Now more than ever, locking mailbox security matters
Last week, this email from ‘Brian’ arrived in my inbox:
“Thanks for a great product. Our entire streets mailboxes were broken into this morning except for mine. Which of course is a Mail Boss. Do you sell bronze touch up paint? Mine now has some nasty scratches down to the metal.”
Of course, I love hearing this kind of feedback from our customers. But this email got me thinking… about the evolution of the locking mailbox market, and how much it has changed over the years.
When we first brought Mail Boss to market in 2006, very few people realized that mail theft was a common way that thieves obtained sensitive information for identity theft. Some parts of the country – particularly where meth addiction was a big problem – had a higher awareness of mail-identity theft than others, but in general, a secure locking mailbox was a tough sell. Even though most Americans knew the importance of shredding sensitive documents, they did not make the connection between what they were shredding – mostly mail – and its origin, the curbside mailbox.
Those individuals who did recognize the need for a locking mailbox were less concerned about security, and simply wanted a mailbox with a lock on it. Why would they purchase a high-security Mail Boss when other locking mailboxes like the Oasis Jr. by Architectural Mailboxes or the Mail Safe by Gibraltar were less expensive? Their rationale, no doubt, was since most homeowners did not have locking mailboxes, simply having a mailbox with a lock on it would make them unlikely targets for mail thieves.
From the beginning, we have held that security matters, not only because we believe in making quality products, but also because when most everyone has a locking mailbox, thieves will still steal mail. Locks like those on our competitors’ mailboxes will only keep honest people honest.
We designed Mail Boss to provide homeowners with ultimate security and protection against mail theft, with the patented anti-pry latch locking mechanism to prevent leveraged entry. We tested the Mail Boss locking system at our offices using a screwdriver, a crowbar, and other tools; time and again, we found that the Mail Boss was far more secure than the competition.
The question then was how to communicate the superior security of Mail Boss to homeowners who may not even think that the ‘security’ of a locking mailbox matters? In the past, we have experimented with different messages like the banner ad shown above. This animation shows a plank of “security” mailboxes all pried open except the Mail Boss. When we tested this message, however, it was clear that people did not find it believable: They didn’t believe that thieves really pried open locking mailboxes.
Now, as mail theft has become an epidemic across the nation, more and more people are switching to locking mailboxes. In the Seattle area, I would estimate that about 75% of homeowners have a locking mailbox. However, this has not stopped thieves from targetting mailboxes. Many people with lower quality locking mailboxes are being victimized by thieves who can easily fish or pry open these “faux-security” mailboxes, as we call them.
Even though we know that locked mailboxes are being pried open all the time, most people still cannot fathom that. Of course, if your ‘secure’ mailbox is pried open – as it happened to these Bellevue residents shown above – then you might care a little bit more about security when you replace your burglarized mailbox.
Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time before mail theft from ‘faux-security’ locking mailboxes becomes more and more common, just as it has happened for mail theft from unlocked mailboxes over the past few years. When we hear from customers like Brian, we know this to be true. We only hope to help homeowners understand how to compare secure mailboxes. For more information on choosing a locking mailbox, continue reading here.