Are there really free Home Security Systems?
If you own a home for a while, I’m sure there was a doorbell ringing at one time with a sales person trying to sell a home security system. If you don’t have a security system, you may listen for a while to see if what they offer measures up to your budget.
Actually, I do remember that I once had a Vivint sales person at the door. If you have read some of my blogs, you may remember that I am ripe to change or upgrade my security system. So my objective is to get a better price per months for equal or better service. We talked for about an hour but at the end, I did not see any advantage to change.
Having that said, sales people obviously want to get a foot in the door and then lure you into listening to all the good things they have to say about their system. I believe they have a big profit margin and can offer a bunch of things to get you hooked, like a free home security system.
High monthly payments make up for the cost of equipment
One of the baits on that hook is an offer of a ‘Free Home Security System’. Who would not like to get a security system without paying anything upfront? Of course, there is nothing for free! They have to add a certain dollar amount to the monthly payment to make up for the ‘free system’.
They may add $15 to the regular monthly monitoring fee and ask for a two-year contract. So you are paying an additional $360 ($15 *24 months) over two years. What happens after two years when you theoretically paid for the equipment? Will they lower the monthly monitoring cost by the $15? Next time somebody makes that offer to you, ask them if the cost will go down after two years are over?
Hidden components in the contract
Be absolutely sure that you read the contract, all 80 pages (just kidding), before you sign anything. There may be some hidden fees that were not mentioned by the sales person. Some of those fees may be:
- Activation fees
- Installation fees
- Cancellation fees
You may have to pay the local police a ‘False alarm fee’. Many false alarms happen in the first few months of acquiring a new system and the problem is usually caused by a bad installation. Not so free anymore, is it?
Bad installations usually happen when installation technicians don’t have the experience yet. The more installations a technician has done, the better they will get and they will also learn from their mistakes. When you have installations done by established security system companies like ADT, the chances of a bad installation are very low.
Immediate signup for a free system
Keep in mind that most door-to-door sales people need to make a quick sale and want to sign you up on the spot. Be aware of those tactics. Therefore, they throw in a ‘free system’ to convince you to sign immediately on the dotted line. You will often hear: This is the last day of this great offer. Don’t be fooled!
Find out about the company
As you may know, I am from El Paso, Texas. If I search for local alarm system companies, I easily find about twenty of them. I’m sure they are honest hardworking businesses, but at times, they have to make a quick sale to pay for their bills and their sales agents may show up at your door.
I strongly suggest checking out the company that wants to sell you a security system. This can be done by contacting the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Google the company name, or ask the sales person for references. You could actually use your cell phone to check the BBB while you are talking to the sales representative.
There is clearly a trend that smaller security system companies, usually local vendors, try to sell their system to you and will offer some great deals to you. Those deals may not be bad, like ‘free home security systems’, but you have to be aware of some of the downfalls that may come with the ‘free’ system. Sometimes it’s better to go with established home security companies like Frontpoint, Protect America, ADT, and others.
You can read my review of ADT new customers, or click on the ADT link below to get a good idea of what ADT has to offer.
Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope it was helpful. Any comments are appreciated and may help other readers.