I've been a locksmith since 1998. I've done automotive, lots of residential, and now mostly commercial work. Used to locksmith in the Chicago area, now the Austin area.
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Big box stores charge less because they are able to get blanks for so cheap because they buy such a large bulk. It's also an inexpensive opportunity to get you INTO the store in hopes that you'll buy something ELSE while you're there. Most mobile locksmiths probably charge $2-3. Our company charges $2.85 per.
It may have been miscut or something. I can't help much more than that. If the locksmith charged you, I'd take it back to that locksmith, he must have made a mistake. You could try to get your money back and go to another locksmith.
It's possible that he used the wrong blank, or maybe the blank is bent or twisted. According to my records, the key blank should be: m-4, 1092V, MS9R, 81KR. Those are different part numbers for the same blank by different manufacturers. Check the key for that part number, if it's different, that might be a ref flag. Some keys don't have any part number on them though. I'd take it back to that locksmith.
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Like I said in a previous post, it really depends on the area you live in. During regular business ours, it can range anywhere from $25 to $100. After hours, anywhere from $50 to $150. Hiring a reputable company makes a big difference as well. You might be quoted a little bit more on the phone, but the price will stay the same when the job is complete. There's a lot of shady companies who will quote you a low price on the phone, but the technician will jack up the price after the job is complete. It never hurts to double check the price when the technician arrives!
They're not easy, I'll tell you that! They put pick-resistant pins in there, most of the time, we end up cutting them off.
Without knowing the details of the story, judging by your side of the story alone, it's definitely theft!! First off they can't charge you for something you didn't agree to pay for. Secondly, it's YOUR lock & keys, so that is definitely not right.
Some of these hack "locksmiths" will quote you a low price on the phone (you're usually talking to someone in a call center in another state), then they send an independent contractor out who works on commission. They usually don't know what they're doing & try to charge an arm & a leg. Sound accurate? I'd call the police if you're confident in your story. That's not right!
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