Consumer reporting websites and social networking feeds alike are rife with complaints from homeowners regarding their home security company. From incompetent technicians to poor customer service policies, there are no shortage of issues for most clients to choose from. Here are ten of the reasons why the bulk of home alarm companies absolutely suck.
- Lengthy Contract Terms – Customers are often surprised to find that the terms of their contract stipulate up to five years of service; as web and telephone-based sales become more common than meeting an agent, “electronic signatures” take the place of physically signed contracts, and many telemarketers neglect to disclose the things that would be in the fine print.
- Harassing Sales Calls – Choosing not to renew a contract or even opting to go with another company after shopping around can open homeowners up to months of calls from persistent salespeople.
- Proprietary Equipment – After incurring the expense of purchase and installation, most people understandably assume that their system belongs to them and can be used as they see fit. However, systems are almost always proprietary, or “locked out” from use by other companies.
- Billing Tactics – Reported instances of continued automatic billing after the cancellation of an account are, unfortunately, relatively common. Some customers have had to go so far as closing the bank account or credit card attached to the security account to put a stop to unauthorized billing.
- Misleading Sales Spiels – Another common problem encountered by homeowners is the misleading sales pitch; what begins as a free installation and free system quickly snowballs into hundreds or even thousands of dollars in start-up fees, with unappealing aspects of the contract swept under the rug.
- Automatic Renewal of Complicated Contracts – Contracts with a home security company can be exceedingly complicated; as an added bonus, many companies institute an automatic update policy so that customers are enrolled in another term of service without ever being informed.
- Monitoring Problems – The sole reason for installing a security system and paying annual fees is to provide homeowners with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that they’re protected from misfortune; still, it’s not uncommon to find out that systems have gone unmonitored or disturbances were not reported by the alarm company.
- Lackluster Technicians – One service call can quickly turn into a handful, which is no picnic when appointments are scheduled so broadly. “Morning” or “afternoon” windows create the necessity for a half-day’s cleared schedule.
- Faulty Equipment – In addition to having a reputation for shoddy workmanship from technicians, many home monitoring companies have come under fire for the sub-par equipment they provide at a premium price.
- Poor Customer Service – The single biggest compliant about most alarm companies is that their customer service is completely incompetent or unfriendly. On some consumer reporting sites, clients even give each other the inside track on helpful employees, sharing extension numbers for the few people who make an effort to resolve issues.
While certainly not indicative of all security service providers, these complaints are common enough to be considered problematic within many. Careful research before deciding on a company is the best way to protect yourself from the people who are supposed to be protecting your home.