by Anura Guruge
This house, when we bought it new in March 2007, came with Kwikset door hardware, on every door. At first we didn’t give it much thought. This was the 7th house I had owned in the U.S. and for the world of me I cannot remember what kind of locks the other six houses had. And there must have been a reason for that. I cannot remember ever having any real issues with the locks in any of the other houses.
Alas not so with the Kwikset locks. After about a year we started running into the problem that the handles of the most used door would become lose and with that it would become hard, and them impossible, to lock the doors. To the credit of the builders they left us with instructions for everything that was in the house. So I found the instructions to the locks and with it the necessary ‘magic’ Allen key. So basically with all the Kwikset locks we have the handles need to be tightened, on a regular basis — and if the handles are lose the cylinder on the locked units will seize-up refusing to turn. The ‘magic’ Allen key got pride of place in the kitchen. I used it often, particularly on the doors to the garage and outside. Yes, without questions, the kids and dogs were hard on the handles. In time I had tightened the locks so much that the screws started to disintegrate as did various metal parts inside the lock. Deanna had started to hate the locks. She wanted me to get some better ones.
So about 3 years ago I went to Home Depot to look at alternate locks. An HD Associate happened to see me, in the aisle, studying locks and came to ask me if I needed help. I told him I needed something to replace my garbage Kwikset locks. He told me, at once, that I was wrong. He assured me that Kwikset locks were good and moreover they came with a lifetime warranty! That was news to me. I explained to him that this wouldn’t help me since I did not have the receipts for the original locks. He amazed me. He said, “no matter, just bring them in”! I was shocked. I like Home Depot. I only shop Lowes for lights. Home Depot is good. But this was beyond my expectations.
Well, I don’t take chances with stuff like this. I got the Associates name and found out when he would be at the store for the remainder of the week. A few days later I arrived with a broken lock, in pieces, in a plastic bag. I asked the front desk to call the Associate. They did, all the time eyeing my plastic bag with suspicion. When the Associate arrived he was as good as he had said. He took me to the aisle, we picked a replacement, he showed me how ‘Smart Key’ would enable me to rekey it myself and then took me back to the front so that I could walk out with my new lock — albeit with a receipt, a box or any paperwork. he said he needed the box because he would use it to return the damaged one that I had brought in.
I was happy, but, at the same time, a bit concerned. It seemed a bit too ad hoc for my liking. I wasn’t sure whether I would have had this luck if I had spoken with another associate. Well that was 3 years ago.
The earlier this week I had two locks go. Metal bits just broke off. I wasn’t sure what to do. I called up Home Depot and asked for Hardware. Got an associate. Much to my joy he reiterated what I had heard 3 years ago. Bring in the locks we will give you new ones. I took the precaution of getting his name and his store hours for Saturday. Then I managed to squeeze in a quick run to Home Depot on Saturday, in between Teischan’s multiple ballet lessons. I asked for the Associate. The rest is history. I got two new locks — but again with no box, no receipt, o paperwork.
Installing them was not hard. I had taken enough of them apart by now. The ‘Smart Key’ technology works and works well though it scares me. I have visions, given my luck, that I would end up in a state when neither key works, though the instructions do include a section of how to get out of that jam. Devanee helped me with the locks. She read the ‘Smart Key’ instructions, step-by-step, and told me what to do. It is amazing how quick it is.
So, I am very happy with and grateful to Home Depot. I have two new locks.
But, I am also a bit unhappy. Not sure what will happen when I NEXT need a new lock — as will be inevitable. Just wish that there was a more rigorous return policy than what I appear to have encountered.
You will notice that I have not mentioned stores. That was intentional.
So that is where we are. Very happy with Home Depot. Not so much with Kwikset. But I thought that this might help some of you since I have seen people throwing conniptions about not being able to get Kwikset to honor the warranty. I am 100% sure that Kwikset would not have helped me. And that is the sad part.