|Dumbest Moments in Business
Business 2.0, January 2005
And the winner is
1. Defrauding investors is sooooooo 2002. These days it's all about
hosing your customers.
When you're a bike-lock maker whose slogan is "Tough World, Tough
Locks," it doesn't get much tougher than finding out that most of the
locks you've been making for the last 30 years can be picked with a Bic
That, sadly, is what happens to Ingersoll-Rand subsidiary Kryptonite in
September, after bloggers begin posting videos showing just how easy it
is to pop open the company's ubiquitous U-shaped locks.
Still in denial four days after the hullabaloo begins, spokeswoman
Donna Tocci says that the locks nonetheless provide "an effective
deterrent against theft" and that Kryptonite will speed up deliveries
of new, Bic-proof locks to stores.
Unsatisfied, bloggers continue to rail at the company until it finally
agrees to exchange the old locks for new ones, at an estimated cost of
$10 million. Um ... make that at least $10 million: In December the
company explains that the process of manufacturing and shipping the
100,000 replacement locks is taking longer than expected.
In the meantime, many dealers receive no shipments of new locks,
costing Kryptonite as much as $6 million in sales.
More on Kryptonite