVICES INC.   Any competitor that I checked in with after had quotes ranging from 1/3 to 1/4 this price and they said I was grossly overcharged. How can a company justify grossly overcharging like this if they aren't out there taking advantage of people?

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False Allegations

AUTHOR: 24hr-Services - (USA)

We do not know who Leland is nor have we done business with him in conjunction with BASAD Inc. We believe this to be part of a malicious smear campaign spearheaded by frustrated competitors. Non of the allegations above have any relations to BASAD Inc.

Unfortunatly the locksmith industry is a 'cut-throut' market, unregulated and lack of standards. BASAD Inc suggest customers to shop arround and make sure they receive an advanced written estimate of repairs before getting any job done.

If, however, these are in fact a bona fide complaint, please present your facts and we'll be more than happy to provide you with a satisfactory resolution. 

We invite RippofReports own Corporate Advocacy & Customer Satisfaction Program to investigate these false allegations

We invite RippofReports to contact BBB in Denver or even the Attorney General of Colorado - who had investigated BASAD's practices for more then 3 years now.

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