The "locksmith" shows up over an hour later, in an unmarked car, with no uniform. I show him my car and he decides that my 2005 ford focus is VERY hard to break into, and that the labor charge is gonna go up to $125, for a total of $177 after tax. About $19 does not = $125. I'm sure he saw 20 year old female college student and thought $$$$$.
Oh, you have NO idea. It probably would have been cheaper for her at that point to break one of the windows and gain entry that way. It gets better:
When I woke up and won't to work the next morning, I noticed that the door of my car was all bent up. I didn't see it in the dark the night before.
Whoever it was that showed up is probably not a locksmith, but rather a former car thief/burglar. I know this routine. Bend the top of the car door enough to reach in with your hand/tool/whatever and unlatch the door. Works great, if you don't care about bending the door. Some dumbshit goblin did this to my Mazda a couple years ago to steal a $50 car stereo and a Cox Digital Cable receiver (not a DVR.) The stuff he stole was worth about $250 bux, but the damage to the door cost me $1800.
The geniuses at Consumerist recommend a letter to the BBB and/or the State Attorney General. How about the state licensing board? Locksmiths have to be licensed, and my guess is that the lazy ass who warped her door is no locksmith.
I have three letters for you ... AAA .... $51 a year is peanuts in comparison to what she just paid. Considering the discounts you receive just for being a member (30% at lens crafters for instance) it's practically free. Even if I didn't own a car, or had a wife that owns a car, I'd still be a member just for the discounts and other perks.
My wife has been rescued by an AAA wrecker / locksmith service twice. They always show up quick, and are super nice. The last thing they want is someone calling up AAA and complaining. Most towing companies also perform lockout service as well, 24-hours a day, for less than calling out a locksmith.