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Ilco / ADUSA Smart Pro Controversy

Posted by jim@keynet.com on

There has been a lot of talk, especially over social media, the last few days about boycotting Ilco/ADUSA. The issue stems from two Smart Pro units being sold at a trade show over the weekend - apparently at a ridiculously low price, plus the unlimited monthly token plans at an equally stunning low cost. Ilco sent out a letter detailing their position on this issue (the letter can be read here...). Trust me when I say that this took us by surprise, just as it did many of you. These are prices that we, or any distributor, could never hope to come close to matching.

Now, while we at KeyNet cannot speak to the dedication of Ilco to the locksmith community (honestly, we do not want to believe that they purposefully tried to cut the throat of the American Locksmith), but what we can speak to is our dedication. Our loyalty is, as it always has been, to our customers - the Locksmiths that we deal with on a daily basis. Some of whom we have developed not only professional relationships with, but have gotten to know on a more personal level.

Our sales force has gone above and beyond for all of our customers, we service locksmiths all across this great country of ours. And it is those locksmiths that have made us the success we are today. We started out as a very small fish in a HUGE pond of much much bigger fish. And it is because of our loyal customer base, that we were able to thrive and stake out our own corner of that pond.

Our sales people have personally driven products out to locksmiths in the field when they could not leave a job site. We have absorbed costs when manufacturers have not honored a sales price because a customer missed an order deadline by a day or two. They have even called to check in on some of our customers just to see how they are doing after medical procedures. These are just some of the examples of how we, here at KeyNet, express our gratitude to our loyal customer (friends) base. We know that you have choices when it comes to the products you buy, and we want to say thank you, for making us that choice.

Now, when it comes it to pricing: particularly in this instance where it applies to the Smart Pro. Prices are set by the manufacturer. We are tied to the Minimum Advertising Pricing (MAP) that is set by the company (in this case Ilco / ADUSA). Our hands are tied, as the saying goes, as we are not allowed to set the pricing any lower than the MAP dictated to us. Trust me, we have tried, we have had manufacturers ban us (for months at a time) for advertising a price lower than they demanded. We felt the price point was too high, so we lowered it. They found out and slapped our hands. We were blind-sided by not only the pricing of these two units at the recent trade show, but also that they were possibly being sold by a national automotive chain. As most small businesses across America have learned, it's pretty tough to compete with the big box stores.

That being said, we will continue to monitor the situation. And please, understand this: whatever action we decide to take, will be to the benefit of OUR customers, OUR FRIENDS, the locksmith community.

Thank you...

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