Perception Is Reality

Nov. 21, 2011

A few months ago a TV producer contacted Locksmith Ledger. They were planning to use locksmithng as a topic for a reality series and show all the wild things that happen to locksmiths. Our industry would be lumped in the same TV category with car repossessors, world's dirtiest jobs and the Kardashian sisters.

I have also received several recent E-mails with a link to an NBC video. NBC rented a house in New York, then called eight different locksmiths to come and unlock the front door. Video cameras were installed at every angle to watch the locksmiths in action. Four of the eight locksmiths reportedly went right to work with a crow bar, drill or pipe wrench and brutalized the lockset into submission. A bill of $200 to $600 was then presented to the homeowner. When the TV reporter appeared to ask questions, the high price locksmiths shown on camera quickly left the scene without much comment.

Interestingly, an unnamed locksmith was used to install a new lock after each lock was demolished. This locksmith explained that a normal lockout service call should be approximately $100. He then demonstrated how the lock could be picked in a matter of moments. You can watch the video and judge for yourself whether the picking demonstration was done in a professional manner.

Read more about the video and watch it at:

NBC certainly got their idea across. It was the same idea intended to be used by the TV producer. Locksmithing is perceived as a lockout profession and every job is exciting enough to be put on camera. In addition, anybody can become a locksmith without training. I object to those notions.

The most profitable part of locksmithing is as a niche market. We serve as the authority having the solutions for door hardware mistakes made during new construction, the changes in door hardware requirements by building owners plus we can service, repair and replace any type of existing door hardware. Auto and home lockouts and lost keys are an adjunct to locksmithing. As long as the public is led to believe that we only exist to unlock doors at midnight, we are not getting our true message across.