anti-piracy / anti-theft devices that turn out to be anti-consumer

One of the things that really annoy me about common business practices with consumer items is how the business will make their product so that it can’t be used normally without the consumer having to jump through a lot of hoops to use it. An example of which you may or may not be familiar would be regional encoded DVD movies.

Well I’ve run into one a couple of weeks ago, my car radio. Honda’s stock radio/CD player has an anti-theft mechanism such that if it loses power (unplugged, the car’s battery dies, whatever) it locks up and you have to get a 5 digit code to unlock. Well, here’s the deal, my battery died a couple of weeks ago and now I’ve lost the radio. No music from a disc, radio, and no clock 🙁

It wouldn’t be too bad if I knew how to get to the serial number on the radio, because that’s all I need to give to the dealership and they’ll tell me the code. Here’s the thing about that. Thieves will already have a way to get that code too. And they’d get it faster. So how is this an anti-theft mechanism? It isn’t! It’s anti-consumer.

So, here I sit with an unusable radio in my car… but if a thief wants it, they can take it and fix it, heh.