Does that look like a clickbait headline or what? Good thing it’s not.
There are some super cringe worthy promotions out there right now. Security used to be about making sure that a home was covered against intrusion or break in, and an alarm was supposed to provide a level of security to the home owner in case they did come under threat. That was the purpose. And then big telecoms started getting involved and now? Now it’s just an additional revenue stream. $60 a month for a cheap system that barely knows your doors are closed.
There have always been scam artists… but when big business starts advertising like this….
That’s a problem. Cookie cutter alarm systems going in at dirt cheap prices to generate ROI and the home owner with no clue that what they have is, basically, useless. I cannot tell you how many of these systems we’ve had to replace. I’m not saying we haven’t had our issues… but it doesn’t not even out with what we’ve fixed.
So, let’s hit up some red flags to look for;
- If They Call It “Stopping Criminals”
That’s right. An alarm system doesn’t “stop” break ins. It can deter them, it can send them next door, but if a burglar is determined to break in they still will and the alarm system cannot prevent it.
A monitored alarm system will reduce the amount of time the burglar has to do the damage they are going to do. A home that has a system becomes a less likely target for a break in. A well designed system will bring response on a two-zone trigger no matter how access is gained. But in no way will it stop someone in the act of breaking in if they want to.
2. If The System is Free
It’s not. It’s never free. The cost of a system is either made up in the monitoring cost or it’s old junk they just want to get rid of.
3. They Advertise an Insurance Break
This one is true, but it’s not a selling point. The insurance break is so small that it will never overcome the cost of a well designed alarm system. If you want an alarm, get an alarm and then enjoy the break that comes with getting one. But don’t get one for the break. It’s not big enough.
Also, most insurance companies now offer a break for a monitored home alarm. It’s not unique to anyone.
4. They Advertise Faster Police Response
This is a lie. Preferential treatment from the police towards certain alarm companies would be a massive conflict of interest. If we ever find out that any company is getting better response… stinks will be made.
5. They Tie Home Automation to the Alarm
Okay, so this isn’t bad per se, but keep an eye on your monthly cost. The truth of automation is that you can do most of it without a monthly cost, and tying your home operation to your alarm costs simply increases your monthly bill. Also, keep in mind that your automation servers aren’t half as secure as your security servers, and your automation tends to be aware of your alarm codes. That’s a security risk as well.
If it’s smartphone operation you’re after, we can do that without adding any other levels to your operation.
6. They Can Be There That Day
Typically this means they have someone sitting around doing nothing. If you’re going with a smaller start up, it’s likely that he or she is simply building a business and that’s fine. It’s more likely, though, that a skilled and sought after professional will plan at least 2-3 days ahead before they can get there. Most likely more than that. If you have someone good, there will most likely be a wait.
7. They Only Do Wireless
This is a MAJOR red flag. While these systems are ok, and we do have some like this, there is no way any professional security company should exclusively deal in wireless systems. Not good.
8. The Monitoring Cost is Excessively Cheap
We know bottom line is important, but there is a different between paying for something and paying for nothing. If the monitoring cost is below $20/m, something is wrong. Avoid.
I’m going to add to this list as we come across more things to add. Most security providers are well aware of the red flags they need to avoid in their marketing and advertising. If you see any of these in their PR, look for someone else.
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