Update on XFINITY Home Security : Comcast Struggles with Move into Home Security

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Comcast is completing its roll out of the XFINITY ™ Home offer that “bundles” home security and home automation with other Comcast services. By the way, bundling means you can’t get the home security services alone: you have to be signed up for other Comcast products as well. You may have seen prior posts (here and elsewhere) explaining why cable companies are diving into home security: Comcast and the other Multiple System Operators (MSO’s) have extremely high cancellation rates, combined with stagnant top line growth, so migrating into home security seems to make sense – to them. However, they are learning that protecting homes and families is not as easy as they thought. And here’s a recent article from an online financial publication that adds some valuable perspective.

Through Xfinity Home, Comcast offers home security options along with its cable TV, broadband, and phone products. In addition to alarm systems, one can install remote surveillance cameras. (Perhaps one could say that for your personal security, you just need to know whether your teens and their friends are raiding the liquor cabinet after school.) It’s also touted as a green product, with features that allow you to remotely control lights and thermostats, for example.

The company isn’t the only one trying to tap into Americans’ desires for safer and more automated homes. In addition to companies like ADT, for which home security is a core product, Comcast’s major rival, Verizon, has gotten into the business. There’s a massive U.S. market for such services; this past spring, Comcast Cable Communications President and CEO Neil Smit described it as measuring about $9 billion.

Hey, wait a minute… what about FrontPoint? Those are exactly the advanced home technologies that we specialize in! Guess FrontPoint needs to get a little bigger before we get mentioned in these articles along with ADT and Verizon – and we’re working on it!

Comcast Losing Customers – and Why

Some investors may view Xfinity Home as a big boon for Comcast. After all, it’s another potential growth channel, and could drive a lot of extra revenue. And Comcast’s need for more revenue probably shouldn’t be underestimated, considering the fact that it has been losing basic cable TV subscribers in droves for many quarters now. In August, Comcast reported losing 176,000 video customers in its most recent quarter, which was actually an improvement from previous rates of attrition. While it’s true that the shaky economy probably is behind the loss of many customers who now are focused on more important bills, there’s another reason that investors should think twice about Comcast: a lot of American consumers despise the company.

Good Service Matters… More than Ever

Comcast is notorious for bad customer service, and it’s a common name on lists of the most despised American companies. For example, The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Comcast No. 4 on its list of most disliked companies. Comcast has been a contender in the Consumerist’s Worst Company in America competition for years, and in 2010, won the “gold.” There’s even an “I hate Comcast” page on Facebook, with nearly 17,000 members who consider themselves “customers, ex-customers, and victims of Comcast.”

Bad Strategy Means a Bad Investment?

Comcast may be pushing more heavily into security, but there’s no security for investors who buy its shares. Why on Earth would a corporate management pursue a new product line when so many of its core customers aren’t even pleased with its traditional products and services? Why expand offerings when many consumers already feel like the infrastructure and customer service stinks? Why spread resources thin under such tenuous circumstances? Customers’ goodwill is on the line.

Ouch! We have heard (anecdotally of course) that the rate of adoption for XFINITY Home has been underwhelming: in fact, by the time Comcast expected to have 50,000 home security customers, they only had about 10,000. As I said, that is only anecdotal, but to those of us who have devoted our professional careers protecting lives and property, it’s hardly surprising if consumers are reluctant to trust their peace of mind to an entertainment company with a decidedly poor service reputation.

There are other online references to the Comcast XFINITY Home offering. One web site affiliated with Consumer Reports fielded many comments that indicated a “thumbs down” even before the product launched. My favorite is still this one, a simulated response following an alarm event:

“We just received an alarm from your XFINITY Security System. The police are scheduled to arrive between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm next Thursday. Please make sure someone is home to let them in. Or, if you prefer, you may choose the self-arrest option.”

This is darkly humorous, and is also a painful reminder that Comcast is out of its depth in trying to provide true peace of mind. As a “real” alarm company that is focused on protecting homes and families, FrontPoint welcomes the advertising budgets that new entrants like Comcast bring to increasing public awareness of interactive monitoring services – exactly the advanced features that FrontPoint has offered since our inception in 2007. We also expect that the more people research their options, the more they’ll choose FrontPoint. As the leader in wireless home security,  we specialize in the best protection: that’s why we’re the #1 ranked alarm company in the US. FrontPoint systems are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat – and you’ll be thrilled with our service.

Comments (41)

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  1. Brian Mel

    I can’t give Comcast a zero, but it’s damn near close. Overall, I think Comcast is a great company. They make great business decisions, their stock is doing great and their new cloud based DVR technology is pretty cool even it took them over a decade to finally create a DVR that looks like it belongs in this decade (Sorry Brian Roberts). But, I can’t understand for the life of me why a company the size and experience of Comcast can put together a security and automation division and get it so wrong. I would consider Comcast an entry level system. They offer basic security (like dozens of companies out there) with very basic and I emphasize VERY basic automation controls. Basically, all you get is lighting, thermostat and cameras. They have no ability to record Video, you have to pay a higher fee to have cameras on the package and the ‘Rules’ as they call them which let you set macros in the system to turn lights on or off at certain times or activate the alarm at a predetermined time are among the most basic I have seen in a system. I have a background in alarm systems and was forced into getting Comcast Home because I needed a Triple Play bundle to get the new X1 DVR and I have never been more unhappy with Comcast since I have had this alarm system installed. I can not wait until my 3 year incarceration is over so I can get an HAI or ELK system installed. Even if I want the system to do something very basic like alert me when one of my kids come home or when the contractor came and left. Comcast’s system can’t do that. You can only set a rule to alert you if the alarm system has been disarmed or armed. The list of supported devices are a joke also. No garage door controls, no geo sense technology, no door lock controls, no automatic blind controls, no irrigation controls, no audio support for devices such as whole house audio like Sonos and the list goes on. I don’t believe Comcast realizes the potential of what they have or that they can compete against companies like Control4, HAI & Crestron and that a home automation system is not as much about convenience as it is about energy conservation and peace of mind. Adding support for all of these other devices and adding a full set of expert rule configurations will allow the user to not only more control over their home and their lifestyle but save them money in the process. I can’t believe Comcast doesn’t even offer a community support line such as an online forums, blog or support phone line where technicians for the Home security team can monitor user requests for upgrades and additions they would like to see added to the system or bugs they find because there’s been plenty of bugs I have found in the system. About 10 years ago I wanted to start a subscription based automation company with a buddy of mine, but we didn’t have the start-up capital to do it. And now that Comcast is one of the first companies to do it, I am very disappointed with them. It makes me wish I would have been able to get my company started back then because I would have done it right. Shame on you Comcast.

  2. Sheryl

    I just recently moved across country where there are no Comcast services. Just recently I was informed I couldn’t cancel my Comcast Home Security unless I paid their early termination fee, that I had a two year contract. I was not aware of this when I signed up and they did not volunteer this information. I went to cancel my service and was willing to pay through the end of this 2 year agreement, but was informed it is a three year agreement. That’s funny, since the last time I tried to cancel when it was not working, they told me then that I had a two year commitment. I am so disgusted with Comcast right now and so done with them. I use to be very happy with Comcast, however, the last few years their customer service has taken a severe down turn. I WOULD NOT recommend them for anything.

  3. Joy

    Having a serious problem with xfinity home security called on last day to cancel no one will answer phone when I did get through to cancellation dept was told I had to pay additional $47 to be cancelled. This is after paying $200 on my bill and also being told the fees would be waived when I first ordered system asked up be transferred back to billing dept no answer. Right now I have a $500 bill which almost $300 should not be charged someone is trying to help me right now but they are off until Sunday I was on the phone for a little over 3 hours.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Joy – Thanks for your comment, but we are very sorry to hear of the disappointing experience you have had with one of the “new entrants” to the home security industry. Sadly, yours is just one more negative report in what appears to be a very long list indeed: these companies are learning the hard way that what we do day in and day out may look easy, but it’s not. And it’s consumers who suffer when they make a decision to choose one of these utility companies to provide peace of mind. I hope your situation is resolved – and to your satisfaction. Thanks again, and our condolences.

  4. IRRITATED!!!

    Xfnity home security service is horrible!! DON’T every buy from them unless you want to end up paying money for nothing! They are completely inexperienced and the process of getting problems resolved is a NIGHTMARE!! I WILL NEVER PURCHASE FROM THEM AGAIN!! I’ve already canceled the cable but unfortunately I’m locked in for 3 years on the security.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks for your comment, Irritated – and we are very sorry to hear that your experience with Comcast has not gone well. Then again, that company is ranked near the bottom of all US consumer service providers when it comes to customer satisfaction. That’s one reason we (and the rest of the alarm industry) have been watching closely to see how it goes for Comcast, as they try to compete on providing peace of mind to America’s homeowners. In regard to protecting your home and family, we believe you are less likely to trust a company who can’t even get it right consistently with just connectivity and entertainment services – why would you raise the stakes with a bad company for life safety services that are extremely important to you and your loved ones?

  5. Nina

    I just finished filing complaints with the FCC, Attorney General of Flrida and The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services about my horrifying experience I have had with Comcast since December, 2012 . Had I only known that they are of America’s toopo hated companies for custmoer service I would have never ordered a home security system from them. This is a huge mistake. Too lengthy to go into right here, but what I will tell is that today was the last straw. I hope that anyone who has problems with this company files complaints with the authorities because I would say what thy are doing is definitely borderline criminal.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks again, Nina – and now it sounds like you are really serious about this. The types of complaints you mention can be very effective in getting a company’s attention. More and more consumers of home services (such as home security and home automation) are doing their shopping online, and reviews mean a lot – both good and bad. That’s one more reason why we are so happy to have all the positive reviews that we have – and so few issues where people and not thrilled. And of course, we always respond quickly and publicly to any customer concerns, another thing that separates us from the other companies. Again, we are very sorry to hear that you have had such a negative experience, and wish you luck in resolving your issues. Thanks again.

  6. Erica

    I just switched from Xfinity Home to Frontpoint and the improvement is phenomenal!

    I purchased my new home at the end of December and thought the easiest way to get moved in was to have Comcast set up everything (phone, Internet, cable and security). I checked with another home security company but felt they were overcharging and overselling.

    My Xfinity system was plagued with false alarms and an inability to easily set the system for Arm Away (motion detectors activated) at night. The real laugh is that when one dials 1-800-COMCAST, there are no prompts for Xfinity Home – only cable, phone and Internet. I even reached one service rep who told me that Comcast doesn’t offer home security systems!!!!

    It was a time-consuming comedy of errors. It seems Comcast is honestly trying to improve their customer service but something is broken there. I spoke with reps who promised me they would get back to me or gave me their direct phone numbers in case I had a problem. Of the 10 or 12 reps (yes, at least that many over 7 weeks) only one actually returned my call.

    I cannot express how disgusted and upset I was by the experience. Believe it or not, there is more than what I’ve just described.

    Switching to Frontpoint has been extremely easy. I easily got through to customer service and spoke with a rep who stayed on the phone with me while a few minor problems were fixed.

    I love the web and smartphone apps. I REALLY love the geo-service that reminds me if I’ve forgotten to arm the system when I leave. Oh yes – and EMPOWER -how cool! I can program lights in my house and turn them on/off from my smartphone! I’ll be adding more equipment shortly.

    I am a HUGE fan of Frontpoint!

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Erica – Thanks so much for your comment. While I am sorry to hear about the frustration you must have experienced with Comcast, it appears you have had found a good solution for peace of mind by switching to FrontPoint. We continue to hear nightmare stories about what people encounter in the process of buying, installing, and using Comcast home security. Your story is a good one, though – especially issues such as not having an option for alarm services a the main number. Now that’s what we call peace of mind – not! Thanks again, and welcome to the FrontPoint family.

  7. J

    We have had comcast xfinity home for about 6 months now. They did have some installation issues at first, but were very responsive to our calls and we had a $50 credit to our bill each time they came out (twice). Since then it has worked exactly as advertised. No problems, we have had power outages and things work fine after. The remote access works very well, no issues. Everytime I had to call I called the xfinity home number and received all the help necesssary right away. I find their contact for xfinity home better than for cable for sure. The prince is 29.99/month which is better than most companies. So far no complaints and normally I am not much of a comcast fan.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      J – Thanks for your comment. It’s good to hear that they are taking good care of you, since we read so many stories that do not turn out so well. The technology is not rocket science – it should work as advertised! What is interesting (to me) is that what you are describing is exactly what ALL Comcast customers should be experiencing. I am afraid (from reading the Comcast user forum, from comments here, and from other sites) that such is not the case. Happy for you – and thanks again.

  8. Kristina Duran

    We have had Comcast security for a week and a half. 5 of the 10 days it has NOT worked!! The remote features do not work on any of our 3 devices. Constantly give error messages or say requesting remote access. The customer service people are aweful. Have spent countless hours on the phone with them! The tech and 3 electricians that came out took 6 hours to install the sytem that the next day was not finished being installed. They spent most of their time talking, sitting at my kitchen table and snooping around at my husbands collectibles in his office. Very unprofessional! We swtiched from AD becuase of the fancy features and remote access of which none of it works!! I am so livid with Comcast we don’t know what to do! We apparetnly should have read these reviews first! Biggest waste of $399 ever!

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Kristina – Thanks for your comment, but we are sorry to hear about your bad experience, and we sympathize with your frustration. Chalk up another one for Comcast… There were many people (both inside AND outside the alarm industry) who expressed concern about Comcast taking on the role of providing peace of mind, and it certainly appears that these fears were well founded. While what we may do day in and day out in this industry may not exactly be rocket science, it does require a thorough understanding of what it takes to make a system reliable – and also having the personnel who are trained in sales and support. My own opinion is that Comcast may have grossly underestimated the resources necessary for doing this right. Now they are paying the price with poor reviews and unhappy customers. Thanks again, Kristina.

  9. Mya

    This has got to be the worst home security ever. You can never get a hold of their customer service. Their system is always giving dumb issues, I hate it!!!!

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Mya – Thanks for your comment. Believe it or not, we would like to see Comcast be successful in their efforts to increase home security and home automation penetration across the US: it’s been too long that only one in five homes has a monitored alarm system. We believe (along with a number of alarm companies) that the “new entrants” (Comcast, Cox, Verizon, AT&T, etc.) will spend a lot of money to educate and inform potential customers about all the advanced services and features that are available today – the kinds of services FrontPoint has offered for years. All those advertising dollars should help us as well, since many folks will learn about what these new systems can do, and then turn to an established alarm company when it comes to selecting a service provider. But if these newcomers trip over their feet, it doesn’t help – and your story is one of countless tales I’ve heard that describe Comcast’s poor service, technical glitches, and a general lack of preparedness to play in this sector, where peace of mind is paramount. Thanks again.

  10. Adam

    I was sign up and the install tech was here at my house. The sales rep and the internet add lead me to believe that fire monitoring would be automatically monitored buy a service center like ADT dose but when the install tech arrived and we were planning out the install he told me that they do not offer that service at all. so i cancelled. why would i pay for a service that dose nothing for me when I’m not home. I do not advise anyone this service the flashy touch screen pad is all you really get.

    • Cassandra Dobkins

      Adam – thanks for posting about your experiences and I am sorry it was such a negative one. We’ve heard quite often that the only perk was the “flashy touch screen” was all you had with the package. I am glad you were able to cancel before you were tied into a contract – so many people don’t have that option! You were a lucky one! Fire monitoring, in our opinion, should be including in even the lowest price package. Even our lowest package comes standard with fire, intrusion, environmental and life safety protection monitoring!

  11. Casey

    So to add to this – Comcast refuses to install their home security system if you have Business class internet at home. I’m required to have it because my business pays for my internet, and I require a static IP. So basically you have only the option of ditching the static IP and going to residential which you lose the perks of business internet (4 hour response, extremely competent technicians, etc).

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Cassey – Thanks for your comment. Just one more unfortunate story, but frankly, your account surprises me a lot. Must be related to the bundling of specific services in their business model, but still, you would think they would do everything they could to earn your business in as many services as possible. It’s hard to believe it’s a technology problem, but I guess even that is possible with them… Thanks again.

  12. Tony

    I had Xfinity Home installed about a month ago……two weeks into it, we had a power outage, and the router reset. I called the tech, as he asked me to at the time of installation, twice, and got no response. I spent 3 hours on the phone with comcast getting passed from office to office, before I was given the home security department. There is no option from the main menu to go there, which seems surprising. They set up a time for a technician…..and he showed up, never rang the bell, scared my kids, and spouted some stupid rule when my 6’0 240LB son could not come up with identification and left. I called and spent another 2+ hours on the phone trying to get the tech back….but the dispatch center was “non responsive”
    Same thing happened tonight….I got an assurance from a Field agent that the tech would come at a certain time….I prepared to be available, getting coverage at work, only to hear that he showed up 2 hours early walked around my back yard…and then left
    All I want is the instructions to reconfigure my router, which I am sure is the problem

    I get a lot of ” I understand” but they will not credit my account for the time that the system has not worked, and it looks like cancelling will be an expensive and time consuming chore
    I got sucked in by the promise that Comcast has changed, but except for their internet…..Whether you call it Comcast or Xfinity, it just does not seem to be very good

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Tony – Wow, I am sorry to hear about your situation, but thanks for sharing so much detail about your “underwhelming” experience with Comcast and the XFINITY service. While I am confident that there must be some happy XFINITY Home customers out there, I have not read many positive reviews: I have, however, read plenty of negative ones. As someone with long experience in this industry, and who has seen “outsiders” try before to offer peace of mind to folks trying to protect their homes and families, I cannot say I am surprised at the poor performance of Comcast, Cox, Verizon, and others. Doing what we do day in and day out as an alarm services provider is very different from what these other companies (cable and telephone companies) do: the stakes are higher in our industry, and the level of expectation by the consumer is understandably very different. In the case of Comcast, they seem to exhibit the worst of both worlds: technology that is unreliable, combined with service that leaves people unsatisfied. One frequent request I’ve seen on the Comcast forum is a separate number (and preferably staffed by better trained personnel) dedicated to the XFINITY Home customers – but as you said, that is not an option on the main Comcast menu. It’s not that what we do as “real” alarm companies is that hard – but it does require a greater sense of urgency and a commitment to build and maintain trust. hanks again – and if you ever want to have a great customer experience, we hope you will check us out.

    • Mya

      I had a very similar experience! On the phone on hold for hours, no response. Hard to contact customer service, I mean this is an alarm service! My god, should they be easy to reach. I will never recommend them!

      • Peter M. Rogers

        Mya – Thanks again – and please see my response to your other comment. Sad, but not altogether surprising. I spend time on the customer forums of these companies, and it’s truly sad to see the level of dissatisfaction expressed there. At the very least, Comcast should have a separate number and separate group (with better training and better response times) handling the alarm customers. Your point is right on the mark: this is about protecting homes and families, not about an entertainment service! I hope they clean up their act – it’s not good for the alarm industry in general when these guys set the bar so low. Thanks again.

  13. M. Bush

    We are 3 days into our Xfinity home security contract ad have called in a CANCELLATION REQUEST! Their system consistently goes offline, one can not remote view anything, nor ARM the system when this happens. And the installation techs are from an outsourced company – band of incompetent ladder climbers. And when the signal goes down they told us that, “it was due to a lot of other people must be on the Internet,” meaning our surrounding community.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Michael – Thanks very much for your comment. While We are sorry to hear of the frustration that you are experiencing with your Comcast system, it appears (from what I can find online) that you are in good company. The Comcast XFINITY Home technology appears to work intermittently, but what makes it even worse, the company has experienced some well documented challenges in providing timely and knowledgeable technical support. While I don’t want to say, “We told you so,” it is true that many of us in the alarm industry saw this one coming. After all, how can a large company that is already having trouble providing acceptable service in its core competency expect to introduce new technology, and a new support process, and expect to make their customers happy? The fact that they are now in the life safety business, where true peace of mind is paramount, only makes things worse for them – and for you. Again, sorry to hear of your predicament. Hope you get satisfaction. If you end up pulling the plug on Comcast for these services, we would be happy to help you. Thanks.

  14. Bill Field

    Two months since I have had it installed. Had to have them return to reinstall an incorrectly installed thermostat. They should have tested it to make sure it was working before leaving. Had them out three times for a low battery in the key pad and on thier third trip they replaced the whole unit. Seems to have fixed the problem. Had them out to replace a low battery in a window sensor, which I am about to call them again as I am getting a low battery alarm from the same sensor. Had them to reinstall 3 window sensors that were installed incorrectly, two on one window and none on another. Came home from a weeks vacation and found that all the devices lost communicatins with the console and my home was unprotected for a week. About to call again as the “rules” function to turn lights and heat on and off is not working. Bottom line, I had ADT for 7 years with one service call. You should be able to figure this one out.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Bill – Thanks for your comment. This is just one more bad story to add to the list of unflattering reviews of the Comcast XFINITY Home service – although yours sounds more like a nightmare. The complaints I am seeing fall generally into three categories: (1) the technology does not work, (2) the level of support is poor, and (3) bad technology AND bad service. There have been several user requests for a separate number to call for XFINITY Home issues, since the normal customer support folks appear to have little understanding of what the services do, or how they are supposed to work. I have been interested to observe similar issues with the Verizon platform for interactive home services, with unreliable technology and lackluster support. Then again, the Verizon offering is not really an alarm system , since there is no actual monitoring or police dispatch. If I had to sum up the problems, I’d say it’s a lot easier for an alarm company like FrontPoint to offer automation services (which we do) then it is for a cable or phone company to evolve into home security. We just have a different concept of peace of mind, as in it should exist for the homeowner! It starts with technology that works, and expands into highly trained and responsive personnel that can solve problems quickly and decisively when they occur.

      Sounds like you had a good run with ADT – makes this experience all the more frustrating. And you are right – making this equipment function should be the easy part. Thanks again for your comment. If you ever want to give FrontPoint a try, we’ll do our best to “wow” you with good service.

  15. joey

    So instead of just promoting your own interests, i.e Frontpoint, you have a blog to descredit other companies such as Comcast and Verizon. It is funny how Comcast was rated #4 most hated company…if you look at the stats it seems the most hated companies are the ones people most frequently use. People do not read contracts no matter it be for cable, a cell phone, or anything for that matter and complain when that fine print sneaks back up on them. I have no interest in Comcast or Verizon for that matter but find it humouring how dumb people are.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Joey, for your comment. My goal is to provide information about all aspects of the alarm industry, especially residential security, and the range of topics I cover is by intent very broad. There has been a lot of interest in (and a lot written about) the “new entrants” into this sector. By new entrants I mean Cox, Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, Lowe’s, and others. It seems that none of these companies have a clear understanding of what they are getting into when they leap into the home security fray – and several “utility” companies have been in this space before, only to leave in a hurry after significant losses. Again, my approach is to educate and inform, and this I invest a lot of time in explaining how the technology works, why it does or not provide peace of mind, what separates one business model from another, etc. I would not say that we are discrediting the other companies so much as reporting on how technologies operate and on how consumer are reacting to the offerings and service level. Consumer are able to decide for themselves, and I”m pretty sure that someone is going to choose or not chose one company over another based on reading one blog or review. I do agree that consumers should spend more time reading agreements – but also agree that companies can do a better job of explaining them, which is something we work hard at. We don’t like surprises, and neither do our cusotmers. In this industry, issues involving early termination are one of the most frequent causes of complaints. Thanks again.

    • Ann

      I agree with Joey. I have no ties with Comcast, Xfinity, etc., however, I am looking for a home security system. It’s too bad that a company like FrontPoint can’t promote their own product, rather than put another one down.

      • Peter M. Rogers

        Ann – Thanks to you as well for your post. It appears from some comments on this and other FrontPoint blog entries comparing us to other companies that a few readers would like to hear more about what makes FrontPoint great, and less about what we perceive as the deficiencies in our competitors’ products, services, or business models. We spend a lot of time analyzing other providers in the industry, and we are always looking to find something we admire and want to emulate – or not. Other alarm companies do the same with us, and it’s interesting to see that we have some serious imitators out there, meaning companies that have “borrowed” one of more elements of the FrontPoint business model. Whether those companies can deliver with the same level of customer satisfaction is another question, but it’s still somewhat flattering that they are copying FrontPoint. And once we have all that information, it’s hard not to share it. Since the main purpose of this blog is to educate and inform, that is why we feel free to express a subjective view of what other companies are doing, and how we think they stack up – or how their customers think they stack up. Some of what I write is opinion, but for the most part it is fact, culled from extensive research and knowledge coming from over two decades working in electronic security. But I will take your comment to heart, and thanks again.

  16. Randy

    Very enlightening website/pics and video’s showing various products…. key question… I used ADT in past and got fed up with customer service/annual charge that automatically renewed despite fact that I contacted them 2 weeks after my annual renew kicked in and told them I was moving and wanted to discontinue service. They wouldn’t allow me to ‘disconnect’ and kept charging me a monthly fee x12 months. Bummer!

    Have many ground floor windows/sliding glass doors in my house. Would each have to be armed or would a motion sensing camera be a substitute for those access areas within line of sight? In other words, how many sensors are too many? Thanks! Seriously considering opting into your service but can see costs exponentially ka-chinging as I assess the grounds/house etc….

    Randy

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Randy – thanks for your comment, and your questions. I’m happy to report that for starters, you can move a FrontPoint system with you – and our customers do it all the time. There is no extra charge, and no contract extension, and it’s one more reason why we have the lowest cancellation rate of any nationwide alarm company. Compare that to ADT at 13.5%, which is above average for the industry. Yes, we have the same kind of monitoring agreement, and yes, ours does renew as well – but we are known for being more flexible, especially once someone is into their renewal period. It’s just like our 30-day risk-free trial period: other alarm companies give you three days, and only because they are forced to do so by the Federal Trade Commission! We just want happy customers who are with us for a long time because they want to be. We are all abut safer, smarter, simple, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat.

      As for your home, it’s rare that we place a sensor on each window, although it can be done. We usually recommend a combination of door/window sensors, motion sensors (usually only active when you are out of the house) and/or glassbreak sensors, which are active in the “Stay” and “Away” mode. So, we talk with you about how you will use the system, the exact layout of the rooms and windows, and come up with a plan. Give us a call at (866) 252-7630 and we can talk through the issues. I bet we can come up with a workable (and affordable) solution. Thanks!

  17. carlos

    I have myself gotten myself into a heap of trouble by not reading the contract that comcast has you sign to get the service …. there is actually a line in there saing how whether the service is good or substandard they are not lisble or their subcontractors or anybody directly linked to the process. i should have read the contract. please do not get the service it will be a pain in the ass. i have had it for 3 months and have had 2 to 3 false alarms. i should have kept ADT. maybe ill go to frontpoint. are you guys in houston?

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Carlos – Sorry to hear that Comcast has not been getting it done for you. We are hearing this a fair bit, frankly, along with the reports that the “take rate” for the XFINITY Home services has not met expectations for Comcast. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that folks are nervous about a cable company venturing into life safety and security when they are already challenged to provide reliable service on non-critical issues. As a long-time veteran of the alarm industry (since 1989, actually), I have a good sense of what it takes to provide peace of mind. As for ADT, the irony is that the Comcast and ADT interactive service are actually provided by the same platform – iControl, which relies almost entirely on your broadband connection for everything except fundamental alarm signalling. So, when you Internet connection is down for whatever reason, you don’t get all the cool stuff, with Comcast or ADT. For instance, if a bad guy cuts your cable connection (happening more and more) or you lose power in the home… That is just one more reason why we chose Alarm.com’s interactive services, where everything except home video uses the built-in cellular connection: safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. And yes, we cover Houston! When you contact us, be sure to ask about Crash & Smash protection. FrontPoint has it: ADT and Comcast don’t. Thanks! – By the way, (866) 252-7630 is the number.

  18. day

    Customer are not required to “bundle” all of comcast services. Only comcast internet is required for installation.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks for your comment. It’s good to know that bundling in this case may only require having one Comcast service in addition to home security, though in a perfect world you could use the ISP of your choice. But if that were the case, Comcast would need to charge more, and they would not be achieving the strategic goal of trying to reduce cancellation rates on other services – Internet being one of those other services where Comcast makes a good profit.

      Thanks again,

      Peter

      • Drew

        Peter,

        Even though this is an older post i can’t helo but to shed more light on this post. Comcast states they must have internet provided from them for Home Secuirty for a reason, this is due to the buck that gets passed around when you have two or sometimes three companies trying to make things work. if your home security from Comcast were to go down with Qwest internet, we would see both Qwest and Comcast point fingers at each, so with that said Comcast (and other companys I am sure) try to keep everything simple so as to eliminate the buck being passed around.

  19. Alan

    As always, interesting insider insight, Peter!

    And yes, you have little to fear from Comcast or the other big cable and phone companies.

    Keep up the great posts and effort at Frontpoint. What you all have built is pretty incredible! I was lucky to find you guys 5 years ago and have never looked back!

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