Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Alarm Monitoring - Anyone Switch Monitoring Companies to Lower Costs?
Old 12-18-2015, 02:59 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
Mo Money's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: .
Posts: 269
Alarm Monitoring - Anyone Switch Monitoring Companies to Lower Costs?

I pay a significant amount (about $42/month or $504/year) to have Guardian Protection monitor my humble abode using its security system with a wireless connection. In my opinion, based on various online customer reviews I have read and my own experience, Guardian has been notorious for its auto-renewal provisions. Its contracts seem, to some, to lock them in to expensive monitoring forever.

I just gave Guardian notice to cancel at the end of a three-year term that was on its second or third auto-renewal term. They called to negotiate. They agreed to go month-to-month and lower the price just a bit. I signed the contract amendment, just to give me flexibility on when to quit using them. I know there are cheaper but competent alarm monitoring companies out there. When I find one, I'll give Guardian the heave-ho on thirty days' notice.

Any recommendations on who to use based on your own experience?
__________________

__________________
“We always may be what we might have been.” -- Adelaide Anne Procter
Mo Money is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-18-2015, 03:54 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo Money View Post
I pay a significant amount (about $42/month or $504/year) to have Guardian Protection monitor my humble abode using its security system with a wireless connection.
Not a criticism, just a question: Why do people pay for this "monitoring" service? There are so many alarms which can be set up to call the homeowner directly (which is what I'd want, whether at home or away--then I can call 911, police, or a neighbor as appropriate while I take local actions). The "monitors" call the homeowner anyway to confirm the activation, and I'm pretty sure the police will take things more seriously if contacted directly by the homeowner rather than an alarm company

Anyway, an alternative: Simplisafe costs about $250 to $550 for the whole system, and monthly monitoring (if desired, it is not required) costs $15/mo. You'd recoup the cost of a new system in about a year, then it would be all savings after that.
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 03:57 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
We had our door broken in and house robbed a few years back. After looking at response times, cost, and what we really wanted - we went with no alarms. We want not to be robbed. We don't care if the bad guys may be tracked down based on security footage, we first and foremost just don't want to be robbed.

An alarm won't stop you from being robbed. Signage indicating you have an alarm probably is just as effective. We went with dummy cameras and real ADT signs (thanks Ebay). Hope I'm not thought less of because I'm lying to the bad guys.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 03:58 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
frayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: 19th Hole
Posts: 2,529
I have fake (Home Protection) signs, alarms on the doors, a nasty looking barking, biting brendal boxer and good nosey neighbors. Cheap and effective and if I'm home Mr. 9mm and Mrs. 380 as a welcoming committee. I sleep soundly and never worry about home intrusion.
__________________
A totally unblemished life is only for saints.
frayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 04:04 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Big_Hitter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: In the fairway
Posts: 4,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by frayne View Post
a nasty looking barking, biting brendal boxer
loud dogs are the best deterrent, IMO

When we lived in Houston we ALWAYS had an alarm system. Thing paid for itself one day when the perp tore off an alarm screen and set it off when we lived in the Heights (early 90s). Then we moved to 77018 and never had an issue (still had a good alarm system tho).

One thing I hated about living in Htown was the crime.

We paid ADT like 20 bucks a month. I dont' know how guardian justifies 40+ a month.
__________________
Swing hard, look up
Big_Hitter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 04:06 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
Mo Money's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: .
Posts: 269
Well, thanks for the input so far. I have two flatulent pugs who are about a thousand years old and sleep most of the day. But I do like the deterrent effect an alarm system may have, and the fire monitoring capability.

While I am a screaming liberal, I come from a rural background. If the alarm does not work, or the pugs don't notice the intruder, I have my trusty .410 shotgun handy. Aimed even half well, it will do the trick. You can take the boy outa' the country, but....
__________________
“We always may be what we might have been.” -- Adelaide Anne Procter
Mo Money is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 04:41 PM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
Philliefan33's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 729
We have an alarm on the house but don't bother with monitoring. There is no local police force, so it would be up to the State Police to respond. It's at least 15 minutes from the nearest barracks, so unless a trooper happened to be patrolling nearby the perps could get in and out long before anyone responded.

DH is retired law enforcement and he has his handgun here. If I'm here alone and try to use it, we've determined that I'll have better luck throwing the gun at someone's head than trying to hit anyone with a bullet. (I didn't do well when DH took me to the firing range. I flinch. A lot.)
__________________
Philliefan33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 04:42 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,597
I don't use it, but there is an ADT alarm system in my home, installed by a former owner. If I wanted to activate the monitoring, ADT would charge me a little over $30 a month. You should be able to negotiate a better rate IMHO.
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 04:49 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
Mo Money's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: .
Posts: 269
Braumeister: I may do what you suggest: negotiate a lower rate. Since as of this morning (when Guardian provided its e-signature to the month-to-month contract), I can get out on a month's notice. Maybe I'll call and say I found a cheaper monitoring company unless they can match....
__________________
“We always may be what we might have been.” -- Adelaide Anne Procter
Mo Money is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 04:55 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RetireAge50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,121
Our homeowners insurance covers robbery and my gun will be used if I am home. We sometimes use a full-size real-looking person (made from cardboard) at the front window.
__________________
RetireAge50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 05:08 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Big_Hitter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: In the fairway
Posts: 4,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by RetireAge50 View Post
Our homeowners insurance covers robbery and my gun will be used if I am home. We sometimes use a full-size real-looking person (made from cardboard) at the front window.
if you've ever been broken into, paying for the lost stuff is the least of your concerns, it's the being violated part that bothered us - hence the mac daddy alarm system
__________________
Swing hard, look up
Big_Hitter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 05:43 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 296
I installed my own wireless alarm about 10 years ago. Dropped a few hundred on equipment. Signed up monitoring with Next Alarm, have been paying a little more than $60/yr with promo they offered. They now are at $9/month based on their website. http://info.nextalarm.com/

Been happy with their service.
__________________
bobandsherry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 05:59 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
mpeirce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Columbus area
Posts: 1,590
We pay $37 per month.

The system came with the house. When we dropped the landline they swapped in a wireless link instead of using the landline. No one can cut the line now. It even has battery backup.

All the homes in the neighborhood have a system - the builder put them in to every house. Not sure how many are still monitored, but I think most are.

The only robberies we've had in the neighborhood have been when people leave their garage doors open. A case of "their own damn fault" if you ask me.
__________________
mpeirce is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 06:14 PM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 7,156
Simplisafe system, two very loud sirens, a shotgun and a dog. No monitoring service. Oh, ADT sign outside.
__________________
......."Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 06:29 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado Mountains
Posts: 2,136
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandsherry View Post
I installed my own wireless alarm about 10 years ago. Dropped a few hundred on equipment. Signed up monitoring with Next Alarm, have been paying a little more than $60/yr with promo they offered. They now are at $9/month based on their website. http://info.nextalarm.com/

Been happy with their service.
I have been a Next Alarm customer for many years. I also have the self-monitoring capability. They also have a professionally monitored capability for $17.99 a month. No start or stop fees. You can stop whenever you like. Contact their technical support to see if they support your system. They support quite a few. You have to buy their broad band adapter for $70 at Home Depot among others. If their system works with yours and you like what they offer, might be worth a couple month's trial.
__________________
Hermit is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2015, 08:04 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
Theseus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 484
We live in a rural area where the county sheriff's office would be called upon to respond, and unless they by chance were nearby it would be at least a 5-10 minute wait for even an emergency response. Run of the mill "suspicious activity" call could be longer response time depending on how busy they are. Our dog was a great home defender, a big sweetheart that could send shivers up the spine of any unfamiliar souls that dared approach; but alas, she has moved on to doggy heaven (well, at least to a nice wooden box on top of the bookshelf).

When we are home common defensive measures of armament are available to us. The need for that thankfully seems to be quite remote in our area and I hope it stays that way, but one never knows when and where some miscreant will show up intending to do harm. Heroin arrests have become increasingly common in the area, and the occasional report of a meth labs being busted in the region are not unheard either. I suppose it would have been naive to think we ever did enjoy life in an idyllic paradise, but these days things seem to have gotten worse. We also have a multiple camera video surveillance with motion recording to a dedicated PC serving as a network video recorder, which also allows me to check in on things when on the road as well as maintaining a digital record of visitors to the property.
__________________
Theseus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2015, 05:01 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Cobra9777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,132
We used ADT for monitoring at $33/mo. It was an old Brinks system that required a landline phone. A couple years ago, we dropped ADT for a local company (Smith Thompson). They are in several large cities in Texas. Monitoring is now $16.95/mo and they upgraded the panel and keypad to use wireless communication. So this also enabled us to drop the old landline. ADT offered a temporary price drop, but I declined. I still get lots of "please come back" offers in the mail.

We like the monitoring service. We also have lots of signs, window stickers, flood lights with motion detectors, and a loud dog. I'd be open to self-monitoring at some point in the future. Just not sure how well that would work when we are traveling overseas or camping/hiking in a "spotty" cellular area. We had the alarm go off once while we were on a cruise ship and couldn't be reached. Police were called by the monitoring people and met our daughter at the house. A sliding glass door had been opened with a pry bar. Apparently, the bad guys ran when the siren went off. Police and DD secured the house and that was that.
__________________
Retired at 52 in July 2013. On to better things...
AA: 55% stock, 15% real estate, 27% bonds, 3% cash
WR: 2.0% SI: 2 pensions, some rental income, SS later
Cobra9777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2015, 05:27 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
I have been a Next Alarm customer for many years. I also have the self-monitoring capability.
Also a NextAlarm user. Got their VOIP adapter and connected existing system. The old alarm system was the only thing using the landline so that went as well.
__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2015, 05:30 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Big_Hitter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: In the fairway
Posts: 4,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
Police were called by the monitoring people and met our daughter at the house. A sliding glass door had been opened with a pry bar. Apparently, the bad guys ran when the siren went off. Police and DD secured the house and that was that.
paid for itself! I love good alarm stories.
__________________
Swing hard, look up
Big_Hitter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2015, 12:17 PM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
Beldar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 346
Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
Simplisafe system, two very loud sirens, a shotgun and a dog. No monitoring service. Oh, ADT sign outside.
Same here. They have a 3 yr warranty on all components...we just swapped out the keychain remotes as they wear out , at least for us, every 2 yrs or so. No charge.

I think there was a previous thread along these lines a while back that might help the OP.

_B
__________________

__________________
Beldar is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anyone use a barking dog alarm? Orchidflower Travel Information 31 01-28-2010 07:32 PM
Diversifying Doesn't Lower Risk, But It Does Lower Potential Gain justin FIRE and Money 44 11-05-2005 05:16 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:10 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.