September 3, 2019
Rental Car - Fail (Locked Out)
A rather interesting article hit my desk this week that made my eyes and ears prick up.
In recent years, I have been posting here about my feelings regarding many of these modern day IoT (Internet of Things) products and services that i feel are rather insecure and problematic.
It is no secret that the IoT industry has made significant impacts on consumers, industry and life in general, but the industry is still in it's infancy and much to the dilemma of consumers, far too many issues and problems are arising with all this "connectivity".
The article from The Atlantic current affairs publication, describes the authors issue with their recent Zipcar rental car, where they drove into a region NOT covered by cellphone or wifi connectivity,
You see, for the Zipcar system to work, the vehicle requires to be in a "connected" locality.
The Zipcar system, provides a proximity card to access the vehicle or an app on your mobile phone, that allows you to open, enter and start the vehicle you are renting.
But what happens when you are no longer in a connectable location?
By being unable to communicate with the Zipcar technology hub, the renter was locked out of their vehicle. And even if they were able to unlock the vehicle, they would not be able to start it and drive away.
While some may perceive this to be a security blanket to protect the company from vehicle theft, the inconvenience to the renter is maximised. If you are in an inconvenient location, where cellphone access is non-existent or wifi connectivity doesnt exist, what do you do? If cellphone service is unavailable, how do you call for help?
Then, to make matter worse, the renter managed to find a landline to call Zipcar who nicely agreed to waive their fee, but suggested waiting for a tow truck or cab to pick them up. They were in a location where no cab would attend. The tow truck arrived after a while and towed them to an area where there was cellphone connectivity. They were able to unlock the vehicle but it would not start.
An episode that appears to be becoming commonplace in todays IoT connected world.
Another example also mentioned in the article describes, coincidentally a similar issue that happened to (curiously) an IoT expert. He rented a Zipcar to go to the J Paul Getty museum, parked in the underground garage and when he returned, his cellphone had no connectivity and consequently he couldnt operate his zipcar either.
The pitfalls of modern technology are becoming all too common today. Many consumers understand and appreciate the benefits that IoT technology can bring and this has made an impact in the consumer marketplace. But at what cost? When conventional non-connected technology that has worked flawlessly for generations is replaced by nouveau modern technology that has been rushed to market too soon before being tested adequately, perhaps we are better served by maintaining some of yesterdays proven technology that is usually cheaper and longer lasting and significantly easier to maintain.
In my business, technology is also seeing ineffiencies and pitfalls. I continue to sing the praises of mechanical security technology because it is so much cheaper and better quality than many electronic offerings.
With the impending economic doldrums the world may be facing shortly, are you going to rely on IoT technology and battery powered products that are (arguably) designed to fail in two years, or will you continue to benefit from mechanical technology that stands the test of time with low maintenance?
Home Advisor (formerly Service Magic) Testimonials And Sites That Recommend Us
Danny was very professional and friendly at the same time. He not only gave me the quote and fixed the exterior door and explained his work. He was prompt and upfront about the work and did the work. He came in time took care of it on the same day. (Sasheethn K St Louis MO) June 2018d out problems but assured not urgent. Please feel free to have Danny pass out my number for my total experience review 314-351-5553
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They were prompt and showed up when he said he would show up. He knew his stuff. I had ordered new handles and he was honest enough to say that we don't need them that he can fix the doors and he did. Made me lock and unlock my doors to his satisfaction so that I knew what to do. Am very, very pleased with the service and cost.
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Showed up on time for appointment. Was very knowledgeable about the project and offered a solution beyond what I asked to be done.
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Danny was very helpful in solving a pretty complex problem involving many lock.
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The owner spent a longtime with me on the phone helping diagnosis the problem. He was on-time, friendly and helped resolve my issue. I will definitely use him again!
Chris C (Lake St Louis, MO) July 2013
I had a very pleasant experience with Master Key Systems. They came out, did the job (which took longer than expected) and they did not change the price they quoted me. Now, I am not certain that it was a great value for the money because I don't have a comparison, but they did what they said, when they said, for the price they said. Enough said!!!
Antonio B (Saint Louis, Missouri) March 2013
Professional.. Upfront about charges. Fixed the sticky door within 20 minutes. I will recommend Master Key for exterior door issues.
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Danny was a master craftsman, knowledgable and professional. I will be calling on him again in the future as well as passing on his services to friends and family.
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He did an excellent job. Got there on time and quickly solved the issue. Was very pleasant and explained the situation and how to keep the door from sticking in the future. Would definitely use Master Key LLC again!
Neil F. (Saint Louis, MO) April 2012
Danny was very friendly and knowledgeable, although his apprentice seemed to do most of the work, Danny kept an eye on him to make sure it was done right. He had very reasonable pricing for re-keying.
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He was extrememly fabulous and helpful and did a wonderful job. He was very professional.
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Ed D (February, 2011)
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