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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    WARNING- OnGuard Europe (Magnum Lock) refuses to replace faulty locks!

    In the past six months I have bought four OnGuard locks, one in the States and three online from Germany. I am in Latvia.

    After two months the lock which I bought in the States wouldn't open. I contacted Todson (the US distrubitor of Onguard), which sent me a new lock to Latvia. Excellent customer service. Thanks Todson.

    About three months later both the new one from Todson AND the lock which my wife uses (purchesed online in Germany) froze. I contacted Todson, which are sending me a new lock. Thanks Todson! I also was put in contact with the manufacture of the lock, Magnum Lock in the UK, for the lock purchased in Germany.

    Magnum Lock refuses to replace the broken lock and refers me to the Latvian distrubitor which as they admit, does not exist!

    Below is my email exchange with Magnum. I can't beleive this.

    Dana at Magnum at first offered me advice on how to clean and oil the lock. I had already tried her suggestions before I contacted Magnum. This was on 14/8/06

    Next she wrote:

    > >We don’t have a distributor in Latvia, I will see what I can do.

    Ok, I thought, service!

    A week later and nothing. So I wrote back:

    Dana,
    > >
    > > It's been a week since I have heard from you about
    > a replacement lock.
    > > Do you have any information for me?
    > >
    > > Thank you.

    Her response:

    > > It is a problem, We don’t have a distributor in
    > Latvia.

    > >
    > > I will keep working on that.

    Ok, I'll wait some more, after all, she is trying to help me.

    Another week passes with still no response so I send this email to Magnum:

    > Dana,
    >
    > This is xxxxx xxxxx in Riga, Latvia writing again.
    >
    > It's been two weeks now and I haven't heard a thing
    > from you offering a
    > solution to the problem of a replacement lock for
    > me. I'm beginning to feel
    > that you are ignoring me, hoping that I will just
    > forget about my broken
    > lock.
    >
    > Having purchased 4 Onguard locks in the past 6
    > months (two for my family and
    > two for friends) and having had three of them
    > malfunction has been a very
    > big disappointment to me. Luckily I bought one in
    > the States, and Todson has
    > been most helpful in getting me a replacement. Why
    > can't I get a replacement
    > for the lock that I purchased in Germany?
    >
    > Respectfully,
    xxxx xxxxx

    Much to my surprise I got this email in response:

    > Hello xxxxx,
    >
    > I don’t have a solution.
    >
    > You will have to contact the dealer in Latvia for
    > service.

    >
    > Kind regards,
    >
    > Dana

    What!! Contact the dealer in Latvia?! She knows there is no dealer in Latvia! She's the one who told me that there was no dealer in Latvia!

    The long and the short of it is that I am very shocked that a major manufacture of locks refuses to stand by their products. I'm very sorry to anyone whom I have suggested buy an Onguard lock on these forums. It seems that quality is not a major concern of the Magnum lock company.

    I have also learned that in the UK the warranty period is two years, not lifetime as is stated in the warranty card that comes with the lock. This information is from Moore and Large, the distrubitor of Onguard in the UK.

    A link to this thread has been sent to Dana at Magnum.
    Last edited by Ziemas; 08-28-06 at 10:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Ridiculous. Can you go up the food chain in Magnum and talk to Dana's superior?

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha
    Ridiculous. Can you go up the food chain in Magnum and talk to Dana's superior?

    --J
    I don't have any other contact person at Magnum, and they don't have a working website. Dana was put in contact with my by the UK distrubitor. Hopefully she'll chime in on this post as I sent her a link to it.

  4. #4
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Ask her for her supervisors eMail address.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    UPDATE-

    Much to my surprise I just recieved the following email from Magnum:


    Please give us details of the dealer in Germany.

    We will ask our German distributor to send new lock.

    You have to understand the process.

    Regards,

    Dana


    I'll keep you updated on the outcome of all of this......
    Last edited by Ziemas; 08-28-06 at 12:19 PM.

  6. #6
    going downhill fast maximusvt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    You have to understand the process.
    That is a bit condescending, isn't it? As if this predicament were all a result of your lack of understanding of "the process"?

    The process being, you bang on us hard enough and we'll continue to ignore you until you spread the word about our lack of customer support among people who might actually take notice of it... THEN we'll actually promise to contact someone about doing something.

    Good job Z, stick it to 'em.
    ...and don't forget to stretch!

  7. #7
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    What makes this sort of situation complicated is that many products are distributed through a family of semi-related companies. Only ONE of those companies is responsible for provided a warranty to a specific customer.

    For example, the Nikon camera company of Japan sells cameras to Nikon USA, the "official" importer. If you buy a Nikon from an authorized dealer in the USA, the warranty is provided by Nikon USA, not by Nikon. If you buy a Nikon from an UNauthorized dealer in the USA, or from a dealer in Cancun, Hong Kong, or Beirut, Nikon USA provides no warranty, and neither does the Nikon corporation itself.


    Magnum/OnGuard/Moore have similar arrangements. There is the "parent" company that designs the locks and sells them to the "official" USA importer,to the UK importer, Moore, and to importers in other countries.

    If you buy a Magnum/OnGuard lock from an authorized dealer in the UK, the warranty service is through Moore, not the manufacturing company. Because the importing companies often use names similar to the manufacturing company, it can be difficult to know who you are dealing with. It is not clear whether Magnum/OnGuard in the USA is part of the manufacturing company, or if it is an independent company reselling the locks in the USA. Ford UK does not warranty cars sold through Ford USA, nor does Ford - Germany warranty cars sold by Ford UK.

    That means you must figure out who you bought the lock from. If you bought the locks from an authorized dealer in the USA, it is the US importer that provides the warranty.


    The problem with locking/unlocking 2004-2005 model locks from both Krytonite and OnGuard relates to the flat key design. There are several rotating plates inside the keyway that must be fully aligned with each other for the lock to open and close. Those plates can easily rotate out of alignment by vibrations while riding, and from twisting the key slightly while pulling the key out of the keyway, or by twisting the key before the key is fully seated below the lowest plate.

    When all of the plates are aligned, the keyway passage forms a smooth sided rectangular slot that extends to the bottom of the crossbar. If any plate is out of alignment, the key can not reach the bottom of the crossbar, and cannot engage the bottom plate.

    The solution is simply to realign the plates. Use the tip of the key to realign the top plate with the second plate. Then align the second plate to the third plate. Then the fourth, the fifth, the sixth.

    When I first discovered this problem it took me about thirty seconds to realign all of the plates. Then, I practiced a bit, and I can do it in five or ten seconds.

    The 2006 model OnGuard and Kryptonite locks I've seen also have rotating plates, but they are much "stickier" and seldom need to be realigned. The only way to get the plates out of alignment is to insert the key and twist it hard before it is seated below the bottom plate. The locks have red warning stickers on them, warning owners to not turn the key before it is fully seated. But, again, it takes just a few seconds to realign the plates and get the lock working smoothly.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 08-28-06 at 11:09 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    ^^^
    I'm familiar with all of this, but the locks still stick.

    I think you are on to something about viberations as the roads here are terrible. I tried to align the plates on the first lock which froze with no luck. I even took it to a locksmith who couldn't get it to open.

    On a side note both my wife and I have Abus chains with the same style key as the OnGuard which haven't given us a single problem over several years, so I don't think it's user error.

  9. #9
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by maximusvt
    That is a bit condescending, isn't it? As if this predicament were all a result of your lack of understanding of "the process"?

    The process being, you bang on us hard enough and we'll continue to ignore you until you spread the word about our lack of customer support among people who might actually take notice of it... THEN we'll actually promise to contact someone about doing something.

    Good job Z, stick it to 'em.
    The person who replied doesn't seem to be fluent in English and that statement wasn't to be taken literally. It seemed as if they just translated it actually.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  10. #10
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    OnGuard locks offer super service.

    MAGNUM service the distributor.
    Distributor serve the dealer.
    WE do not have distributor in Latvia.
    Why you refused to contact the dealer in Germany.?
    Why you fail to confirm the German dealer details?
    We are trying to do our utmost for you but this information in order to progress
    Dana

  11. #11
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    Benjamin.

    Thank you for the information.

    We will ask our German distributor to send you NEW lock.

    You have to understand that our distributors are in charge of the consumer service.

    Bike-Components had to serve you.

    Kind regards,

    Dana

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DANAMAGNUM
    MAGNUM service the distributor.
    Distributor serve the dealer.
    WE do not have distributor in Latvia.
    Why you refused to contact the dealer in Germany.?
    Why you fail to confirm the German dealer details?
    We are trying to do our utmost for you but this information in order to progress
    Dana
    Excuse me? With all do respect, you never mentioned the German dealer until I posted all this info on this message board, over two weeks after we originally were in contact. If I should have contacted the German dealer why didn't you tell me that in the first email you sent me? Instead you wrote about not having a Latvian dealer, etc.

    I never refused to contact the German dealer. I just never knew it was an option. I sent the original reciept, in PDF form, in the first email which I sent to Moore and Large, the UK distrubitor and only European contact information that came with the lock. This email was sent on Wed Aug 09, 2006. I assume that Moore and Large forwarded my email to you, and then you contcted me. You should have had all the necessary information then.

    When you asked me for the details of the German dealer on Monday, August 28 I sent you a PDF copy of the original receipt within 10 minutes of receiving your request. The email I sent to you follows:

    Dana,

    Thank you for your offer. Attached you will find a PDF
    file of the original receipt. All the necessary
    information, including my shipping information can be
    found there. You will notice on this receipt there are
    two locks, it is the Brute which I am having troubles
    with. Please let me know if there is any other
    information you need.

    Thank you for your help.

    To say that I refused to send you the contact infromation of the German dealer (all the nessary information on the dealer, including their company name and contact information is listed on the original receipt) is just plain false. I sent it within 10 minutes of you asking for it.

    To say that I refused to contact the German dealer is quite odd, as it was never offered as an option until yesterday, over two weeks since our first email exchange and only after I posted about my experience on this message board.

    All I am asking for is a lock that opens and closes properly. I hope we can solve this problem without any further mud slinging.
    Last edited by Ziemas; 08-29-06 at 12:36 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    I think it is time to find a better company for a lock. Shame on you the first time, shame on me the second time.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DANAMAGNUM
    Benjamin.

    Thank you for the information.

    We will ask our German distributor to send you NEW lock.

    You have to understand that our distributors are in charge of the consumer service.

    Bike-Components had to serve you.

    Kind regards,

    Dana
    Then why didn't you put me in contact with the German distributor in the first place? I would have happily delt with them if I knew who were the proper people to contact. You never sent me any information on who the German distributor is. It would have made things a lot easier for both of us, and I might have had a working lock by now.

    By the way, Bike-Components was the retailer, are they also the distributor as well?

  15. #15
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Am I the only one who finds it hilarious that a rep from OnGuard/Magnum gets on Bike Forums to chew out some poor guy who has been having trouble with one of their locks? I've seen reps from product manufacturers get on to directly address people's concerns/issues, but I've never seen one try to take someone to task and be rude to them before. Wow, OnGuard's got some really clever people working for them - show a huge group of cycling enthusiasts from all over the world (people who buy stuff for their bikes) how poor you customer service skills are?

    That said, sorry you're having so much trouble, Ziemas.

  16. #16
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    That means you must figure out who you bought the lock from. If you bought the locks from an authorized dealer in the USA, it is the US importer that provides the warranty.
    This may vary. In Finland, I can contact seller, distributor or manufacturer (if it's locally made), whichever is more convenient for me. All have legal obligation to help me out and sort out the expenses and arrangements between each other. It does not really matter to me which of them is the warranty provider.

    Ziemas, another thing crossed my mind: this seems to get sorted out now, but if things continue to get complicated, referring to EU Consumer Policy might help. All parties involved are in EU (manufacturer, seller and you). For details see EU Consumer Affairs web site.

    --J

    [edit] added distributor to the list of poss. contact points [/edit]
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  17. #17
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha
    This may vary. In Finland, I can contact seller or manufacturer, whichever is more convenient for me. Both have legal obligation to help me out and sort out the expenses and arrangements between each other. It does not really matter to me which of them is the warranty provider.

    Ziemas, another thing crossed my mind: this seems to get sorted out now, but if things continue to get complicated, referring to EU Consumer Policy might help. All parties involved are in EU (manufacturer, seller and you). For details see EU Consumer Affairs web site.

    --J
    Thanks for the tip. I hope I don't have to go that route, but it's good to know that it's available.
    Last edited by Ziemas; 08-29-06 at 08:05 AM.

  18. #18
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DANAMAGNUM
    Benjamin.

    Thank you for the information.

    We will ask our German distributor to send you NEW lock.

    You have to understand that our distributors are in charge of the consumer service.

    Bike-Components had to serve you.

    Kind regards,

    Dana
    I'm looking for a better lock and was considering a Magnum, but I just took that one off my list!

    what else do you mkae? - just want to be sure what products to avoid and advice all my friends here in Australia to also avoid.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

  19. #19
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    There are three outstanding suppliers of bike locks: Abus (in Europe), Magnum/OnGuard, and Krytonite. If you review the locks that have earned "gold" ratings at SoldSecure, you will see that the majority of "gold" rated locks are supplied by these companies.

    If you purchase an OnGuard/Magnum lock from an AUTHORIZED dealer in Germany, you will receive warranty papers that includes the phone number and address of the company that obligated to provide warranty service. Contact THAT company, and you will get help. Contact someone who is NOT authorized to provide warranty service in Germany, and they (strangely enough) are unlikely to assist you.

    It is pretty simple. In any nation around the world, when you buy a bike lock, buy from an authorized dealer, not some internet discount fly-by-night. And, when the lock needs service, contact ONLY the specific company contracted to provide warranty service in that particular nation, not the company with the service contract for Eastern Bumania.

    Why? If a company in the UK or the USA sells a "bike widget" to "Bike Widgets of Germania", "Bike Widgets of Germany takes on the obligation to provide warranty service in Germany. A bike shop buys the widget from BWG, not from the factory. The factory has no obligations to the bike shop, nor to a customer that buys from the shop. Both the shop and the ultimate user must look to the company that sells the lock in Germany for warranty service.

    This seems to be beyond the understanding of many consumers. Folks will buy a "bargain" Nikon camera while traveling through Hong Kong because it is cheaper than buying in the USA. They are stunned when Nikon USA refuses to do warranty work on the camera. Nikon USA only warranties the cameras it sells, and those cameras come with Nikon USA warranty papers.


    There have been many reports of owners frustrated with their 2004 and 2005 model "flat key" bike locks. Yet, when those owners READ THE OWNER'S MANUAL (a shocking step for most men) and learn how to use a flat key lock, they have no problems. These locks require fully seating the key before turning it. This design makes it more difficult to pick the locks. This is explained in the owner's manual...just read it.

    www.soldsecure.com/Leisure.htm
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 08-29-06 at 11:04 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    There are three outstanding suppliers of bike locks: Abus (in Europe), Magnum/OnGuard, and Krytonite. If you review the locks that have earned "gold" ratings at SoldSecure, you will see that the majority of "gold" rated locks are supplied by these companies.

    If you purchase an OnGuard/Magnum lock from an AUTHORIZED dealer in Germany, you will receive warranty papers that includes the phone number and address of the company that obligated to provide warranty service. Contact THAT company, and you will get help. Contact someone who is NOT authorized to provide warranty service in Germany, and they (strangely enough) are unlikely to assist you.

    It is pretty simple. In any nation around the world, when you buy a bike lock, buy from an authorized dealer, not some internet discount fly-by-night. And, when the lock needs service, contact ONLY the specific company contracted to provide warranty service in that particular nation, not the company with the service contract for Eastern Bumania.

    Why? If a company in the UK or the USA sells a "bike widget" to "Bike Widgets of Germania", "Bike Widgets of Germany takes on the obligation to provide warranty service in Germany. A bike shop buys the widget from BWG, not from the factory. The factory has no obligations to the bike shop, nor to a customer that buys from the shop. Both the shop and the ultimate user must look to the company that sells the lock in Germany for warranty service.

    This seems to be beyond the understanding of many consumers. Folks will buy a "bargain" Nikon camera while traveling through Hong Kong because it is cheaper than buying in the USA. They are stunned when Nikon USA refuses to do warranty work on the camera. Nikon USA only warranties the cameras it sells, and those cameras come with Nikon USA warranty papers.


    There have been many reports of owners frustrated with their 2004 and 2005 model "flat key" bike locks. Yet, when those owners READ THE OWNER'S MANUAL (a shocking step for most men) and learn how to use a flat key lock, they have no problems. These locks require fully seating the key before turning it. This design makes it more difficult to pick the locks. This is explained in the owner's manual...just read it.

    www.soldsecure.com/Leisure.htm
    Alan you are very insulting and agressive in your post. Why is that?

    First off, here in Latvia there is no choice but to buy over the internet as there are not retaliers of high end bicycle locks. It's not a matter of bargin, it's a matter of availability. This is not America where all is available at your local shopping mall.

    Second off, I actually did read the owners info that came with the lock. I even translated it for a friend whom I bought a Magnum lock for.

    Third off, I and my wife used Abus chains with flat keys for several years before purchasing the Magnum locks. With the Abus chains we never had a problem, ruling out user error.

    Further, I contacted the ONLY European contact on the warranty card which in turn put my in contact with Magnum.

    If you look at Magnum's website at http://www.magnumlock.com/ and click on the link at the bottom of the page which says DOWNLOAD MAGNUM PLUS ANTI-THEFT PROTECTION OFFER AND KEY WARRANTY REGISTRATION you will find that the form asks for your country, leading one to beleive that all warranty claims, regardless of orgin, are handled through the address on this form. The address is the same one on the warranty card I recieved, Moore and Large in the UK. The same company I first contacted. The same company which then put me in contact with Magnum.

    Lastly, all products purchased in the EU are covered EU wide by the warrenty. All the countries involved in this fiasco are in the EU. The EU has very good consumer protection laws.

    The long and the short of it is that Magnum dropped the ball.
    Last edited by Ziemas; 08-29-06 at 04:14 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    UPDATE

    It seems like there is some light at the end of the tunnel. After waiting nearly two weeks after I was told by Magnum a lock would be shipped to me from the German distrubitor, and several more emails, I have a tracking number for a lock being shipped all the way from mainland China. It seems I'm getting a 2007 model lock, which I hope is an improved model. As a commuter I'll be very happy to have a working U lock again.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    I think it is time to find a better company for a lock. Shame on you the first time, shame on me the second time.
    Have you read this entire thread? The problem has NOTHING to do with OnGuard/Magnum. That company sells its locks to distributers in about 100 nations around the world. When a customer in Latvia, or Germany buys a lock, their warranty is through their distributor, NOT the manufacturer.

    In this case, a customer in Latvia bought a lock via mail order from a source in Germany. If that source is an AUTHORIZED dealer in Germany, the warranty papers from the German distributor would be included with the lock. If it was a discount, "fly-by-night" dealer, no warranty papers would be included.

    If the customer bought from an AUTHORIZED dealer, the customer merely needs to follow the instructions provided with the warranty.

    But, for those of us who do NOT live in Latvia, and buy our locks via mail order from a source in Germany, this is not a relevent problem. Customers in the USA who buy OnGuard locks from an authorized dealer will be provided warranty service through the USA distributer. I've never heard of any OnGuard customer in the USA who bought from an authorized dealer, and who followed the instructions provided with the warranty having the slightest problem obtaining service.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    Have you read this entire thread? The problem has NOTHING to do with OnGuard/Magnum. That company sells its locks to distributers in about 100 nations around the world. When a customer in Latvia, or Germany buys a lock, their warranty is through their distributor, NOT the manufacturer.

    In this case, a customer in Latvia bought a lock via mail order from a source in Germany. If that source is an AUTHORIZED dealer in Germany, the warranty papers from the German distributor would be included with the lock. If it was a discount, "fly-by-night" dealer, no warranty papers would be included.

    If the customer bought from an AUTHORIZED dealer, the customer merely needs to follow the instructions provided with the warranty.

    But, for those of us who do NOT live in Latvia, and buy our locks via mail order from a source in Germany, this is not a relevent problem. Customers in the USA who buy OnGuard locks from an authorized dealer will be provided warranty service through the USA distributer. I've never heard of any OnGuard customer in the USA who bought from an authorized dealer, and who followed the instructions provided with the warranty having the slightest problem obtaining service.
    Alan, in the EU, which both Lativa and Germany are members of, it doesn't matter where I buy the lock, as long as it is in an EU country it is covered by an EU wide warrenty. Also in the EU we have different options of where to go for warenty service. I can choose to go directly to the manifacture if I so desire.

    You are correct that the US distrubitor of Onguard/Magnum has excellent customer service. But even excellent customer service won't help when you are standing on the street with a lock which won't open.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Final Update

    I just recieved my new Onguard/Magnum Brute lock. It is a redesigned model for 2007.

    It looks like they've put some thought into this new model. The first thing I noticed is that it is not possible to turn the key until it is fully seated into the lock. Abus keyways are like this and I suspect that is part of the reason they work so well. The key also resembles an Abus key.

    The second thing that is notable is that it is slightly larger than the older Brute locks. This is good for me as now I can fit it around the thin light poles we have here in Riga.

    All in all it seems like a much inproved lock. Time will tell, but I think they might have a winner with this one.

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