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Which Monitoring Service?

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by Armond Perretta, Jan 6, 2004.

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  1. I know this is like "how long is a piece of string?" but I thought I'd get
    the group consensus in any case. I own my own system and everything is
    working up to spec. I have the software and am reasonably proficient at
    programming the panel. It is presently monitored on a month-to-month basis.
    For various reasons I want to change the monitoring company. I am looking
    for an arms-length service and have no need for the service to download the
    panel for me. Just want the phone number and account number and where to
    send the check.

    Monitoring services are easy enough to locate on the Internet, but I am
    having a hard time separating the wheat from the chaff. Are there any
    rating services that have looked into the performance of various companies?
    Is this even something to worry about?
  2. Aegis

    Aegis Guest

    I don't know of any rating services for monitoring centers (not to say they
    don't exist). Trade mags sometimes will put that kind of stuff in... Maybe
    check out some of their sites for articles?
  3. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    Most professional CS's won't allow anyone but a properly licensed Dealer
    program panels to communicate with their receivers. In fact, most won't
    allow any Dealer but their established "in house" ones set up new accounts.
    I would imagine there are a few CS's that deal with DIYer's direct and
    probably offer "fantastically" low prices... Good luck in your search...
  4. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    I have no idea whether this company is any good or not; however, they did
    call me today in regards to looking for schematics for some older ADT panels
    (came off my website and this newsgroup). We had a good discussion, and
    afterwards, when I went up to their website, they offer monitoring for
    $10.95 monthly, no long term contract. That's as good as I've seen from a
    company that appears to be reputable from the looks of their website.
    They're in Texas, so I don't know if this is out of your area or not.

    Their service is pretty expensive however (or at least is seems that way to
    me...), but you "pays your money and takes your chances"...

    Home Security Metal Products
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  5. There seem to be quite a few outfits here (USA) who are interested in this
    type of business. Some work entirely on the Internet, some require other
    paperwork, and some are local alarm companies. I am staying away from the
    "big guys" just on general principles (and because of some of the horror
    stories I've read on this board).

    I spoke to a few local alarm companies who also were interested in this
    business and didn't seem to mind that I wanted to program the panel myself.
    BTW I'm certainly not a pro, but I have "studied up enuf" to be able to
    program my DSC Power 832. After speaking with the local guys a bit they
    seemed comfortable with my proposed arrangement.

    As for "fantastically low prices" my present monitoring is through a local
    company and I am paying only his cost, which is very low. However pure
    economics is not the primary issue in this case; I believe I get what I pay
    for, and I do not want to work with a monitoring service that's merely
    "good enough" or "OK for the price." Mind you, I'm not really fond leaving
    money on the table either.

    The web companies are all offering $9 to $12 USD per month (in general), and
    the local guys, from whom perhaps a little more personal service might be
    expected, are roughly about $20.
  6. This is the kind of info I need. Thanks.
  7. You mentioned quite a few criteria earlier that I hadn't though of, so
    answering your question is not really easy for me. Yet I would want to be
    assured about things like reliability (system downtime record, 24 hour
    service performance record), employee bonding and UL certification
    compliance, response times (this relates to both equipment and staffing
    levels, I suppose), service orientation (alarm testing assistance when and
    if required, for example).

    I'd have to sit and think a bit to come up with a few more items, and it
    could easily happen that some of my expectations turn out to be unrealistic
    or unnecessary. Hard to say.
  8. Robert L. Bass wrote:
    ... [several citations snipped by Bass] ...
    I am having trouble with "most," since all of the Web-based providers I have
    looked into do not do this. Of course I have no idea what percentage of the
    industry they represent.
    Same comment about "most.".

    This won't work for me. I don't spend much time "playing" with the panel,
    but I pretty much want to be the guy who determines what the codes and
    option settings are. I think my case may be different from some others
    since I have some (although not extensive) experience with alarm system
    installations, and I have some idea of how to avoid false alarms from the
    hardware and operations points of view. As stated earlier I am not nearly
    a professional; the word "informed" probably applies.

    OTOH I have quite a bit of experience with computers and programming, so
    programming an alarm is in no way foreign to me. However I grant your point
    and sympathize with providers who might take this position.
    I think you took my comments out of context. I have installed, either
    through a contractor or by myself, what most folks would consider a top
    flight system. Of course I shopped for the individual components, but I
    ended up spending quite a bit. My comment on costs was directed
    specifically at monitoring services.
    I'm an OK Googler, but I still found it necessary to write to this group
    with my query. I don't think the decision is quite so simple as you have
  9. Mark Leuck

    Mark Leuck Guest

    Sometimes companies must take risks and hope they come up with something the
    customer didn't know they wanted otherwise we'd still be driving Model T's.
    However someone was smoking some serious weed when they dreamed up the Aztec
  10. Aegis

    Aegis Guest

    Sometimes companies must take risks and hope they come up with something
    Don't forget the primary reason Chevrolet and Chrysler ever were able to get
    started was because of Ford's little motto. "You can have any color car you
    want.... as long as it's black." Stubborness and an unwillingness to please
    the wants and needs of customers will get ya every time.
  11. Mark G.

    Mark G. Guest

    That sounds exactly like what i want.

    my needs are simple; i want someone else to deal with the initial
    programming, installation and other problems, but if i want to make a change
    to the programming, i can do it without waiting for the alarm office to open
    on monday (seems like my only free time is on the weekends when they are not
    open). if i screw something up i will take the hit and pay the company to
    fix it. thats why i wouldnt want to contract directly with the central
    system - whos going to answer my questions and upgrade/fix my alarm when
    necessary or when i dont have the time?

    if i could find a service like yous, in the los gatos/san jose area of
    california, i would sign up immediately.

    for now, im still locked out of my panel......

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