Monday, October 11, 2010

Marketing fail.

So apparently there is a company selling new secure entry setups to banks. Something of a cross between an armored fish tank, an airlock, and a prop from a dystopian science fiction movie, these entryways allow one person at a time to enter, and don't unlock the inner door unless the entrant is cleared by a built-in metal detector and the outer door has been closed.

All issues of legal CCW aside, this looks like a tremendous hassle. Further, rather than communicating safety, it tells me that my branch is located in such a dangerous area and is in such constant danger of violent robbery that they deem maximum-security techno-gadgets from the set of Minority Report to be a worthwhile expenditure, so I should probably bank elsewhere if I don't want to wind up as an extra in the climactic gun battle from Heat.

Did nobody run this by marketing?


(H/T to Unc.)

34 comments:

cybrus said...

There's a bank in downtown Pittsburgh that has had one of these for at least the last three years. I don't bank there but I've always wondered what would happen if I tried to go in with my normal EDC concealed firearm? No law in PA prohibiting you from carrying in a bank and signs don't count as legal notice...

Turk Turon said...

Man-traps seem like poor security options for banks. Imagine one armed robber trapped in the man-trap, and another trapped inside the bank, unable to exit. Seems to me like a recipe for disaster. Of course, if your objective is to turn a simple armed robbery into a hostage-standoff situation, it's the perfect solution!

wizardpc said...

I wonder what the failsafes are for fire safety? Or power failure?

Anonymous said...

I saw one of these for the first time last month at a branch on Thompson Road, near St. Jude's. I thought that was kind of an odd place for a security air-lock.

bluesun said...

It's another "If you don't trust me enough to follow the law, why should I trust you with my money?"

Blackwing1 said...

They've had these in most smaller European banks for at least 35 years. I remember cashing some traveler's checks and changing US dollars for francs, and being just appalled at the concept.

Nice to know we've caught up with the EU-niks finally.

Weer'd Beard said...

I wonder what the Bank's policy are for people handing the teller a note saying "I have a bomb/gun..."

I mean the system is there to prevent that, so can they call the bluff of a would-be-robber?

(don't all laugh at once)

TBeck said...

It's a stupid security policy. Anything that confines or agitates the robber while inside the building is to be avoided. The primary goal of a sensible robbery policy should be to get the robber out of the building as quickly as possible when collecting and preservin evidence. I'd rather lose the contents of a drawer than have shots fired in the lobby.e

Divemedic said...

A bank in my area has them. I used to have an account there. Just after they were installed, I tried to enter the bank, and was locked out because I had a concealed Sig229 on my hip.

I put my keys and phone in the clear box, and went through the magnetometer again. Of course, no dice.

When the bank manager saw my dilemma, she recognized me and opened the door. I jokingly asked them how they were going to protect me on my walk to the car.

Then I withdrew my money and went elsewhere.

Papa Whiskey said...

My bank has this. it is a giant pain in the ass and I will be changing banks soon. I'm shopping new banks now.

Keith said...

It's great marketing on the part of the manufacture of the system apparently, but poor marketing on the part of the banks that have these.

Tirno said...

Tell me what this adds up to:

- A pressurized bottle of Everclear or gasoline or other volatile with a fine mist spray nozzle.
- Some kind of sparking mechanism that came be induced to operate after a short amount of time
- A securely locked small room filled with a standard atmosphere 20% Oxygen gas mix and walled with, let's face it, glass.

If you're looking to cause trouble it's not hard to imagine endless ways to make this kind of contraption work in your favor.

The other way to make it useless is to find a cheap way to make it go off every time. Even if you can make it a 20% false positive rate, that'll mean the users will stop paying attention to it.

Anonymous said...

As I recall the Heat crew disabled the all security systems the night before the robbery.

I'm sort of partial to strapping the bomb to the manager plan myself. Go big or go home!

Gerry

Anonymous said...

There all over Europe nowadays and in the nicest neighborhoods.

Terry

Stuart the Viking said...

My two best friends are flaming liberals. I'm not sure how that came to be, but as long as we agree that we are just going to disagree about some things we get along fine. As a consequence of having them as friends, I often come into contact with some pretty clueless people Since I don't bother to hide who/what I am, often times, right in the middle of a conversation, one of the said clueless realizes that yes, I really am carrying a gun... right there talking to them. Some get angry*. Some get scared (one even cried). Others are curious. So, I have had "that" conversation with a number of people. You know the one, "what are you afraid of?" "do you carry to your mother's house?" "do you carry when you go to the movies?" and a few times "do you carry in the bank?" often, when the subject of the bank comes up, the person is amazed that it is legal to carry in a bank. "I mean, people rob banks, right?" Of all the stupid questions, this one seems the most no-brainer to me. Where in the world is the one place that I would go where I was most likely to have need of a gun? THE BANK! If I were going to make a deposit and guns were forbidden in a bank, I would be a sitting duck, a bad guy would automatically know that I am not armed, and I would be carrying a large amount of, presumeably unmarked, money! Needless to say, if my bank instigated a metal detector/security lock room like this one, I would HAVE to go get another bank.

s

* It always amazes me when someone gets ANGRY when they find out that I carry. It has happened a couple of times. Usually they just yell, but still, why upset the man with the gun? I can only assume that they are angry because they think I am a threat or might randomly start shooting. If they think I am that unstable, why TRY to piss me off? I really don't get it.

Britt said...

Sheep get nervous around canines. They aren't smart enough to tell the difference between a wolf and a dog. The bleating is involuntary.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been inside a physical bank in more than 10 years. If they put them on ATM vestibules (or would that be ATM atriums?) we'd have a problem.

That said, if I needed to go to my bank, and the bank that i went to had this in the door, I'd be banking somewhere else rather soon.

Matt
St Paul

Anonymous said...

People still actually go to banks?

Ferret said...

I get the feeling that there's another shoe waiting to drop. That shoe probably is a requirement by the insurance companies that all banks install such devices in order to not get raped on the cost of coverage.

Anonymous said...

On false positives: what is the sensor zone of these things? Is it low enough that it would it detect an ankle holster? If a 5" metal access cover for a water valve were epoxied to the sidewalk just outside the airlock, would that set off the detector every time? How about a short piece of rebar pounded into the ground (and covered with landscape material) at the corner of the sidewalk/entrance junction?

Anonymous said...

Most pawn shops in South FL have had mantraps for 30 years; usually cobbled up from expanded metal with an electric deadbolt added.

Worked pretty good in places where bringing in metal...guns, gold, blades, etc. is kind of the point. BG's knew that if they were coming in with evil intent, they'd be locked inside with two guys armed with a short remmie and a .357 and that they'd be unlikely to make it back out in one piece.

Banks though? Just another step toward uniform adoption of the highly PC and totally useless targeted security methods of the TSA everywhere you go.

Wanna rob a bank? Just hand 'em a note. Meanwhile, the rest of us just trying to go about our business and give the BANK our business, are guaranteed to be inconvenienced, insulted, and pissed off.

AT

rickn8or said...

As someone who spends time on the back side of the teller counters, fixing various cash-handling machines, I wonder how myself and my brother technicians are going to get in and out of a bank anymore?

And, upon further reflection, just about anything in my toolbox could be used as some sort of weapon, not to mention my S&W folder.

Pistola on the back side of the counter. Nuh-uh; too hard to explain to the Po-Po. And any answer that starts out "Uhhhhhh..." is probably not going to be good enough.

And this is contrasted with some banks in the 'hood taking down their 2" plexiglass in the name of "good customer relations". Look, that plexi went UP for a reason, and that reason's there more than ever before.

John A said...

I can understand the concern of a bank, and even appreciate that it is trying to protect customers and employees - as well as the money. Not sure if the hassle is worthwhile.

Too, how easy is it to [legitimately] bypass? Zimmer frame? Wheelchair? Umdrella?

Crucis said...

Not a bank, but a brand new credit union opened a couple of blocks from our house. It's not our CU but I did drop by to withdraw some cash from my account (the two CUs have an affiliation.) To my surprise, there is no one there! All the business is transacted via CCTV. You communication with a remote teller and they will activate the remote cash drawer at your location.

I had considered moving my CU account to this location but not now. I like to talk to tellers face-to-face.

Brian Dunbar said...

Further, rather than communicating safety, it tells me that my branch is located in such a dangerous area and is in such constant danger of violent robbery that they deem maximum-security techno-gadgets from the set of Minority Report to be a worthwhile expenditure,

Convenience stores in sketchy areas have the clerks behind bullet proof glass. One near the barracks in D.C. featured a lazy-susan deal for money and returned change. I guess people might have introduced actual bombs in a pass-through?

People shopped there because the alternative was to walk even further for their grocery needs.

Same, I imagine, with a bank.

Ben said...

Huntington Bank has a few locations in Indianapolis with these, if you're interested in seeing them up close.

Anonymous said...

Don't go to Europe, these things are everywhere. Every bank in Italy has one.

Eric Wilner said...

I sometimes need to visit a bank that has one of these. With the amount of assorted metal I usually carry, I used to set of the metal detector every time, then have to stand there looking harmless until someone hit the "allow" button.
I think they've gotten tired of it and disabled the metal detector, or cranked the sensitivity way down; I haven't set it off in a couple of months.
My own bank, about a block down the street, has normal doors, open counters, and in general a complete lack of obtrusive security measures.

Six said...

When our bank went this route we complained only to be blown off as nut jobs. That is until we withdrew our life savings at the same time as lots of small banks were failing. That resulted in squeals of pissiness and angst but the door remained.

Tam said...

The closest thing my bank has to this nonsense is a "no hat and no sunglasses" sign.

I halfway oblige them by parking my Wiley X's atop the brim of my Blackwater ball cap when I go in to do business.

Nobody's said anything about it in two years, nor have they mentioned if my gun burkha has blown open far enough to expose my heater or not...

Phillip said...

They put these things in several banks here in Lake County, FL a few years ago. I noticed the other day that some of the ones that had been put in were no longer there.

Now, I specify Lake County, FL because we have the highest CCW licensing in the state of FL, which is one of the highest in the nation. I know I personally have walked through these things several times at different banks, and every time I've been buzzed through. Almost every time, I've been armed. The first couple of times was while my license was lapsed, and I was on crutches. Yep, I set it off, but they buzzed me in anyway.

I guess someone here realized that the security theater just isn't worth that much and it was actually pissing off enough people who were vocal. I was one of the vocal ones, complaining to my main bank when it was first put in. Guess I should really stop in and tell them I appreciate them taking them out. Not how to do it without looking odd, though.

wrm said...

We've had that for years... decades, maybe. Problem is, they pick up your belt buckle, refuse to open, ring an alarm at the help desk, and they press the button to let you in.

Mostly the help desk is on the other side of the floor, there's no way they can check inside the fishtank even if they wanted to.

OK, it means that a large gang has to enter one-by-one. Or reverse a truck through the picture window next to the door.

Anywayz, only fools hit the banks here. They either blow up the ATMs or hit the armoured cars transporting cash to banks and for payrolls and the like.

staghounds said...

Because a bank robber would never go to Goodwill and buy a metal crutch or cane...

tanksoldier said...

There have to be other entrances to the building, and times when the double door lockout is disabled: fire alarm?

Go in thru the employee entrance, or drive thru the plate glass window, or buy a cane... the number of ways to defeat this "security measure" are mind-boggling. It does nothing to increase actual security, but is a major annoyance for ALL customers not just those who carry.

FAIL.