Alarming Complaints In Home Security

July 26, 2010 in Home Security System

Your home should be a place of safety, and your home security system should only add, never detract, from your level of comfort while in or out of your house. Unfortunately, problems and misunderstandings do arise between alarm companies and those they are supposed to protect. What follows are a few of the most frequent complaints from consumers looking for home security systems and alarm companies to monitor them.

If it’s too good to be true – the saying goes, and this applies to alarm companies’ advertisements in particular. Just like any competitive industry, alarm companies will promise a great deal when looking for your business. In order to install and monitor home security systems, alarm companies have been known to send out ads that look almost exactly like a Homeowners Association letter, promising a home security system with no cost to the consumer for equipment or installation. While many alarm companies offer great deals to new customers, you should realize that free equipment and installation deals frequently only come with a minimal home security package that often does not include the hardware and service most homes require for adequate protection.

Another frequent complaint arises from home security consumers wanting to change alarm companies. Many homeowners are under the erroneous assumption that because they own an installed home security system, they’re free to choose any alarm company to monitor it. Often in an attempt to switch to a new monitoring service, consumers are shocked to find out that other alarm companies are locked out from monitoring their home security system. In cases where there are proprietary concerns for alarm companies doing initial installations, changing your monitoring service may require new equipment such as keypads and control panels. Other alarm companies may be able to accommodate a switch, but usually only after a technician’s visit unlock your home security system by entering an installer’s code. Obviously, the lesson here is to choose your home security company wisely.

By far the most frequent complaint amongst home security consumers regarding alarm companies is the automatic renewal and length of service contracts. Even a cursory look at online complaints made by homeowners about alarm companies reveals time and time again that not reading the fine print can be costly. Not all, but many monitoring services will require 30-60 days notice in writing before a contract expires to keep it from automatically renewing. And though again not all companies adhere to this, some have been known to have service contracts that lock in consumers for periods of up to 3 years.

In practice, home security consumers can avoid most problems with their alarm companies by simply reading the fine print on all service contracts they receive and never signing any forms until all their questions are answered in writing. In addition, when communicating important decisions like changing the monitor of your home security system, it’s best to send those decisions in writing by registered mail to the alarm company with whom you’re canceling your service.

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