Are you in the market for a home security system? Before you sign the contract, read your contract carefully to make sure you understand all of the details, including the duration of the contract, what’s included in the price, and other contract terms. There’s a lot to know about home security contracts, but let’s start with the basics.
When it comes to monthly payments, there are a few things to keep in mind
You should be aware of what you’ll be paying per month. The details can vary depending on your security system provider, the amount of money you put down (if any), whether you bought and assembled the equipment yourself, and other factors. The following items are often included in monthly fees:
- Equipment costs: Security companies use contracts to encourage consumers to put little to no money down on devices like a keypad, window and door sensors, motion detectors, vivint alarm, and more. If you don’t pay for them in full up front, their expenses will be spread out over the course of your contract’s life.
- Monthly monitoring service and other business expenses: You’ll be responsible for dispatch and monitoring, as well as customer service and other operating expenses.
- Installation fees: If you hire a technician to install your device, you will have to pay for their services as part of your monthly fee.
- Equipment maintenance: Equipment has to be serviced, repaired, or replaced from time to time, and your monthly fee will usually cover those costs.
What is the average duration of a home security contract?
The average duration of a home security device contract is 36 months. Typically, it takes three years to pay off the equipment and installation. However, contract duration will vary—you can be able to get a one-year contract or be asked to sign one that lasts up to 60 months.
Know the length of the deal, the amount you’ll pay for the duration of the home security contract, and what will happen if you broke it.
Is it true that longer contracts mean less money?
Are you wondering if signing a longer contract would allow you to pay a lower monthly fee? It’s conceivable. Since a longer contract will mean that installation and equipment costs are spread out over a longer repayment period, a longer contract will save you money. So, while you aren’t saving money in the long run, it may appeal to people who want to pay less per month.
Ask your security company if it provides various contract choices for customers and have all the information about what you’d be charged for each one before you pick.
Is a contract required by all home security companies?
Some security companies do offer a month-to-month contract-free option, but this might only be available if you buy or rent the equipment from the company and so the rental fee will be part of that monthly fee.
You can also buy your own wireless surveillance system equipment, mount it yourself, and hire a company to do the monitoring for you.
There are a few options for getting out of a security system deal
The good news is that if your plan change after you sign a contract—for example, if you move or decide to work for a different company—you can usually get out of it.
- Return your security equipment: If you want to avoid making payments, you will need to return your security equipment to the company.
- Get your security device relocated to your new residence: Legally, this would not release you from your contract. However, there is another way. If you’re moving to another state or city, contact your security company and see if there are any costs associated with moving the device to your new place. While you may be required to renew your contract, you may not be required to pay for the equipment to be relocated and reinstalled
- Pay off your balance: Getting out of your deal might literally entail paying off the balance of your equipment, installation, and maintenance fees. If you’re at the end of your term, this might not be a significant amount.
- Request that the new security vendor buy you out of your existing contract: If you’re transitioning to another company, they will be able to buy you out of your current contract, ensuring you’ll owe little to none to the former company and will be able to transition smoothly. In reality, some of the equipment could be repurposed by the new business.
Security system contracts can vary widely from provider to provider, so read yours carefully and understand all the fine print before you sign. For example, some plans auto renew when the initial contract period ends, if you don’t opt out. In others, the monthly fee may get lower after the contract length, since the equipment is then paid off.
When weighing your options, keep in mind any future plans or possibilities, such as switching companies, moving, or getting rid of the system altogether. In choosing a security company, having a contract that fits your budget and your need for flexibility is key.
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