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Locksmith Robbery

By Chop71 - 8 December 2009 36

Now I understand that these people perform a valuable service to the community but today I was quoted the following to change a exterior door handle.

Replacement handle                     $98+

Callout Fee                                        $78

Labour                                                $100 per hour

So that’s $278+ to change the handle on my front door. (and they can’t come till next week). Kids if your leaving school this year, don’t waste years and years going to university, get a trade, be a builder/plumber/glazier etc.

Any retired locksmiths out there looking for a weekender? (In Belconnen)

PS. It isn’t even a keyed door handle.

What’s Your opinion?


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36 Responses to
Locksmith Robbery
54-11 11:51 am 09 Dec 09

pptvb, just for the record, I have no problem with an after hours callout fee so long as it’s reasonable.

54-11 10:31 am 09 Dec 09

I agree that tradies labour costs seem to be very high, in respect to the amount of work involved. I understand about the costs of running a small business, but given that good tradies are in high demand, their costs seem very exhorbitant.

As kevn says above, it’s a captive market and the tradies are milking it for all they are worth.

My complaint, though, is about their unreliability, as referred to by feathergirl above. If they turn up on the appointed day, I’m amazed, let alone within cooee of the agreed time. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been left sitting around waiting for a tradesman, who rocks up whenever they like, without any notice. Thne last time we had a sparky (just a couple of weeks ago), he was supposed to be here first thing, eventually arrived too late in the day to finish the job, and we haven’t seen him since! Fortunately he finished off one bit that we paid for, but now I have to go through the hassle of finding someone else.

Bloody tradies – they give me the shits.

pptvb 10:19 am 09 Dec 09

Ha Ha.
I love it when people ring me on a Sunday and whinge when told there is an after hours call-out rate.
The best are the ones who then try and fix things themselves. I charge them double again for fixing their “fixing”.
You are paying for my knowledge & experience of 20 years, not just 10 minutes on site.

Feathergirl 10:14 am 09 Dec 09

I agree with bd84. We had the springs in our front door lock break and lovely hubby went to Bunnings and bought a door-handle/deadlock set and installed for himself. He’s not overly handy-manish either, but we figured give it a go and if it doesn’t work we would call a locksmith. Luckily it was so easy he had it fitted in under half an hour.

Labour costs do seem to be ridiculous though for all sorts of things. I recently got 5 quotes to clean a fabric 5 seater couch: $160, $169, $145, $150 & $175… I accepted the $145 one and the guy never showed up! I decided to keep my money and live with dirty couch till I have time to hire a steam cleaniing machine and do it myself.

Chop71 10:03 am 09 Dec 09

Problem fixed. Due to price gouging I did it myself. Now if they had of charged 100-150 they would have had my business no questions asked.

Thanks for your post Foo, with all those costs of running a small business, I might put up my fees 😉

icantbelieveitsnotbu 9:52 am 09 Dec 09

indigoid said :

kevn said :

We paid 120+ callout for a sparkie the other week. Captive market, I guess.

Have you thought about what that callout fee really means?

It means the tradesperson has (I hope!) decided to stay sober enough to drive and relatively free of social engagements. Being available like that is no laughing matter when you’re the person receiving the calls. Am speaking from experience here — have been on call 24×7 for the last five years, annual leave excepted.

I think the callout fee is perfectly reasonable, and the labour charge also. They’re trained and experienced professionals, not armchair experts. Then there are the ancillary costs.

The last tradesperson I used through my work was a locksmith, quite late at night. I needed him to unlock one of our electrical switchboxes, as the old key had been helpfully broken off in the lock. He arrived promptly and at the indicated time, got out of his car, got a tool out of his pocket, and spent a maximum of perhaps four seconds jiggling it around in the lock before it opened. Job done, $150 please. I thought that was pretty damned reasonable, and so did my employer when they reimbursed me for it. That was Night&Day Locksmiths, by the way.

I agree… but… the post says the tradie can’t come until next week??? $78 call out fee a week in advance, a bit much me thinks

Pommy bastard 9:14 am 09 Dec 09

I changed our front door handle I assume you mean a locking handle) last month. Total cost $58, gas to Bunnings, three cups of tea, lots of swearing at my dog.

If you are disabled or agoraphobic, do you not have a rello or a neighbour who can oblige?

PBO 8:53 am 09 Dec 09

Change it yourself, it is really easy. Being a free market economy as well as it being a restricted industry, they can charge what they see fit to cover their operating expenses and interruptions to their lifestyle depending on what time they are called.

It is a shame really, for the most part (not safes) locksmithing is quite easy and anyone can do it.

Thumper 8:34 am 09 Dec 09

Do it yourself. It’s easy, takes about ten minutes max.

indigoid 7:42 am 09 Dec 09

kevn said :

We paid 120+ callout for a sparkie the other week. Captive market, I guess.

Have you thought about what that callout fee really means?

It means the tradesperson has (I hope!) decided to stay sober enough to drive and relatively free of social engagements. Being available like that is no laughing matter when you’re the person receiving the calls. Am speaking from experience here — have been on call 24×7 for the last five years, annual leave excepted.

I think the callout fee is perfectly reasonable, and the labour charge also. They’re trained and experienced professionals, not armchair experts. Then there are the ancillary costs.

The last tradesperson I used through my work was a locksmith, quite late at night. I needed him to unlock one of our electrical switchboxes, as the old key had been helpfully broken off in the lock. He arrived promptly and at the indicated time, got out of his car, got a tool out of his pocket, and spent a maximum of perhaps four seconds jiggling it around in the lock before it opened. Job done, $150 please. I thought that was pretty damned reasonable, and so did my employer when they reimbursed me for it. That was Night&Day Locksmiths, by the way.

kevn 7:19 am 09 Dec 09

I heard some slightly cheaper prices when I called around last week, but not by much. We paid 120+ callout for a sparkie the other week. Captive market, I guess.

bileduct 1:18 am 09 Dec 09

I know it’s the digital age but last I heard you can change these things yourself.

cleo 12:18 am 09 Dec 09

Ring around and get quotes, that is way to much.

Foo 11:59 pm 08 Dec 09

Really? Why not be a hairdresser? My last hair cut cost about $30 and took under 15 minutes. Do the sums, $120/hr approximately. My hairdresser does not make $200,000 a year, much as the theoretical earnings might suggest. There’s rent and overheads and all manner of expenses involved in running a business. Public liability insurance, professional indemnity if they’re smart, income protection if it’s a small business. And most small businesses don’t operate at full capacity, so they don’t bill 8hrs a day every day, and they don’t bill for all the time they work.

$98 for a new handle is possibly a bit much, but they might have assumed a level of fittings you don’t need. Ask if you can grab one from Bunnings and have them fit it. And if/when it’s the wrong size or style and he’s on the doorstep wasting time, it’ll be false economy.

If you still don’t see it as value, ring around. These guys are in Belconnen and might be able to help you:
http://www.vfmmain.com/

As for wasting years and years at Uni, try living on apprentice wages while learning a trade. From what I’ve heard, it’s no cake walk, and you can be worked pretty damn hard, much harder than sitting in the refectory flipping through Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason in one hand and the public service gazette in the other. You don’t just ‘get’ a trade, you earn it through hard work and talent. If it were just that easy, you’d have the door knob replaced yourself in less time than it took to post here… Just a thought.

bd84 11:49 pm 08 Dec 09

Go to Bunnings, buy a door handle for $30ish. Install yourself, following the instructions on the packet. Tools required: screwdriver.

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