pinnacle security review

Pinnacle Security Systems

Updated: 06/29/2016

1.5 Star Rating

1.3


UPDATE: So where did they go? Well, they sold all of their home security accounts to other companies who provide 24/7 professional monitoring. Their history of terrible customer service continues as they failed to provide any helpful information about this major switch. They even had the audacity to tell some of their customers to check their invoices and bank statements if they wanted to figure out who is now monitoring their alarm system.

Pinnacle was a former ADT dealer that branched off and turned into a separate company in 2006. Ever since this split they have been going downhill and everyone knows it. Back in late 2012 they were actually forced to pay 1 million dollars to the entire state of Illinois for their “deceptive” sales methods. Not too surprisingly they were also slapped with a high-profile lawsuit by ADT due to a fire related death. Customers have been suffering since the beginning and continue to suffer as pinnacle switches people’s accounts over to other companies and gives them no information at all. They held a pitiful F rating with the BBB mostly due to complaints with sales and billing problems.

So Now What?

Even though pretty much everyone agrees what they did was wrong, Pinnacle did hold the right’s to sell all their services to new alarm companies. Former customers needed to go out of their way to carefully review their agreement and find out the best legal means of cancelling it. It is so bad that many prior customer’s needed to seek out an attorney to look at their contract and provide help. In the majority of cases, cancellation required a certified letter outlining the intentions of terminating their contract as soon as they could.

Now, make sure you do not let any new security system representatives in your home as there will be many alarm companies trying to take advantage of this flop. There are already many customer complaints on the web confirming that other provider’s are visiting existing Pinnacle customer’s homes. If any suspicious sales rep randomly knocks on your door I would suggest you verbally tell the sales representative that you are not accepting any visitors.

Lastly, customers do have the option to cancel their contract by buying it out. This type of termination will require a 100% remaining balance payment in almost all cases. This option wouldn’t be very good for most people but if you only have a month or 2 left on your agreement it might be worth it just to save yourself from this mess. You should probably call a more trustworthy security company like FrontPoint to check if they have any deals to help you offset the cost of your early cancellation. This is also a good opportunity to see if a self-monitored DIY system would be cheap enough to offset the costs and still provide you the protection you need.

Automatic Renewal

This is definitely not a very reputable practice but some companies will try to renew your contract as quickly as possible before you notice the switch. Renewal could mean just for the month or it could mean something like a total 3 – 5 year renewal. This is why Pinnacle customers need to make sure they send a cancellation letter as soon as possible. It is also probably a good idea to send an e-mail or 2 along with your letter to make sure they get the point. It seems pretty obvious to me that no one should trust Pinnacle to randomly choose the best home security provider for your needs.

Pinnacle transfers 90,000+ customers to Monitronics

They are saying that this 131 million dollar transaction will help reduce debt and put their company in a better position.

In Late 2012, Pinnacle Security had announced a new partnership with Monitronics International in which Monitronics inherited about 93,000 of their existing customers and also settled on an agreement for future accounts. According to Pinnacle, this hefty 130 million dollar transaction was designed to “reduce debt and accelerate their sales and marketing initiatives.”

Although it may seem like a lot, that was less than half of the company’s total customer base. Jared Chappell, the president and founder of the company told Security Systems News that the newly formed alliance “creates a contractual relationship with Monitronics to help sell accounts during 2013 and 2014 as well as provide continual service for new customers.”

Pinnacle Services Summary

When it comes to their monitoring service, they have the usual basic features you would expect. The monitoring can be connected via a landline or even through the newer cellular connection. It is nice to see this as cellular has pretty much replaced all the old landline setups because it is much faster,safer and more reliable. Everyone has seen movies, it is easy to bypass those old landlines by simply cutting your phone line and making it useless. A cellular connection will ensure your home and family is much safer.

front lawn sign

Services

  • Contract Length: 3.5 years
  • Equipment Manufacturer: GE
  • Monthly Fee: $34.99 – $49.99
  • Total Setup Cost: $199 – $599

Pricing

*All contracts require the 3.5 year agreement.

Essential

  • Monthly cost: $34.99 – $49.99
  • Activation Fee: $199

Stay-At-Home

  • Monthly Plan: $34.99 – $49.99
  • Installation: $299

Enhanced Perimeter Protection

  • Monthly Plan: $34.99 – $49.99
  • Installation: $299

Security Plus Medical

  • Monthly Plan: $34.99 – $49.99
  • Activation/Installation: This can vary based on medical needs

Frequent Traveler

  • Monthly Plan: $34.99 – $49.99
  • Initial Installation: $599

Security Guru

  • Monthly Plan: $34.99 – $49.99
  • Setup/Installation: $399

Pinnacle Security is an authorized dealer on Alarm.com, which helps provide them with interactive features and even some home automation features through their mobile app. You have the ability to access and arm or disarm your system on any smartphone or smart-enabled web device. If your package contains any of the home automation features than you will also use this app to do things like remotely turn on and off your lights.

Their services can be customized to protect your home or even a small business from break-in’s, fires and environmental factors. They provide a wide range of equipment such as door and window sensors, motion detectors, glass break sensors, smoke/fire protection, flood and freeze detection, carbon monoxide detection and more. All of these devices can be linked to your professional monitoring service to provide you with the best protection possible.

They also provide a bunch of online guides and instructional videos to help anyone that is having trouble with their setup. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for you can always contact their customer service support team via e-mail. All the equipment you have setup features a lifetime warranty while you remain under their contract.

packages plans and equipment

Unique Image Sensor

Besides offering the standard door and window motion sensors, they provide an image sensor that has features some pretty cool abilities. The image sensor has the capability to detect movement from as far as 35 feet away and to snap a picture when that movement is detected. After the sensor takes a picture it will upload them to the web portal allowing the homeowner to see who or what set off this sensor at their house.

General Electric (GE) Equipment

Like most other top rated home alarm companies, they use popular equipment from General Electric, which is one of the most well-known brands in this industry. The standard installation will include the Simon-XT main control panel, some window and door sensors and the option to add other equipment as you see fit. All of the plans use the same keypad, but they do try to customize your package a little bit based off your requests. The packages are often focused around customer profiles or your individual needs like being a frequent traveler or if you need Enhanced Perimeter Protection.

Translator: Turn Hardwired Into Wireless

Pinnacle Security offers an outdated device called a translator, which will convert all hard-wired signals into more convenient wireless signals. This is obviously a good option if you want to upgrade your system to being wireless but don’t want to purchase all new equipment.

Relocation Options

While other providers allow you to perform a DIY installation, Pinnacle’s system requires installation by their professional in-house techs. Companies that offer professional installations usually make it difficult or too expensive to relocate your setup if you ever plan on moving. You may be forced to pay a fee or sign a new contract even if you have the relocation option in your chosen package.

Home Automation

These features are relatively low on this companies priority list. The vast majority of companies that provide home alarm systems have made a huge push to try and integrate this smart home technology. If home automation features are important to you, there are certainly other companies in the industry that will do a much better job at meeting your needs.

 Real Customer Reviews:

I was recently approached by a Pinnacle sales agent while living in BR in mid 2010. Then, in June 2011, I ended up buying a new house. A month prior to the move, I called them to find out how to transfer my service and I was told it would not be a problem at all and that they did provide service in the new city I was moving to (It’s in the same state). All I had to do was call when I was ready to finally move and setup an appointment for a tech to come over and move the system for me. It was not going to be a problem according to them, but I just had to remove the alarm system from my old home and take it to my new residence so they could install it. 

Well, they lied. I was not able to remove the system so I called back and the technician literally laughed and said I had been given the wrong information. I need to have to have a new system installed in my new home. They eventually sent out a tech who said he couldn’t configure the setup with the landline connection I had and he would return to set up wireless in a few days. Multiple phone calls later he ended up saying he couldn’t set up the new service because Pinnacle could not service this area, or even the whole state, as they were not licensed. I kept calling for months and they didn’t have anyone that could ever help me. Now, we are in 2012 and they finally have a 3rd party company named Devcon that they said could help me. The tech comes out to my house and is there 2 nights in a row trying to setup my alarm. I was then told I would have to sign a new contract with them since Pinnacle cannot service my state and my contract with them would be terminated. My new contract would only be for the length of the time left on my old contract and I had to pay $5 extra monthly for their wireless service. I agreed. I continually asked for a new contract to sign and I never received it.

Turns out I had been charged for service the whole entire time even though my account had not been activated. Devcon agreed with me that I didn’t owe the amount since I was not receiving any service due to the whole license ordeal. They did write off the charges. Then guess what? Pinnacle sent the charges to collections which I disputed and sent information to the collection agency. They ended up dropping them. Pinnacle then sent me to a different collection agency for a totally different amount than before. I again sent proof that my account is in good standing with a zero balance and that agency dropped it as well. The information I sent shows all the payments I have made to them. My account was then transferred to ANOTHER company where I was sent to yet another collection agency for a different amount, again. Pinnacle then attempted to show proof that I owed them money. What proof did they provide? A contract from 2010 with my old address on it! How can they send me to different collection agency for different amounts multiple times? They have since sold a ton of their contracts are looking to get funds however they can. Basically they are a huge scam! Stay away! -Corrie

Pinnacle: Where Did They Go?
Kyle Wood on Google
Kyle Wood
Kyle Wood
Kyle joins us at DIY Home Security Guide with multiple years of experience in the home alarm industry. He has been dealing with home safety products and equipment for as long as he can remember. He's installed, troubleshooted, and reviewed the best equipment and technology and is passionate about sharing his personal research.
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