Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
OREM — Workers claiming to be locksmiths left an Orem woman with a damaged door knob and out $179.
Ashley Thomas' mom went out to run a few errands one day when she locked herself out of her condo.
"Thank goodness she had really great neighbors, and then they searched on the internet and found what we thought was an Orem locksmith," Thomas said.
Her downstairs neighbors made a call for her to the locksmith and hired what they thought was the Orem Locksmith team for the lockout job.
"We've been in business for 35 years," said David Down, the owner of Orem Locksmith.
But instead, Thomas said they got imposters.
"They did not do a great job," Down said. "They did get her into the house, but they drilled into her lock. The deadbolt was not locked. They drilled in for $179."
Those were the first red flags. Down said he usually charges around $60 for this kind of job, and they don't usually drill two holes into the lock.
"Other locksmiths told me they should've been able to get in without drilling," Thomas said. "And they also didn't even offer to fix this."
When he tried to call and complain, "There was no number, no name, other than on her credit card it said 'Orem Locksmith,'" Thomas said.
But Down said this wasn't his shop that responded.
"They're pinning over the top of our location, and they're using our name," Down explains.
Down said these individuals have been using his business' name and taking his jobs for years.
"Not only do we not get the job, but people think that they hired us, and we get the bad review as well," Down said.
He said he's called the attorney general's office, and they've traced the group to Florida and California, but because the call centers are out of state, local authorities can't do anything about it.
"We feel like we've lost at least 25-30% of our business," Down said.
For now, Thomas bought a new door knob for her mother, but she can't do much for Down other than warn others of what happened.
"I feel bad for my mom, but I feel worse for these companies," Thomas said.