ADT Alarm System Reviews

New Customers

New Home


This is the second of my ADT Alarm System Reviews, and it focusses on alarm systems for new ADT customers. I went from actually calling ADT and getting a quote, then chatting with an ADT representative, and finally researching the information that they have on the ADT website. During this review, I encountered a few surprising but also confusing details.

Let's see how it went!


Calling Customer Service

In my opinion the best thing to do is to call customer service and ask for a quote on an installation  of a new security system. This could be an installation in a new home or in an existing home that never had an ADT alarm system. After being on hold for only 30 seconds, I got to talk to the agent.

The first thing he did was asked me for my address. I did not like it because for once they could probably see that I am already an existing customer, but also for the fact that they would have my address and probably send somebody over to give a consultation visit. Asking the agent why he needs the address, his response was that they would look up the address and get a good idea what sort of house it is. Where are they checking? Maybe public registers, or even look at a Google street view.

When I asked the agent if he would give me a quote without any address, he flat out said 'No'. That was sort of the end of that phone call.


The ADT Chat

My next step was to find out what information they are offering on their website. Then I saw the button.Chat Now I was determined to find out what info I can get from that option. The representative did give me a price for basic installation at $28.99 and ADT Pulse for $47.99, but she wasn't able to give me what equipment it includes and how much the installation cost was going to be.

I don't want to waste your time with more details of the conversation, but it all comes down to getting your phone number and hook you up with a sales representative.


ADT Facts

ADT HeadquartersDo you know what ADT stands for? ADT was established in 1874 and the abbreviation stands for American District Telegraph. Therefore, ADT's experience is now at 140+ years with a customer pool that has reached over 6.5 million.  There are six monitoring centers, four in the US and two in Canada. Their security system parts are made by Honeywell and are top notch.

Some nice features

There is a $500 Theft Protection Guarantee, which basically will pick-up $500 of your Home Insurance deductible. 'Some restrictions apply' shows in small print, but they don't show what the restrictions are.

ADT offers a Mover's Security Guarantee which offers a comparable equipment package to the one you have now in your home for free. You have to be a two-year customer and in good standing with your monthly payments. Any additional equipment you may need will be at a 25% discount.

Some questionable features

ADT offers an Extended Limited Warranty Protection for the equipment and for unexpected service calls It is called QSP (Quality Service Plan). In one of the charts comparing all their packages it appears to be included in the packages, but a footnote for the $28.99 Basic package states that it is without QSP. Nowhere on the website does it tell me the cost of the extended warranty.

6 Months Money Back Guarantee. It does state that they will refund the installation fee and the monitoring fees that were paid if the system is not for you. But wait, there is another footnote indicating the following: If they are unable to resolve any installation/service-related concerns. So that means if they resolve the problem, then there is no money back.

The NegativeADT Complaints From BBB

I did check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and was surprised about the complaints. Even though ADT still has an A+ rating, the complaints are way up there. Since March 2013, 'Total Closed Complaints' were 4186. 50% of the complaints were Problems with Product/Service, and 25% were Billing/Collection Issues.



The ADT Packages

What do they all have in common?
  • 36-month monitoring contract
  • Only professional installation
  • Monitoring package by ADT
  • Nationwide service
  • Wireless Control Panel
  • 3 wireless door/window sensors
  • 1 wireless motion detector
  • 1 window decal and yard sign
Basic package

The lowest monitoring fee on the ADT website is listed as a 'New Customer' Special'. There is no saying about what equipment is included nor anything about the installation cost. I had to check with some authorized ADT Provider for possible answers to those questions.

The price tag and details:
  • Monthly monitoring fees  $28.99
  • Free security system with $99 installation and a 36-month alarm monitoring service contract
  • Landline required


Basic wireless package

I just do not see a price for this package on the website. 'Call for Details', that's how it is advertised.

The price tag and details:
  • for monthly monitoring cost: Call for details
  • Free security system with $99 installation and a 36-month monitoring contractWireless transmitter
  • Installation cost: Call for details
  • Wireless security monitoring
  • 1 key fob
  • CellGuard (see my explanation on this in a previous post)
  • free smartphone App


ADT Pulse package
The price tag and details:
  • Monthly monitoring fees  $52.99
  • Mobile Access + Alerts
  • Security system price: Call for details
  • Installation cost: Call for details


ADT Pulse + Video or Home Control package
The price tag and details:Mobile Access
  • Monthly monitoring fees  $58.99
  • Mobile Access + Alerts
  • Security system price - call for details
  • On special now: Installation cost $49.00 (requires a 36-month monitoring contract)
  • Home automation or Live Video
  • Either Video camera or an automated door lock


Some additional equipment that may be added to the ADT Pulse packages:

  • Fire and smoke monitoring
  • Email/Text notification
  • Carbon Monoxide monitoring
  • Indoor lighting
  • Thermostat
  • Application control
  • Outdoor lighting


In Summary

I would be really cautious when it comes to the installation cost and the cost of the security system for the ADT Pulse packages as there is not much in writing about those costs. Spending a good amount of time on the ADT website, I do have to say there is way too much information for a new home owner to digest and to make a decision of what's the best way to go. The information presented may be overwhelming and not a good guideline. All in all, ADT is a solid security system with great monitoring as the backbone.

What Is Next?

SimpliSafe EquipmentNow that I completed the ADT Alarm System Reviews, it is time to look at some other security systems. Frontpoint appears to be a very competitive security system that I would like to review next. I'm a talk radio junky, and it has come to my attention that a lot of talk show hosts promote SimpliSafe. So why not check it out and let you know how that measures up against the big guns?

If you'd like to find out more about security systems and how they work, read my article Alarm Systems for The Home - How do they work?

In case you are already an ADT customer and plan to upgrade, don't forget to check out ADT Home Security System Review - Upgrade from Basic. 

Thanks for coming to this web page, and hopefully I helped you to make a better decision with my review. Drop off comments if you want to and come back to see the next review. Thanks


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