I purchased a used key and asked the dealer to program it. He said that in order to program the key he needs the original number that was associated with the key. Kind of like a product key that comes with windows. Without it you cannot program the key. I was able to return the key for credit.
To a certain extent it is good that you can only get keys through Volvo, and with unique ID protection.
This would be too risky if not. Imagine that anyone could make a fob out of ebay and your vin number!
I don't believe that is a concern. When I had a Toyota Prius with the smart key as well as a Highlander with a smart key, you could take a used key and actually program the key yourself. It did not program by putting in the Vin Number. You did need the actual car to program the key. So there is no chance you could program a key for your neighbor by just knowing their Vin. Now with the Volvo, you cannot program the key without having access to the software which is held by Volvo and a few Lock Companies. They can only program the key if they have the original key code and then it is also connected to the car. The keys cost around $400 each and it costs around $150 to program one. It could be that the technician just did not want to program the key. I am not sure. The Volvo car will allow up to around 8 keys to be programed. That is what I recall reading.