I have had locks installed by Chaves do Areeiro for four separate apartments. During all these installations, the technicians caused considerable (and far more than normal damage) to my wooden doors and paintwork including in this latest instance a long crack running down half the door. Each time the technicians were extremely rushed and intent on making me pay before I had adequate time to examine the work, test the lock properly or notice the damage they had caused, and when I did, they literally rushed out of the building, saying they didn’t have time to deal with it, They also in all cases left a huge mess. Two of the installed locks have continually experienced problems, despite the salesman telling me that they were the best and most expensive locks available for purchase. On several occasions these locks blocked, requiring technicians to come to mend them. Yesterday one of these locks blocked again. I called Chaves do Areeiro at around 1 pm and requested they urgently send someone to mend the lock because it was not possible to enter the apartment and some workers were doing a job there and had left their things inside, while absent for lunch. Chaves do Areeiro promised to send someone as soon as possible during the afternoon, which did not happen. In the interim an acquaintance managed to open the lock with great difficulty but we could not lock it after. Close to 7pm I received a call to say that the technician was late and if I wanted him to come, I would have to pay a penalty fee for him turning up after hours. This appeared bizarre since at lunchtime, it was promised that the technician would turn up during the afternoon. I agreed to pay the penalty having no choice. The technician finally arrived at 8.30pm. He immediately said that he could not repair the lock and would need to return the next day and replace it. I explained that it was now a security issue because I couldn’t lock the door and I could not wait in the whole of the next day too, having already waited nearly 8 hours. He promised that he would speak to the office personally, and they would call me to set a specific rendez-vous the next morning. This never happened so I proceeded to call Chaves do Arreiro throughout the day. The person I spoke with could not locate the said technician because he’d taken his phone off, nor the details of the job, nor the invoices for my original locks because of an issue in their computer system (although he confirmed that they had found my name and records of several visits to my house.) He explained that unfortunately due to these factors they could not proceed with sending the technician to replace my lock. I had to keep calling back all day to try to move the issue forward. He was very kind and apologetic, stating that he thought what had transpired was a disgrace and that he personally felt that the administrative issue should be put aside to respond to what was emergency, especially because he acknowledged that I agreed that I would pay whatever they decided because it was urgent to move forward. He said that he wished things could be dealt with differently and I had the impression that he was doing his very best and that the mess, and the issues I’ve experienced in the past, are/were due to very bad and uncaring management,, Eventually he was able to arrange that the technician come at 8pm. He explained that I must pay 376 euros for the technician to replace the lock (without cylinder) due to the administrative hitch, meaning that they could still not locate records of me having purchased the locks. I agreed, having no choice. The technician arrived at about 8.30pm and explained he was in a great rush. He worked very quickly, damaging the door. The way that two parts of the lock have been placed on the double door is not at all level, so I believe this new lock is likely to keep blocking too. Chaves do Areeiro and the technician had promised that the lock would be replaced with the same make and model of lock (it was repeated to me today that the reason that technician needed to my job, was because he had come to see the lock and could replace it with the same lock.) This word was not kept. This technician has placed a completely different lock that I do not want. I was not able to establish this, or the damage, until after he had run out of the building saying that he was late and had a long walk home, with me pleading him to please wait two minutes because I couldn’t locate where he had put the key, which he wouldn’t do.. I have paid 376 euros for a lock that I never wanted, a damaged door and over 31 hours of waiting time to deal with their original defective lock. An extremely unpleasant experience. I cannot in light of this trust the lock on my door or understand what I am meant to do if this lock, or its placement, proves, as in the past cases, to be defective too.
I am embarrassed to have to leave a bad review for a Lisbon company once again. It is a mystery why hopeless working practices are promoted in such companies with no apparent interest in promoting customer satisfaction or fostering repeat business. Individuals can in certain cases be kind, capable and helpful but seem to be accorded no power to solve issues in a constructive and timely manner. Management seems to have an underlying assumption that however bad the service, the customer will have to keep returning because of a lack of credible competition. It is very dispiriting to envisage having to use this company again and that it has the general reputation of being the best lock company in Lisbon.
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