Choosing the right home security company can be daunting. After all, it’s not like you’re just choosing which restaurant to eat at, or where to buy a camcorder; that is, we’re not talking about choosing a simple convenience tool or luxury. We’re not even talking about buying new, necessary appliances; we’re talking about home security. What’s at risk is your family, your property, the things that mean the most to you. So, why do so many people treat home security as if they’re buying a gadget?
I think much of this has to do with the idea that all home security companies are basically offering the same product and services, so the company is merely a vehicle for getting those items. In that case, you either go with the best known companies, or you go with the cheapest. And I think that’s how most people think. And that’s a problem, because not all companies are created equal, and the company you choose does matter. After all, they’ll have access to your personal information, you rely on them to help you select the right equipment for your personal security needs, and they’ll be the ones notifying emergency personnel in the event of an alarm. None of these are exactly small things.
Given that, you can imagine my happiness that the Electronic Security Association (one of the industry’s most respected trade associations) offers an article titled “10 Tips on how to select an Electronic Security Company.” It offers some great ideas. For example, it recommends that customers ask friends, neighbors or insurance companies for recommendations. Referrals from people you trust is a great way to get started, as long as that’s not the extent of your research. Additionally, it recommends checking with industry-specific and other national consumer protection agencies, such as the BBB. Again, this is a great way to weed out companies that will likely cause you hassle down the road.
Still, despite all of the benefits offered by the article, I think it makes some fundamental errors in its assumptions. It assumes that you are going to choose a traditional, in-your-home, installation and services company. And that may be fine for certain people. But for most people, it’s really not a great idea.
Going with a conventionally-oriented company really just means you’ll pay too much for too long for the same service you can get elsewhere. And what’s the point of that? You are much better off choosing a home security company with a focus on do it yourself home security systems. Why? Because most homeowners are capable of installing and programming their own system. And if they do, they can still get UL-listed, excellent alarm monitoring service, only they’ll pay a fraction of the cost.
So, if you’re committed to spending too much money, then by all means, choose one of the “big guys.” But, if you want great home security, at a much more affordable rate, consider looking at other options. It just makes sense.