Big Box Store Dead Bolts

I recently was requested to install a Double Sided Dead Bolt by a customer. She wanted me to install a second deadbolt above the original deadbolt for personal reasons. She also wanted the original deadbolt re-key to match the double sided deadbolt, but had a problem with the re-key when she tried to do it herself and now no key would work that deadbolt.

I suggested just switching out the original deadbolt with the double sided deadbolt, and she was happy with that idea. As I always do, I asked her how many keys she wanted total and she asked for 5. I proceeded to install the double sided deadbolt on the door with the trim the customer requested. I was able to do that, and then I went to duplicate the keys.

I have a brand new key machine in my car that not only will duplicate keys, this key machine will also make keys from just a blank key. I proceeded to copy 3 keys, and I tried them in the new lock I just installed. They didn’t work! I know my key machine was calibrated correctly, because I calibrated it myself. I tried a code key (much like a factory original) it didn’t work either. I apologized to the customer left her with only 2 keys and left the address. I tried the keys I cut in a different lock, and they worked perfectly. The next day I went back to the customer’s home and tried the keys again, they still didn’t work. I make several new keys again, checked my key machine again, everything looked o.k. I even went and measured the keys, there were exactly the same. The original keys that came with the lock worked fine. No matter what I did to the keys I cut, they did NOT work. I then tried something different. I re-keyed the deadbolt to the original key. Yes, I did a normal smart key re key to the double sided deadbolt using the factory key that came with the deadbolt. All keys then worked! The keys from the day before, along with all the code keys, and every key that I had cut worked.

So to summarize this little adventure I would like you to ask yourself. If there was this much trouble in getting a key to work. What would of happened if the customer couldn’t get the key to work from the big box store? Also ask yourself this. What kind of security could I get from a lock that failed right out of the box? Conforting thought no?