Medeco XT Easy Access Control

Medeco XT Easy Access Control

We’re big fans of access control and even bigger fans of access control that doesn’t require wiring. No wire runs to distant doors/gates and no power supplies required make for more affordable keyless entry solutions.

That’s why we love the Medeco XT solution. With this system the power required to track access and audit locks is maintained within the key. So no power is necessary at the lock.

Who needs the Medeco XT system? When you have doors, padlocks, or other locks across multiple sites or spaced far apart, but not a large number of users, this is the ideal, cost-effective solution.

Product Highlights Include:

  • Controlled Access – Keys are programmed to allow access to a given lock during a designated timeframe.
  • Audit Information – Audit trails are recorded at both the lock and the key. Locks record which keys have opened them and when, and the key records which locks they have opened.
  • Physically Strong – Attack resistant design and temper-proof features protect against forced entry.
  • Cloud-Based Convenience – Online access to all programming, analytics and reports.
  • Flexible – Medeco XT cylinders are available for all of the most common locks. There are even padlocks and cam locks.
  • Eliminate Re-keying – Easily remove keys that are currently authorized.
  • Key Control – Medeco XT Intelligent Keys cannot be copied like traditional keys.

Lock Highlights:

  • Hundreds of cylinder formats available
  • Quick and easy installation
  • No power or wiring
  • Stores up to 2000 audit events
  • -40 to 140 degrees
  • Break-away stainless steel plug means lock will fail-secure
  • Drill resistant

Key Highlights:

  • Lightweight and rechargeable keys
  • Water-resistant
  • Opens up to 16000 locks
  • Customizable activation and expiration periods

Yelp Locksmith Reviews Can Cost You

Yelp Locksmith Reviews Can Cost You

Yelp reviews can miss the mark. I came across this 5-star Yelp review, and what I found surprised me.

The most troubling thing about this review is that this person paid up to 2X the standard rate of an unlock then provided a 5-star-reviews after doing it!

Upon reading you’d think this is a great company. They even waived their service call charge to cut the price for her.

But here’s the thing. This girl was ripped off or at the very least she paid WAY TO MUCH for this door unlock. She paid $134 for an unlock service that any credible company would have charged her well under $100 for. There really is no such thing as an airbag fee. This is a made up bogus charge that companies price gouging are claiming to be valid. They typically say that the airbag is very expensive and only good for one use. But this is not true. These little airbag devices are under $20 and can be used hundreds of times. This “locksmith” never intended to pick her lock. For a trained locksmith it would have been easy. His goal was always to jack up the price after demonstrating how “difficult” her lock was to pick. Using airbags to pry open a house door can damage the door, the frame, and is purely an amateur move by someone that clearly doesn’t know what they’re doing.

At ACME Locksmith, depending on the time of day and day of the week, this person would have been charged just $69-$99 for this service.

What were the red flags that should have tipped her off? In this case, the $35 service call. Service calls cover the charge it takes to get someone out to your location – including the fuel, drive time labor, wear and tear, etc….The national average for a service call is $69. This allows for some profit to cover cost. Also, I can state with certainty that she did not get an exact price upfront. Legitimate companies open cars and houses thousands of times a year. We know exactly what it takes to get in and can quote an exact price over the phone. There will be no surprise fees when a real locksmith arrives because we know what needs to be done.

There are just no such things as $14-$35 service calls. It’s a scam to bait you into using their service. They will make it up once they arrive.

Here’s how the scam locksmith companies have improved.

  • They’re quoting $35 service calls. Not so low as to raise suspicion, but low enough to seem like a bargain.
  • When the company makes up a huge make-believe charge, he makes the client feel better by waiving a smaller fee.
  • The client is left so happy, they write a glowing review so that other people can be price gouged as well.

We are seeing this type of intelligent locksmith scammer more and more, where the customer is left completely unaware they have been taken.

It’s Getting Harder to Spot a Price-Gouging Scam Locksmiths

It’s Getting Harder to Spot a Price-Gouging Scam Locksmiths

A few years ago it was relatively easy to spot a SCAM locksmith. By this I mean a locksmith that may do the work they were hired to do, but they’ll charge up to 10X what a legitimate company would charge. Can you imagine being told you owe $300 for a car opening you were quoted $39 plus labor for? Sadly, we’ve seen this type of locksmith fraud. Lately we’ve noticed a shift though. They are raising the rates from what they quote, but only by about 3X. This way, they get your job by quoting low, yet the con isn’t so obvious to those not knowing the going rate. Whats more is that they are getting very good at hiding any negative reviews revealing this tactic by overwhelming the search engines with hundreds of positive reviews.

At ACME Locksmith, we take great pride in delivering great service. We have 13 employees and service over 5,000 customers per year. Over a 10-year span, we have earned over 500 5-star-rated Google reviews for our company. Everyone of those reviews can be tied to a customer receipt. I can tell you, it is HARD to get a Google review. In our experience, 0.5% (or 1 out of every 200 customers) will take the time to right a Google review. We have several hundred reviews on other sites, but lets face it, Google is King, and it is especially hard to get a Google review. Why is it so hard?

  • First, customers need a Google account to write a Google review. If they don’t have an Android phone, they likely don’t have a Google account. iPhone users with Google accounts are rare.
  • Second, even if they have a Google account, while people are quick to complain about a service, it’s much more difficult to get a satisfied customer to tout a good service. Once the service is received, they’re getting on with their day. They soon forget about it. The customer’s experience really has to be stellar for them to remember, go back, and write a review.

But in just the past year, we’ve seen brand new “locksmith” companies on Google getting 400, 600, and even 1000’s of Google reviews in just a few months. Are they real? These “locksmiths” have circumvented the limited Googles safeguards to get these reviews posted and look completely legitimate to someone who doesn’t have time to do the research.

One such company has been in business on Google for 9 months. They currently have over 1000 reviews!!! These guys are great! That’s over 110 reviews per month! I want to hire them, heck, I want to be them!

But when we dive into this a bit, the numbers don’t hold up. I’ve confirmed this company has just one driver on the road performing service. A quick locksmith can handle at most 7 calls a day, which includes driving around to and from calls. So they can service at maximum 35 calls per week or 140 calls a month. IF AND ONLY IF, they are fully booked, every day, without a single slow day or holiday.

I can tell you, after 10 years in the locksmith business, this is not possible. There are busy days and slow days, but lets assume it is possible just to continue our thought process. That means that 79% of this company’s customers are writing them 5-star Google reviews. 79% !!! This company is truly amazing. Not only do 79% of their customers have the Google account needed to write the review, but 100% of those customers were so impressed by the service that they took the time to write a review! I wish I had these customers!

If you haven’t guessed it. These customers don’t exist. There are however review farms that unscrupulous lock service companies can hire to write fake reviews. These companies create accounts and write reviews; that’s all they do. We’ve even seen these companies copy and paste reviews from other lock businesses onto their own business. Seriously. Word for word. Even when the city/state mentioned in the review isn’t the state where the lock company is located.

But who has the time to figure all this out? When you are in a bind and need a locksmith, you certainly don’t.

Another company we investigated had 500 reviews in under 1 year, another too good to be true number. So we hired them to see what they were doing. At the end of the service he asked our secret shopper who was on her phone, “Can I borrow your phone for just a second?” and proceeded to write a review on her phone about how good his service was. I couldn’t believe that he asked. I couldn’t believe that anyone would hand him their phone.

Is it OK to write your own reviews? We believe it’s good business to ask for reviews. If a customer takes the time to write one, then well done. But taking a customers cell phone and rating and raving about yourself, well that seems dishonest to me. And a company using a review farm is way outside of the moral ground. Do you want to hire a lock security company with such dubious morals?

So how can you be sure to hire a credible company that you can trust?

  • Hire a licensed locksmith company. Companies that go through licensing have best in class businesses. Especially in Arizona where licensing is NOT required. ACME Locksmith is one of fewer than 10 licensed locksmiths in Phoenix-Metro area. Almost everyone advertising as a locksmith is claiming to be licensed and bonded. Ask for their ROC license number to confirm. When they don’t have one, and they’re website is telling you they do, hang up and call the next guy.
  • Look for steady reviews, over a sustained period of time. Remember, it’s hard to get reviews. Small locksmith services that are getting 5 reviews per day should raise a red flag.
  • Look for bad reviews. Try as we might, someone will always eventually be unsatisfied, and a unsatisfied customer is very vocal. A company with 0 bad reviews and 500 5-star reviews is suspect. When the bad reviews mention price gouging, be very careful.
  • For the most common lock services, you should get an exact price. Locksmiths rekey locks, unlock houses, businesses & cars thousands of times a year. We know exactly what it takes and exactly what you will pay. Don’t accept a “plus labor” quote for these types of services and don’t except any varying away from that quoted price once they’ve arrived.

Replace Safe Dial with an Electronic Lock for Easier Access

Replace Safe Dial with an Electronic Lock for Easier Access

ESL10 - Electronic Safe Lock

Dial locks vs electronic locks? The debate lives on. One is entirely mechanical; the other much easier to use. But there are myths associated with both. I find I am a great test for which lock a customer will prefer. Computers hit my high school when I was in 12th grade. People older than me, like the mechanical dial. They don’t particularly trust the electronic lock. People younger than me though grew up with electronic technology and generally prefer the ease of use of the electronic lock.

With today’s technology, ACME Locksmith’s recommendation is to go for the ease of use of an electronic safe lock. And if you’re tired of all that left-right-left stuff with your current dial safe, we can assist you in replacing that dial with an electronic lock so you can get into your safe quickly. We prefer electronic locks for two reasons:

  • Get in fast. If you need to access the safe quickly, there’s no better way than a user code.
  • If a dial fails, you’re drilling the safe and replacing the dial. If an electronic lock fails, many times you can simply replace the key pad to get in. No drilling. A much less expensive option.

Myth: Mechanical locks don’t fail.
Reality: They do. Without regular maintenance the combinations of those locks tend to drift with time and at some point, the owner can no longer get in. For example, if one of your numbers is “45” and you notice you have to dial “45 1/2” instead of “45” it’s time to get your safe dial serviced before it’s too late.

Myth: If my batteries die, I’m locked out of an electronic safe.
Reality: Most new safes have the batteries placed in the face plate on the outside of the safe. Those that don’t either have temporary ways to get power to the keypad or a key override.

Myth: Electronic locks fail too often, and I’ll be in for costly repairs later.
Reality: We see both types of safe locks fail. The main advantage for an electronic lock is that if the electronics on the keypad do fail, most can simply be swapped out by the owner of the safe. You don’t even need a locksmith in this case. If a dial fails, you are definitely hiring a locksmith to drill and repair the safe.

Myth: An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) will wipe out me electronic lock.
Reality: You can now get EMP-rated electronic locks that can withstand EMPs.

And what about finger print scan technology you might ask? We don’t like them and we don’t recommend them in most cases. We see them often result in false negatives (a registered user not being able to get into the safe) or false positives (a non-register user getting into the safe). You see biometric locks a lot in the cheaper brands of safes. If you’re paying $300 for the entire safe how good do you think the finger-scan technology can be? The only exception we have seen to this are locks from a German company Burg Wachter that uses them in their high-end jewelry rated safes. They are the only fingerprint safe locks we sell.

Schlage E-Series Replacement

Schlage E-Series Replacement

Ever taken a lock of your door and said, “What the heck?”

One very popular brand of lock that is no longer made was the old Schlage E-Series. It was a good lock, but many customer are now seeing them fail. The trouble is, when that particular lock was installed it put a huge hole in the door to account for the mechanics of the hardware (see photo).

Most new locks are prepped for standard 2 3/8″ holes. They will neither fill the hole left by the old Schlage or be made to function within in. What are you to do? Replacing the door is one option, but a very expensive one.

A better way is to install a cover plate over the holes. Here’s an example we just did for a Phoenix customer. Not the most ideal solution, but very affordable when faced with the alternative of replacing the door.

Oops, We Did it Again – Super Locksmith Service Award

Oops, We Did it Again – Super Locksmith Service Award

ACME Locksmith joined Angie’s List back in 2010. Since then, we received the Angie’s List Super Service Award every year. We are proud to say, we’ve done it again in 2017. That is 8 years in a row.

“The service providers that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award demonstrate the level of excellence that members have come to expect,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros are top-notch and absolutely deserve recognition for the trustworthy and exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year and overall.”

To receive this award, as a locksmith service provider, ACME Locksmith maintained an “A” rating with Angie’s list customers and pass a background check. ACME has obtained all license requirements for the state of AZ.

Thanks to all our Angie’s List customers for their continued support and trust.

Winner 2010-2017 Super Lock Service Award

Why You Want to Hire a Licensed Locksmith

Why You Want to Hire a Licensed Locksmith


Q: Does Arizona require all locksmiths to be licensed?
A: No, but….it does require licensed locksmiths for any job performed over $1,000.

Q: So how many licensed locksmith companies are there in the Phoenix Metro area?
A: About 10

Q: So why does nearly every locksmith website say they are licensed and bonded?
A: Sadly, no one checks to see if they are being given truthful information. We find it outrageous that lock companies being hired to protect homes and businesses are lying to their customers.

Q: Why does ACME Locksmith carry an ROC License if it’s only required on large jobs?
A: We want you to understand that our company is the best-of-the-best. We go through the cost of maintaining our ROC license to ensure your protection. Whether your job requires a licensed locksmith or not, you’re protected by using a licensed company.

Q: Why do I care if I hire a licensed locksmith?
A: For your protection, safety & peace of mind.

  • It gives you peace of mind that the job will be performed correctly. To earn a license, a licensed locksmith must have several years of experience and pass an aptitude test.
  • It gives you a method of recourse should anything go wrong and not be corrected. The ROC has a complaint process that will assist you in getting the issue resolved to your satisfaction.
    This differs from an agency like the BBB as no constraints are put on businesses to maintain a level of quality.
  • Pay what you’re quoted. Licensed companies have a lot to loose. We quote honest, upfront pricing based on your job description. We don’t quote $14-$39 trip charges and then jack up the price like some unlicensed companies may do.
    Price gouging
    Some Unlicensed Companies Quote Super-Low Service Call Charges Just to Price Gouge You On Everything Else
  • Licensing guarantees the company is bonded. Bonding is often confused for insurance, but there is a notable difference. A bond is intended to act as a guarantee that the contractor will perform the work as he or she is supposed to.
  • If you’re an employee, it protects your job. If you are an employee hiring an unlicensed company to perform jobs where a license is required, should something go wrong on that job, your job is at risk if the company cannot get it corrected.

Home Security – Know Who’s at Your Door

Home Security – Know Who’s at Your Door

Always Know Who’s at Your Door Before Answering

The SkyBell Home Monitoring System Captures Video and More Whenever Someone is at Your Door.

Before we recommend a protect, we try it. When this little video door bell monitoring system came out, it went up on my house asap. The verdict, love it.

Several features make this a great little security device.

  • It auto captures video/screen shots each time your door bell is rung.
    Burglars will scope out a house to see if a house is empty during the day before they break in by seeing if anyone answers the door. This little device videos them when they do this and notifies you on your Smart Phone every time your doorbell is rung. Should you then be broken into, you’ve got the evidence.

    • Bonus: As soon as my kids walk home from school, they ring the doorbell before coming inside. I get a notification on my phone and know they are home safe and sound.
  • Hear & Speak.
    Listen to what they are saying at your door from any location and talk to whomever is ringing the bell. I had just hired a landscaper to plant some trees. When he came to the door we had an entire conversation about where to plant them and what was needed–while I wasn’t even home.
  • Activity history. Review the day’s events at your door.
  • Live monitoring. Check your home at any time. The photo below is a pic of what’s going on in my front yard.
  • Screenshot of the video Installed on My Home.
  • Theft guarantee. If it is stolen, SkyBell will replace it for free.
  • Night vision. Capture images up to 15 ft away in full color.
  • Quiet mode. Baby sleeping? Temporarily turn off your door bell.
  • Installed in minutes for most homes

Push, Pull, or Rotate Knobs and Levers

Push, Pull, or Rotate Knobs and  Levers

Here’s an interesting twist on home locks

The new push, pull, rotate locks by Brinks give you three ways to release the latch and open the door. Push it, pull it, or turn it the old fashion way.

What do you think of this lock? Seems a clever idea for interior door knobs and levers, like the laundry room or bedrooms where your hands are often full. But exterior, we don’t see the value. You still need the key to unlock the door, so you’d have to put everything down to take care of that part. But for interior doors, while hauling laundry or bags of shopping to your rooms, this could be useful.

Features:

  • Installs just like a regular deadbolt/lever/knob.
  • 4 common finishes: Oil rubbed bronze, satin nickel, brass, polished chrome (availability based on style)
  • Attractive,modern styles
  • Comes equipped with anti-bump, anti-pick pins
  • Lifetime warranty for defects in material and workmanship
  • Pricing similar to competitors residential door hardware
Push, pull, or rotate to gain entry.
Use your hip to open the lock by pushing.
Don’t have a hand free. Give the lock a nudge with that elbow.
Love the handleset styles.

Fresh Install Deadbolts & Door Hardware

Fresh Install Deadbolts & Door Hardware

Love that new house you purchased but wish it had some better door security?

No problem. ACME Locksmith can fresh install deadbolts in your existing house doors. We prep the door, provide the locks that match your existing style, brand and finish, and key them up to match your existing house keys. All at an affordable price. Here’s a photo of a door we just did a deadbolt installation on in Gilbert. We put on a Schlage commercial grade product that is far better than those locks you get at a home warehouse store.

Door without deadbolt.
Door without deadbolt.
Door with deadbolt installed
Door with Deadbolt Installation

Don’t forget, we can fresh install deadbolts (or keyless locks) to your side gates as well, and electronic deadbolts or the front door so you’ll never get locked out.