Alarm.com? Frontpoint Security? Help!

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Old 09-24-08, 12:27 PM
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Alarm.com? Frontpoint Security? Help!

I am interested in getting something from alarm.com but very confused on how best to get it.

Since they dont seem to put any pricing on thier site I went ahead and decided to submit my contact information about getting a new DIY installation.

I recieved an email from a company called FrontPoint Security. They have been very nice about giving me information regarding the service but I am still confused on a number of things.

The pricing seemed higher than what it would be if I just got the components elsewhere and went directly to alarm.com

I was quoted the base monitoring price of $32.99 a month or $39.99 a month if I want the interactive options. (Is this the price people are paying or is there a little extra thrown in for being the middleman?)

Then there is the whole 3/2/1 year contract thing. I am not big into long term contracts. The shorter the contract, the higher the inital hardware price.

Almost all of the hardware on their site I can find on ebay/internet for around 80% cheaper. Even with the vonage coupon added in they pretty much force you into a 3 year contract based on price.

Please. Can someone help me with the following questions?

1. Alarm.com is the actual monitoring company?

2. Can you get all the components from ebay/internet and still go directly to alarm.com for the activation and monthly service? Is it cheaper?

3. Have people dealt with FrontPoint Security before? If so, what is your opinion?


Just trying to get the best deal monthly and on the hardware costs.

39.99 a month seems pretty steep even with a home insurance disount.

Thanks for your input.
 
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Old 09-24-08, 01:08 PM
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Alarm.Com (ADC) does not sell directly to the general public. When you as a non-dealer request info from them, they hook you up with one of their existing dealers (like FrontPoint). Yes, they are going to include their middle man markup...

ADC does not set contract lengths, middle man does.

ADC does not monitor..they forward the call to whatever Central Station middle man uses. There is an option to not forward calls to central station. In this case Alarm.Com will send you emails, text messages, phone messages, etc, as well as house the webserver for internet access. Middle man will put their logo on said email and website from Alarm.Com to make it look like their own.

You must go through an ADC dealer to activate the radio..ADC won't do it for the general public.

Having said all that, refresh my memory on what panel you are using..if it is a Simon or a Simon XT, you can have the panel dial up to 3 or 4 phone numbers to alert you of alarms or if your kid doesn't get home by a certain time. No ADC needed.

I'm not getting into the whole monitored vs non-monitored debate here (others may jump on that bandwagon), just telling you what your options are.
 
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Old 09-24-08, 01:21 PM
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Thanks for the info.

So what other dealers our out there that work with alarm.com?

I dont like the fact that alarm.com doesnt just list the available dealers and let the consumer decide which one is the best. This would encourage competition and a fair price.

They are selling a SimonXT with the Cell module in it (I assume).

The 39.99 a month fee to me seems excessive and would like to know if others who use alarm.com are paying that.

Bottom line. I would like to get something that wont break the bank monthly and not stick me with a 3 year contract. I like the wireless/cell technology but I dont like it that much. Having vonage I dont feel that a land based phone line security option is possible. I have heard about the IP/wireless based services but not much detail into that.
 
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Old 09-24-08, 01:41 PM
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Tell em all you want is cell backup through alarm.com (they'll pay about $5 a month for it) minus all the other bells and whistles...see what they come back with. I'm assuming you could care less about emails, websites, etc.
 
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Old 09-24-08, 01:48 PM
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Well. They do offer the lower plan for 32.99 that is just monitoring through the gsm.

It would be nice to have all the features that alarm.com advertises but I guess I really dont need it. I just cant stand the contract.

I am still interested to see if someone else can give me a price or the name of another dealer that offers the same features.

Thanks for your info.
 
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Old 09-24-08, 03:30 PM
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I am an alarm professional in the Kansas city area. We used to be the provider for alarm.com, but we have gotten out of it due to our relationships with Honeywell. We now offer Total Connect from Honeywell, rather than the alarm.com service. If you are interested in alarm.com, in Kansas City there are a few local choices: atronic alarms, safeguard alarms and jade alarms. I have lived in the Kansas City area my entire life and have been in the alarm industry for quite a while, with that being said, I have never heard of Front Point.
 
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Old 09-24-08, 03:42 PM
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Did a little research for ya. Frontpoint is based out of McLean Virgina, same city that alarm.com is based out of. They do not have a Kansas City business license and they ship the equipment to you for you to install yourself. Looks like the contract out their monitoring as well. If you want to do this yourself, then check out safemart.com. They are a web based storefront based out of St. Mary, KS. They are a dealer for alarm.com as well. Looks like their prices are considerably less, without contracts and they use Criticom for monitoring.

Good luck.
 
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Old 09-24-08, 04:27 PM
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Smile

Well, I have been with Frontpoint for almost a year now, and could not be happier. I have never seen a negative review of the company, only positive ones. In particular, check out the following:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/frontpoint-s...int%20security

http://www.epinions.com/content_419253161604

and

http://www.epinions.com/content_420124855940

http://dustinweber.com/reviews/alarm...est-available/

and

http://www.dustinweber.com/reviews/a...pdated-review/

As to buying the equipment yourself to save money, they don't allow it because it's easier for them to configure the system for you that way, but it's not a big deal, because you can't really find the equipment for much less than what they sell it for anyway, at least not new equipment like Frontpoint sends you. I should know, I priced it on Google Shopping and Pricegrabber and the like, and they clearly aren't making much on the equipment. Check it out yourself.

As for the contract, they have different contract options depending on the discount you want, one contract as short as 1 year. That's almost unheard of in the alarm industry... almost all of them require a 2 to 3 year contract.

As for the pricing difference between what Safemart is offering (http://www.safemart.com/livewatch.htm), I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure there's probably some service difference, or at least a gotcha in some upfront fees or something that Safemart is taking. If you call Frontpoint, I'm sure they will be happy to discuss the difference with Safemart's plan. I intend to ask myself now, just so I know.

As for the monitoring, Frontpoint uses Rapid Response Monitoring, one of the most respected Central Stations there is. I have always received a prompt and professional phone call from them the several times I've accidentally tripped the alarm. Of course, you also get the even faster SMS/email alerts that the Alarm.com servers send out. At the same time, the Alarm.com servers also notify the central station of the dealer's choice, in this case, Frontpoint has selected Rapid Response.

And one thing I can say for Frontpoint is they have always been very upfront and transparent, and extremely helpful and accommodating anytime I've had a question or issue. They really have been great to deal with. And unlike a lot of other companies, they don't hide anything on their website... all the equipment and service pricing is very upfront and all easy to access on their website, unlike almost all other vendors I've come across.

Anyway, good luck, but be careful... there are a lot of sharks in this industry. Do your homework. Also, check out the online reviews for some of the majors, especially ADT... you will be totally shocked by what you see. Just because a company is big, does NOT mean they are necessarily good. You will see that clearly if you do your research.

Again, best of luck to you!!
 
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Old 09-24-08, 06:24 PM
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Thanks for all the information.

This will definitely help with my decision.
 
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Old 09-24-08, 11:00 PM
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Hi, I'm going through the same ordeal as you are. I'm dealing with front point right now while doing my research and so far they have been very upfront and extremely helpful on answering questions and the like.

The main differences between safemart.com LiveWatch and FrontPoint are Video monitoring and x10 automation.

FrontPoint lets you do video monitoring and for what I see in alarm.com's website demo also X10 automation. 39.99 a month

Safemart LiveWatch does not do video monitoring (I know this for sure since I talked to them yesterday) and I cannot see X10 automation support on their website. 24.95 with 24/7 moitoring, 19.99 just with web access and no monitoring.

Hope this helps.

Ed
 
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Old 09-25-08, 10:12 AM
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I am waiting on a rep from frontpoint to tell me about the early termination fees for their contracts and all the terms of service.

I dont like them with cell phones and I cant imagine I will like them with this either.

Is Livewatch monitoring reliable?
 
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Old 09-25-08, 10:40 AM
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Smile Frontpoint/Safemart, Alarm.com pricing difference

OnTheCake,

You are welcome for that previous information.

I didn't have time to call Frontpoint yesterday to talk about this issue, but did talk to them this morning about it. Chris, the representative I spoke with, sounded very skeptical that any company could provide the same thing they do at such a huge discount. He asked for a little time to look into it. About an hour later, this was basically his response (to approximately summarize):

* From what Chris (and I, after his response and upon a closer look myself) can tell, LiveWatch is Alarm.com's Basic Interactive service. So, you don't get a lot of the real value-add features included with Advanced Interactive (which is what Frontpoint's Interactive Monitoring includes). One of the key differences is the lack of normal activity alerts that can be sent to your cellphone/email (not just available on the web)! The LiveWatch offering seems to take care to only mention email alerts in the context of alarm-type events. If you don't understand this difference, please call Frontpoint to inquire. I don't want to make this unnecessarily long.

* As the previous commenter mentioned, Frontpoint also includes video at no additional charge.

* Another important point to note is that the equipment cost is night & day different. For example, Frontpoint's Essential Kit (panel, radio, 2 door/windows, 1 motion, 1 keychain remote) is $99 on a 3yr contract or up to $374 on a 1yr contract. Safemart's price is $595! That's about $500 more expensive than what Frontpoint offers -- spread over 36-months, that's close to $14/mo difference. Safemart's Livewatch offering is $25 - when you add $14 you get to $39 -- only $1 less than Frontpoint's offering. Except that Frontpoint includes Advanced Interactive monitoring & Safemart's Livewatch only provides Basic. And remember, you do indeed own all your equipment (except the Alarm.com radio) upon completion of your contract. This cannot be said for many alarm companies.

* The Safemart solution is not simple at all. Check out this link to see the installation video. The instruction video DVD they reference is 70 minutes long & contains 11 chapters! It's a lot of work. For some people, this may be fine, maybe even fun, but for others not so much, either due to lack of interest, lack of time, or things they'd rather be doing instead (hierarchy of "fun"). This second group of people would really appreciate the fact that Frontpoint takes care of all the programming, configuration, and testing up-front before sending the equipment to the customer (and continues to support from then on out remotely, as necessary). So once you get the equipment from Frontpoint, you are done with setup in about a half an hour (actually placing the sensors with the pre-attached adhesive strips, etc), no wiring or tools required. Frontpoint's website clearly indicates how simple setup is.

And, lastly, I forgot about these two reviews and had to go dig them up (I have a google alert setup for both frontpoint and alarm.com, so tend to come across any good or bad reviews, though I haven't seen any bad about Frontpoint, and nothing that's valid bad about Alarm.com. Here are the links to these further reviews:

http://www.petrogy.com/index.php?blo...&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

http://www.petrogy.com/index.php?blo...&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

If you have any other concerns, I would just call Frontpoint. The are so knowledgeable and nice and will be able to answer just about any question. Whenever I've had any issue, they have been easy to contact and have gone out of their way to help me.

And, when I was searching for a provider, I could not find any company that offered as much for such a low price. They seem to have the best value out there that I've been able to find.

And as for your concern about contracts OnTheCake, I totally can appreciate that. I feel the SAME exact way! But one year is about as short as they come in this industry, and I know they have to make up their up-front subsidy somehow. If you pay a little more (my recommendation), then you would only be committed to one year (since they have less to subsidize), which goes by pretty fast.

Again, best of luck to you! Let us know what you decide. I'm curious what you end up going with.
 
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Old 09-25-08, 12:46 PM
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Smile Frontpoint/Simon XT and X10

Hi,

Hopefully this is one of the last posts from me, but I forgot, I meant to address one point Mojon made. That is, X10 home automation. I don't want anyone to be accidentally mislead.

Actually, Frontpoint USED to offer home automation when they offered the Simon III (older GE model), because it supported it.

Several months ago, Frontpoint discontinued the Simon III in favor of the newer model, the Simon XT. It is a much more capable system in almost every way except one: it does not support X10 home automation. It was supposed to, but GE broke their commitment.

Backstory: When GE rolled out the Simon XT about a year or so ago, it did not yet have an X10 compatible power adapter for it, but GE said they would soon have one. Unfortunately, months of broken promises passed, until finally GE stated they had changed their minds and would be halting any development of said adapter (as best I can tell from what I've read on the Internet and also my inquiries with Frontpoint). One thing is for sure: GE did originally plan it and commit to it... proof = Exhibit A: instructions on how to use it is even in their original manual (not sure if there is even an updated manual without mention of it... but the one I have does have reference/instructions to it everywhere), and there are legacy buttons on the keychain remote and touchpads that also prove it was committed to by GE.

However, for me personally, this lack of X10 is not the end of the world, and certainly no deal breaker. In fact, when I purchased my system, I put in a special request for the Simon XT over the Simon III (which was then the only control panel Frontpoint offered on their site) for the following reasons:

1) The Simon XT allows a lot more zones (sensors and devices).... 40 vs 24. The 24 sounds like a lot but they can get used up pretty fast. In fact, on my XT, I only have about 1 or 2 zones left, and I live in a pretty small place. Yes, my place is decked out with sensors, but you also need to keep in mind every keychain remote, remote keypad, the Alarm.com radio, etc all take up one "zone". In addition, the Simon XT has lots of other smaller improvements to numerous to mention.

2) The main reason I'm getting a security system is for the alarm function, so that needs to take precedence over all else in my mind. The X10 compatibility is just a nice value-add, but not at all essential to me. If you really want to get into home automation in a big way, you'd want a more sophisticated, separate setup anyway.

3) X10 is about the oldest home-automation protocol, and as such, uses the most primitive protocol. There are often lots of reliability issues, and to make it work well usually requires spending considerable money buying extra phase bridges, amplifiers, filters, test equipment, etc. I know, I researched it thoroughly. Again, if it was just a value-add, sure it would be nice to have the option... I would certainly use it to activate a few non-mission critical lights or something, but as far as being a major factor, to me at least, no.

If you are really desperate, you can acquire a Simon III adapter and use it with the X10. It will work. For awhile, anyway. Eventually, it's likely to damage your Simon XT though, as the Simon XT draws A LOT more power than the Simon III did, which puts an incredible strain on the Simon XT. I personally would not risk it. Who knows, it could actually cause the adapter (or XT?) to overheat, causing a fire or something. Not worth the risk to the equipment, and especially home/life, in my opinion.

I can't remember where I saw it... maybe in one of my alerts or something, but I did hear some rumor mill speculation that GE may be working on the XT adapter again. I would not base any decisions on this expectation though. I would just assume it's not going to happen, and if it does, it will be a very nice surprise.

Again, best of luck...
 
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Old 09-25-08, 05:11 PM
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anonuser,

Well, I have been with Frontpoint for almost a year now, and could not be happier. I have never seen a negative review of the company, only positive ones.""

From Frontpoints website:

"We're a new company (founded in early 2007), which we think is a good thing. We bring a breath of fresh air to an industry that hasn't seen much change in recent times. "



You must have been one of their first customers.

Anonuser, from an alarm salesperson, you really sound like a company represenative.
 
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Old 09-25-08, 08:10 PM
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Smile Nope, just a customer, promise.

kcxj,

Nope, I assure you I am only a customer, nor am I receiving any remuneration for my comments. I do it because I have an interest in the Alarm industry (now, after doing all my up-front research before purchase) and believe in what I'm saying.

I also try to stick up for good companies, and as well, like to help people. I can totally relate to the original question, as I was going through the very same indecision and apprehension before my purchase. Luckily, even at that early stage, there were already some positive feedback on the web that really helped me to feel comfortable enough... that and actually talking to the folks at the company.

In the age of Google, it's not hard to verify most of what I or others say. Search for yourself for any bad comments or disciplinary action. I know it will be difficult to turn anything up though, only because I already have Google Alerts set up and have from near the beginning, as I had my own apprehensions about the company, especially back then (January 2008), when they were a much newer company. I also did exhaustive research before my purchase.

I think you have a healthy skepticism, kcxj, which is good, especially in this day and age. And after re-reading my comments, I can kind of see what you mean. But all I can say is I really AM NOT guilty as charged, but as to whether you or anyone believes me, I have little control over that. It just makes me feel kind of like no good deed goes unpunished, but I can understand where you're coming from too. You're just trying to be helpful, the same as me.

Best of luck to you and your business!
 
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Old 09-26-08, 08:57 AM
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I have seen FrontPoint employees post on other sites, and they always identify themselves as such. I have had a FrontPoint system for about 7 months now, and am completely satisfied. Initially, I got an early Simon XT, but had also ordered 3 X10 units. When it became clear that GE was not going to be delivering the power supply on a timely basis, FrontPoint readily refunded my money and paid all the shipping to return the X10 units to them. Color me another very happy FP customer.
 
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Old 09-26-08, 12:44 PM
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The thing that bothers me about these posts supporting one company is that they are biased and one sided. The truth is that there are half a dozen very good companies in Kansas city that offer alarm.com. The question for the op is: What is important to you? Do you want a local company? Do you want a national company? Do you want a company that monitors and services their own accounts? As an employee of an alarm company, I know there are dozens of very good alarm companies to choose from. Professing the greatness of just one is either foolish or a shady attempt at online advertising. Good luck
 
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Old 09-26-08, 01:04 PM
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The thing that bothers me about these posts supporting one company is that they are biased and one sided. The truth is that there are half a dozen very good companies in Kansas city that offer alarm.com. The question for the op is: What is important to you? Do you want a local company? Do you want a national company? Do you want a company that monitors and services their own accounts? As an employee of an alarm company, I know there are dozens of very good alarm companies to choose from. Professing the greatness of just one is either foolish or a shady attempt at online advertising. Good luck
 
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Old 09-27-08, 10:40 AM
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Smile Mostly agreed, kcxj...

kcxj...

I swore to myself I was not going to check this board again because this has already turned out to be much more than I ever dreamed of contributing... it takes on a life of its own since it's also an interest of mine, unfortunately. But I'm hoping my participation in this will be ending pretty soon. Too much of a time drain.

The only reason I got involved in this is because someone had asked a direct question about input on Frontpoint Security (and Google Alerts did its job and caught it). I didn't just come here to start speaking of my great experience with Frontpoint Security out of the blue for no reason. However, since it was a direct question, and given I was a happy customer who could provide some insight, I thought I would be helpful and offer some feedback to OnTheCall as to my experience so far. I also try to reward exceptional service. I'm the type who often sends in "How are we doing?" cards and such at retailers praising a certain employee when I receive out of the ordinary service.

People are quick to complain about bad service, but fewer take the effort to reward good service, so I attempt to make the effort.

I 100% agree with you that there are plenty of other great alarm companies across the country. Unfortunately, as you surely know, there are just as many (if not more) less than great ones out there as well. People just have to be really careful before getting roped into a long term contract is all. I'm sure we both agree on that, since you know the industry (almost certainly much better than I even).

Given all this, I only urged OnTheCall to do his due diligence for all companies, including Frontpoint, which it looks like he has been doing.

Also, even among the great companies, each will have strengths and weaknesses. It all comes down to what the customer needs and can afford/is willing to pay for, and what they value most.

For me, Frontpoint seemed like the best overall value. I don't expect everyone to come to the same conclusion as everyone is different and has different needs and/or constraints to work with.

No ill will is meant toward you nor any good dealer out there. If you work for a decent dealer, then I genuinely wish you and your organization much success!
 
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Old 09-28-08, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by kcxj View Post
The thing that bothers me about these posts supporting one company is that they are biased and one sided.... Professing the greatness of just one is either foolish or a shady attempt at online advertising.
kcxj,

While a little late to this thread, we couldn't agree more! At FrontPoint (as you've probably seen and as GeriDoc correctly points out) we always clearly identify ourselves as not only industry employees but also as FrontPoint employees in any online posts/comments we make. That way readers are instantly aware of any bias we may have and can keep that in mind while reading our posts.

A great example of this is actually another posting we've made in this forum: http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=361456

Also, as you point out, it's very important for consumers to research all their options. We actually encourage people do this before signing up with us. And, in fact, many of our customers do indeed compare us to other national & regional/local companies before they ultimately sign up. As a consumer, research is your friend!

--FrontPoint

(Please note that FrontPoint Security is a nationwide authorized dealer for GE Security and Alarm.com. This posting was made by an employee of FrontPoint Security.)
 
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Old 07-25-12, 08:54 AM
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FrontPoint Service is Horrible

Aloha, all.

I am just writing to counter the apparent FrontPoint sales force posted comments on this site to share a bit of my experience with FrontPoint. Back in late 2009/early 2010, I was leaving the U.S. for an extended trip in New Zealand, and I wanted to try to ensure that my house would stay safe while I was gone. After doing a lot of research, I settled on FrontPoint as my security system vendor and security service provider.

Their sales team is pretty good (as I believe that you have seen from what a number of us believe are their posts on this site). Also, their customer service team is decent, unless you run into any non-trivial issue.

Before I left for New Zealand, I do not believe that they ever got (actually, helped me to get) my system setup the way that it was supposed to be. There were problems with some of the sensors, etc., but I do not recall all of the details, any more.

When I got to New Zealand, they continued to interact with a friend of mine who was looking in on my house for me. They would send him new sensors, etc. and talk him through setting them up, etc. Supposedly, they had finally got the system setup.

However, when I came back to the U.S., two years later, the first thing that I noticed was that their cheap, double-sided tape attachments failed on many of the sensors. (Thus, many of the sensors had fallen from their installed locations.) Also, their staff had remotely removed some of sensors from the system without ever informing me (apparently to allow the system to function or be armed or something), including all of the smoke/fire sensors that I had purchased.

Thus, if my house had caught on fire, neither they nor I would have been any the wiser, and their service would have provided no benefit in that instance. Also, the motion and glass break detectors were probably less viable in their new (fallen) locations.

Furthermore, when I returned and discovered all of this, I tried to work with the staff at FrontPoint to resolve all of these issues for approximately two (2) months, in order to finally get the system setup as I had originally intended (and paid for). However, their staff seemed continually unable to deal with the (what one would presume must have been minor) issues with the system. Finally, I requested some sort of a refund, since I never received the service that I paid for, and they were never able to help me to get the system setup as it was supposed to be setup (i.e., all of the sensors functioning and communicating with the XT console).

They refused to provide any sort of refund or compensation (other than a month of free service) and were continually unable to get my alarm system functioning correctly. So, after paying them for about two years of service for an improperly configured system, I told them to cancel my service.

Within a short time after canceling, the six beep trouble alarm started going off at certain times during the day. I tried to resolve the issues through the keypad. However, then the system started complaining about our key chain sensor(s), even though they both seem to work just fine. Last night, the alarm started going off on its own. So, we have to wonder if this is some sort of unprofessional reprisal from FrontPoint for canceling our service with them.

Anyway, when I say all of these one-sided comments about them and their service, I thought that I should try to balance them with my experience.

Take care,
Darwin
 
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