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5 Reasons Not to Buy Your Alarm System from your Cable ProviderMay 28, 2014

Cable companies such as Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner have begun offering home security systems in addition to their internet, television and phone services.  Here are the top 5 reasons why you shouldn’t buy your alarm system from your cable provider.

5. They’re Only in it for the Money

Most cable companies are beginning to offer security systems in response to the swiftly dwindling cable TV market.  Many people are trading in their cable boxes in exchange for Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Prime accounts. Because of this, cable companies are looking for a new source of revenue and since most in-home security systems already have to tap into the phone lines that these companies provide, they’re seeking to remove the middle man and pad their own wallets in the process.

4. We’ll be there Thursday between 6 and Noon…

People don’t associate cable company response time with speed.  When you call with a problem, even a catastrophic one, the general response is “We’ll get someone out on X day between Y and Z time.” This could be the next day or more than a week away. When you purchase a security system, you want that reassurance that if your house is broken into or catches fire, law enforcement officials will be on their way within minutes. While the services may be comparable with home security companies, there is still that stigma of extended wait times associated with the cable company.

3. Hidden Fees Galore

While almost all of these companies will advertise a certain set of costs for the installation and maintenance of these security systems, they are not always accurate.  A number of consumers have complained that while they were quoted $99 for installation of a system and camera, many of them discovered charges of $500 or more once the installations were completed. Many also require you to sign up for additional internet services, to the tune of $30-50 more per month.  None of these fees are explained before the system is installed.

2. Extend those Contracts

The average home owner who purchases a home security system will usually maintain their contract for 8-10 years.  Cable companies are hoping to take advantages of these extended contracts.  Many of them also require you to renew your cable, internet, or phone contract at the same time in order to obtain services. And, as many disgruntled customers have found, if you cancel your cable, internet, or phone services, you are at risk of losing your security coverage as well.

1. It’s all the same person!

Cable companies are not hiring new contractors or new employees to install these security systems.  In many cases, the man who installed your cable will be the same man who installs your security system.  These workers are not specially trained and many of them are given cursory training courses and sent off into the world with only a rudimentary knowledge of how to install these systems.

While it may be convenient to have your monthly security charge rolled into your cable company bill, at this point it’s best to leave cable to the cable companies and security systems to the companies that do it best.

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