Safe Ripoffs: Expert vs. Dabbler

Expert or Dabbler?

By Ken Dunckel
Owner, Safecracker
Licensed Expert Safe and Vault Service
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California
415-203-7298 CA Contractor 553337 CA License 1985

Not much to report lately except that things in this business have been a little busier than in the previous three months. I don't pretend to know why a business like mine gets busy or slows down. Maybe a demographics expert would know how to analyze it.
One thing that hasn't stopped (or even slowed down) is the way people who shouldn't represent themselves as able to do my work persist in doing so.
Here's how it happens:
A safe owner or a safe user/employee has a problem with the safe. Either it's been giving more trouble than usual for days or weeks or the problem happens suddenly. The next thought is a logical one:
Call a locksmith, right?
That would be the answer, except that the telephone books have a different category for safes and locks. Most people don't realize this, and look under "locksmith." As the Yellow Pages become increasingly obsolete, the same people now do a web search, but their search terms too often use "locksmith."
Sure enough, when they go to that advertising category or web site page they often see loads of display ads and listings for locksmith companies. In the display ads at least, the advertisers list the types of work their companies cover.

The lists of so-called specialties can be extensive. What consumers don't usually think to ask is how a small company can be expert in so many specialties.

The difference (at least, to a consumer) between an expert and a dabbler translates most often to the cost. A dabbler might take quite a bit of time and go to a lot of effort, but nevertheless quotes the work lower because he's unfamiliar with the work and the time it could take. An expert's price will often seem higher, but the work will usually take a lot less time to complete. Oh, yeah, and  it's done correctly.

Comparative values? I guess it all depends on your perceptions regarding worth. It's one of those eye-of-the-beholder things.


Note to readers: Please feel free to comment and post your thoughts about this and any of my posts. Don't worry, I'm pretty thick-skinned. Thanks.


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