How to Choose an Alarm Monitoring Company

Perhaps you’re unsatisfied with your current alarm monitoring company or you are the proud owner of a brand new home security system and would like to add a monitoring option– regardless, we understand what is at stake here and we’d like to help. First, we commend you for realizing the importance of having your system monitored and we want you to know that you’ve come to the right place for guidance in this area. We know exactly what you should look for and we are happy to offer you a few tips and suggestions. The following are the types of questions you need to ask before making your final decision:

How long does it take to receive a call from an alarm monitoring company?

A good response time is one minute or less. Anything more than this will not be of much value or use. While most companies will promise fast response times, not all deliver as much. If you are already using a monitoring service, you may want to intentionally trigger your system every few months just to measure their response time. If it is longer than a minute, we recommend shopping for a new service. Of course, if you are not currently using a monitoring company, the best way for you to investigate a company’s claims of good response times is to investigate the company’s reputation in this area, which brings us to our next suggestion for how to choose a monitoring company.

What do previous customers have to say about a particular alarm monitoring company?

The most popular services are not necessarily the best, so we recommend that you do a little homework here. First, check with the Better Business Bureau to determine whether any complaints have been filed against a company, how many complaints have been filed and if these issues have been resolved. Websites and home security forums that offer unbiased and unpaid consumer reviews and customer satisfaction ratings are also a good way to learn about the quality of a company’s service.

How much does monthly alarm monitoring cost?

While we are of the firm belief that your home security is priceless, the fact still remains that certain companies inflate prices. This is particularly true when it comes to alarm monitoring. Some of the largest, most popular home security companies use this tactic to make millions of dollars per year on unsuspecting customers by charging low upfront costs for things like installation and equipment only to inflate the cost of monthly alarm monitoring. In all actuality, good alarm monitoring can be found for less than $10 per month.

Is an alarm monitoring company UL Certified?

The best alarm monitoring services are those that have received certification from UL. Companies with this certification have been thoroughly vetted by the independent global leader, which specializes in safety science. In providing safety security messages to more than three billion customers worldwide, we tend to agree with others in the industry that a UL certification speaks volumes about how well an alarm monitoring service performs.

Who does your insurance company have the most confidence in?

Homeowner insurance rates are usually reduced when a customer invests in a good home security system. Insurance companies also tend to have an idea about which alarm monitoring services are better than others. Contact your insurance provider for a short list of companies to consider.

Who does your local police department recommend?

After attempting to contact you when an alarm has been triggered, a monitoring service will call the local authorities if you are unreachable. Police departments are, therefore, quite familiar with alarm monitoring companies and yours may be able to provide you with some insight in this area. In addition to a department’s professional opinion, most officers and employees also use a home alarm monitoring service. Call or visit your local police department to ask a few questions about what to look for in an alarm monitoring company and to get a feel for the services your local authorities feel are the best.

Does the company you are using or considering have their own central monitoring station?

Often, salespeople will attempt to pressure you into a alarm monitoring contract when you purchase a home security system. As previously mentioned, this is usually how companies are able to make up for their special “sale” prices on equipment and installation. This is precisely why we provide you with the alternative of do-it-yourself home security systems that allow you to get the same quality of security without the deceptive practices. Still, if you are considering one of these companies, before signing a monitoring contract ask if they have their own central monitoring station. If they do not, keep shopping. There is no need for a middle-man when you can deal directly with a central monitoring station yourself.

As always, we welcome your comments below and look forward to any additional tips you’d like to share with our readers


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