Feel free to pass this on to anyone and everyone—these people have really pissed me off, and it’s time to use the power of the Internet…

Two weeks ago the front-door lock broke and we were literally trapped in the apartment, so I called Brooklyn Locksmith out of the yellow pages (they also do business as Speedway, on the very next page in the phone book). Although I requested a brand-name lock—and admittedly, at the time I didn’t know much more than Medeco or Baldwin—the man they sent installed something called a MaxTech, and charged me more than $300 for it (plus $75 to break the old lock, plus tax = $405). The lock looked pretty shoddy, as did the box—it had no paperwork of any kind with it, no warranty or anything, so I quickly jumped online and Googled the model number. Would you believe Google came up with ZERO hits? It’s such a no-name, generic lock that not a single online vendor carries it. Even without the model number, I couldn’t find any ratings, nor the company’s own web site. At this point I was convinced it was a piece of junk, so I fought with him to get the bill reduced—that $405 is after a 10% “discount.” I seethed, knowing I’d been taken, but I didn’t know what else to do. Apparently I’m not as savvy a consumer as I think I am.

The other day S noticed that the lock was already loose in the cylinder, and since then I’ve done enough research at hardware stores to be absolutely certain that I was defrauded—everyone assures me this lock should not have cost more than $50, plus a reasonable installation fee. I called Brooklyn Locksmith several times over the course of the day today, asking to speak to the manager, who—no surprise—was never there. Finally, the secretary assured me that the manager himself would come to look at the lock this afternoon. She swore that they were only interested in my satisfaction. Instead of the manager, though, the original worker, Shahar, rang my bell just after 6PM. Shahar tightened the lock with a drill and insisted that everything was all right, and refused to replace the piece of junk with a Marx or some other trusted name brand. He was just an employee, he said, and I should call his manager, which I immediately tried to do. Guess what? He wasn’t in. The man I did speak to, who wouldn’t give his name, laughed at me and hung up when I told him I wanted a new lock. S and I have been forced to spend another $60 to buy a REAL lock at the hardware store, which we’re installing ourselves. I’m disputing this with American Express and I’ve filed a complaint with NYC’s department of consumer affairs, but I’m still shaking with anger. Clearly these cheats are not honest businessmen, and are only out to take advantage of people who are vulnerable in an emergency. If you’re ever in a situation like mine, save yourself a LOT of grief and don’t call Brooklyn Locksmith, or Speedway. They’re nothing but trouble.

Oh, and for the record, they seem to have an awful lot of phone numbers so I’ll include them all here. DON’T CALL ANY OF THEM:


That is all. And remember: Spread the word!