Monitronics Security Review
This company has now been providing home security solutions for just over 20 years and they come fully staffed with CSAA-certified operators that have been thoroughly trained to help with your emergency situations whenever your system detects something is up. They use high-end equipment and each kit comes with an awesome lifetime equipment warranty. While Monitronics offers a number of nice features and new equipment, it’s poor customer service scores, hidden fees and confusing terminology are what sort of prevent this company from competing with the very best companies in this industry.
Despite this fact, they have managed to grow into the 2nd largest residential alarm provider in the whole United States. Their headquarter’s are in Dallas, Texas and they employ over 700 techs and 400 dealers to help service their over one million homes and businesses. They actually operate their very own Diamond-Certified Response Call Center and have been the recipients of multiple awards and accolades in this industry. Similar to ADT‘s approach, They use their large number of dealers to go door to door selling and raising brand awareness.
Monitronics only operates through authorized dealerships and you will have to deal with your local dealers individually, meaning a package from them purchased in your city might not be as good a deal as one purchased in a different city with different dealers. This leaves them with varying degrees of contractual obligation so if you decide to use them make sure you read all the fine print before you sign that dotted line.
They like to break their plans down to specific types like ones for families, single parents and seniors. Each of these packages features a slightly different combination of equipment to protect you against break-ins, fires and medical emergencies. They also offer devices from a few different brands so you can likely use your existing setup in conjunction with their monitoring service.
- Good customer service (As of late)
- BBB A+ Rating
- Professional monitoring available
- Free equipment and extended service with all their packages
- Awesome home automation features
- Lifetime warranty on equipment
- High monthly costs
- Basic alarm package requires an active landline
- Possible price increase after first year
- Contracts can be 5 years long depending on your dealer
- High early termination fees
How Much is It?
Plans start at $34.95 per month for landline monitoring plus the $99 installation and activation fee. They usually require new customers to sign a 3 year contract but they may ask for as high as a 5 year commitment.
They offer basic home monitoring over a landline all the way to fully integrated energy saving and extensive home automation services.
Basic – $34.99 – 24/7 monitoring over a landline or broadband connection featuring:
- Intrusion detection
- Fire and smoke sensors
- Medical emergency alerts
- Carbon monoxide dectection
- Flood sensors
- Low temperature sensors
Home Touch – $42.95 – All of the above plus:
- Remote Access through Monitronics Alarm.com app or the Total Connect app, enabling you complete control with any smart device
- E-Mail or text Event Notification alerts
- Severe Weather Alerts
- Wireless Cellular Connection (Much better than landline)
Home Touch Premier – $54.99 – the Monitronics Premier Service includes all of the above plus:
- Two Way Voice Verification – Main panel has both a speaker and a microphone
- Image Capture – Send snapshots to you via e-mail
- Remote Lock Control
- Remote Lighting Control – Control Z-Wave lighting equipment
- Remote Thermostat
- Remote Smart Appliances – Enables you to control Z-Wave equipped appliances.
The systems are always professionally installed by your local authorized dealers. The most commonly used components are manufactured by Honeywell, GE and 2 Gig. While the basic services are fairly competitive with other national industry leaders, the add-ons can get pretty pricey. Pricing is decided by your local dealer so it’s hard to give an accurate price quote.
Monitronics Alarm Package Comparison
At a glance, the packages may seem pretty similar, some just have more add-on’s right? Well, here’s one important difference; The Basic package is landline-only. I do not recommend this as landlines are subject to tampering and outages and aren’t even compatible with all the smart automation features.
In general their monthly monitoring rates are a bit more expensive than the top rated alarm companies. They claim to offer free equipment and free installation, but these terms can be somewhat misleading. Each package DOES come with an activation fee, which can be as high as $150 depending on what service you want. You will have to pay for the most expensive package if you wish to take advantage of any of their home automation features. They also reserve the right to change your monthly price on any of these contracts after the first year is up which seem’s pretty sketchy.
Along with their main packages, they offer two different medical alert monitoring packages. The Home Touch Medical Plans cost around $50 per month and they add medical alert devices, monitoring, a medical pendant or a watch. In the event of a medical emergency, you push the pendant button and you will get an immediate response from a professional operator who will dispatch emergency personnel as needed. This service is only offered along with one of their packages above.
Monitronics does have some great home automation technology included in their Home Touch plan. You can take advantage of their Z-Wave technology devices and wirelessly control almost anything in your home. You can remotely lock your doors, adjust your temperature, turn lights on or off and even control home appliances. All of these features are already included in the Home Touch Premier package, but you can also add them a la carte with the Touch package.
The use of authorized dealers is definitely a different style than most other national providers. One downside of this is that everyone’s experience will vary greatly depending on their local dealer. Price, equipment availability, and contract details will all vary accordingly.
Their main equipment is manufactured by Honeywell and GE and does come with an awesome lifetime warranty. Each package includes a touchscreen main control keypad, a motion detector, door and window sensors, a key-chain remote, and a yard sign with a few window stickers. If you’d prefer to do the installation by yourself like most other’s provide, you are out of luck with Monitronics.
Monitronics Customer Service Review
Customer service and support is generally noted as positive and they even maintained an unbeatable A+ BBB rating. Although there have been over 2,300 complaints filed over the past couple of years, this is statistically a relatively small percentage based on the size of their customer base. Most complaints revolve around the difficulty of cancelling the 3 year contract and service call billing issues.
They do offer a number of cool and innovative features that very few companies can beat. Home automation services come standard on their most expensive package and feature the latest Z-wave technology. With that being said, they have lengthy contracts and can be misleading and confusing in their terms which has caused frustration among their customers.
Monitronics is hard to recommend as the very best choice for home safety. Yes, they have interactive monitoring, a lifelong warranty on their devices and offer a bunch of additional services and home automation options. However, they are a bit pricey and have high activation fees. The packages are actually pretty average in terms of value compared to other providers. The use of local dealers often times means inconsistent service. Be sure to find a reputable local authorized dealer if you decide to bite the bullet.