GSM backup weak, APX/Honeywell system


I been with Apex for 3 years and am just getting off the 3 year contract, and I had decent service those 3 years as far as I can tell as I had no real events, just a couple falses in which they responded right away.

Earlier this year, either January or February, APX came out and upgraded my cellular backup from analog to GSM, it's a Honeywell box they installed in my basement, here's a link to a pic, as I can't find a model number:

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The box is approx. 8 X 8 inches and almost 2 inches thick. About a week ago, my wall panel starting beeping with bF and FC check codes. The wall panel says Hoenywell, and my user's manual says Monitronics Vista-15PMT, which I assume are the same system. The pic in the manual looks identical.

Upon getting that error code, I looked it up, and it says bF means the back-up long range radio communication has failed. FC means communication failure.

I don't have a landline, so I only have the cellular backup on my alarm system.

I called APX, and they confirmed that the cellular signal is and was very weak for about a month. They said since I had my system for over a year that there would be a $35 charge for them to come out and either locate the GSM box, or add an antenna. The GSM box has a steady red light, and right above it, a yellow light that flashes maybe once a second or so. The top light of the three seems to not go on at all.

I had my system about 3 years, but the GSM box only a few months. I say that this is their responsibility to remedy for no charge as they just installed it a few months ago. If this was going on for at least a month, if not longer, I don't see why APX didn't alert me about the issue earlier. Maybe their own monitoring software doesn't pick up and alert them on problems like this until they actually look at the log? Either way, that's poor in my opinion. One tech says that it's working but the signal is very weak, so how can I depend on that, and it seemed another tech said there was no signal.

Is there any way for me to clear the codes myself and see if the trouble keeps happening? Anything I should check for that may be blocking the signal? I have not done anything that may change the signal, no additions or modifications to my basement or house, and nothing new in the way that would suddenly block the signal.

Since my contract is up, I was just getting ready to call APX anyway about perhaps negotiating a better deal with them, as I'm paying almost $46 a month with taxes. However with this new problem, I asked to cancel my service since I found out my contract was up two days ahead of my trouble call last week. They told me to fax my cancellation notification within the two days, which I did, and they acknowledged that they received. Then they tell me I will be charged for the month of July also, that their contract states that a 30 day notice must be given. I looked at my paperwork, and it does kind of look that way, but I'm not a lawyer.

So to get a working alarm for the next month, I'd have to pay $35. I can't see why they would just let this one go and let me out of that

30 day requirement since they know themselves that my system isn't working properly. I cannot see paying on a system that is malfunctioning. I did get some new contract quotes from them, but at best would only save $6 or $7 a month with a 5 year contract (ouch!, I think their equipment's paid off by now), but they said they would give me a couple free months thrown in. I told them I'm going thru a hard financial period right now, which I am, and would maybe like to pick up service again when things improve (but not at those prices).

Seems like the equipment is mine right now. First rep said they will come out to get it after I cancel, but the subsequent reps said that's not true in most cases.

As stated above, if I can clear that code myself, and try what I can do not to block the signal, I would feel much better about riding out their 30 days. Otherwise I feel like calling the credit card company and ask them not to pay that bill for me next month, and dispute this month's bill from APX . If I'm going to have to pay for the service, I want the service to work. Any advice welcome, thanks much.

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prob shouldn't be in the basement. would you put your tv antenna in the basement?

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