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The Questionable Locksmith


A while ago our lock to our basement broke. My dad called a locksmith who was recommended to us telling him we needed the lock ASAP. The guy comes and replaces our lock. He charged my dad a few hundred dollars. A couple days after the locksmith leaves, my dad realizes that the lock was broken. So, my dad calls a different locksmith and they say that the model of lock that he gave us is a known unreliable brand and he charged us more than three times the normal rate. My dad calls the original locksmith and explains to him what he heard. The locksmith tells my dad that because he needed the lock so fast, this was the only lock he could get and because it was an emergency, he had to charge more.

Was the man allowed to charge more because the case was so urgent and should he have told us that the lock he was giving us was a known faulty brand?

I look forward to hearing from you!


The general rule is what is the excepted practice in that time and place. It is universally excepted that when a service person comes during off hours or on off days because of an emergency visit, they charge a special fee for their trouble. Double the price or even more may be acceptable. It is the homeowners responsibility to clarify a price before hand and to determine if he is agreeable to it.

Having to use inferior quality because it was on such short notice and that what was available is also understandable and would seem to be normative practice. This is when it is within reason, and does not justify using a product considered unfit for use due to it’s inferiority. But if it is a cheaper model that some use it would be justified, however the locksmith should have notified the homeowner of this fact before the work.

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