Security through monopoly

2013-07-22 1 min read

    A month ago I needed to duplicate a set of keys. In the past, I’d just go to the cheapest looking hardware store and they’d easily replicate my keys for around $2 each. This time, I tried the same approach but was told that they weren’t authorized to handle the keys I had and directed me to another locksmith. That locksmith told me that they wouldn’t be able to duplicate it without approval from my management company and also charged $18 for a duplicate. Amazingly enough, they were only able to duplicate one of the keys and I had to go to yet another locksmith (and get another approval) to get the last key duplicated.

    I’m not sure if they’re trying to increase the security or whether they’re just trying to create an artificial monopoly for the locksmiths but it’s definitely a pain in the ass for the consumer. This is a standard approach for many industries: add needless complexity under the guise of security and then use that to justify higher prices. This is also why additional regulation isn’t always the answer - it leads to complicated, entrenched systems that can’t be easily innovated upon.