Price Line: USD 621.30 to drill a lock (Illustration (
Photo: Gabi Menashe
An Israeli-owned locksmith company is facing two lawsuits from the Chicago Department of Consumer services for alleged consumer fraud, the Chicago Sun Times reports.
Bronx-based Price Line Locksmith Inc. has been accused of manipulating Chicago's local phone listings with false addresses, in a bid to obtain customers and create an illusion of a neighborhood business.
In addition, residents have complained of inflated prices after Price Line workers show up to rescue locked-out customers, claiming the locks could not be picked and had to be drilled.
According to the Sun Times, a judge for the first lawsuit ordered the company Wednesday to remove the false addresses and telephone listings, as well as to pay about USD 6,000 in various fines.
A hearing is scheduled for Monday to determine whether the company has abided by the judge's ruling.
Urging other consumers to act
A second lawsuit charges the company with fraud, after a female client claimed she was charged USD 621.30 - instead of the originally quoted USD 125 - to have her lock drilled.
The company's business address turned out to be a fake.
Furthermore, the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation - the state agency that licenses locksmiths – has also filed a complaint claiming the company operated without a license and did not employ qualified locksmiths.
A preliminary hearing is set for October 3.
Both the company's lawyer Steven Fine and Price Line President Gilad Gill have refused to comment
In a bid to discourage companies similar to Price Line from swindling innocent victims, the Chicago Consumer Services Commissioner Norma Reyes has urged other consumers to file a complaint should they come across similar problems with other locksmith companies.
Reyes has encouraged consumers to check locksmith identification and state registration.
"A legitimate locksmith will tell you what the charges are ahead of time and when it comes time to pay, they're not going to triple that charge," she said.