BBB: Alarm Systems

Published: Jul. 20, 2015 at 4:46 PM CDT
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Millions of homeowners seek to secure their homes, families and belongings with a home security system (also called a burglar alarm). Last year Better Business Bureau received nearly 600,000 inquiries from consumers researching alarm system companies.
BBB also received a lot of complaints from consumers about less than ethical companies attempting to get them to switch their alarm service, often by knocking on the door and claiming to be their current provider offering an "upgrade," or saying their current alarm service is out-of-business or was sold. 
Please make sure the company you choose is credible by searching on and use the following tips:

· Contact at least three companies before making a selection. Find out if they are properly licensed in your jurisdiction.
· Ask about all charges up front. Prices for home security systems will vary based on the level of protection and type of technology used. Do not forget to factor in the initial installation charge, as well as monthly monitoring fees. 
· Know the ins and outs of your contract. If your alarm system will be monitored, either by your installing company or by a third-party monitoring center, find out the length of the contract. Typically, monitoring contracts are two to five years in length.

If you change your mind after the sale, the "cooling off" rule is three-days for door-to-door sales. You can find more information and questions to ask the company online.