Action Line Column: Locksmith Promises $15 Price, Then Demands $125

Nov. 19, 2011
Online ad offers $15 service but actual service call is much higher

Nov. 19--Q Dennis, I would like to lodge a complaint and see if there's anything you can do to help me get my daughter's money back.

My 19-year-old daughter locked her keys in her car on a Friday night at the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton.

I Googled locksmiths from home in Livermore and found Run Local Locksmith. They seemed OK and the price was right. I called them and asked the gentleman on the phone, "So this is really only $15?" He said. "Yes." They sent a technician out to Stoneridge Mall and he got her car open. He then told my daughter the price was $125; being 19, she didn't know what to do and paid the man with a credit card.

The next morning my daughter told me what happened and I immediately called the phone number on the website again. They told me I had to talk to "Mr. Juan, the supervisor" for refunds, and he doesn't work on weekends; he works Monday -- Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I called back on Monday morning and the woman on the phone sternly told me, "We don't tell people it's only $15; you won't get your money back." I told her, "That's exactly what he told me Friday night on the phone." Then I said, "I don't want to argue with you, I just want to talk to Mr. Juan." She said he was out for a minute and took a message. I never received a call back. I called again on Tuesday morning and they told me Mr. Juan didn't work on Tuesdays. I called back on Wednesday and they left me on hold for over 10 minutes. I

finally hung up and called right back and they told me Mr. Juan was out of the office.



A You and your daughter were scammed, Lori. Mr. Juan is never there.

I saw the online ad. It does, indeed, offer service for $15.

I checked with the Better Business Bureau and Run Local Locksmiths nationwide have "F" ratings. Avoid them.

You should turn them into the law. Check with Alameda County Consumer and Environmental Protection at 510- 383-8600; email [email protected].

Also, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at It's a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center, funded in part by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Contact Action Line at [email protected], 408-920-5796, or

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