In the security industry we are flooded with questions about the “free” alarm systems that consumers read, see and hear about in advertising. Whether a door to door salesperson has come to your home or you’ve received mail offering peace of mind for “free” it is important to be informed on what you, the homeowner is really getting as part of these “free” systems.
While the initial advertised system may seem appealing and easy to obtain, there are several things to consider:
INADEQUATE PACKAGED SYSTEMS
Most packaged home security systems include a basic set of equipment such as 2 door contacts, a motion sensor and a keypad. The reality is that typically, unless you are in a very small home without windows, this type of package is sorely inadequate for really securing your home. These systems do not detect glass breaking, break-ins through windows or movement in the home away from the one motion detector. These systems do not monitor for fire, carbon monoxide or any other dangers that can be far more devastating than a thief, just a break in where the door is forcibly opened.
In most cases security companies lose money on the installation of equipment as part of these “free” systems. The homeowner pays little to nothing on the new equipment and that loss is made up over the 3-5 years of inflated monitoring fees. These fees can add up to hundreds of dollars over the life of the monitoring contract. There are companies charging $39.99 or more for monthly monitoring. When comparing home security systems, it’s important to compare monitoring rates over the course of 3-5 years as homeowners may end up paying hundreds of dollars more for a “free system’”.
OWNERSHIP OF EQUIPMENT
Many homeowners believe they can do whatever they want with the security equipment after it’s been installed. That is not always the case. Many homeowners have cancelled their monitoring after years of paying, only to have their equipment removed by the security company. This leaves the homeowner with nothing of value after years of payments.
The company that installs the security system is not always company that will service the account. Many security companies are dealers for national security companies. The monitoring contracts are sold to the corporation after installation and the homeowner is at the mercy of the corporation for any service issues that may arise.
When considering a “free” alarm system, it’s wise to ask many questions and compare actual costs and monitoring fees to avoid inflated costs. Want to learn more? Contact Us!