Third Party Monitored Burglar Alarms – Is it worth it?
We have a large number of customers asking us to differentiate between our wireless alarms and third party monitored alarms or alarms on a contract. We believe it is time we put some perspective into how we operate and what differentiates us.
Burglaries are on the rise, and hence the demand for ways of protecting your family and homes. While additional lighting and locking doors and windows all the time etc. always help, there is still no alternative to a good quality alarm system. Burglar alarm systems are not only a good visible deterrent, they can alert if there is a break in attempt, some of them can be operated in the night as well as when going out, and not to mention the telecommunicating features.
Now, what exactly is a monitored alarm? Let us compare some of the features, how it works, what it costs and the common pitfalls.
|Our Self- monitored Telecommunicating Alarms||Third Party Monitored Alarms|
|How it works: Alarm directly calls three or four numbers of your choice when there is a break-in attempt. There is no middleman and waiting for a monitoring station to call you.||How it works: Alarm alerts the monitoring station. The monitoring station then calls you (The key holders). If anything, this is a slower process than alarm calling you directly.|
|Who owns the alarm: You do. Once we fit the alarm, it is completely owned by you. All our alarms come with 1 or more years of onsite warranty.||Who owns the alarm: Most third party monitored alarms are in a contract, and to make sure you pay for this for a long period, the contract says, the alarm is owned by the alarm company, not you!|
|How much does it cost: Our wireless telecommunicating alarms start from £375.00 upwards and there is only a onetime fee to pay. All our prices are including fitting costs and VAT. No hidden charges or additional fees, what so ever.||How much does it cost: Most of these alarms have an initial payment and then monthly fee for monitoring (typical length of 3 years). A typical cost over this period can run up to £800-1200 depending on your supplier and package you choose.|
|Contracts: There is NO contract that ties you down with us. You still have all your statutory rights, and all our alarms come with onsite warranty, but you don’t pay any additional fees. No mandatory servicing contracts or small print annual checkup contracts.||Contracts: Watch out for the small prints. If you google, you can find thousands of stories about people being trapped in contracts and having to pay a lot more than they initially thought they have to. Watch out for penalty clauses, additional annual check up fees, length of contract, and whether they can increase monitoring fees in the length of the contracts etc.|
|Sales tactics: All our customers either find us through our websites or through recommendations of our existing customers. We do not cold call either by phones, or by visits. All our staff members are trained to help you decide the right alarm system for you, when you call us to discuss your requirements. We use no pressure tactics or incentives to sign up to a lengthy contract.||Sales tactics: It is important to completely understand what is written in the contract than what is told to you by the sales people. There are shoddy sales people who trick people into signing contracts, by not explaining the contract in detail, making promises that are different from what the contract entail. Make sure you read and completely understand what you are signing up to. Also find out if there is a cooling off period before the alarm is installed.|
|Who installs them: All the alarms we sell on our website are installed by our qualified engineers, trained and certified by manufacturers. We do not use third party installers or outsource any stages of our services.||Who installs them: There are also lots of companies, who sells alarms, then to be installed by another company and then monitored by a third company. Make sure who is doing what, and be aware of the confusions this may cause, and who to get hold of, if you need to resolve any issues.|
|Alarm Servicing: We will be happy to service your alarms. You are not under any obligation or contract to use us; you can try doing it yourself or use a third party organisation to do the same.||Alarm Servicing: Some monitored alarms come with a service contract and at times additional servicing costs on top of your monthly fees. Read the small prints in your contract.|
|Future Proofing: You can upgrade your alarm system anytime you are ready. You can add more features, new types of sensors whenever you find necessary. If done at the time of servicing, we will only charge you for the new accessories.||Future Proofing: Certain alarms on fixed price packages may only come with a fixed number of accessories. Make sure it provides you adequate protection. Also, while you are on a contract, you may not be allowed to change any features of your alarm either. Find out more before you sign the contract.|
|Moving homes: No problem, we can help you remove your alarm, and arrange to install it in your new home. You are under no obligation to use us for the same either.||Moving homes: You will be in for a big shock if you try moving homes halfway through the length of your monitoring contract. Most cases, you will be asked to pay the remaining amount due for the length of the contract. And you may be expected to take a new contract for your new home as well.|
|What happens at the end of contract: There is no contract, so alarm works as long as you maintain it and look after it.||What happens at the end of the contract: When you stop paying, the alarm and its monitoring service stops working. You may be asked to sign a new contract to continue getting the monitoring service. If you no longer wish to continue using the alarm, make sure the company won’t charge you to remove the alarm from your premises. Read the small prints again.|
We are not trying to put you off from buying an alarm on a contract, there are customers who may require a third party monitored alarm, we are just warning you of some of the common pitfalls. Make sure you completely understand what you are signing for. Spend some time researching the company and service you are getting, also google to see if there are any bad experience existing customers are sharing.