Car Alarms

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  #1  
Old 01-24-05, 09:52 PM
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Car Alarms

Okay, so my insurance company recently found out that my car doesn't have an alarm. They made me get one. So I ran to my nearest car dealer. Now I wonder why anyone ever goes to a dealership aside from buying a car. Anyway, the wiring is now screwy. Where there used to be an annoying buzz for removing my key with my headlights still on, I now get nothing. Besdies that, the alarm doesn't sound if I open the door while it is armed, but only when the door is closed after it has been opened... is this right? Besides that, paid $410 for it. Yuck! The reason I allowed myself to pay so much in the first place was because I didin't want to risk voiding my warranty. Then I found out the dealer installed an aftermarket alarm by some company called Checkmate (never heard of 'em, can't even find the on the web). On top of that, the alarms sounds so quietly, I couldn't hear it inside my home even if the car were parked right in front of my front door. About the only decent thing right with this is that it works with my power door lock remote.

So, after about a week and a half I'm going back to the dealership in the morning to have them fix the headlight buzzing issue but I think I want my money back. I would probably get a much better deal anywhere else that installs alarms, a more notable brand name, and no electric issues, with a sound I could hear from Timbuktu.

I know this may not be the place, but I need advice and ideas, what should I do? How should I, the unhappy/unsatisfied consumer, go about getting the next best possible solution? Any input is graciously appreciated. Thanks all.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-24-05, 09:55 PM
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Oops, forgot to mention this: 2003 Mazda Protege5, automatic transmission, power door locks, windows, steering et al. 2.0 liter, DOHC engine. I don't suppose any of this helps. Stay away from dealerships.
 
  #3  
Old 01-25-05, 05:36 AM
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I doubt you will get your money back. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a satisfaction gauranteed car-alarm installer anywhere. They may agree to fix the buzzer, and maybe even install a louder alarm siren. they also might charge extra for that. Also mention what you said about the alarm not sounding until the door closing. Thats not right either.
 
  #4  
Old 01-25-05, 10:18 AM
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Alrighty, so the dealership replaced the door pin, which was shorted and that fixed everything except the low siren. What can I say, you can't have everything.
 
  #5  
Old 01-25-05, 03:23 PM
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So should everyone still stay away from dealers?They did fix the car for you.
 
  #6  
Old 01-25-05, 06:22 PM
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Oops, sorry.. I forgot to address this. Anyway, when I first had them install the alarm, the installer told me the door pin was inoperative and that I should talk to the service manager and have them fix it under warranty. When I talked to the service manager the very next morning, he said the door pin looks fine, although he barely glanced at it. So, he gave me the appointment for this morning (apparently he thought it was wiring or something to that effect) because he felt the problem is more complex and needed all day to figure out. Whatever I thought (at this point I had found out that they gave me the aftermarket product and not the stock one that came with the car with the alarm option, so I was just upset and felt I was being taken for a ride). I still feel I was grifted. What can I say? Don't go to your dealer... find a reputable mechanic and build a rapport with him/her. I would've eventually had to visit the dealer to have the door pin replaced, but that would be to get it fixed for free. I might have paid about $200 for a brand I've heard of, installed with a louder siren and more features though, regarding my alarm. I stand by my guns. The specialty stereo/alarm installers do so many of them in a given week, they can afford to give you a decent price instead of $85 per hour labor your dealer charges.
 
  #7  
Old 01-27-05, 02:05 PM
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I know that some insurance companys will give a discount if you have an alarm, but I didn't know that it was mandatory before they would insure a vehicle. I think you have a bigger bone to pick with your agent than you do with the dealer. How much more would the insurance cost without an alarm?
Go to any large shopping center and you will hear the alarms going off but it is so common that no one calls the police. Some protention that is.
 
  #8  
Old 01-27-05, 07:22 PM
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Well, Brooklyn, New York, where I live, has the highest insurance rates on Earth. So, this insurance company is the cheapest I could get. The cheaper insurance companies in this part of the world will do whatever they want and can stipulate anything. In other words, they make sure nothing will happen to you so you can never expect them to react well if you have a claim... they just collect money and issue a policy number to show the police. So, they'd deny me any coverage if I have a speeding ticket, an accident, park on street instead of in a driveway or garage, or don't have an anti theft device (an alarm, the Club doesn't count). I pay $3119 a year for full coverage and that's the absolute cheapest for a single 25 y/o male in Brooklyn driving a 2003 model car.

As for the alarms wailing and no one paying any notice, the point is to deter the theft by the noise now-a-days. I'm sure things were different when alarms were a new thing. Also, the alarm prevents the car from starting if the alarm is engaged. From what I hear, that's pretty effective... but it seems like if you know what you're doing you'd have no problem overriding that. I could be wrong. It also keeps the neighborhood kids from leaning and sitting on your car which is priceless because this past summer my car suffered plenty of nick, scrathes, dents and dings because my car was the one they all sat on and drank 40oz of Colt 45 around. If I had the money, the body work I'd be doing would be immense. It would've been cheaper to just get the alarm option. At least I know for next time.

My real issue is "moving" (or finding a faux address and getting an out-of-state license) to a better municipality in terms of insurance rates.
 
  #9  
Old 01-27-05, 09:04 PM
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Out here in So. California you can get good Directed alarm's from Circuit city with the whole bit, keyless entry, remote start, rolling down windows and whatnot for under 500 installed. They do a pretty good job but mine looks like a mess at this point due to multiple attempted car theft's.. the first time the passive saved it.. and subsequent ones the viper stopped, but the thief's made a mess of the wiring trying to figure it out
 
  #10  
Old 01-28-05, 05:31 PM
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I called Mazda's customer service 800 number and told them about my experience and they're sending me a $40 gift certificate... they also said they wouldn't blame me for not ever visiting that dealership again. I love my Mazda! And I feel a bit vindicated, and because of Mazda's good customer relations (in my experience) I just may visit another dealership and redeem my certificate.
 
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