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I paid a locksmith $100 for a new strike plate...

I had heard this was true, but now I have seen that there really are people who can't use a screwdriver.




You can't do that when you're making a critical review for a newspaper. If you criticize someone's product you have to make sure that you gave that product every chance to succeed -- if the system failed and you installed your strike plate your review is subject to the criticism that you botched the install.


It cuts both ways though - a large additional expense being necessary doesn't reflect well on the product in question either.


It's not a lack of ability it's a lack of confidence with a side of liability. See:

>which was Amazon’s recommendation.

Customer support and warranty become a massive pain in the ass if you're not a professional. Amazon will fight tooth and nail not to work with a DIYer because when their lock doesn't latch and someone gets killed in a burglary they don't want to be the only first party with money when the lawyers start going up the links in the chain. Obviously the risk is tiny but with a professional installation they can point fingers at the locksmith and hope the lawyers settle for whatever the locksmith's insurance can provide.

Being a DIYer in this day and age is a massive PITA "because liability"


This seems like a reasonable conclusion. I was thinking the author was trying to play it as safe as possible to not only be fair to Amazon but also to prevent them from having a way to blame anything else but their product or service, however your conclusion seems reasonable for not just the author's motivation but also worth considering in general when dealing with products that protect us or our belongings.


I have no exposure to this sentiment.

Everything I ever want to fix, an enterprising handyman has already made a monetized YouTube video on. All the repairs I’ve done in the last 4 years have been faster than waiting for a repairman. I use an expert’s video and parts I’ve bought at a nearby hardware or auto parts store.

In the the past I slogged through radiator replacements by looking at a Chilton manual. Now, an expert mechanic has created a step-by-step video with all the gotchas that wouldn’t fit in a repai manual. This is the golden age of DIY.

You know they have classes at Home Depot and Lowe’s for home repair, right?


You're missing the point entirely. It's not about the difficulty in making a change or a repair. It's about liability.

If you hire a locksmith, then you have reason to believe that someone was professionally trained to fix the issue at hand. They may not do it any better nor faster, but their job title implies that they know what they are doing by the book.

A DIYer doesn't have that same set of credentials. You could be better than any locksmith in your town, but you're still considered a hobbyist


Haha last time we went to the Gulf for a fishing trip, I found my father in the driveway staring at his 225hp boat motor which had lowered all the way and wouldn't raise again. My first reaction: let's go to YouTube! 15 minutes and a little lifting later, the motor was in the proper travel position.


You're talking about people who read "Let some random stranger making minimum wage delivering your unnecessary crapulence, enter your home unattended" and their response was "where do I sign?"

I wouldn't trust these people to hold a screwdriver much less try to use it - they'd end up in the emergency room.


You'd likely also need a sharp chisel (since a replacement strike plate is very rarely the exact same shape as the one you are replacing) and the competence to use it.

Most folks have the screwdriver but not the other two...


Perhaps they could buy a sharp chisel from Amazon.


I actually bought a chisel from amazon and a sharpening stone for it about 4 years ago. I have used them no more than twice but it's a comfort to know they are there when I need them.


In my experience the hole in the jamb usually has a lot of wiggle room. Especially in this case: if the bolt enters the plate but hangs up a bit, it probably needs to move less than a millimeter. When the hole hasn't been in the right place I've usually used a pocketknife or flathead screwdriver to enlarge it, but I can see that a small chisel would be "better". Perhaps competence substitutes for tools somewhat?


Aligning strike plates (catches, hinges, etc.) is a gigantic pain in the ass. It's not just using a screwdriver, it's getting everything to line up correctly, and potentially using a chisel, wood putty, etc. to make the correct cutouts in your door or frame.


It's also the case that any of these solenoid-operated locks are a lot less sensitive to binding than if you're manually turning a key and joggling the door as needed. Nothing specific to the Amazon product. When I put in a Schlage keypad lock, I had to fiddle quite a bit to get it to work reliably even though there was no real problem operating it manually.


ITYM "more" sensitive to binding?


Yes. I do :-)


To be fair, most don’t own drill bits long enough to make the holes necessary for the long screws that hold it on. But yes, it takes much more time to wait for the locksmith than to just purchase the part and do the work yourself.

And it’s cheaper to buy the drill and the bits than to have a locksmith at your house for 20 minutes.


It's more like "there are people too rich to bother with a screwdriver".


Sure, but this is in the context of a household in which meeting delivery people is inconvenient. I haven't found locksmith service to be more convenient than package delivery, although of course I might not be spending enough on it...


Yeah, I don't know how getting a locksmith is easier than literally screwing a plate in, but I don't know how rich people think.


His door had an issue that a professional lock installer wasn't able to handle. He probably just assumed it was something that required a locksmith. If someone told me I needed a new strike plate, I wouldn't even know what that meant.


It wasn't included in the installers fee, it is unclear if they knew how to address it or not.


I don't know how much I would trust a lock installed by an individual that did not know how to replace a strike plate.


They knew. It's one of the ways a subcontractor makes up for the low bid that allowed them to get the work in the first place.

"The work order does not include this, so we can't finish. If we leave now, you'll have to get it done on your own, then reschedule, which means you have to wait at least a few more weeks. However, if you slip me $50, I can take care of it right now, and then I'll be out of your hair forever."




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