What questions should I ask a prospective alarm company?
Now that you have a better idea of what type of alarm system to get, the next step is to find the right alarm company. And the best way to do that is to ask lots of questions. Here are 25 (or so) important questions you should ask any potential alarm company:
- How long have you been in the home security alarm business?
- Do you have the proper state licenses?
- Are you in good standing with the Better Business Bureau?
- What are your average prices, including installation charges and monthly monitoring fees?
- Will you provide me with a written estimate?
- Will someone from your company inspect my home to help me determine what kind of home alarm system I need?
- What equipment will you need to install in my home? Is that an added cost to me? If so, how much is it? Do you sell the equipment or rent it?
- Who will install the system? Someone from your company or another company?
- Will the installer(s) explain how the system works, including what the equipment is, how it works, what I need to do to program it, etc.?
- Will the alarm system be wired or wireless? For my home alarm system to work, will I need to have a phone line? Cable Internet? Something else?
- Will your company monitor our home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
- Will you install a back-up power system, such as a battery, that will ensure my home alarm still works if the power goes out in a storm or if an intruder disconnects the power?
- Do you have a back-up power system at your monitoring site?
- Who does the actual monitoring of our home? Is it your alarm company, or do you outsource that work?
- How do you respond to emergencies? Whom will you call if my alarm goes off? Will you call me first and then emergency assistance? Do you call only the police, or do you also notify the fire department and emergency medical professionals?
- Do I need to commit to a certain length of time in my contract? If so, what is the minimum contract length? Are your rates different based on the length of my contract?
- May I cancel the contract if I'm not satisfied with the services?
- What happens if another company purchases your company? Is my contract still valid?
- Is there a warranty for the alarm system, including equipment and labor? How long is it? Is there an extra cost for it?
- What kind of instructions and other paperwork will I receive?
- Will your company take care of repairs and upgrades, as needed? What are the costs associated with repairs? With upgrades? How often do you foresee me needing to upgrade my alarm system?
- Do you have customer service representatives on staff with your company, or is that work outsourced?
- What is your customer service commitment to me?
- Are your representatives available around the clock to help? What is your typical call volume? Do you ever place customers on hold, and if so, for how long?
- How many false alarm calls am I allowed before you charge me? How much will each false alarm (beyond the allowed ones) cost?
When you're ready to ask these questions, you can find excellent home security service professionals
on Kudzu.com who will gladly answer them for you.
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