COX HomeLife Security Review
With just over 6 million customers they are the 3rd largest cable provider in the whole entire United States. In 2011, they have expanded their technology capabilities to include home safety and smart home automation to existing and potential new customers currently residing in their select service areas.
They entered the market about 5 years ago and introduced Homelife as their very own security and home automation to compliment their existing phone, cable and broadband services. Being the 3rd largest cable provider in the United States, they were looking to expand their products and customer base by bundling these new services. Comcast was the first to do it with their Xfinity service, DIRECTV next with LifeShield, and even Time Warner offers security. Now, Cox has introduced Homelife to the alarm industry. Just like Comcast, you will get the convenience of one bill but there are a number of pros and cons you should know before using a cable company for your home safety. Although they currently boast a A+ BBB rating, over 800 consumer complaints have been documented in the last 3 years.
They are one of the newest cable agencies to offer home safety solutions and have many features you would expect from the latest home alarm companies. You can access your entire setup remotely and even control your thermostat and lighting thanks to their home automation devices. They are CSAA 5-Diamond certified and UL listed.
Homelife is the name of this new setup that they offer which features complete security and automation with 24/7 professional monitoring. Existing customers are encouraged to bundle with their other established services. They feature many of the same technologies as other top rated companies in this industry but their system requirements, availability and cancellation fees may prevent them from being one of the best.
Equipment & Pricing
They do offer a fair entry price for this as packages start at $29.99 per month if you already have other Cox services and you sign a 3-year contract agreement. In addition to the basic package we just mentioned, they also have a preferred package. Both of these packages include 2 window or door sensors, a motion detector, a wireless router, a yard sign and a couple window stickers. Unlike most other companies, the Touch-Screen Main Control Panel does not come standard for some reason, so if you need one you can always rent one from them for an extra $3 per month. This means the customer does not retain ownership of the device and it must be returned at the end of your contract. Just like a few other players in this industry they use equipment from SMC, which includes their Ruby touch-screen control panel for their home safety and automation plans.
Beyond the basic equipment, they offer other optional sensors and add-on’s to expand the functionality of your system. You may purchase key fobs, smoke or heat sensors, surveillance cameras, remote thermostat controllers, remote light controllers, unique glass break sensors and even a loud wireless siren. It is important to remember that sometimes you need to purchase the right equipment yourself to bring these features to life. The Preferred plan does include the video surveillance monitoring but you need your own surveillance camera to make it work.
Cox HomeLife Packages
- $29.99 monthly fee
- Battery and cellular monitoring backup
- 24/7 professional safety monitoring (not for flooding, fire or smoke)
- Access your system anytime, anywhere via their web portal or any smart device
- Notifications sent via text or e-mail
- $39.99 monthly fee
- Same features as above plus:
- Smoke and heat sensors standard
- Water and flood monitoring included
- Carbon monoxide monitoring also included
- Stream live camera surveillance footage
- Remotely control your appliances. thermostat and lights via their Z-wave home automation technology
Cellular monitoring is offered as a secondary, back-up form of communication for these packages.
Also, very limited video storage is included in the Preferred plan and additional storage will require you to upgrade your plan for an additional $15 a month.
They are also quite limited geographically. They are available to residential clients only in certain states such as: AZ, AR, CA, CT, IA, KS, NV, NE, OK, OH, RI, VA.
Customers can access their Cox home security system log in via their interactive touch-screen display, online web portal, or through Cox Homelife’s mobile app. You will be able to monitor live and recorded camera surveillance footage, setup your text or e-mail alerts, and even control their energy saving features such as lighting, appliances, door locks, and your thermostat. If customers aren’t familiar with how to operate their new setup, they can opt to receive a no charge in-home visit from a certified representative.
Cox Homelife Customer Service
Although they seem to have done a good job at addressing and fixing issues with their BBB complaints, their online customer service is a toss up. This seem’s to be a trend for these big cable companies like Comcast and AT&T’s Digital Life. Internet reviews and testimonials on Cox customer service and support shows that customers are less than happy with the technical support they have received and the general level of customer service from the Homelife team.
Why Are They a Good Choice?
- You have the ability to bundle with your TV, Broadband, and phone which could potentially save you a chunk of money on a monthly basis.
- Notifies your phone when an event is triggered to confirm the emergency to prevent you from receiving a city fine for a false alarm.
- Save money on home insurance which is pretty much true for any and all the top competitors.
- These cable agencies are relatively new to this industry while most top national providers have all been in the industry for decades. Many feel that a proven track record is a very important factor when the safety of your home and family are at stake.
- Telecom companies in general have below average customer service reviews which can be very unappealing when compared to the likes of Frontpoint and Protect America.
- It has been reported they “accidentally” overcharge customers using their cable.
- The cancellation fee can be as high as $450
When you are looking for the best alarm company to provide you with home automation while also protecting your family, you should carefully consider all your options.
While these huge cable companies have done a decent job putting together attractive alarm services to try and persuade existing customers to bundle their protection packages into their cable or broadband plans, they have a hard time competing with independent, stand-alone security providers. Cable companies tend to struggle with providing adequate protection for their safety services.
You do have the ability to somewhat customize your equipment and their pricing isn’t too crazy. The ability to bundle with your other services is also a plus because you will end up saving money if they don’t screw up your monthly billing statement. Cox Homelife really could be a viable great option for some people. They do offer a wide range of devices, professional installation, and 24/7 customer service support. Although, their customer service remains a major point of concern for me and many other’s. Even if you live in one of their capable areas, you might consider other national providers that have cheaper monthly fees, a much better track record and great customer testimonials.