Home Security Industry Practices
The home security industry as gone through many changes in the past and I wanted to touch on some very important issues to help you in deciding what to do and who should call for a home security system. The home security systems available have thousands of monitoring companies available, and around 5 major equipment companies that the majority of these companies use. Some of the well known are GE Security (Simon, Simon XT and Simon XTI & Concord4), Honeywell or Ademco Equipment, DSC, 2GIG (a company started by employees from leaving Honeywell).
First I want to start by saying, please do your homework. There is enough information on line for you to figure out quickly if you should be dealing with a specific company or not. A lot of complaints are about a company name over another. Most companies are sales companies, actually what I mean is they have sales agents out representing a local company who represent a national company. And like everything in the world it only takes a few bad apples to spoil it for everyone. Just because one specific company has done some bad practices does not mean they all do. However…. if bad practices are allowed or not policed very well then shame on the “parent company”. If the company is representing the main company which is typically the Monitoring Companies name, you should be concerned. They should be representing there company name using XYZ company for your Monitoring services. They also should disclose who they are using for your monitoring.
A local company with local monitoring will tell you often times immediately that they are the monitoring company, or very quickly into the conversation you will understand they will be the actual monitoring company. You do not have to be so concerned with the monitoring company being local or national as long as they are a UL rated facility. You should be more concerned with who will service if needed? Who is the contact person or is it a 1-800 number. Most of the security companies selling systems work under a sales model which means the person selling you the system you will never here from again. Most have a company policy to not contact you and they tend not to want to. Then after 3 months, the contract is taken over by the Monitoring company purchasing the account, this is what generates the commission for the sales agent. This sales model which is becoming prevalent in a lot of industries tends to have some bad results especially related to customer service.
These same companies tend to have very poorly trained techs who are installing your system. Often times are selling you based on a commission instead of your family’s concerns, needs and budget. The other problems it causes are they only now one type of security equipment and even if they new other equipment are only allowed to sell what is available to them.. this may cause them to say “your equipment is outdated” or “have to get new equipment because…” or ” your equipment will not work with ours because your is too old”. Again sometimes this is true but remember in there system they have to sell more to make more money so be careful! Ask questions if you think this is happening to you.
Another concern is if you can not add on to your system later, or you have to get this now to get the price offered, we can not come back later, price only good now… these are all signs of a sales company. You may be getting a good deal but you will probably have very poor customer service, follow up and when something goes wrong in these type of companies running under this format, believe me you will regret you ever did business with them. If you google these companies you will find all of this information available to you.
Good Home Security Industry Practices Should Include picking a company that makes an appointment, sends a sales representative, creates an estimate and sales invoice as required by law (at least in California). The company should have staff that can be contacted and a place of business. You should be able to have the options to purchase a system outright, turn on an existing system and possibly have the ability to get a system with and receive a discount for signing a contract.