Looking for value in a home security system goes beyond just the price tag. Making a decision on a company to support your protection and security monitoring is a big commitment, and it’s one you want to think about from all angles. Protect America and Alarm Relay both provide competitive prices for their monthly subscription plans. However, a multifaceted look at the services and products (or lack thereof) that they offer reveals vast differences in the way they approach security.
The biggest factor that makes Alarm Relay stand out to potential customers is the $8.95 price they advertise. At first glance, that sounds impressively low and unrivaled by any other home security company. However, their business model quickly reveals why they can afford to charge such a low price. They require that you have a pre-existing security system. Then, they will come by and install a control panel. Once installed, they offer bare-bones, extremely basic monitoring service. The $8.95 covers only basic intrusion and power alerts.
Protect America provides a plan that costs $19.99 a month, but it covers everything that Alarm Relay doesn’t. Protect America ships you brand new equipment as soon as you sign up, providing you with a comprehensive home security and monitoring service. Protect America provides a lifetime warranty on all of the equipment. Protect America’s plans are also highly flexible with a large number of options and customizations to best fit your property and your lifestyle.
If you don’t already have a security system, you’re going to have to pay a big chunk of money up front to invest in equipment. Even if you do choose to buy state-of-the-art equipment with bountiful features, Alarm Relay’s services are still only going to cover the basics: intrusion and power. Other services like wifi control or Z-wave automation will cost you extra, but no matter how much you are willing to pay, Alarm Relay doesn’t offer any support for home automation, two way intercoms, or video monitoring.
Protect America’s equipment is shipped right to your door, preprogrammed so that setting it up at home is easy and quick. You don’t have to wait for a technician to come to your house and drill holes in your wall. All the equipment is wireless, too, so that set up is also easy and clean. Protect America also provides options for upgrading and expanding your coverage and protection to include video security cameras, home automation, medical panic pendants, carbon dioxide sensors, disaster sensors, driveway sensors, and more.
Fees and Service
Say you are in the best-case-scenario to choose Alarm Relay; you have a great security system installed already that you love, and you’re just looking for a cheap but reliable monitoring service. The first day you sign up, Alarm Relay charges a strangely high installation and activation fee: $35. The industry average is about $18; Protect America charges $0. Furthermore, there have been multiple disturbing reports of Alarm Relay raising monthly rates without notifying or alerting the customer in any form or fashion. Along the same vein, customers have claimed Alarm Relay had automatically renewed their subscription, tying them into another year of unwanted service without their consent.
Other disappointed customers of Alarm Relay point out that their customer service is severely hindered by the disconnect between their monitoring and your equipment. When you call them for support, you will be connected only to “service specialists,” who often tell you to make an appointment with a programmer or technician (which incurs extra an extra charge). Protect America offers locked-in rates, meaning that there will never be any sneaky charges or rate increases to surprise you on your bills.
While Alarm Relay’s support centers can only be contacted via email or phone call, Protect America can be reached through phone, email, as well as live chat. And because Protect America offers comprehensive protection, and the support and the lifetime warranty that they offer will help you with all of your home security needs. Protect America doesn’t leave you scrambling for answers.
Protect America values affordable security; people shouldn’t have to pay unreasonable amounts of money just to feel safe. $8.95 does look like an impressive price, but at Alarm Relay, it’s a price that is deceptively invented to cover up a compromise of service and many hidden fees and upcharges.
Spare yourself the headache, and choose a home security company you can trust to support and protect your home and family.