What’s it Cost – and What’s it Worth?

Posted by , , at 2:03 pm

Competition is a fact of life, especially in this economy, and the alarm industry is no exception. There are over 13,000 alarm companies in the US alone: while most of them are small companies with fewer than ten employees, the top 100 US alarm companies still only account for about half of the roughly 20 million systems in use today. That means there are literally thousands of providers competing to protect you and your family or business – and a common way to compete is by advertising with the word “Free!”

We’ve been providing alarm systems for some time (in my case, over 20 years!), and one of the first lessons I learned is that there is no “free” alarm system – even today. For starters, the only good systems are monitored, so there is a monthly cost. And just about every company advertising a “free” system is charging you upfront for one or more of the following:

  • Activation – usually $99
  • Installation – varies, may depend on number of sensors
  • “Set Up” – usually $99
  • First month of monitoring – or up to three months in advance!
  • Restocking for early return – $80 to $100
  • Shipping (for FrontPoint’s rare DIY competitors) – $25 to $50, both ways if you return it

FrontPoint does not charge for any of the items listed above.

Then you need to compare the offers, and it gets more interesting. What are you actually getting for “free” from these other companies? I’ll place a large wager that you get a pretty basic phone-line based system, which is old and unreliable technology. We can help you dig deeper into why cellular is safer, but suffice to say FrontPoint is the leader in interactive, 100% wireless home security. If you want an apples-to-apples comparison, ask another alarm company to price their equipment and monthly fees with cellular monitoring, the only reliable way to connect to the central station. And if you want to have some fun, start asking about additional equipment. Be ready for additional door sensors at $100, or motion sensors at $150 – $200. Make sure you are sitting down!

Speaking of interactive systems, very few other alarm companies even offer interactive features – and if they do, these features are limited, and the price is through the roof. The industry is slowly waking up to what FrontPoint offers today, like remote arm/disarm, text and email notifications, special apps for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Droid, and even remote live video and motion-activated clips. Here is some more info on these great interactive features that our customers love so much. And if you want to see some real raves, check out the FrontPoint Facebook page to see how good it gets.

So, next time you see an ad for a “Free” alarm system, you’ll know better.

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