How to Analyze Home Security Contracts
When it comes to comparing the offerings from home security systems, a good rule of thumb is to shop around and get different companies to provide a quote, then go from there. That effort alone requires a significant time commitment… even before any sort of contract is signed. In fact, once the homeowner does receive a contract for home security system installation and monitoring, very few consumers actually read the entire contract, including the fine print, before they sign.
With that in mind, it is a good idea to adhere to three basic principles to help you compare and analyze home security contracts and determine which which security alarm company is the right one for you.
Arm yourself with knowledge
Look at the basics and make apples-to-apples comparisons with other companies’ offerings. Essential items include the contract length, equipment fees, contract termination fees, and automatic renewal terms. Make sure you understand who owns the equipment, including the wiring and conduit. Learn some of the basic terminology, and make sure you have a clear understanding of any financial requirements should you need to adjust the relationship terms for some reason (such as a move). First and foremost, no reputable alarm system provider will offer any consumer something “for free.” What most alarm companies (Supreme Security Systems included) typically do is offer homeowners a multi-year contract, this way, the equipment can be supplied and installed at a reduced cost to the homeowner up front. The reality is, it takes a non-insignificant amount of time (measured in years) for the alarm company to recoup their costs and generate a profit after factoring in equipment, labor, administrative costs, taxes and regulatory fees and overhead.
Beware of strong arm tactics
The homeowner is expected to enter into a contract in good faith, so take the time and read the “fine print.” It is an imperative to make sure that you are comfortable with asking the company questions about any part of the contract that you may be unsure of or do not understand. If at any point you do not understand the terms and conditions, then don’t sign the contract. A trustworthy company will devote whatever time and resources necessary to address concerns – without rushing you into a transaction. This is also a good way to gauge how the company views customer service overall.
Perform due diligence
A contract is, ultimately, only as valuable as the integrity of the parties who are signing it. In addition to reading the contract thoroughly, conduct basic research on the company that is offering you the contract. “Don’t do business with security companies who engage in door-to-door sales” should be at the top of the due diligence checklist. How long have they been around? What kind of things do people say about them in the media and online? Do your homework, because the market for home security system monitoring providers is very competitive, and the respective reputations of the different providers vary greatly and quality of services offered is very much far from equal. Read what they have on Angie’s List, BBB.org, Facebook and other formats for customer reviews, and if you’re active on social media, post a query mentioning that you’re thinking about using this company and see if any friends have any input. See if they are a member of the Electronic Security Association and other industry and local business organizations.
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