30/10/2007 - 22:00

Overcoming key concern

30/10/2007 - 22:00

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Two Perth businessmen are behind a simple concept planned for roll-out next month to help return lost keys to their owners.

Overcoming key concern

Two Perth businessmen are behind a simple concept planned for roll-out next month to help return lost keys to their owners.

Marc Bell manages $1.6 billion for the Alcoa of Australia Pension Plan but during the past 18 months has spent his spare time formulating a key repatriation business called KeyDrop, along with Perth-based partner Ken Douglas and Singaporean-based businessman Kim Sea Chew.

The company sells registered key tags for $24.95 with instructions for lost keys to be put in the post.

Australia Post collects the keys and forwards them to KeyDrop, which then immediately contacts the owner of the keys by using a code attributed to the tag and assigned to its owner at the time of registration.

The registration is valid for 12 months.

Mr Bell said research undertaken in Singapore showed that 80 per cent of keys were returned within 16 hours of being lost in a spontaneous key drop trial at 10 public locations.

Mr Bell said that about 8,100 sets of keys are handed into Perth metropolitan police stations each year, while about 3,500 keys are lost at Perth’s 10 biggest shopping centres and a further 3,000 sets of keys are found or handed in to the Public Transport Authority.

“There is no organised way for keys to be returned other than hoping the rightful owner can retrace their steps and track them down,” Mr Bell said.

He added that the cost to replace car keys has increased as cars have become more sophisticated and drivers can wait up to seven days to get replacement keys because manufacturers need to verify details before issuing new keys.

Mr Bell said KeyDrop was being pitched at individuals and business, and there were plans to launch the business in the UK and New Zealand next year.

He said KeyDrop would be launched in the Sydney market by the end of the year, followed by Melbourne and Brisbane.

The business has signed former Australian Test cricket great Rod Marsh as the face of the company to promote the business as “a safe pair of hands”.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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