Be Aware of the Free/$195/$295 Install "Deals"Most of the "packages" offered in these deals consist of a (1) 4 to 6 zone control panel, (1) LED keypad, (1) interiorsiren, (1) PIR motion detector, (1) standby battery, and(2) door contacts.
These "deals" are usually offered in conjunction with monitoring,or some other long term commitment. The term generally variesfrom 36 to 60 months. Generally these "deals" are equipment leases. Ownership is turned over at the end of the contract,as there is no "real" "salvalge value" of the equipment, otherthan stock to replace someone else's "dead" unit. The companieswould much rather sell them the "latest & greatest" technologyhas to offer as a replacement, rather than a 3 to 5 year old USEDunit.
Let's examine the "deal"...Let's assume the company will install the "package" for "free",and will be nice enough to only charge you $29.95 for 36 months.Let's also assume "average" monitoring in your area is $19.95/mo.
|Term||$ 19.95/mo||$ 29.95/mo||Difference|
|1 year||$ 239.40||$ 359.40||+ $ 120|
|3 years||$ 718.20||$1078.20||+ $ 360|
|5 years||$1197.00||$1797.00||+ $ 600|
Let's also assume that the equipment has a "retail" value of $250.(Equipment cost plus markup (let's be fair here)). His installerinstalls equipment in 8 hours at a cost to the company of $120.(Installer making $10.00/hr + benefits + ins + vehicle/tools/etc)This "free" deal just cost the company $370.00. That's mighty niceof them, isn't it?
Take another look at the above table, then the 36 month commitment.Doesn't look too "free" anymore, does it? After the 36 months,unless EXTREMELY dissatisfied with their service, you'll probably stay with the installing company at the higher rate. PURE GRAVY...
Now let's look at the "package"...2 contacts is most likely inadequate. Look around. You have afront door, a side or rear door, no problem! WRONG... What about the door to the attached garage, or your outside basement door.
The PIR motion detector is great when you're away, but what about when you're home? It has to be bypassed, unless everyone retires for the evening and STAYS there. Ok, you CAN disarm the system for that 2AM ham sandwich, but at 2AM, who thinks clearly ? The point being, you're getting the system to protect your property when you are away, and your family when you are home.
Interior sirens I have no problem with. These days, many people just ignore an outside siren, and don't bother calling the police.That's why you have (should have) the monitoring. You don't want a burglar in the house, so let's make his stay as unpleasantas possible. He can't hear someone (i.e. police) coming in the door,or up the street.
The control panel is generally not an issue, as long as it is"downloadable" (remotely programable), and has at LEAST 4 zones.(I'd recommend 6 zones as a minimum)
The LED keypad, cheap, low end stuff. Like buying a new 286 basedcomputer. I won't install a system unless it has FIXED English Language display keypad. This cuts down on service calls, ("I think it waslight #3", as opposed to "It WAS the dining room") and customer guesswork as to which light means what.
The standby battery should be rated for AT LEAST 4 AH of standby service. I recommend at least 7.2 AH batteries.
Please send any comments regarding this site to: Wire Excellence
This page, and its contents ©2006, by Wire Excellence Security. All rights reserved.