With more than 100 home security alarm companies in Atlanta and surrounding areas, it can be hard to tell one company from the other.
It can also be hard to identify the reputable companies from those that are a little shaky.
We’ve been protecting homeowners in Atlanta since 1998, and we’ve heard our fair share of tall tales told by others. Here are five of the most common lies we’ve heard about home security companies in Atlanta:
# 1 – All Atlanta Home Security Companies Can Be Trusted.
It would be great if that statement were true. In today’s society, however, virtually every institution and industry have been rocked by scandal. The security industry is no exception.
Check out any company before you talk to them. Search their business name on Google. Go to review sites like Kudzu or Yelp. Check with the Better Business Bureau and state licensing agencies.
Always know who you are dealing with before inviting them into your home.
# 2 – All Companies Perform The Same Way.
Some people view all Atlanta home security companies as performing exactly the same way, with the only difference being the price of the security system. Believing this lie jeopardizes the safety of you and your family.
Different companies have different operating philosophies and business models. Hiring and training practices can vary between companies. Companies have different standards of performance and expectation levels.
# 3 – All Companies Protect Homes The Same Way.
That’s like saying all people make barbeque the same way. Your lifestyle and home are unique and effective Atlanta home security companies recognize your uniqueness. They custom design home security systems that protect you and that fit into your lifestyle and your budget.
Different companies will have different approaches to protecting your home. Make sure you understand what is being recommended, why it is being recommended and how it helps you achieve your objectives.
# 4 – All Atlanta Security Companies Sell The Same Equipment.
You’ll often hear this lie told as something like, “All home security equipment is basically the same.”
That simply is not true. There is low-end security equipment and it is high-end. Some equipment comes with longer warranties and better guarantees than others. Some companies use hard wired alarm systems while others use wireless.
It’s important you understand the equipment that is being used to protect you. Know its reliability, warranty, and reputation in the marketplace.
# 5 – All Atlanta Home Alarm Monitoring Companies Do The Same Thing.
We’ve seen this lie result in more heartache for homeowners than you could shake a stick at.
There are currently no state laws requiring how home alarm systems are monitored in Georgia. Some companies actually monitor alarm systems from the living room of their home! That’s not very secure. Some monitoring centers don’t meet UL performance standards and many are not redundant, leaving you vulnerable during an attack or natural disaster.
Look beyond the price of the monitoring to see the value of what you are getting. The most critical component of any home security system is who responds and when. Make sure you know what you are getting.
Were you aware that every year at this time Protection Concepts and area police departments receive numerous complaints about the fraudulent sales tactics of door-to-door security sales workers?
So does the Federal Government. In fact, the US Government receives so many complaints about door-to-door home security sales tactics that they issued this report to protect consumers from these scams.
These temporary summer security sales workers mislead consumers. Their goal is to deceive consumers to convert their service from their existing provider (like Protection Concepts) to an unaffiliated third party service. They also attempt to “trick” consumers into buying new equipment or a new security system from a disreputable out-of-state company.
These unethical temporary workers descend on a community like locusts on a field. They’re followed by installation crews to install equipment and make transfers before unsuspecting victims can question what’s going on.
Because these scams are so prevalent throughout Georgia, we offer these tips about what to look for and how to protect yourself:
Who Are Prime Targets:
- Busy Professionals
- Existing Protection Concepts Customers
Deceptive Tactics Used:
- Showing up without an appointment saying they work for Protection Concepts (we never show up without an appointment and we don’t practice door-to-door selling)
- Saying they’ve been directed to “inspect your system” by Protection Concepts
- Trying to convert contracts to what they claim is Protection Concepts “new company name”
- Stating that Protection Concepts is going out of business
- Wearing shirts or hats from alarm manufacturers like Honeywell, Ademco, and GE
- High-pressure sales with offers good “only today”
To Verify You Are Dealing With A Reputable Security Professional:
- Call the company the person claims to represent to verify employment
- If the person claims to work for or be affiliated with Protection Concepts, call us to verify 770-612-9073
How To Protect Yourself:
- Never allow any door-to-door security worker “inspect” your security system, as they may be looking for information for criminals to use to burglarize your home
- If you have concerns about your Protection Concepts home security system, call us at 770-612-9073 to have a free review of your system
- Always verify that you are dealing with a reputable professional before signing anything and giving anyone your credit card number or money
- Don’t waive your right to cancel the contract. In Georgia, you have the right to cancel a contract you enter into in your home. You have three working days to cancel the contract. Get more details at http://consumer.georgia.gov/consumer-topics/canceling-a-contract.
If you suspect fraudulent activity, contact your local Police Department and the Georgia Department of Law – Consumer Protection Unit.
Here are seven simple steps you can take to select the correct home security system in Atlanta:
- Determine your goals and objectives so you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish. Different home security companies in Atlanta use different ways to protect homes. It’s best to know your needs before you begin the search.
- Ask for referrals from family, friends, and co-workers. Getting a recommendation from someone you trust can make selecting the right alarm system much easier. Find out exactly what system they are using, who installed it and who monitors it. Getting feedback from their experience can save you from making the wrong choice.
- Only use Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certified equipment and be fully aware of the equipment’s capabilities and limitations. The only way to rest assures that the components of your home security alarm system meet strict performance standards is to use the certified equipment. Demand that your alarm company representative clearly defines the decision-making process behind any security approach or device they recommend for your home.
- Research alarm companies on the Internet. Consumer reviews from websites like Kudzu can really provide valuable insight into the overall customer satisfaction. These review sites can sometimes provide feedback on particular pieces of equipment that other customers have purchased as well. It is a good idea to look at the reviews as a whole rather than placing too much value on any one single review. View them all to develop a consensus.
- Investigate and assess each security company that you are considering. See if there is information about the company with the Atlanta Better Business Bureau. You want to fully understand who you are dealing with before committing to their products, services, and fees.
- Require an evaluation of your home along with a sales presentation from any alarm company you are considering. Never buy an alarm system until you know it is going to meet the level of protection you are expecting. You should have a clear understanding of what will and will not be protected as well as how everything will be monitored and how much your protection coverage will cost. Go over any contract thoroughly so you won’t run into any surprises down the road should you want to move or cancel your service. There are often many terms and conditions associated with hiring a particular security company that you need to be made aware.
- Don’t be coerced. There are a lot of high-pressure sales tactics that can be quite effective. Try to avoid companies that try to pressure you into using their products and services. “Today only” offers, scary crime statistics and “special deals that are just for you” are just some of the many tactics that pushy salespeople use to try and get you to sign up. Be patient and know all the facts before you sign a contract. After all, if the company, their products, and services don’t sell themselves then you might want to look for one that does.
Taking your time to find the right security company will give you peace of mind knowing you gave your best effort in finding the right protection for your home and family. Apply these tips to help you reach the best decision.
I’m often leery when I see lists and reviews of top rated companies. After managing security companies for over twenty years, I know how easy it is to have these lists manipulated.
During the time that I ran a security company in the mid-west, a local newspaper offered our company a top ten position on their review list if we were willing to pay. The more advertising we bought, the higher on the list we would appear.
Then the Internet came along and things got even worse.
Soon after the Internet became popular a fancy pants marketing agency proposed an idea to us. They said “why don’t you create your own online review site? That way you can control the reviews”. The sad truth is that just about anyone can come up with a legitimate sounding name for an organization, put a quick website online, and with a little SEO magic quickly start ranking high in the search engines for review searches. Someone could easily put together a review site for top-rated home security alarm companies in Atlanta and appear at the top of that list month after month.
I am rarely shocked to see what lengths salespeople will go to seal the deal. There’s an old saying about “buyer beware.” That saying sure applies to reading lists of top rated security companies.
Thankfully there is a much better way to find a quality home alarm security company in Atlanta. Here are some tips that I suggest you consider.
- Refer to your friends and family that already have home alarm systems. They should be more than willing to tell you about their experiences.
- For companies you are considering, be sure to scrutinize their website. Be sure you can find an address and a telephone number. Offline locations are an indicator of a legitimate company. Domain names are super cheap and easy to obtain. If a company doesn’t supply any offline information, I would consider that suspicious and untrustworthy.
- Look for the registration data of the company website. You can find out when the website was first built. If a website was built ten years ago, that is a good sign. If on the other hand the website was recently built, then that could signal a scam.
- Use Google to search the name of the company you are considering. Don’t trust the opinion of any one single website or review. Try to build a general consensus using multiple sites. Looking at well-known sites like Yelp or Kudzu can also help reassure the reviews are official.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau. There you can review the records of the company you are interested in to see if they have any complaints or sanctions.
- I would only consider companies that use Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) approved equipment and monitor home alarm systems at a UL approved alarm monitoring center. UL ensures that a monitoring center achieves a certain level of performance. UL certification is an indicator of a company committed to doing things right.
Keep Your Home and Kids Secure with Remote Video Monitoring
While your kids head back to school, make sure your home is secure for them to come back to and have a peace of mind knowing they are safe inside when they return. We provide various at-home security options that are all accessible from your smartphone, tablet or any web device. With live HD video, monitor the inside or outside of your home and turn your home’s security system off and on as needed. Here are some advantages of remote video monitoring:
- Keep the bad guys away: Outdoor security cameras help detect burglars as most thieves scope out the home before they rob it. If they spot your security camera, they will probably think twice about breaking in. This keeps your family and pets inside safe, as well as your belongings and prevents you from being a victim of crime.
- Assist police: If a break-in does occur, your security camera will be able to show police what happened, including a description of the intruder. This can help them gather the information needed to locate the thief and maybe even retrieve your stolen items.
- Monitor your kids: When your kids return home from school, you will be able to see when they have made it back safely. You can also have a second set of eyes on them if your younger kids are being watched by a teenage babysitter. Being able to check in will ease your sense of worry and allow you to get your work done so you can return home yourself.
- Check in on your pets: Now that your kids are off to school for the day and will not be able to tend to your family pets, you can keep an eye on them to make sure they are not getting themselves into any trouble. If something does happen to your belongings, you will be able to see the cause of it and implement preventable actions when you get home, ensuring your animals (and your furniture) are safe. Also, older pets that may need that extra attention during the day can be watched over as well.
Ensure your loved ones are protected with our home video camera systems. Contact us today for more information!