Locksmith Scam – $180 for Five Minutes?

A daughter of a friend of mine was taken by the locksmith scam this week.  She’d locked herself out of her house and called a toll-free number, 877-291-5625, and asked what the costs would be to get her into the house.  She was told that it would be a $19 fee for the locksmith to drive there and $25+ to open the door.  Thlock 150x150 Locksmith Scam   $180 for Five Minutes?e plus depends on the “work” that the locksmith has to perform.

She says that when the man arrived he had the door open in a minute or so and announced that the total she should pay him was $180.  One hundred and eighty dollars!  Can you believe that?  Let’s say it was actually three minutes – that’s almost $54 a minute (not including the $19 fee) – or $3,240 an hour!

After a lot of haggling with the man, she got him down to $120, but that still is a far cry from what she was quoted.

We, at the BBB, Googled the phone number and came up with some interesting information – http://thelocksmithpolice.com/exhibits/Numbered%20Exhibits/EXHIBIT%20029%20-%20COMPLETE_DOC.pdf.  This is a website put up by someone who was trying to look into locksmiths that pull this same stunt.

The BBB in Phoenix, Arizona has a report on this company – they have an F rating, as of today.  They haven’t responded to most of the complaints that have been received by the BBB, from consumers with the same issues!

Upon contacting the company they said they were a mobile company, they do not have a physical address and provided an email address (which the BBB in Phoenix had and hasn’t helped them to respond to complaints).

Consumers need to do their homework first before calling a locksmith.  Perhaps today (when you don’t need one) is the time to plug the number for your LOCAL locksmith into your mobile phone.  Make sure the company actually has a physical location in your area.  A local number is a good start, but we’ve seen those used by these companies that jack up the price as well.

Consumers should check out locksmiths with their BBB and with The Associated Locksmiths of America, Inc. (ALOA).  Reputable locksmiths will be members of this association.

What to do if you are taken?

  1. File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
  2. File a complaint with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.
  3. Call the police if the company asks for more money than quoted, while the company is still at your home (office, car, etc.).

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About Jane Driggs

Jane has been president of the Better Business Bureau in Utah since 2002. Prior to moving to Utah she was president of the BBB serving Minnesota and North Dakota.