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Overcharged by a Locksmith

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Consumer Rights
41 replies 13.3K views
Emily2005Emily2005 Forumite
10 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Consumer Rights
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.
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Replies

  • Emily2005 wrote: »
    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.


    What price was agreed before the work started?
  • £59 pounds. This price was agreed upon over the phone with my housemate, and with me between the technician when he arrived.
  • 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?
  • naedangernaedanger Forumite
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    Emily2005 wrote: »
    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.

    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.
  • hollydayshollydays Forumite
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    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 .
  • RuthnJasperRuthnJasper Forumite
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    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.
  • 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.
  • unholyangelunholyangel Forumite
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    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!
    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means - Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
  • edited 13 October 2016 at 7:18PM
    MarkthesharkMarktheshark Forumite
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    edited 13 October 2016 at 7:18PM
    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.
    Brexit will become whatever they invent it to be.
  • 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!

    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.

    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?
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