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Dutchess_III's avatar

How would you handle this money dilemma?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42493points) December 10th, 2015

I got a bill for a safety deposit box that I was sure I cancelled last year. I know for sure I brought home everything that was in it.

So I went to the bank where I have it, and learned that when I opened it 14 years ago I was given two keys. I don’t remember. I have no clue where the second key might have got off to.

Well, since I don’t have that 2nd key it’ll cost me $200+ for the bank to bring in Somebody Special to drill the lock out and reset it.

The box costs me $15.00 a year. Now I know why I didn’t cancel it last year. I went ahead and paid it again, whilst trying to figure out what to do! It’s ridiculous. It would take 13+ more years at $15.00 a month to match that $200+.

What would you do?

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37 Answers

Darth_Algar's avatar

Not sure what’s ridiculous about that. Locksmiths aren’t cheap.

canidmajor's avatar

Um, @Dutchess_III, you mean 13+ more months, not years. Was it $15 a month or a year? Can you edit?

I would just pay the $200 and be done.

chyna's avatar

Pay it. You will end up paying that much by keeping the box that you don’t need anyway.

filmfann's avatar

Pay the $15 until you find the second key, which is probably in the glovebox of the car you owned when you rented the box.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Can’t copy the key I guess. Personally I would have done the same, paid it one last time while I try to locate the key, copy the one I have or try to find some other way out of it. When it comes time next year if you don’t have a solution then pay it and move on.

jca's avatar

Maybe after 15 years, after having paid $15×15 to keep a box you don’t use and can’t use, the cost to fee for the locksmith and key replacement will be up to $400. So you’ll have paid $15×15 + $400 = a whole lot of wasted money down the drain.

JLeslie's avatar

They have one key, they should be able to copy it. Even non dup keys can be duplicated. $200 is crazy high. It should be $50.

gondwanalon's avatar

If I didn’t need a safe deposit box then I would just pay the $200 to be done with it.

chyna's avatar

@JLeslie They can’t duplicate the key because there might be another key out there that could open that box. Therefore, they have to redrill and reset the lock. That isn’t cheap. Twenty years ago I lost my key to my car and it cost 90.00 to reset the lock.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna If you turn in both keys they assume for sure there is no other key floating around? They don’t change the lock anyway?

canidmajor's avatar

I don’t know how it is with @Dutchess_III‘s bank, but @JLeslie, whenever I have had safety deposit boxes, more than just keys were required, so even if someone duplicated a key, theoretically they couldn’t just waltz in and take your stuff. The point is to have as much security as possible to do with the boxes. The liability of the bank would be very high should it become known that other keys were out there.

jca's avatar

Good point by @canidmajor. You have to show ID and everything to access your box. It’s not like a PO Box where anybody can just go and open it.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ve had safety deposit boxes with double keys (the bank turns one and I turn one) and I had to show ID, and I have had boxes at banks that do not require double keys or ID, and would be similar to PO boxes with much more security measures around like cameras etc.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@canidmajor Uh, the fee is $15 a year, not a month. If it was $15 a month it would be a no brainer to pay for the lock smith. And the details have always said the word “year.” I did not have to edit.

Oh, no, @JLeslie. You can NOT just take certain types of keys to Walmart to get them duplicated. I mean, I understand their point.

@jca, I’m not stupid. I realize that if I go on paying $15 a year for the rest of my life, it would be a big loss. It would be stupid. I just don’t have $200 lying around right now for that fee. It’s just kind of bothering the crap out of me right now! I have NO idea where that second key could be!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think what they should do is only hand out one key, unless the customer specifically requests a second key.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: I know you’re not stupid. I didn’t base my post on your paying the $15 for the rest of your life. You wrote ” It would take 13+ more years at $15.00 a month to match that $200+.” I simply pointed out that you might pay that to avoid the $200 fee now, and they could raise the rate, therefore you’d be paying way more than $200 in the end, when you eventually decide to pay the whatever the fee is at the time you end your contract.

canidmajor's avatar

Uh, @Dutchess_III, your second to last sentence was misleading. That’s why I asked if you could edit. Would have a no-brainer to reread your details carefully when an edit was mentioned.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I understand all of that @jca. I know I just need to pay the $200 and be done….but it’s hard to stand there going, “Should I pay $15 now, or $200+ now?!” Well, I’m going to give it another year, and make a concerted effort to find that key.

In the meantime, I spoke with some family members and they may have a need for it. My son, in particular, has a pretty valuable coin collection. I’ll just see what it will take to put him on the approved list and just turn the key over to him. Maybe it will be GENERATIONS before we have the pay the lock smith, ha ha!

@canidmajor I see it now. I’m sorry for the typo. Glad we got it figured out, complicated as it was, and glad you are channeling Gail. I’ve missed her!

Haleth's avatar

There are special high-security locks that have a finite number of keys which can’t be copied. It’s so there won’t be random keys floating around in the world. I worked at a place once that had a lock like this. Only me and the general manager had keys to the store. I lost mine and we had to pay a couple hundred dollars to replace the locks. The next day someone from the corporate office sent out a company-wide e-mail about being responsible with company property.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Certainly a customer could have had the key copied, and certainly there’s (at least in many cases)v security measures that don’t just involve keys, but it may be like @Haleth said and they may simply be unable to make further copies of the key. Also, is it possible that the bank itself is under some kind of regulation that they must replace the lock if all keys aren’t returned to them?

Dutchess_III's avatar

And where would one go to get an illegal copy made, @Darth_Algar?

Of course they’re under such a regulation. I completely understand where they’re coming from. If you have a customer who has $5 million in gold bars they want to put in a safe deposit box, you aren’t going to assign him a box that someone else in this world has a key to, no matter how difficult it may be for that other person to actually access the box.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

I’ve never known of a locksmith to inquire about the legality of a key they’re being asked to copy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Then the only keys you’ve ever had made were for your house and such. And they don’t inquire. They refuse.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I know you can’t get the key copied at Walmart. I’m just saying a dishonest person could find a way I would assume. I’m always stunned that when I first open/buy a safety deposit box the banks I’ve used always write the box number on the envelope with the keys. I wonder how many people store the keys in that same envelope?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Chances are that isn’t the real box number they write down, just like the number on your key isn’t the real box number. It’s the number +2 or -10 or something.

JLeslie's avatar

No. It’s the box number. I’ve had a few boxes.

jca's avatar

Some keys are not supposed to be duplicated, and are stamped “Do Not Duplicate.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Plus they are specially made so that they’re thicker than, say, house keys. That’s a clue, too.

JLeslie's avatar

If everyone is directing the duplicating comments at me I know what a non dup key is. I wrote it within my answer way up above. Here it is again: They have one key, they should be able to copy it. Even non dup keys can be duplicated. $200 is crazy high. It should be $50.

Having said that, if the box actually has to be drilled, I can see how that would be over $100.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: I wasn’t directing my comment about duplicating at you, I was directing it at @Darth_Algar, based upon what he said about them inquiring when they duplicate the key.

JLeslie's avatar

Got it. I missed his comment.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yes, I’ve never had a safe deposit box and thus never handled such keys. That said I was honestly a bit perplexed by @Dutchess_III‘s question here, as it didn’t much seem relevant to what I had posted before and wasn’t something I was really arguing one way or the other. But anywhos…

Dutchess_III's avatar

Are you referring to the question I asked of you as to where a customer could go to illegally have a duplicate lock box key made? That’s where your link sent me. I asked that in response to your comment, “Certainly a customer could have had the key copied, ...” here. No, they can’t. I once tried to get a duplicate car key made, was told they could not, not only because it was illegal, but car keys are made out of a certain type of blank that they don’t have access to, and I had to go through the car dealership to get one. I’m sure that was just a rip off perpetuated by the auto industry, but a lock box is a whole other animal.

If they can’t make car keys, they certainly can’t make lock box keys. My lock box key is thicker than, say a house key, and I doubt a lock smith has that type of blank on hand. Here is a good idea of what my key is like.

Brian1946's avatar

Have you thought about where to look for the other key?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Of course, Brian. But it’s been 14 years or so ago. I’ve looked through all the old purses I still have hanging around. I remember having a key in the envelope in the center zip of one of my purses at some point,long ago, but it’s not there now, or I’ve thrown that purse away and missed the key. Now I guess I just need to go through other things where I stash things. Oh well. I have a year.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Legal or not wasn’t really a concern of my point.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Darth_Algar You said a customer could “most certainly” get a copy made, as though it would be easy, and I asked where the customer could go to get a copy made.

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