American District Telegraph or ADT, is the oldest and largest home security company in the marketplace, but is it the best? Over the years, ADT has expanded considerably, buying up other security companies such as SecurityLink and Alarmguard. The fact is, ADT is growing just as fast as their negative reviews. One customer wrote,

Watch out whenever ADT gives you a thumbs up, their four fingers are always pointed back to them.

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Do You Like Surprises?

Deceptive security sales tactics is a stigma the professional security alarm industry has diligently tried to erase. ADT uses high pressure sales tactics and will even go door-to-door, soliciting your neighborhood for more alarm sales. ADT doesn’t even put prices on their website, making it difficult for customers to get a sense of what they might be spending. When someone comes to install your system, it could cost an additional $1000. Specifically, ADT remains the focus of unprofessional security sales tactics. According to ADT General Counsel David Bleisch, the company has seen a reappearance in misleading sales practices.

Year-over-year consumer complaints have increased dramatically.

According to Consumer Affairs, a website dedicated to reviewing products, ADT has many more complaints about their services than accolades. The same is not true of other security systems on the market such as Protect America. While the highest volume of objections was made about contract misinformation, the most worrisome complaints had to do with ADT’s failure to respond to an alarm.

Due to complications with the connection and wiring between the security systems in your home and ADT’s control center, many dissatisfied customers reported problems. Customer expectations at ADT are rarely met, and generally unrecognized until the security is needed the most; at the time of a break-in or live fire. Since the whole point of a security system is to protect, the notion that your system could simply stop working without any notification is both unnerving and problematic.

A Cost Analysis Brought to You by a Fellow Homeowner

While looking for a security system that was both affordable and reliable, one customer wrote,

Look for anyone on the PA (Protect America) system. They will install a full alarm system (all windows & outside doors) for free — or rather the 36-month contract at roughly $30 per month, but no upfront costs. ADT and Brinks will only install the basic system with 2 doors and a motion sensor for free. Adding all of your outside doors and windows could cost another $1000 upfront, in addition to the standard 36 month contract at roughly $30 per month.

ADT: More Interested in Protecting Profits than Your Home

Since going public, ADT has done nothing but increase rates, fees, and drive up subscription costs on existing customers in attempt to keep their profit. They have a much higher expectation to protect profit due to the pressure instigated by their shareholders. They are doing so at the expense of customer loss. Rate increases are a huge factor in customer cancellations. There are, however, companies that lock-in rates, like Protect America, guaranteeing you the same initial rate for the lifetime of your agreement.

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In February of 2012, the District Attorney of Florida filed a lawsuit against ADT for failing to advise customers how much their rates would increase during their contract. ADT agreed to pay almost $1 million in civil fines. While they continue to increase rates mid-contract, they are now required to put it in writing depending on state laws.

It is clear that ADT is not the service provider it should be, accounting for thousands of complains on consumer protection agencies and review sites. Many of these complaints come from perception that it is difficult to resolve any kind of issue through ADT’s customer care department, or lack thereof. What separates the good companies from the bad ones, many people feel, is the speed in which a company takes to resolve the issues that exist in order to give a customer what they want, need, and expect. While ADT may have quality products, they fall short when it comes to making those products viable. Needless to say, the largest company in the industry can – and should – do much better.