Calgary landlord refuses to pay locksmith after price nearly triples, no invoice provided

A Calgary landlord says she's refusing to pay a local locksmith until they send her an invoice after they asked her to pay almost triple the quoted price.

Locksmith Calgary says bills must be paid prior to issuing an invoice

Mariya Savchyshyn says Locksmith Calgary is refusing to issue her an invoice for what they said was nearly $800 of work. (CBC)

A Calgary landlord says she's refusing to pay a local locksmith until they send her an invoice after they asked her to pay almost triple the quoted price.

Mariya Savchyshyn owns a condo in Calgary and rents it out. She said her tenants asked her to replace their lock, and a Google search listed Locksmith Calgary at the top.

"It's a basic lock, nothing fancy," she said.

Savchyshyn's tenant called the locksmith to set up an appointment and upon the locksmith's arrival, the tenant had them call her with a quote.

"So he called me ... from my tenant's phone and he said 'this is going to cost you,'" she said.

"He said, like, $280 or something plus tax, so I said OK, about 300 bucks. He said yes."

Sudden price hike

But when the locksmith called to say he was done, the price had nearly tripled to $773.85 — and, he refused to send her an itemized invoice until it was paid.

"And I'm like, that's weird, because usually the customer has to receive an invoice, look at it and then pay, right?" said Savchyshyn.

"I'm an accountant myself, and I know that no one is going to send me money until they see the invoice."

When Savchyshyn refused to pay without knowing exactly what she was paying for — she says the company threatened to send the bill to a collection agency.

"I just want to warn people because someone … might be scared because that company is scaring people by saying they'll send them to collections," she said.

"They might be scared and just pay $800 for a lock, it's ridiculous."

Company says invoices issued after payment

Locksmith Calgary told CBC Calgary they don't provide a billing service, even for larger companies, and require all payments be made before an invoice is issued.

They said they've tried speaking to Savchyshyn's husband, but he simply refused to pay anything. 

"I'm emailing them and they never, ever responded to me. And they do have my number, they have everything," she said.

"Now, the last two days they've called my husband and said 'give me the money,' and he told them, 'call my wife, you're dealing with her.' We are willing to pay the $300 we talked about, but not $800."

On their website, Locksmith Calgary lists their service call fee as $15 plus labour and hardware costs. A lock change is listed as $35 dollars and a lock re-key as $19.

While speaking with CBC Calgary, Locksmith Calgary couldn't say why the bill was so high, but said they'd since agreed to lower it to $300.

But Savchyshyn said she hasn't been told that by the company and that her calls and emails remain unanswered. 

About the Author

Lucie Edwardson

Journalist

Lucie Edwardson is a reporter with CBC Calgary. Lucie most recently headed a pop-up bureau in Lethbridge, Alberta. Her experience includes newspaper, online, TV and radio. Follow her on Twitter @LucieEdwardson