Mom, Me and the Locksmith, Rated “G”

This is a true story about Mom, Me and the Locksmith and it is Rated “G”.  The names have not been changed to protect the not so innocent.

“Enter the Law and Order Opening Sound Here”

     Well as most may know, I recently badly sprained both ankles for a fall caused by the two edema medications I was put on and just yesterday morning I was put into two Orthopedic Support Boots.  So it had been a long day with ten extra pounds of weight on my feet and needing crutches to boot. (No Pun intended).  Remember mom is in her early 70’s, with two bad knees, within eighteen months had a double heart valve replacement surgery, major lung surgery and several minor strokes.

Act 1:

Curtain opens on Robert and I downstairs, he is finishing up in his daily routine when he gets home from program, restroom, shave, teeth, hair.  I have been folding cloths, prepping coffee, answering work phone until Roberts done when I get a call from mom and she’s on her cell.  That’s not so bad except that, we purchased her the cell for emergencies 17-1/2 months ago and she has used it to call me twice, once for lunch and now today.  I answer and when mom picks up she does not sound good, something in her voice.  You can tell it something when she’s trying to sidestep the question or reason shes calling.  Here’s where only a timeline works;

2:53 pm  Mom calls, she went to get her labs for her Coumadin level done and accidentally locked her keys in her car.  Lucky she had her cell phone on her and it was actually charged.  She asked if I could find a locksmith and have them go unlock her door?  Not a problem as I’m already on the computer searching for one and before hanging up have found one that says their in Carmichael, Ca., same city as where mom is.  I hang up with mom to call and get this resolved.

2:59 pm Call mom and giver her the name and number to the company, 24/7 Locksmith (http://247-locksmithsacramento.com/) and that their saying 20-30 minutes maximum.  We talk for a little and she ends the call so she can concentrate on looking for the tech when he arrives.

4:00 pm Not received a call from mom saying she home or on her way so I call her back to check.  Mom’s OK, but the lock company is a no show so far.  I apologize and we hang up so I can call and find out status.  I reach 24/7 Locksmith’s (24/7L) dispatch and they call the tech.  He tells them he is on 15 minutes away, nothing else.  Benefit of the doubt, things happen.  They tell me they will have tech call mom directly and inform her of his estimated time of arrival (eta).  I wait five to allow time for the tech to respond.  Let mom know and she decides due to the cold she is going inside to the Bean Head Cafe (right inside the building lobbies front door) to get warm, get coffee and she can still see her car from the window.  I let 24/7L and their in turn inform their tech.

4:30 pm Call mom and update her to find out he he did call her at 4:04 pm and say he is only 10-15 minutes  away.  Alright, she’ll be home in time for her dinner.

4:55 pm Nothing from mom so I try her house, no answer.  I call her cell, she picks up and I ask how it went?  She say’s (getting frustrated voice), “Their still not here.” I hang up and call 24/7L again and explain the situation and ask whats going on and can we get a valid time frame of when their tech will arrive?  In normal customer fashion the dispatcher begins to agree with everything I’m saying and calls the tech to get a status.  She gets back with me and I am giving no reasons as to why but am told he is only 10 min away.  I ask again for a reason for the delay and why we were not notified?  She proceeds to offer me a 10% discount for my trouble and side steps my question.  Now the companies (see link above) show the following, “$19 Service Call + Internet  Discount.”  Update mom and apologize to her again and again.

 5:15 pm Call mom and she still has not seen the tech but did receive a call from him stating he was 10 minutes away and her phone shows that was at 5:07 pm.  I again finish with mom and call 24/7L and ask for a manager (Jacob).  I am sent over to Jacob and proceed to explain whats transpired so far.  She overly apologizes and offers a 10% discount for our trouble.  He also contacts the tech and tells me that the tech has possibly run into traffic or something.  I let him know from one end of Sacramento to the other is only 30 minutes and that on a Friday on a three day weekend.  He of course says we don’t know what happened but he will find out and take care of it.  I ask him, if you’ve called the tech would one of your first five questions not have asked for a reason for his delay?  He then says, “we don’t know the whole story or why the tech has taken 1-1/2 hours for a 20-30 minute estimate and offers me the discount and tells me he’s going to follow up.  Let mom know status and she says she spoke with the tech again (she called him, again) and his time frame was 10 minutes again.

5:20 pm Well you’ve done it now.  You’ve made mama bear upset and here I’m talking my wife Trish.  She already set the table, Robert’s (my epileptic brother in law who lives with us) made is way to the table, said his prayers and has a plate ready.  Robert’s asking about why I’m mad I guess and I hear her explaining the situation to him.  She then says Robert we’re  going to help Carol lets get ready and I’ll just get you McDonald’s on the way home.  I ask her to just allow him to eat and she can go up to help mom.  Robert’s then chimes “McDonald’s sound good.” He does love his burgers.  They proceed out the door in order to help mom.  I’m putting everything away because the dogs (Taz) would eat it all.  Jacob gets back online and is getting a very bad, “You need us we don’t need you,” attitude.  I explain I will be calling back in 15 if he’s still not there.  Jacobs response is, “That doesn’t scare me.”

5:35 pm I give them the benefit of the doubt and give them double time 20 minutes before I call mom and find out they still have not shown.  Talked with mom for another five minutes and decide that’s long enough, I’m calling them again.  This time I’m told Jacob who told me he would be there until this is resolved, has stepped out.  I ask for another manager (this is a different dispatcher now) and the tells me, “Well he’s in the louve, what do you want me to do, pull him out?”  He’s smart ass remark deserved one right back, I hit him with, “No, Just hand him the phone.”  Right at that moment, Ernie a new manager and Jacob get on the line and I once again ask when can mom expect a tech and I here someone dialing out and I’m then placed on hold with no warning.  Jacob comes back on line and tells me the tech is just exiting the freeway now.  Yes, the exit to where mom is.  I explain that from that spot there are approximately six ways to get to her and all take no more than 7 minutes “With Busy Traffic.”  I will be waiting for a call from mom.

5:55 pm 15 then 20 minutes go by, call mom and still no driver.  Call Jacob or Ernie, who ever is available (Jacob) and once again, dialing out sounds, placed on hold and Jacob comes back on and guarantees me the tech is 5-10 minutes away.

6:10 I call mom, no answer.  Hopefully this is good news and the drivers there. 5 minutes later I try again and I get mom and she’s pissed.  Right then I hear the driver in the background talking with someone and mom begins to explain that the driver is telling her,  “it will be $200, or make me an offer.”  WHAT?  Then the drivers says to mom, “That’s not what I said, it will be $200, or make us an offer .”  Before I call Jacob the tech says and I’m floored here, “I’m here to help you, your locked out of your car and its dark outside and your alone in a parking lot of a closed building.”  I scream for mom to put him on the phone but it was not getting through, maybe it was my yelling?   I tell mom to hold on I’m call my friend at main office Jacob.  I use the home phone to call as to keep mom on the line and at the same time I’m texting Trish (Lovely Wife) to see how far away she was. (5 minutes)

6:15 pm I speak with Jacob and my first words are, “How much is it to unlock a car door?  The tech is telling mom it will be $200, or make us an offer.”  Jacob asks I not get mad at him (because I’m saying, “You” in my wording).  I explained that when I say “You” that he should understand that I mean the company, the tech, him, dispatch, not him alone or directly.  Pull up you Granny Panties Jacob, its about your company.  He asks me why? Really?  Asks for make and model (M&M) of car and comes back to the phone with, “Well because the M&M of car it is normally $125, then he say he’ll eat their cost but the independent contractor (aka tech) still need to get paid. So he’ll give us $80.00 flat to open the door.  When I mention the $19 ad on their web site, his quick comeback is, “Well that just the service, then you have labor, the M&M car fees, etc. So if I make no money on this, the best I can do is $80, take it or I’ll call the tech and tell him you said no?  I explained that if the driver leaves before Trish gets there he will hear about it as would his main office and direct manager.  Jacob replies with, “Go ahead, you don’t scare me.  You need our tech, we don’t need you.” Right then Trish reached mom and started in on the tech.

6:20 pm FYI this tech had a small pickup truck, no company logo, company phone number, license number, nothing.  The tech and his co-tech, no company uniform, no logos, no phone numbers and no business cards when Trish asked for one, no spot lights on the truck, nothing.  Trish tells the guy to leave that she will be calling CSAA.  When she does, they apologize for everything and say they will put mom and Trish as the next call.  Within 10 minutes CSAA comes pulling on site in their big yellow and blue pickup with spot lights, headlights left on, lights above the cab on and wearing the standard uniforms with company logos and name with the company name and phone number “ALL” over the truck and on his uniform.  Within maybe 5 minutes he was into mom’s car, I sure Trish signed off on the job and away they went.

     Moral of this story, just because a companies web-site says the have fast and reliable service, that they are in Carmichael, the charge is $19 + Internet Discount and that they will only be 20-30 minutes.  Check the following if you have time:

  • Company address?
  • Are they registered with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Check on Yelp.com?
  • If you have time and they have a “Free Quote” box, click it and request a quote.
  • Try sending an email and notice who the email is going to.  If it doesn’t quite match the company name or person your talking, don’t send it.

Try these suggestions or go to ehow.com for more ideas.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5004153_check-legitimacy-website.html

Has anyone you’ve used in the past did you or your caree wrong to a point it may have put them in danger?  If so, I would like to hear (read) your stories.  Please send me an email at, PickYourPain@att.net.  Thank you in advance to everyone who has taken time out of their day to read my blog post.

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