Do you wish your home security system had more smart home features, like controlling the thermostat from an app, turning on lights, or seeing video footage of the goings-on around your home?
Do you wonder why you’re paying high monthly fees and getting terrible customer service from your current alarm system monitoring company?
You deserve better. And it’s out there.
Depending on the manufacturer of your security equipment, other companies may be able to monitor your alarm system even if they weren’t the original installers. This blog post will guide you through the process of switching alarm monitoring companies.
If you’ve decided to switch alarm monitoring companies, you first need to determine whether you can reuse your current security equipment or whether you’ll need to install a new system. In most cases, it’s fairly straightforward to use your existing security system and switch to a new alarm monitoring company.
Switching to a better home security monitoring service is called a system takeover. The benefit is that—if it’s relatively modern and compatible—you can keep the equipment you already own rather than buy a completely new system.
If you’re considering a system takeover, first schedule a time to speak with your new alarm monitoring company over the phone so that their employees better understand how they can help.
For example, when you call Alarm New England, the main details we'll go over are the layout of the property, the type of equipment currently in place, and if you want to add anything onto the system. Once we get a good sense of your situation, we’ll send one of our trained technicians to your home to assess your equipment.
With over 46 years of experience serving New England residents and businesses, it’s in our interest to have long-term customers. Our goal is not to sell you equipment you don’t really need, but to make sure you are properly protected and that your system can communicate with our central station in an emergency.
If we exhaust all other avenues to get your current system to communicate reliably with our central monitoring station, we’ll suggest equipment options tailored to your home and lifestyle and give you time to consider them.
If we can't take over your system for whatever reason and you don't want to replace the equipment, we'll shake hands and be on our way. You don't need to pay a dime.
Using your existing security system is ideal if the system is modern and compatible with your new alarm monitoring company. However, there are some cases when you’ll need to replace your security system in order to switch to a new monitoring company.
If your alarm system is proprietary, your system is programmed to function correctly only as long as you continue paying the original company that sold it to you.
For example, no other company can monitor a SimpliSafe, Cox, Brinks Home, or Xfinity Home system. These companies designed their equipment this way to make customers stay with them longer, because switching monitoring companies means hundreds of dollars down the drain and a huge headache for customers.
We know how expensive replacing proprietary technology can be. That's why we only sell Honeywell equipment that all alarm companies can monitor so that you'll never have to buy an entirely new system again. If you ever want more features, you can just add on individual pieces of equipment for a relatively low price.
An outdated system also presents a security risk to you. Older equipment relies on landlines to communicate with the central monitoring station, and smart burglars will cut those landlines before breaking in. If your system is too outdated, we recommend replacing it to provide better security.
When our technicians reprogram the equipment, we need to punch in an installer code to access the back end of the alarm's programming. We know the default codes, but if your alarm company changed the code, it’s much more difficult for us to reprogram your system.
It's possible that even if your equipment is compatible, your previous alarm company has effectively locked out other companies from taking over your existing equipment.
If you find yourself in this situation, ask your previous alarm company for the installer code to see if they'll provide it to you. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to replace the equipment in order to switch to a new monitoring company.
If you currently have a monitored system, you probably signed an agreement with the company stating that you'll stay with them for a certain amount of time. You want to be sure you're not on a contract when you make the switch—otherwise, you'll have to pay more.
This contract is what enables many alarm companies to reduce the upfront cost of your equipment and let you pay off the difference over several months as part of the alarm monitoring agreement. (A contract of 36 months is the industry standard.)
If you can’t find your contract, ask your alarm company to send over a digital copy via email or a physical copy to your mailbox.
When reviewing your current alarm monitoring contract, take note of the following:
Local monitoring matters.
Ask anyone who’s shopped around at multiple alarm companies and tested them out. They'll say the same thing: Go local.
Whenever you buy professional-grade technology like home security systems, you want the reassurance that customer service will be able to help you if things don’t work as they should. You want customer service that treats you as valued individual, not a number.
As you search for a new local alarm company, consider these three factors:
You should also ask these questions about any potential alarm monitoring company:
Once you’ve found the right security monitoring provider, get in contact.
Schedule an appointment with your new provider. If you know what system you currently have installed, it’s easy for the provider to know whether they can simply reprogram it or if it will need a new panel.
Check for an insurance discount. Many insurance companies understand the value of having a home security system and offer discounts for installing and monitoring systems.
Call your insurance provider to find out how much of a discount they offer for a monitored security system. Your savings could be as high as 15-20 percent when you have a burglar and fire alarm system monitored by a UL-Listed central monitoring station.
Finding a local alarm company may take a bit more work on your part, and many people settle for using a larger national brand. But the effort can be well worth your time.
Rather than pay inflated prices to support national advertising and marketing costs, you may find that you can get superior service, top-of-the-line equipment, and local monitoring from a local provider.
If you want the best security company in your area, we encourage you to shop around and ask your sales rep the right questions. Spending those few extra minutes to understand your security company will save you a lot of headache and disappointment down the line.
Want to learn more about security systems before you make a decision? Contact us at 857-445-4010 and we’ll answer any questions you have.
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