i live in NYC and just bought a new house. i am thinking of getting a home security system from "well" known vendors like slomins, adt or brinks. having it installed by their reps and then pay a monthly fee. has anyone been using any of these guys? how has the experience been? is one better than another? it's a 2 floor house w/ a basement, two entrances / exits. will need a keypad at each door and sensors on every window.
ADT has a corporate division and the so-called "authorized dealer" segment. Stay away from the latter. There are a few good dealers but most are awful.
Brinks' system is a lease. Expect overpriced service visits, high monthly fees and less than stellar performance.
I have only seen a little of Slomins, not enough to form a conclusive opinion. However, there have been several complaints about dishonest sales practices.
You might want to consider using a smaller, local firm rather than one of the nationals. Odds are you'll get better service. Nothing is 100% though. There are good ADT authorized dealers and there are bad independents.
There's at least one NY based independent we know of who you had best avoid. It's a one-man show and the owner talks endlessly about sale boats and ogling women at Caribbean beaches. The fellow is not the kind of man you'd want to leave alone inside your home, especially if you have teenage children. He has bragged here about attacking a young boy with a hammer.
I guess we should start by letting the OP know a little about you.
That you're a convicted felon working in the alarm industry. You've been convicted of a gun crime. That you deceive people by implying that you install alarm systems just so that you can entice them to buy things from you. That you killed someone because of your arrogance. That you circumvent the law in your state. That you have too many unresolved BBB complaints because of poor service. That you ridcule alarm installers as you're trying to do now, for the simple reason to cause disruption of this Newsgroup , because you know that everyone here dislikes you for your acerbic and nasty conduct ..... as shown by the fact that you had to make a post like the above for no reason except to get a response like this.
Just ask them. If they get caught lying ADT will... Hmm. Scratch that. Check what it says on the contract.
Bear in mind that not ALL authorized dealers are bad. It's just that so many are that most of us have a bad feeling for the dealership program in general.
Monitronix is also a dealer program, though not quite the same as ADT. Some of the dealers are good and some are not.
If you do decide to go with an "authorized dealer", check him out first with neighbors. Ask people you know who they use and if they would use them again. Could be the local authorized dealer is a good choice or it might be a nightmare.
Whatever you do, heed well Mr. Campbell's comments regarding long-term contracts. They do lots of financial good for the alarm company and nothing at all for your benefit. Most such contracts allow the dealer to raise the price after the first year, even though you are bound for 3, 4 or 5 years.
Also note (1) the length of the renewal period and (2) the amount of advance notice required to cancel:
A month-to-month renewal would be sufficient to maintain the limitation of liability and third party indemnification terms of the contract intact. Annual renewals are IMO fair enough. Automatic renewals that bind the customer for 3-5 more years are not fair to the customer. AT the very least there should be written warning that your renewal period is about to commence, allowing you to respond in time to cancel. While the salesman may promise you the moon, such notice is rarely given and you'll likely wind up committed for longer than you plan if you're not extremely careful.
Remember also that even if the company gives poor service, responds extremely slowly to emergency signals or even if they fail to maintain the alarm system in good working order, it will still be harder to extract yourself from that contract than a mortgage signed by Lucifer.
Alarm companies have no real cost to schedule a cancellation since the system can be disconnected from monitoring with one phone call from their modem. There is no reason for them to require more than a few days' notice of your intent not to renew. The requirement of a 30, 60 and sometimes even 90-day advance notice on your part serves only one purpose. They hope you won't remember to cancel until it's too late so they can bind you for another one to five years. Think you'll be able to get them to release you because your job moved to another state or because your finances have changed? Think again.
In short, be very careful. Do your homework. It's good to check USENET. It's also important to use offline resources.
Last comment: If for any reason you decide not to hire an alarm company there's still another option -- DIY. That's my area.
It's classical Bass. You don't have to be here very long to see the discord he causes in this and many other Newsgroups.
There's at leaat one Florida based online store we know of you had best avoid. He's a one-man show and the owner talks endlessly about flying planes and trading favours on the beach in Bahia with the local constabulary using "good American condoms". The fellow is not the kind of man you'd want to leave alone inside your home, especidally if you have young children. He has bragged here about throwing kids around inside his church and subborned his own children into working long hours in the "modestly successful alarm company" he ran out of his garage in Connecticut years ago.
Since the above miscreant isn't in the installation business he doesn't know that most of his post doesn't apply to you.
In NY, it is the law that you be notified by certified mail prior to 30 days before the renewal date, for renewal of any term agreementand be given the choice to renew or not. If you are not notified the contract is void. Contacts typically say that if a price increase is made after a proscribed term, you have the right to object. The company can recind the increase or you can cancel.
Jim, Thanks for posting correction on NY Law: One note: Dealer ALSO has the option of either: Certified Mail renewal OR PERSONAL HAND DELIVERY TO SUBSCRIBER! Bet most scum-o-the-earth don't want a face to face meeting with an irate customer!
Mike Sokoly MES Security Systems NYS Certified Instructor #I-63
I think i agree with Robert from Bass. I work for ADT Security Services from last 5 years and i have clients all over us as well outside. I do residential, and small business systems.Its better to deal with company because they cover more warrenties and sells only brand new equipment. Also ADT's 4 strategic monitoring center are always avaialble to support your needs 24 /7.If you need any help feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
That depends. Independant dealers vary from good to terrible, and ADT service quality seems to vary from region to region. So bear in mind, my comments relate ONLY to my particular area. I happen to be a third party dealer on their station (they monitor about 8 of my total 850 clients), and I find their monitoring to be far too "hair trigger" for my tastes. They call one number, dispatch authorities, then follow through with the balance of the calling list. In our area, false alarm dispatches cost $75 each, and clients demand more built in "protection" against that (full calling list, cancel codes etc). I am told that local authorities feel that when they get a call from ADT, it is more likely to be a false alarm, although that is one of those suppositions that is hard to prove.
Service regardless of timing is expensive unless you have chosen their warranty coverage for a few dollars extra a month. Like most dealers, I do a lot of takeovers from ADT due to their continuing to charge exhorbitant prices on an ongoing basis, plus in these cases, service has been bad. But bear in mind, they are the biggest in the business with 8 million clients, so they have to be doing something right to keep this client base (in spite of terrible attrition rates). My understanding is their commercial side is quite different from the residential side, and we have one poster here who works on the commercial side, who's posting lead me to believe it's quite a different ballgame on his side of the fence
I've been accused of "hating ADT". Not so, although based on my personal experience, I believe a residential client can do FAR better than dealing with a large conglomerate where you are merely a number rather than a valued customer. There is something to be said about personal care from a small dealer, although this too can be tenuous if you choose the wrong small dealer (and remember my bias in this regard). Unfortunately you don't know that until you've made your choice already, although you can and should ask around about your potential company to see how others have been treated. This is even more important if you anticipate choosing a company where you are locked in !!
Do your research, compare TOTAL packages over 5 years from all your choices, then go with the company that you feel will treat you with due respect on an ongoing basis, regardless of length of contract term (this is only one factor after all....)
I choose Polesoft Lockspam to fight spam, and you?
Call 1-800-ADT-ASAP and not the local number in your phone book. Chances are there are several "ADT" ads in your local yellow pages that were placed by authorized dealers. They are supposed to state that they are an authorized dealer in these ads and the only ADT logo they can used has the words "authorized dealer" circling the "ADT" logo.
ADT is unique in this industry. If you look at total revenue, ADT is larger than the next 100 companies combined. They have about 7 times the numbers of customers than the nearest competitor. They are the only company in the industry that services every segment from basic resdiential up to airports and military bases. According to the GSA Advantage website, ADT is the largest supplier of electronic security to the US federal government.
Is bigger better? Not necessarily. There are many great local alarm companies. However, they are like any small business. There are a lot of bad ones out there too. Because of the value associated with recurring revenue, these small alarm companies are always likely to be gobbled up by another company looking for growth.
I manage a group within ADT's national accounts division that handles our largest commercial and government customers. I've worked within local sales and services offices as well.
First, some facts: ADT is by far the largest electronic security company in the industry. Go to sdmmag.com and click on SDM100 for a look at the industry. ADT is the only company in the industry with a fully redundant network of customer monitoring stations. These five monitoring stations are located throughout the United States and are configured so that is one becomes overloaded or is forced to close, alarm signals are automatically redistributed to the others. ADT is the only national company that offers services in all industry market segments from basic residential to commercial, industrial, and government customers. ADT has been a GSA Federal Supply Schedule holder for over 20 years and supplies more electronic security to our government than any other company. ADT is involved in numerous homeland security pilot projects to help develop technology used in the war on terrorism. Google "operation Safe Commerce" for an example. ADT has several sole source contracts with the federal government including a contract with the US Marshals Service to install and maintain security, video, and access control systems in every Federal Courthouse in the country. If that isn't enough, ADT also has a national account with Brinks. We install the security systems on their cash vaults.
Now my opinion: There are a lot of fine local alarm companies out there. There are also a lot of bad ones. Be sure of what you are getting. Who monitors their alarms? How do they handle service? Who owns the equipment? How long have they been in business? Is their central station UL Listed? Etc.