Greedy national locksmith companies masquerade as local businesses to prey on consumers who think they are in no position to haggle. Dependable Locksmith, Basad Inc, and Liberty Locksmith are just a few of the national chains that rip-off distressed consumers, charging up to $500 for simple jobs. From the LA Times:
Legitimate locksmiths say many of those jobs should cost less than $100. In addition, sometimes the work is so shoddy that additional repairs are needed, said the council, which is the umbrella organization for the BBB system.
Dependable was one of the stars of the alert, with the council calling it “a particularly disreputable locksmith.”
Others mentioned in the alert were Basad Inc. and Liberty Locksmith, but each of the companies does business under several additional names.
For example, Dependable — which did not respond to requests for an interview — uses at least 15 other names, according to a BBB report, and 25 telephone numbers.
Most people won’t take the time to find the name and number of a reliable local locksmith in advance. That doesn’t mean you have no options. If you find yourself locked out of your house without a plan, call information and get the numbers of several locksmiths. Shop around from your steps; don’t be shy to compare prices and haggle. The locksmiths aren’t going anywhere, and neither are you.
The key to finding an honest locksmith [LA Times]