Pricy Locksmith --美国频道--人民网

Pricy Locksmith 

Jianmin Ren  Joanna Law

2013年03月16日05:15        手机看新闻


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Craftsmanship is one traditional profession; they earn their living with their own hands. And their honesty directly reflects the level of integrity a society and a country embrace.

Having lived in this crammed metropolitan of New York for a while, I feel tired of the cunningness of the New Yorkers and having the need to put on my guard every day. New Jersey is called as New York City’s backyard, with a smaller population of 6 million. New Jersey is properly safer, I thought.

I lost my keys to my place in New Jersey, and I tried to change the door locks by myself, but it took me some time before I decided to get a locksmith.

There are quite a lot of locksmith service vendors on the internet. One of them is called Run Local Locksmith, a national chain store. Its website has a pricelist that clearly states out all the fees. For example, the service call fee is $15, re-keying is $19, and changing locks is $45. Not cheap, but at least it states them all out. It should be reliable.

So I called and a locksmith came. He took a quick look at my door and locks, said, “This lock is very expensive. Don’t lose your keys next time.” “How much?” I asked.

“$190 for one lock,” he said.

“What? So for two locks plus service fee it must costs $400 then?” I said. The locksmith shook his head, said, “Not enough,” and did some calculations on his cellphone. “There are still the service fee, labor costs and tax. All add up to $756,” he added.

This is literally a rip off. I immediately called a friend and asked if he could find me any locksmiths. My friend said on the phone, “Let him go. He’s cheating you. I will get you another one.”

But by the time I hung up, that stout locksmith had already gouged out one of the locks. I quickly stopped him. Pulling a face, he said, “Fine, I’ve done my job. Now pay me!” “How much?” I said.

“$172.12,” he said.

“What? Didn’t you say the total labor cost is $150? Why are you asking for this much only for this little work? $40!” I said. “It is this much. Are you paying or not?” he said furiously. “Fine, we will see. You better be careful!”

And he walked away angrily.

But he’s a locksmith; will I get into trouble for offending a locksmith? Shortly after he left, I received a call from Run Local Locksmith. “We have had someone come over and done his job, you have to pay for it,” the caller said.

“The price he said is too ridiculous. Doesn’t your website say changing locks is $45?” I said. “Please note that the list says $45 up,” she said. “So it is from $45 up to $700ish? This is outrages. I will pay $40, is it ok?”

“No, $80!” she said.

“But he had only done the very first part of work. $80 is too much for what he did,” I said. “Ok, $65 then. You must give me your credit card information now,” she said.

I felt like I was robbed.

My two locks were finally changed by another locksmith. He charged me $80 each. But there was still $300 overcharged. He was also a rip off.

So people like me who were not in emergency got overcharged this much, for those who got locked out or who lost his car keys, how much more would they charge? I’ve done some research on the internet.

America’s popular TV network ABC has done a show that checked out how locksmiths cheat. The reporter called Run Local Locksmith and pretended that he had lost his car key. The locksmith arrived, and he asked for $120.

“Didn’t you say $15?” the reporter asked. “That’s the basic fee,” the locksmith said.

After a bit of bargaining back and forth, the reporter finally paid $100. ABC’s show concluded saying, Advertisements of locksmiths for $15 or $25 are everywhere. But when consumers really call them up, they will realize the fees they need to pay are much higher than shown on the advertisements. Incidents like this are commonly seen in America.

In fact, swindlers aren’t just limited to locksmiths only but many other professions. Take auto repair as an example, they would dupe consumers for money as much as they could and never get tired of it. That’s only because used cars are sold cheap in the U.S. Everyone hates to bring their vehicles to auto repair.

Craftsmanship is one traditional profession; they earn their living with their own hands. And their honesty directly reflects the level of integrity a society and a country embrace.


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