If you’re unhappy with your current home alarm monitoring provider because it’s too expensive or you’re simply unsatisfied with the services being offered, you can make the switch to a company that will better meet your needs. Many people think that just because you sign up with one monitoring service that you can’t change unless you purchase all new equipment. That’s simply not true.
Once you read your contract and find out when it expires as well as its early termination fee, then you can start shopping around for a provider who will fit your budget and offer you the services you want.
1. Why Is Alarm Monitoring So Important?
Alarm monitoring is an instant and detailed communication between your monitoring provider and your home security system. When an emergency registers on your control panel, a signal is sent to your monitoring service’s central station where first responders are notified and dispatched to your residence.
If the alarm hardware fails, then you get it replaced. The same should be done if your monitoring company doesn’t live up to your standards. Unfortunately, many consumers pay more attention to the functionality of the hardware without giving the system’s monitoring provider a second thought. In fact, some people don’t even sign up for monitoring thinking that the hardware is enough protection they need. To get an idea of how these two work together, you need to understand the importance of each one:
- Alarm hardware: It’s vital to have properly installed and working alarm hardware because if it isn’t working, then it cannot be monitored as it should. Typical alarm hardware includes:
- Wireless window/door transmitters
- Surface contacts
- Motion sensors
- Wireless Key Fob transmitter
- Smoke, heat and CO detectors
- Infrared transmitters
- Alarm system monitoring: This component is important to getting the most out of your home security system. Alarm monitoring is the person or company waiting to give you the protection you need when your home security alarm is activated in an emergency. Trained representatives will interpret your situation and notify the proper authorities when necessary. Monitoring is important because it gives your home security system the added boost or support it needs in a true emergency.
2. What Does a Monitoring Company Do?
A good home alarm monitoring company monitors all alerts it receives from your home system and notifies you and/or the authorities in the event of emergency. Each account is customized to the client’s needs. Some providers offer flexibility and can even give special instructions to authorities when they arrive at your home. There are several types of alerts you can receive from a home monitoring company. They include:
- Home intrusion
- Smoke and fire
- Medical emergency
- Carbon monoxide
- Personal safety
- Temperature change
- Power failure
- Natural gas
3. It’s Easy to Become a ‘Switcher’
If your present home security monitoring company does not offer you the type of protection you need or is charging an exorbitant fee for minimal monitoring services, then maybe it’s time to switch providers. You can do this in a few easy steps without having to purchase new alarm hardware:
- Read your current monitoring contract: If you have one, make sure you understand the terms of the agreement including its expiration date, automatic renewal policy and whether there are any penalties or cancellation fees for early termination.
- Do your homework: Go online and research local alarm monitoring companies as they’re more likely to deliver better service. Find out if they really answer their phones when you call and find out the specifics of their monitoring services. You will also want to find out:
- Monthly monitoring costs
- Length of contract
- How are payments received
- Any and all hidden fees
- How often their call lists are updated
- Who does the actual monitoring
- If the key pad/control panel is data locked (if it is locked, you can’t switch monitoring providers)
- Put your request to switch in writing: About a month before you plan to cancel your current agreement, send that company a letter stating that you want to continue on a monthly basis. That way you won’t have any surprise fees when you do decide to switch.
- Make the switch: If you can find a company that offers better costs and services, then go ahead and change companies. If you do switch, make sure you change your password and delete all online accounts associated with the first company, as well making sure they don’t have access to your property any more (change locks, remove their access code, etc.).
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