Approximately eighteen months ago my husband and I decided to purchase a portable door chime as we were getting rather frustrated with people hammering the glass of our front door with their fists as opposed to gently tapping the letterbox! We didn't research any products and as a result, our purchase was made solely on impulse and this review discusses our experience with the Uni-com Wirefree Portable Door Chime.
~~ ABOUT THE PRODUCT ~~
I had never heard of the brand prior to our purchase and it was only when wandering around our local Wilkinsons that the packaging caught my husband's eye. As we spend a lot of time in our garden during the warmer months we required a product that we could clearly hear whilst we were outside. It seemed that this particular brand ticked all of the boxes, as in addition to it being portable it was wireless and as a consequence our purchase was made.
~~ SETTING UP AND USING THE DOOR CHIME ~~
The door chime is supplied in two parts; namely the push button unit that needed to be fitted to our door and is manufactured from a sturdy cream coloured plastic with measurements of 8½ cm in length, 3 cm in width and 2 ½cm in depth at its' widest part. The push button is made from a rubberised material and is of a good size so is easily pressed by those with mobility problems.
The unit operated from a 1 x 3 volt lithium battery (CR2032), which had already been fitted and we needed to follow the simple set up instructions on the accompanying double sided A5 sheet leaflet. This was an easy process where we had a selection of eight different chimes, but had I known the tunes prior to purchase I would most definitely have left this product on the shelf in Wilkinsons! Whilst we could have chosen a simple "ding dong" chime my husband had a shortlist of two, namely the "It's a small world" Disney theme or a dog barking and to my total horror he decided upon the latter!
Following my husband's mad selection the unit needed to be fitted to our front door and accompanying the two sections was a double sided pad to enable the back plate of the unit to be mounted. This was an easy process where two small holes needed to be made in our door. The lower section of the unit was weather proofed by way of a transparent plastic covering, which allegedly would prevent any water from seeping onto the battery.
The other section of the door chime is the sturdy plastic receiving unit, which measures 6 cm in width, 9 cm in length and 3½ cm in depth at its' widest part. The unit has a large clip on the reverse, which housed a good sized hole to enable it to be hung on a hook or clipped onto something anywhere within the house. The operating range of the unit is up to 100 metres with the wire free signal reducing if it is transmitted through walls or ceilings. However, as far as we are aware, we never experienced any problems and were able to pick up the signal anywhere within our home and garden. The chime provided us with 80 db of barking dog, which drove me absolutely barking mad, as Mr Bow Wow proceeded to give us several repertoires of his gruff and woofing performance!
~~ THE PROBLEMS ~~
Whilst we never experienced any problems with picking up the signal I'm surprised the unit didn't get smashed as despite the door chime offering 16 different channels our lovely barking dog would regularly sound! The first time this occurred was in the middle of the night, which nearly gave us heart failure, particularly as after the dog gave his tirade of barks the chime alternated to the loving delights of "Twinkle Twinkle". We were able to change the channel by removing one of the small links contained within the rear of the unit, as clearly we were picking up another frequency, but the problem regularly occurred where we would be woken in the middle of the night by a variety of tunes, which ranged from "Banjo on my knee" to the "Circus Theme".
We discovered that after only two months the push button pad was sticking, which was most embarrassing, particularly when the postman was at the door and I would feel a right idiot stood there whilst an imitation dog continually barked! Whilst my husband remedied the sticking problem a range of chimes continually sounded and until this day we are unsure if one of our neighbours was receiving a regular late night visitor! Within just three months of ownership the battery section was beginning to rust quite badly, so the alleged "weather resistant" unit was clearly not weatherproof! I retained the units for reviewing purposes, but they were removed and disconnected after only a few months of use, as this was a total waste of money and a constant interference to our beauty sleep or anything else we may have been doing at that time!
According to the instruction leaflet the battery is easily changed, but unfortunately we were not in a position to discover this for ourselves. Additional push button units and push pads can be purchased, but following our poor experience I cannot recommend this product and as my title suggests "ding a ling a ling, our door bell's in the bin!".
~~ PRICE AND AVAILABILITY ~~
If you are interested in purchasing this product after reading my barking review I would advise that this chime is available on Amazon for £9.99 inclusive of postage and packing.
As for awarding stars, unfortunately, it gets the minimum amount from me with no recommendation.
I hope you found my review useful and would thank you for reading.