How to identify scams: The other day, while sifting through my mail, I came upon a mailer from an alarm company offering me a free alarm systems. This isn’t the first time I have received such an offer (I get at least one a week), but it got me thinking…. When is free really free?
We all know for a business to be successful, it needs to make money. So, how are these security company’s making their money on these seemingly, too good to be true offers? I decided to look further into it and here is what I found:
Some of those “free” packages come with a hidden “installation fee”.
Most companies offering these deals have pre-packaged alarm systems. If you delve deeper into what these packages consist of, you quickly realize the equipment offered will not fully secure your home. In addition to your free package, you then must purchase the additional items needed to make your system complete.
Always remember to read the fine print. A lot of companies are luring consumers in with a low monthly monitoring rate. They sometimes fail to mention that this rate is only an introductory rate and will expire before the contract ends. Once the introductory rate expires your monthly rate can go up significantly.
Other companies have secretly built the equipment cost into your monthly “monitoring” payment. If they don’t offer you a full breakout of exactly what you are paying for monthly, this should raise a red flag. Another issue I found with some contracts is it is a long term agreement with major penalties and fees if you want to cancel.
These types of deals are a great ways for companies to get rid of old inventory. While some older equipment is fine to use, you need to make sure it offers the latest in security technologies.
If you decide going with an older model will work for you at the moment, with plans to eventually upgrade, make sure there isn’t any hidden upgrade fees. I also found that an upgrade could extend the time of your contract with some companies.
Many companies use exclusive or proprietary equipment. If this is the case, you are “stuck” with company for as long as you own the equipment. No other company can maintain or monitor the equipment. If you want to switch companies due to poor service or for any other reason, you will need to install all new equipment.
In conclusion, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. A truly free alarm systems, generally, do not exist. If you are interested in a fully customized, no hidden gimmicks, security system quote, call DTM Installations at (845) 429-7100. We make sure to treat all our clients like part of our family.