At first, disbelief. Anger follows. Tort lawyers then smell blood and launch putative class actions. Is sarcasm the last stage or merely another point along the road? A US consumer has placed Kryptonite replacement keys on Ebay. They're felt tip pens. "If you really bid on this, you missed the point of the auction, but I will still gladly take your money anyways," said russw19.

Brand attack: how many ways can consumers tell you they’re unhappy?

"Why settle for the boring old white [replacement keys] with the black or blue caps that all your friends have when you can have these custom black ones with a white cap and ‘Music Match’ logo!" said russw19.

"Better than any skeleton key, this is the one the only Music Match Kryptonite key! You know you want it…so bid now and bid often because once these are gone there should never be another auction like this one."

The auction has attracted two bids but has yet to rise above six cents.

However, the spoof has been viewed 1144 times.

The Kryptonite/Bic thread on, the thread with the orginal Quicktime movie of a Bic pen opening a Kryptonite lock, has been viewed close to half a million times.

Other brands of locks have been criticised as insecure on but none have launched recall programmes. Kryptonite has, and its reputation is recovering, although 05 sales will be hit hard.

US websites are reporting that tubular cylinder locks on gun cabinets can also be opened with pen barrels and some suppliers are shipping replacement mechanisms.…/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7104277477

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