Can someone tell me that I'm not the only victim of locksmiths from hell? having been left out in the cold.
First let me admit that I'm to blame for starting this disaster. My only defence for doing something as stupid as locking myself out of my house is that I've just moved and hadn't yet worked out the new front door.
I searched on Google for locksmiths in my area as anyone would.
I called one of the numbers and spoke to a national company so I asked the obvious questions: how much and how long.
The answers were £55, which seemed reasonable, and "he'll be there very, very soon", which sounded great.
Both answers proved hopelessly wide of the mark.
That first phone call of mine was made about 9am.
At 10.45: I was told: "He's ten minutes away."
At 11.20: "He's just around the corner."
The locksmith must have been going backwards because at 11.45 he was "30-35 minutes away".
Perhaps I should have told them to get lost and tried a local company like Lock Solutions.
After three and a half hours he finally arrived.
Only then was I told the full cost of the service.
£55 was just the call-out fee. Drilling the lock and replacing it, plus VAT, would bring the total bill to £293.
I don't know why I didn't ask him politely to leave. Sticking a brick through a window and then calling a glazier would surely have been cheaper. Perhaps I was suffering from borderline hypothermia (it really was a very cold morning).
Or maybe, like so many people who've locked themselves out of their own house, the desperation to get back inside over-rode my normal critical faculties.
The first thing I did when I got inside and the feeling returned to my frozen fingers was to call Lock Solutions who Quoted me £75 to come and do the job. He also said the original lock won't need to be changed.