Alarm Company Reviews Help You Shop for Peace Of Mind

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As more people shop for wireless home security, they use the Internet to research multiple companies for hard facts and customer experiences on product reliability and level of satisfaction. Review sites in general are flourishing, since you can learn a lot in a short time. I’ve posted on the growth and importance of alarm company review sites before – and wrote recently on an alarm company warning issued by the granddaddy of review sites – the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Today you can check online reviews for just about any company – even the ones who knock on your door, offering a deal you cannot refuse: it’s smart to do your homework, before you buy.

Share the Good News

Some of the popular sites (like yelp.com and epinions.com) have starred rating systems, and users can apply a 1-5 score along with a detailed description of their experience. Angie’s List is a membership review site, where their subscribers share detailed notes about a wide range of service providers – including alarm companies. Here are some typical examples of FrontPoint reviews:

“Overall, I was really, really happy with my experience with FrontPoint.  There were absolutely no glitches, something that is increasingly rare no matter what service you’re talking about.”

“…We believe this system gives great value for the money, is easy to install and monitor and appears to be a “fail-safe” system we can depend on.  We are quite happy with it.”

“I ordered the system and it arrived promptly. Installation was very easy. Activation was immediate. I ordered addition components, and installation and operation went flawlessly.”

“They are excellent in responding to any questions and will follow up to be sure all is good.”

On the Other Hand, Complaints Say a Lot

Some review sites are decidedly negative: shoppers can go to these if they want to cut to the chase for any bad news before they buy. Just type in the company’s name, and grab a chair – it may not be pretty. A couple of my favorite sites are complaints.com and ripoffreport.com, and I recently discovered another: pissedconsumer.com. This last site is a great addition to the reviews list, since they have plenty of good info on alarm companies, including some solid advice on how to deal with “door knockers” selling alarms.

BBB Statistics on Complaints

On the BBB site, you can compare companies based on total complaints received, and even see what people complained about. I picked four nationwide alarm companies, and here are their respective tallies for complaints received during the past 36 months:

Now, you might expect ADT would have more complaints, because they are a dominant player in the fragmented home alarm arena. But clearly bigger is no guarantee of better: ADT appears to have a lot of unhappy customers. Vivint/APX is a “door knocker” alarm company, so high-pressure sales are often the problem: plus, further research show that they have gotten in trouble with many states for fraudulent and deceptive sales practices, or licensing violations. Protect America is only a small fraction as big as ADT, but has about one fourth the number of complaints – that really tells you something about the company’s disappointing level of customer satisfaction. And FrontPoint, with only eight BBB complaints in three years as a nationwide service provider, clearly appears to be doing something right. Complaints may not tell you everything about a company, but they can reveal a lot.

You may have found your own great review sites – if so, please let me know, and I’ll spread the word. The good news is that these sites are objective, credible, and not subject to abuse, which makes them all the more useful. And I should mention that if you search for “FrontPoint” at the other three complaint sites mentioned above, you won’t find any bad reviews there. Of course, we think that’s a good thing, and we work extra hard on behalf of our customers to make sure it stays that way. As the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US, FrontPoint is committed to your safety and peace of mind – and that starts with honest sales and advertising, no hidden fees, the best technology at the best price, and world-class service. Just read the reviews!

 

Comments (13)

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  1. Michelle @ A Secure Life

    Hi Peter,
    As a security information provider online who also participates in regular review of home security along with other industries, we at http://www.asecurelife.com could not agree more that it is critical for homeowners to check every nook and cranny for information so that they can make a truly informed decision. This will not only make them feel confident in their safety but also give them peace of mind that should an emergency arise, they will be taken care of efficiently and effectively by a company that cares. Thank you for reminding your readers of all the tools they have at their disposal to do this homework.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Michelle. We agree that reviews represent one of the most powerful tools at the consumer’s disposal when shopping – especially for home security. Of course, we are biased: FrontPoint enjoys the best reputation of any nationwide alarm company. And we earned all those reviews the hard way. Thanks again.

  2. Michelle @ A Secure Life

    Hi Peter,
    As a security information provider online who also participates in regular review of home security along with other industries, we at http://www.asecurelife.com could not agree more that it is critical for homeowners to check every nook and cranny for information so that they can make a truly informed decision. This will not only make them feel confident in their safety but also give them peace of mind that should an emergency arise, they will be taken care of efficiently and effectively by a company that cares. Thank you for reminding your readers of all the tools they have at their disposal to do this homework.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Michelle. We agree that reviews represent one of the most powerful tools at the consumer’s disposal when shopping – especially for home security. Of course, we are biased: FrontPoint enjoys the best reputation of any nationwide alarm company. And we earned all those reviews the hard way. Thanks again.

  3. Susan

    While these are interesting statistics, they do not show the number of subscribers of each of these companies and the ratio of complaints to subscribers. How many subscribers does FrontPoint have vs. ADT?

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Susan – Great question. As a younger, and smaller, privately held company, FrontPoint does not publicize the size of its total customer base. It’s our belief that doing so would only provide information that might be useful to our competitors, since our customers (and prospective customers) are much more concerned with the level of service and the peace of mind that FrontPoint provides than how big we are. And had ADT has proven, bigger does not necessarily mean better, from a service delivery perspective. Of greater importance, as you can see from the overwhelming majority of positive FrontPoint reviews, we are doing very well on that important basis. But here’s what we can tell you.

      We are currently one if the largest providers of GE Security equipment in the US, and are also one of the largest providers of Alarm.com interactive monitoring and home automation services. We have also been one of the fast growing providers for each supplier since our inception over five years ago. We also have the best reputation and the highest customer retention rates of any national alarm company – of which there are only ten.

      As for hard numbers, here is a helpful way to look the topic. Protect America, for instance, had 772 complaints at the time of my blog post, and FrontPoint had 8. That would mean, if number of complaints were in proportion to number of customers, that Protect America had almost 100 times (96.5, to be exact) more customers than FrontPoint. Protect America provided a customer count for a recent industry publication, citing 131,000 customers. Using proportional math based on number of complaints, then FrontPoint would only have about 1,300 – which is clearly not the case. The fact is, we have a lot more customers than that – we just generate far fewer complaints. Using the same math to look at Vivint’s complaints, Vivint (which reported about 600,000 customers in the same publication) should have 172 times the customers FrontPoint has, which would reduce FrontPoint to only about 3,500 customers – again, absurdly understated.

      I hope that helps, and thanks again for your thoughtful questions.

  4. Susan

    While these are interesting statistics, they do not show the number of subscribers of each of these companies and the ratio of complaints to subscribers. How many subscribers does FrontPoint have vs. ADT?

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Susan – Great question. As a younger, and smaller, privately held company, FrontPoint does not publicize the size of its total customer base. It’s our belief that doing so would only provide information that might be useful to our competitors, since our customers (and prospective customers) are much more concerned with the level of service and the peace of mind that FrontPoint provides than how big we are. And had ADT has proven, bigger does not necessarily mean better, from a service delivery perspective. Of greater importance, as you can see from the overwhelming majority of positive FrontPoint reviews, we are doing very well on that important basis. But here’s what we can tell you.

      We are currently one if the largest providers of GE Security equipment in the US, and are also one of the largest providers of Alarm.com interactive monitoring and home automation services. We have also been one of the fast growing providers for each supplier since our inception over five years ago. We also have the best reputation and the highest customer retention rates of any national alarm company – of which there are only ten.

      As for hard numbers, here is a helpful way to look the topic. Protect America, for instance, had 772 complaints at the time of my blog post, and FrontPoint had 8. That would mean, if number of complaints were in proportion to number of customers, that Protect America had almost 100 times (96.5, to be exact) more customers than FrontPoint. Protect America provided a customer count for a recent industry publication, citing 131,000 customers. Using proportional math based on number of complaints, then FrontPoint would only have about 1,300 – which is clearly not the case. The fact is, we have a lot more customers than that – we just generate far fewer complaints. Using the same math to look at Vivint’s complaints, Vivint (which reported about 600,000 customers in the same publication) should have 172 times the customers FrontPoint has, which would reduce FrontPoint to only about 3,500 customers – again, absurdly understated.

      I hope that helps, and thanks again for your thoughtful questions.

  5. jim

    is very remarkable article thank you very much for updating us and ourbusiness and we need them the information

    • Peter M. Rogers

      You are very welcome.

    • Jody

      Thanks for giving us some perspective to address Susan’s concerns. I have wondered the same thing myself and your reasoning makes sense.

  6. jim

    is very remarkable article thank you very much for updating us and ourbusiness and we need them the information

    • Peter M. Rogers

      You are very welcome.

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