Discount Safes: Costco Mentality


 Costco Mentality

 

No matter where you bought your safe, no matter who you bought it from, if you need to have it opened, you're going to need the services of a safe technician unless you do it yourself. People are often aghast at the prices they hear for such work . . . "$$$! That's more than I paid for it!"

 

Maybe it is, but why should I apologize?

 

The opening price rocked you, and probably because it's more money than you imagined it would be. But I'm not in charge of your imagination, am I? Where did you get your pricing ideas in the first place?
 

Also, what do think will have to be done in order to get your safe opened?
 
Blast or burn?
C'mon, willya . . ? Do you seriously think that's how it gets done by legitimate technicians? I'll bet the only ideas you have about safe opening are what you've seen on TV and movies. Am I right? And do you think those types of media are dealing in reality or entertainment? Do you believe that everything you see on TV and in the movies is real?
 
Drill?
You're getting warmer now . . . drilling is the most commonly used opening technique among legitimate safe technicians. But do you think whoever drills just makes a hole any old place and the door swings open?
 
Manipulate?
That is, figure out or the combination James Bond-style, via stethoscope and sensitive fingers?
Believe it or not, this is a real option, but only in some case, for some locks. The process of coupling what a technician knows about a given lock with a methodical approach using sight, sound, and touch to deduce safe combinations is known as manipulation.

Safe technicians can get training in combination lock manipulation, but guess what?
 
First, despite the seeming appeal of learning such a skill, not all safe technicians get trained in manipulation. That's one aspect.
 
Second, a lot of safe technicians do get trained in manipulation. It requires time away from their day-to-day work, usually without pay, and the training costs money on top of the unpaid time off.
 
Third, a large percentage of the safe technicians who invest in manipulation training don't put it to use in their field work. This is because it's a skill that requires practice to attain and maintain a level of proficiency. Even if a practitioner becomes relatively proficient, there is no guarantee from job-to-job and from lock-to-lock that every time they attempt manipulation they will be successful.

Those technicians who learn manipulation then neglect to practice it after learning far outnumber the ones who learn, practice, and improve.
 
The only analogy I can supply is the guy who sees a stage magician pull a rabbit out of a hat and next makes the rabbit disappear. When someone offers to show him how the trick is done, the guy is interested, and says "sure, show me." After the guy learns the workings of the trick, he's in on the secret. However, when he learns how much practice is needed to do the trick consistently and convincingly enough to fool an audience, he doesn't bother. He contents himself with knowing how the trick is done, but doesn't have the desire or discipline to apply himself to mastering the skill.
 
That's the best analogy I can give as to why so many safe technicians spend time and money learning manipulation basics but don't develop the skill further after leaving the classroom.
 
So if you find a safe technician who routinely manipulates when dealing with locks that are susceptible to the process, you have my assurance that person is a member of a minority group in his or her own industry.

But all of the foregoing aside, if you have me do the work, whatever I say is how much I charge for it. You're certainly free to shop prices, but what criterion will you use in your shopping?

Price? True enough, no matter who supplies the result you want, the end result (open safe) should be the same, so cheaper must be better, right?

If price is your only criterion, though, you're rolling dice. Just like many of the items for sale at so many big box stores and discount house, there's usually a reason when you find a price that's way lower than the competition.

Opening safes and vaults is specialized work. Doing it proficiently requires specialized tools, skills, and knowledge. And don't forget, the work is being done at your premises. How much do you think your auto mechanic would charge to do your auto work in your garage or driveway?

Do you think someone who invests in the learning and equipment should be well paid for same? I do, too, and if I'm not, I don't work.

 If price is your main concern, the cheapest thing to do is leave it locked.

Ken Dunckel
 
 
Safecracker
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area
415-203-7298

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