Archive for the ‘Alarms’ Category

“There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch”

Monday, July 9th, 2012

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

Aside from using poor grammar, it’s a sadder but wiser person who says, There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. This phrase is in common use today, but dates all the way back to the 19th century, when bars in the United States used to offer a free lunch to urge people to drink at their establishments.  With the purchase of one drink, a lunch was free, and a very salty lunch at that. What happened next? You guessed it! Of course, the patrons were rather thirsty after lunch and ordered another drink, then perhaps another and another. For the price of a free lunch, a bar might get a patron to pay for drinks for half of the afternoon.

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In the world of security systems, there isn’t any such thing as a free lunch.  A company that was really giving their product away wouldn’t be in business very long.  Although many companies may offer free security systems, particularly during summer sales promotions, what is the real cost?

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There are questions to consider in measuring the real cost of a ‘free’ security system:

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How does the monitoring cost compare with monitoring for a system that is purchased up front? Often, the total payout is more than an upfront purchase with lower monitoring costs, when higher monthly fees and longer contracts are considered.

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Does the free system have a good track record of reliability? Is there a warranty on labor and equipment?

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Will the free system actually meet your needs and your lifestyle? Security systems are not a one-size-fits-all product. The system you install should consider your property as unique and you as an individual.

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Is the sales person a long-term employee of the alarm company he or she represents or is he/she seasonal help? What is that person’s training and background in the business? Are they background checked? Do they carry proper identification?

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Is the alarm company licensed? Licensing is expensive and requires testing as well as deep industry experience. It is also the law, designed to protect the consumer.

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Is the alarm company fully insured?

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Who will provide customer service after the sale? Is it a center in a distant state or country, or are you a call away from a real person, even the person who sold your system to you?

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What does a Google search say about that company and its customer care?

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Were you allowed time to think about your commitment, to read the contract and to fully understand it?  If you were rushed in any way, you may have missed out on important details.

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Did the sales person make any claims that sounded too good to be true?

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Before making a final decision on a security system, take a step back, and review these questions.  Don’t get stuck finding out that “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”