Friday, July 8, 2011

Dangers of Purchasing a Security System over the Phone

A security system is a necessity, but there are dangers when purchasing that system from a phone solicitation. It is becoming more common for home security companies to employ the tactic high pressure phone solicitation to gain more installs and increase their bottom line profitability. Although the security companies do provide what they solicit, it is often not in the best interest of the consumer’s needs.

One of the main reasons many unwary consumers believe that the deal presented to them by the security company is a good deal is due to what I call company pairing for profitability. The term company pairing for profitability means that two or more companies come together and refer each other for the sole purpose of profit. When company (A) refers company (B) and Company (B) makes a sale they give company (A) some of the profit. When this type of arrangement is made the referring company, which you are already doing business with, might not have your best interest at heart, because they are receiving a kick back. In some cases the referring company has no fear of losing your business due to a bad referral because they are the only provider of that service in the area- namely the power company.

So if you are relocating to the area or moving service from one place to the next decline the option to hear about alarm service even if it is from a major company that you recognize. The reason is phone solicitation deals allow no room for consumer negotiation and provide the maximum profitability for the company. There is different pricing and packages between dealers representing the same company and the corporate office. This means that due diligence is a must. One of the main reasons to abstain from phone solicitation deals is the security company offering the deal has a basic package that provides a sense of security but not full security or the best equipment options.

The notion that all you need is three door contacts and a motion is a far cry from full security that addresses fire, medical emergency, glass break technology, flood detection and system aesthetics. In most cases a consumer that purchases over the phone will receive a wireless panel with 3 bulky door sensors, and a motion detector. The keypad, siren and circuit board are combined. This poses a risk because most companies do not place a tamper switch on the back of the panel to keep it from being snatched from the wall by an average criminal that kicks in the front door because he knows that it has a delay of 20-30 seconds. There are hard-wired systems that are available where the keypad, siren, and master-control circuit board are separate. The master-control is secured inside a metal can that is locked. It is also advisable to place a tamper contact on the can or the door that leads to its location. The contacts are also hidden providing a much more polished look. There are some instances when wireless is the only option but the consumer is not given any choice when they purchase over the phone.

Consumers often fail to realize that the security system needs to be custom designed to fit their unique needs. This should be done by an on sight review of the property. This allows the consumer to take their time, ask questions and have the involvement of all the people who would be using the system.

Consumers purchasing a security system over the phone have not read the contractual agreement that in some cases could have them obligated for 5 years.

Consumers purchasing a security system over the phone will pay a higher price for additional equipment than if they had shopped around.

Finally, consumers purchasing a security system should have an agent that will stand by them not only during the sale but after. If you wouldn’t purchase a home without a quality real estate agent or purchase insurance without a quality insurance agent- you should not purchase a security system without a quality agent. Quality agents have years of experience, their profiles can be researched online, and they have references.

For additional information on this topic, contact Jim McNeely, Residential and Commercial Security Agent at or at (919) 949-9690. For some of the best deals in home security go to


Sophia and Isabella - The Early Years said...

Thanks for the great article Jim. Your on sight evaluation of our home was a real eye opener to just how vulnerable we were to a break in. I really appreciated you making those areas the highest protected. I also could not believe how affordable the monthly rate is. Thanks Jim for all you do to help people.

Robert Price said...

Jim, this is appreciative in the manner you have tried to make consumers educate on purchasing a security system over phone. Choosing a right company is always important and more important is someone to guide, in which Jim your role is accountable.

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