All I Want For Christmas Is My Lockbox Key to Work
Technology when it works is so wonderful but when my electronic key malfunctions, I have to admit that I long for simple metal key! I am not trying to say that we should return to the days of horses and buggies but sometimes you need the key to work. Santa's helpers probably need to make a list for me of all the nice reasons that we made a simple key system complicated. (Now I suppose I am being naughty!)
Last Sunday, an agent sent me an email message that her lock box key was not updating. She was upset because her key works sometimes then it mysteriously stops working. She had updated the key 2 days before; only to receive on Sunday the message reading "clock stopped." I told her that I would open up the house for her. Supremely confident that my key would work, I hooked my key up to my computer and viola I received the same horrible message. Then the situation worsened when I tried to take my key out so that I could reinsert it - my computer or key started beeping loudly. I really hate it when I hear beeping noises. Do the programming people that wrote BEEPS into the software for either device really believe that we respond better when a loud beeping noise is present? I think that they must have some sort of misguided, weird sense of humor.
If your key won't update on the computer, the second step in this process is to call the key vendor for the update code according to the vendor's instructions. The agent called but no one answered or responded. It turns out the vendor is in the Pacific Northwest which had horrible storms this weekend. Would our clients really believe that we could not open a door because our vendor was in the middle of a storm? I think that these days they might. In Christiansburg, VA, we could not open a vacant property because the electronic key would not update...hmmm?
Years ago, I learned that it is a good policy to make an extra key for emergencies for every listing. Too bad that I didn't have the extra key with me! I am now making a note to myself to keep the keys in my car so that I can access them. (The key codes of course would need to remain somewhere else for safety reasons.)
On Monday, I contacted our association office to complain about the vendor and ask that we consider a weekly updating system instead of updating every 2 days. At least I thought that we could have a day during a regular work week to update if we switched to a longer period of time between updates. Our vendor does not permit smart phone updates, which is another reason that I could use to persuade our association to make it easier on everyone by adopting a longer period of time for updates. (A broker at another company recently circulated a petition asking that we extend the update period.) Honestly, I think that a two day update period would be fine if the technology was dependable.
After contacting MLS, I received a response from the support saying that my computer virus protection probably stopped the update code from transmitting. The sender's name was Nick although I don't think that he is related to St. Nicholas even though he does work in the Pacific Northwest in a very snowy area. I responded to Nick..."Apparently, the other agent's virus protection also stopped her update code." According to the reply to my message, the vendor is not responsible for understanding the virus protection and software on agent's computers. Neither I nor the other agent has the same virus protection. It seems to me that when we buy something or lease a lock box key system it should work if it is meant to update on a computer...Don't all computers have virus protection? In the mean time, another agent told me that she experienced the same problem and resolved it by rebooting.
I should have known that rebooting would help but it helped only temporarily because yesterday my key would not update again. It seems that my agent has passed on her bad luck with our lock box keys to me. This time the message was "http: error 500" which means that while I was trying to reinsert and reboot, I loosened the connection. Why couldn't the message say, "Check your connection?" After another set of emails, I received a message from support to simply check my computer connections. The bottom line, when nothing seems to work, take out the battery and reinsert it or reboot. Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Years too!