Locksmith charged my wife £570, is there anything we can do?

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  • There wasn't a cheaper lock option, the were only two options and this one was the cheapest.
    You have to understand the situation:
    Wife was on her own, it was Sunday 5pm, with no access to the house, all she wanted was to be able to get in, she was told it would be around £200, when she was faced with a £570 bill, what was she supposed to do?
    She was in a weak position and the guy took advantage of it. If I had been there I would have probably acted as she did.

    I think then £570 was an expensive lesson learned but a small price to pay for your wife's safety and convenience? 
  • I'd rephrase it like so: I think then £570 was an expensive lesson learned and a huge price to pay for your wife's safety and convenience? 
  • I was adviced by Trading standards to amongst other things get this:
    You may wish to obtain three quotes from three independent trader’s to identify what a reasonable price would be, if this is necessary we would advise having the quotes recorded in writing from a trader in the same profession.
    Are any of you locksmiths or do you know any locksmith that could help me by providing a quote? I would be much appreciated.
  • maisie_cat
    maisie_cat Posts: 2,068 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Academoney Grad First Post
    The call out seems standard, and he said that it would cost around £200 which it did, they all "forget" to include VAT. He may have been there for 30 minutes so round up to an hour but how long did it take him to get there? The replacement lock was offered and accepted. Locks can be straight forward for a DIYer but can also be tricky, iIve changed loads of locks because I know how expensive a locksmith is.
    We all know that we should check how much something is going to be before we say yes but I suspect the wife was panicking and would have agreed to anything. I'm not sure you hope to achieve by complaining to trading standards, there doesn't appear to be evidence of fraud 
  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,742 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    If you are getting quotes remember to state it was on a Sunday late afternoon.
  • I've requested quotes including each bullet point of the invoice.
    Locksmiths from the MLA have been extremelly helpful, none of the quotes are above £200.
  • DCFC79
    DCFC79 Posts: 40,598 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Keep the thread updated with how you get on.
  • Manxman_in_exile
    Manxman_in_exile Posts: 8,380 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 3 July 2020 at 6:03PM
    I haven't read all of this thread so forgive me if I'm repeating something somebody else has already posted.

    Does the door have a letterbox within eighteen inches or so of the lock in question?  If it has, then they're a !!!!!! locksmith.  I did the same thing a few years ago.  Called out a proper old-fashioned locksmith (he'd done an apprenticeship with the safe makers Brahmin and had been strongly recommended by a builder friend) and he'd opened the door in a few minutes - without any drilling and no new lock needed.  He had a lot of interesting stuff in his case, most of it marked for the use of genuine locksmiths only  :wink: 

    At first he tried different sizes and types of plastic sheet between the door and the frame, and when that didn't work he produced an articulated arm which he just stuck through the letterbox and manipulated to grab the key, turn it and open the lock.  Simples.

    "Proper" locksmiths are hard to find these days.

    EDIT:  The problem with locksmiths is that when you need one they've got you over a barrel.  It's all very well Trading Standards saying get a few quotes afterwards to see whta a reasonable charge is.  you want in the house now!
  • I haven't read all of this thread so forgive me if I'm repeating something somebody else has already posted.

    Does the door have a letterbox within eighteen inches or so of the lock in question?  If it has, then they're a !!!!!! locksmith.  I did the same thing a few years ago.  Called out a proper old-fashioned locksmith (he'd done an apprenticeship with the safe makers Brahmin and had been strongly recommended by a builder friend) and he'd opened the door in a few minutes - without any drilling and no new lock needed.  He had a lot of interesting stuff in his case, most of it marked for the use of genuine locksmiths only  :wink: 

    At first he tried different sizes and types of plastic sheet between the door and the frame, and when that didn't work he produced an articulated arm which he just stuck through the letterbox and manipulated to grab the key, turn it and open the lock.  Simples.

    "Proper" locksmiths are hard to find these days.

    EDIT:  The problem with locksmiths is that when you need one they've got you over a barrel.  It's all very well Trading Standards saying get a few quotes afterwards to see whta a reasonable charge is.  you want in the house now!
    I do have a letterbox, in fact I was expecting the guy to jut put something though it and turn the handle, it wasn't even locked.

  • Manxman_in_exile
    Manxman_in_exile Posts: 8,380 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    I would argue then that it's not the price itself that you are unhappy with, but the fact that he did a lot of unneccessary work and needlessly had to replace a lock because he'd drilled it out.  (I'm sorry but I didn't appreciate that the door wasn't even locked!  So all he had to do was turn the handle, not the key?  When it happened to me the door was "locked" in that the key had to be turned from the inside.  Because I'd left it slightly turned in the lock, I couldn't get the spare key in from outside).

    To be charitable he was an incompetent locksmith.  Others might not be so charitable in their judgment...
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