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  • FIRST POST
    • Emily2005
    • By Emily2005 13th Oct 16, 12:32 PM
    • 8Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Emily2005
    Overcharged by a Locksmith
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 16, 12:32 PM
    Overcharged by a Locksmith 13th Oct 16 at 12:32 PM
    I recently engaged locksmith service from a firm named AM London Locksmith (www . londonlocksmith . london), not an MLA locksmith, and have been overcharged. I was wondering whether you could provide me with some advice as to what you think of the situation.

    On its pricing page, the cost of replacing a cylinder is £59. I was unaware of this as my housemate called in to request the service. When the technician came to replace our thumb-turn lock (British Standard), he charged me a price of £255 (£59 for service, £196 for the lock). I have an invoice of this service.

    I decided to call in to AM Locksmith later and enquired about their most expensive thumb-turn lock and the price quoted over the phone was £89. I have this conversation recorded.

    Since then, we have:
    - called in to AM Locksmith to raise the dispute and was told to send an email to the office
    - we emailed the office as per requested, but have received a response saying that I was given a choice of locks during the service and chose a high end British Standard lock. Hence, am liable for the exorbitant fees. The prices were not placed on the products themselves, the technician simply quoted the prices to me.

    I am wondering whether their reasoning is acceptable, or is this case of dishonest and fraudulent behaviour sufficient for further legal dispute.

    Thank you so much for reading my enquiry and I will really appreciate your help.
Page 1
    • Fat Walt
    • By Fat Walt 13th Oct 16, 12:34 PM
    • 602 Posts
    • 327 Thanks
    Fat Walt
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 12:34 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 12:34 PM
    I recently engaged locksmith service from a firm named AM London Locksmith (www . londonlocksmith . london), not an MLA locksmith, and have been overcharged. I was wondering whether you could provide me with some advice as to what you think of the situation.

    On its pricing page, the cost of replacing a cylinder is £59. I was unaware of this as my housemate called in to request the service. When the technician came to replace our thumb-turn lock (British Standard), he charged me a price of £255 (£59 for service, £196 for the lock). I have an invoice of this service.

    I decided to call in to AM Locksmith later and enquired about their most expensive thumb-turn lock and the price quoted over the phone was £89. I have this conversation recorded.

    Since then, we have:
    - called in to AM Locksmith to raise the dispute and was told to send an email to the office
    - we emailed the office as per requested, but have received a response saying that I was given a choice of locks during the service and chose a high end British Standard lock. Hence, am liable for the exorbitant fees. The prices were not placed on the products themselves, the technician simply quoted the prices to me.

    I am wondering whether their reasoning is acceptable, or is this case of dishonest and fraudulent behaviour sufficient for further legal dispute.

    Thank you so much for reading my enquiry and I will really appreciate your help.
    Originally posted by Emily2005

    What price was agreed before the work started?
    • Emily2005
    • By Emily2005 13th Oct 16, 12:41 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Emily2005
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 12:41 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 12:41 PM
    £59 pounds. This price was agreed upon over the phone with my housemate, and with me between the technician when he arrived.
    • OlliesDad
    • By OlliesDad 13th Oct 16, 12:50 PM
    • 1,740 Posts
    • 1,588 Thanks
    OlliesDad
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 16, 12:50 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 16, 12:50 PM
    On their website it advises that Labour is £59 and then the cost of the lock is on top of that, which is consistent with what you have been charged.

    Is it possible your house mate misunderstood?
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 13th Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    • 1,789 Posts
    • 1,382 Thanks
    naedanger
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    I recently engaged locksmith service from a firm named AM London Locksmith (www . londonlocksmith . london), not an MLA locksmith, and have been overcharged. I was wondering whether you could provide me with some advice as to what you think of the situation.

    On its pricing page, the cost of replacing a cylinder is £59. I was unaware of this as my housemate called in to request the service. When the technician came to replace our thumb-turn lock (British Standard), he charged me a price of £255 (£59 for service, £196 for the lock). I have an invoice of this service.

    I decided to call in to AM Locksmith later and enquired about their most expensive thumb-turn lock and the price quoted over the phone was £89. I have this conversation recorded.

    Since then, we have:
    - called in to AM Locksmith to raise the dispute and was told to send an email to the office
    - we emailed the office as per requested, but have received a response saying that I was given a choice of locks during the service and chose a high end British Standard lock. Hence, am liable for the exorbitant fees. The prices were not placed on the products themselves, the technician simply quoted the prices to me.

    I am wondering whether their reasoning is acceptable, or is this case of dishonest and fraudulent behaviour sufficient for further legal dispute.

    Thank you so much for reading my enquiry and I will really appreciate your help.
    Originally posted by Emily2005
    Their actions don't need to be fraudulent or dishonest for you to dispute their bill. So I would not allege either "fraud" or "dishonesty" since these are hard to prove and emotive. However I would dispute a bill that I was not expecting, and if I felt the extra costs were clearly unreasonable I would refuse to pay more than what I thought reasonable.

    It sounds like they did more than just replace a cylinder. Did they supply and fit another lock as well? If so perhaps the additional £196 is for the £89 lock plus a fitting fee. If however they are charging you £196 for the lock alone, which they sell for £89 in the shop, then I would ask for an explanation, and depending on the answer might refuse to pay more than their retail price for the lock.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 13th Oct 16, 4:31 PM
    • 14,583 Posts
    • 10,377 Thanks
    hollydays
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 4:31 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 4:31 PM
    Why didn't you query this at the time?
    Fwiw the company has been only running since April and the director lives in the Netherlands .
    • RuthnJasper
    • By RuthnJasper 13th Oct 16, 4:37 PM
    • 3,537 Posts
    • 8,524 Thanks
    RuthnJasper
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 4:37 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 4:37 PM
    What time was it? If it was "out of hours" there may be a big service charge for a late call-out. They should still have made this clear before the visit though.
    • Emily2005
    • By Emily2005 13th Oct 16, 6:42 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Emily2005
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 6:42 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 6:42 PM
    Hi all, thank you so much for your replies. I really appreciate everyone's help and opinion on this matter!

    "RuthnJasper What time was it? If it was "out of hours" there may be a big service charge for a late call-out. They should still have made this clear before the visit though."
    It was not out of hours. The locksmith came at 3:15pm and was done before 4pm. I would also like to add that the technician did not have to break it or anything, I was there to let him into the building. Also, the issue with my lock was that the key was stuck in it.

    "hollydays Why didn't you query this at the time?
    Fwiw the company has been only running since April and the director lives in the Netherlands ."
    Unfortunately, this is my very first experience with locks and dealing with locksmiths in general. That being said, he might have sensed that I was very naive and would accept whatever price he gave to me. This is why I accepted it without challenging the exorbitant fee at £255. I understand this is poor on my part, and have definitely learnt from it!

    "naedanger It sounds like they did more than just replace a cylinder. Did they supply and fit another lock as well? If so perhaps the additional £196 is for the £89 lock plus a fitting fee. If however they are charging you £196 for the lock alone, which they sell for £89 in the shop, then I would ask for an explanation, and depending on the answer might refuse to pay more than their retail price for the lock."
    Yes sorry, I was supposed to clarify this earlier today but didn't have the time! So indeed, the labour service cost is £59 + £price of lock. We will not dispute the £59, however, £196 for a lock is very high. And again, inconsistent with the information gathered from the call that the most expensive thumb-turn lock available for sale is £89 - still much lower than charged.

    I would also like to add that the technician only brought a choice of 3 locks to show me, and all 3 locks were above £100. The cheapest, a magnum thumb-turn, looks like "Magnum Door Lock Cylinder Cog Wheel Mul-T-Lock Style Key and Thumb Turn 76mm" (if you google it and find it on ebay), was £120!! On ebay it is £19.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 13th Oct 16, 7:09 PM
    • 10,198 Posts
    • 7,357 Thanks
    unholyangel
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 7:09 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 7:09 PM
    Having a look at their site, £59 is the fee for the labour. And prices of new locks (they state they will try to gain entry without damaging the lock in the first instance) start from £19.

    OP, at what point was the contract formed? I had a look on their website but couldn't see T&C's anywhere!
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Marktheshark
    • By Marktheshark 13th Oct 16, 7:16 PM
    • 5,317 Posts
    • 6,669 Thanks
    Marktheshark
    Here is general Money saving Advice :

    A Locksmith is for lost keys or broken locks.
    A joiner or handyman or UPVC fitter are for fitting locks.
    99.99% of locks in all doors are fitted by joiners or upvc fitters.

    Locksmiths are very expensive indeed and should only be called when you can not get in to the house to save money breaking the door.

    If you can hold a screw driver in Your hand, you can change a Euro cylinder lock yourself in seconds, it is one screw and almost idiot proof diy.

    Look at youtube if it confuses you.

    Never call a locksmith to do a joiners or handy-mans job and if you do expect to pay through the nose.
    Last edited by Marktheshark; 13-10-2016 at 7:18 PM.
    Brexit will become whatever they invent it to be.
    • Emily2005
    • By Emily2005 13th Oct 16, 9:10 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Emily2005
    Having a look at their site, £59 is the fee for the labour. And prices of new locks (they state they will try to gain entry without damaging the lock in the first instance) start from £19.

    OP, at what point was the contract formed? I had a look on their website but couldn't see T&C's anywhere!
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    Hey, thanks for your reply!
    The technician did not have to damage the lock or whatsoever to gain entry, I was there to let him into the building.
    There was no formal 'contract' per say. All we had was an initial phone call by my housemate to enquire about the service. On the phone they had mentioned the service fee of £59 + additional if new lock is required. The broken lock IS from them, however, we got a key stuck inside, hence why we called them back to assess whether it was the fault of the key or the door. Concluding that it was the fault of the key, and that the key was permanently stuck inside, he suggested replacing the entire thumb-turn lock.

    Here is general Money saving Advice :

    A Locksmith is for lost keys or broken locks.
    A joiner or handyman or UPVC fitter are for fitting locks.
    99.99% of locks in all doors are fitted by joiners or upvc fitters.

    Locksmiths are very expensive indeed and should only be called when you can not get in to the house to save money breaking the door.

    If you can hold a screw driver in Your hand, you can change a Euro cylinder lock yourself in seconds, it is one screw and almost idiot proof diy.

    Look at youtube if it confuses you.

    Never call a locksmith to do a joiners or handy-mans job and if you do expect to pay through the nose.
    Originally posted by Marktheshark
    Thank you for your response! I will definitely note your money saving suggestions
    However, just to clarify, we did try to remove the lock ourselves, but were afraid of breaking something and causing extensive damage somehow....which would have led to a void in our warranty (Lock was fairly new). Better be on the safe side!

    Anyway, how much do you think is too much to pay a locksmith?
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 13th Oct 16, 9:17 PM
    • 17,229 Posts
    • 7,772 Thanks
    Moneyineptitude
    However, just to clarify, we did try to remove the lock ourselves, but were afraid of breaking something and causing extensive damage somehow....which would have led to a void in our warranty (Lock was fairly new).
    Originally posted by Emily2005
    This was work any jobber could have done.
    Better be on the safe side!
    Originally posted by Emily2005
    Hardly.
    By preserving this "warranty", you now have to pay out for largely unnecessary work. You weren't locked out (or in) so never needed an actual Locksmith.

    An expensive lesson..
    Last edited by Moneyineptitude; 13-10-2016 at 9:20 PM.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 13th Oct 16, 10:19 PM
    • 10,198 Posts
    • 7,357 Thanks
    unholyangel
    Hey, thanks for your reply!
    The technician did not have to damage the lock or whatsoever to gain entry, I was there to let him into the building.
    There was no formal 'contract' per say. All we had was an initial phone call by my housemate to enquire about the service. On the phone they had mentioned the service fee of £59 + additional if new lock is required. The broken lock IS from them, however, we got a key stuck inside, hence why we called them back to assess whether it was the fault of the key or the door. Concluding that it was the fault of the key, and that the key was permanently stuck inside, he suggested replacing the entire thumb-turn lock.
    Originally posted by Emily2005
    So the lock you had replaced was from them also? Did they also supply the keys? You say its still within warranty, how long ago did you purchase it from them?

    Or have I misunderstood?

    Did the guy give you anything in writing when he attended? They needed to provide certain information to you in a durable medium otherwise you technically may still be within the time period to cancel.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 13th Oct 16, 10:38 PM
    • 17,229 Posts
    • 7,772 Thanks
    Moneyineptitude
    I doubt the "warranty" will cover having a key stuck in the lock. That sounds like wear and tear rather than a fault.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 13th Oct 16, 11:09 PM
    • 10,198 Posts
    • 7,357 Thanks
    unholyangel
    I doubt the "warranty" will cover having a key stuck in the lock. That sounds like wear and tear rather than a fault.
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    Some warranties do cover the keys but not if its a copy supplied by someone else (which is why I asked if they supplied it)

    Plus theres also the possibility the key wasnt of satisfactory quality. Keys are not consumables. And imo, a key & lock thats "fairly new" (as OP put it) should have no possibility of snapping other than extra ordinary circumstances (such as forcing the key). I've never had personal experience of it happening - either to me or anyone I know - so perhaps thats colouring my view.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 14th Oct 16, 12:36 AM
    • 1,789 Posts
    • 1,382 Thanks
    naedanger
    There was no formal 'contract' per say. All we had was an initial phone call by my housemate to enquire about the service. On the phone they had mentioned the service fee of £59 + additional if new lock is required.
    Originally posted by Emily2005
    Did the locksmith quote (in pounds) how much extra you would have to pay over the original £59 before proceeding with the work?

    If not, did he say whether the additional amount would just be for the price of a new lock, or was the additional amount to cover both the price of a new lock and its fitting? (Or put another way were you led to believe the £59 would also cover the price of fitting a new lock if it was required?)
    Last edited by naedanger; 14-10-2016 at 12:58 AM.
    • Emily2005
    • By Emily2005 14th Oct 16, 9:21 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Emily2005
    Thanks all for your replies, I really appreciate your help!

    So the lock you had replaced was from them also? Did they also supply the keys? You say its still within warranty, how long ago did you purchase it from them?

    Or have I misunderstood?

    Did the guy give you anything in writing when he attended? They needed to provide certain information to you in a durable medium otherwise you technically may still be within the time period to cancel.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    The lock was changed perhaps 3 weeks to a month ago.

    I doubt the "warranty" will cover having a key stuck in the lock. That sounds like wear and tear rather than a fault.
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    Some warranties do cover the keys but not if its a copy supplied by someone else (which is why I asked if they supplied it)

    Plus theres also the possibility the key wasnt of satisfactory quality. Keys are not consumables. And imo, a key & lock thats "fairly new" (as OP put it) should have no possibility of snapping other than extra ordinary circumstances (such as forcing the key). I've never had personal experience of it happening - either to me or anyone I know - so perhaps thats colouring my view.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    The key the was stuck was a copy of the original. The technician who came to inspect the stuck key said that they key cutting job was not done well, hence why it got stuck. The key did not break, but rather, the technician snapped it when trying to ply it out. And since we got the key cut with a separate locksmith, the warranty did not cover this.
    However, when the key first got stuck, we were unsure whether it was the fault of the key or the lock.

    Did the locksmith quote (in pounds) how much extra you would have to pay over the original £59 before proceeding with the work?

    If not, did he say whether the additional amount would just be for the price of a new lock, or was the additional amount to cover both the price of a new lock and its fitting? (Or put another way were you led to believe the £59 would also cover the price of fitting a new lock if it was required?)
    Originally posted by naedanger
    No the locksmith did not quote anything else other than: £59 for service and an additional fees if new lock is required. Over the phone and in person. He did not mention anything about fitting. On my invoice it does not mention fitting either. Its just 196 for the lock.. I understood that the lock would be an additional over the £59, but no idea how much more.
    The problem here is that I was naive enough to accept the high price of the lock, because I have no previous experience whatsoever dealing with these types of situation. Now, I know how stupid I may sound admitting I accepted the price, but the real issue here is the price discrepancy when we called in and the price he charged me.
    Plus, thumb-turn locks aren't that expensive to begin with...
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 14th Oct 16, 10:26 AM
    • 1,789 Posts
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    naedanger
    No the locksmith did not quote anything else other than: £59 for service and an additional fees if new lock is required. Over the phone and in person ...

    The problem here is that I was naive enough to accept the high price of the lock, ...
    Originally posted by Emily2005
    It is not clear to me how you accepted the price of the lock if the locksmith did not quote the price before fitting. (Your above reply seems to say (1) you were not quoted a price in advance but (2) you did accept the high price, which seems contradictory to me.)

    If you were told additional fees would be £196 for the new lock before fitting then I think you are in a weak position to dispute the bill now (especially if you were not led to believe there would be no fitting fee). You could still do so on the basis that the price of the lock was exorbitant, which you only realised later when you saw the typical price was much, much less. However as you knew the actual price, and the locksmith did not say fitting would be free, then I think you have a poor chance of winning (except perhaps on a technicality). The locksmith could rightly (I think from what I understand) claim you agreed the price in advance and it was higher than elsewhere because it included implicitly a fitting fee.

    Whereas, if you were not told the amount of the additional fee, and were led to believe the fitting was free, then I think you would have a good chance of winning in court if you disputed the bill.

    PS A newly cut copy key getting stuck in a lock will almost certainly not be the fault of the lock.

    RE-reading your reply, I think what happened was you were told there would be unspecified additional fees for the new lock but not how much or whether the fees would just be for the lock or for the lock and for fitting. If this is the scenario, then my understanding is you would have to show the actual fee of £196 was unreasonable for a locksmith to supply and fit the lock. (And I suspect the fees were not unreasonable for a locksmith. My one experience of using a locksmith was they were expensive, though I was given an accurate quote in advance.)
    Last edited by naedanger; 14-10-2016 at 10:36 AM.
    • Emily2005
    • By Emily2005 14th Oct 16, 10:52 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Emily2005
    It is not clear to me how you accepted the price of the lock if the locksmith did not quote the price before fitting. (Your above reply seems to say (1) you were not quoted a price in advance but (2) you did accept the high price, which seems contradictory to me.)

    If you were told additional fees would be £196 for the new lock before fitting then I think you are in a weak position to dispute the bill now (especially if you were not led to believe there would be no fitting fee). You could still do so on the basis that the price of the lock was exorbitant, which you only realised later when you saw the typical price was much, much less. However as you knew the actual price, and the locksmith did not say fitting would be free, then I think you have a poor chance of winning (except perhaps on a technicality). The locksmith could rightly (I think from what I understand) claim you agreed the price in advance and it was higher than elsewhere because it included implicitly a fitting fee.

    Whereas, if you were not told the amount of the additional fee, and were led to believe the fitting was free, then I think you would have a good chance of winning in court if you disputed the bill.

    PS A newly cut copy key getting stuck in a lock will almost certainly not be the fault of the lock.

    RE-reading your reply, I think what happened was you were told there would be unspecified additional fees for the new lock but not how much or whether the fees would just be for the lock or for the lock and for fitting. If this is the scenario, then my understanding is you would have to show the actual fee of £196 was unreasonable for a locksmith to supply and fit the lock. (And I suspect the fees were not unreasonable for a locksmith. My one experience of using a locksmith was they were expensive, though I was given an accurate quote in advance.)
    Originally posted by naedanger

    Yeah, under the Consumer Rights Act, I agreed to the price and hence the locksmith is not at fault. I understand this part. But under the Fraud Act S.3 failure to disclose information, the locksmith did not present the true prices of the locks. (In the call, max British Standard Thumb-turn is £89).
    Anyway, on the website it says "REPLACE / GAIN ENTRY TO RIM CYLINDER" for £59. I'd think the "replacement" is the fitting?
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 14th Oct 16, 11:15 AM
    • 17,229 Posts
    • 7,772 Thanks
    Moneyineptitude
    I don't think you should be accusing anyone of "fraud'. That's a serious crime.
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