Poor Alarm Installation Companies, tips on what to watch out for
Don’t get caught out by some Security Alarm Companies, tips on what to watch out for.
It is very annoying when you know how some but not all security Installation companies carry on and I will highlight a few of their practices in this article so that people can be aware and not get caught out.
I’ll actually use a true life example that my company came across recently.
There is a cricket club in a certain of the UK which had a security alarm installed by a well-known company that shall remain nameless. Unfortunately, their system developed a fault that kept recurring and in this particular part of Leeds there is quite a high risk of burglary and so they had to make sure their system was functioning.
But unfortunately every time the alarm system armed they couldn’t reset it, because the control panel is set up so that the only person with the engineer’s number and the knowledge of how to do it, can reset the panel.
So obviously each time the alarm false alarms they had to act quickly and call the company who charged quite a hefty fee, especially in an emergency call out where they react quickly.
Now the problem really began to bite home after a number of false alarms and hefty bills, so one of the committee members in charge telephoned the installation company to insist that something had to be done to find the problem. Unfortunately, tempers rose on the telephone between the cricket club committee member and the installation company and at one point the gentleman in charge said to the installation company we want to terminate our contract because we cannot continue to pay for engineers. The installation company then promptly pointed out that when they had originally signed the contract for the burglar alarm system they were not actually buying the equipment, they were in actual fact renting it! And they were beholden to keep it for 10 years and have it serviced each year. At this point the committee member Completely lost his temper and said to the company ” I don’t care what contract I have signed, in my opinion, this is crooked and you can collect your alarm system in a black bag, we are removing it as soon as possible”
That is when my company came into the picture because we were called in to remove the system and to replace it with a wireless alarm which they would have full control over. There would be no engineers number locking them out if the system ever did go into alarm and more importantly they own the equipment and were not forced to have a service each year.
If you went to buy a microwave oven and found that every time it malfunctioned, you had to call an engineer who would come out and not really get to the bottom of the problem, and you were then getting repeated breakdowns, which meant repeated call outs and payments for engineers. And then you found out you had to have the microwave checked every year and you don’t have any choice but to continue paying because you don’t actually own the microwave oven, I’m sure nobody would accept that.
If you do decide you want to have your alarm serviced every year and checked, especially if your insurance company is asking you to do that’s fine. But also be aware that some burglar alarm panels have programs built into them which allow the engineer to set the system to show a service reminder each year. They shouldn’t do that unless you ask them to. Some alarm panels will come up with a code number and will lock your alarm system out and only the installation company with a piece of software on the disc, can look up the number being displayed and then find the unlocking number.
Anyway the above story had a happy ending because no further action was taken for removing the alarm system, I don’t think they wanted any negative publicity which had been threatened by the cricket club.
A similar situation is when large companies offer to monitor your alarm system for a low-cost per day, while they are actually offering the service but is it really worth over many £ a year? Especially when you consider that you can simply have an auto dialler attached to your alarm system which will telephone you on mobile so that you can effectively monitor your own alarm system free of charge in on-going?
My advice to anybody who’s thinking of getting a new security alarm for the premises is to invest in wireless alarms with a built-in auto dialler which they can monitor themselves and change the batteries themselves every few years. If it’s put in by a reputable company they should give you instructions on how to go into the engineering program if you wish and change settings and replace the batteries when needed.
Installed throughout the United Kingdom by AD Alarms based in Bradford and Leeds.