Home security systems are no longer a luxury item meant only for the most discerning home owners. As home security systems become more ubiquitous, they have also become more affordable and accessible for the everyday budget consumer. If however, you are installing a security system for the first time, it can be very easy to get confused between the many options-both mainstream and niche.
Market leaders like ADT with long-standing industry prestige might become the default choice to reduce decision fatigue. But that doesn’t mean they are your only or even the best option. You might get more bang for your buck and more flexible pricing if you look a little deeper. And when it comes to choosing a security system installer, you really should.
Below, we’ve broken down the criterion you need to focus on when choosing a security system installer with a detailed breakdown of how well ADT stands up to scrutiny. We hope our comparison helps you make an intelligent choice for you and your family. Psst…you may even find that going local is an upgrade. Read on…
What is ADT?
ADT Inc. is a national American company that provides security services for residences, small and large businesses. The company is headquartered in Florida and provides security services across the United States. In terms of market share, ADT ranks as one of the leaders in the space, owning approximately 14% of the security system pie 
What’s the Catch with ADT?
ADT contracts have been touted by users as one of the biggest drawbacks associated with the company. Inflexible pricing, inflexible cancellations and sometimes outright refusals to refund money are some of the many contractual issues that have plagued the company’s customers in recent years. Let’s break it down for you further.
When you sign up with ADT, you are locked down in a contract for a minimum of 36 months. If you wish to cancel before the lockdown period expires, you will have to pay out 75% of the total contract amount. If you are a frequent mover, renter or otherwise exploring a security system for the first time, strict contractual terms like these would be a big minus. ADT also scores low when it comes to flexibility and ease when moving homes. While moving assistance is provided, customers will be forced to sign a three year extension anew.
First-time users of home security systems need time to experiment and find out what works best for their family and particular security and budget needs. A security system installer with more flexible terms will give you a chance to test the waters without fear of spending a large amount of money in one go.
A security system installer like Rhodes Security Systems puts flexibility at the forefront of its offerings. Need to move out and cancel your contract? No worries, Rhodes allows you to cancel your contract with no additional charges. In fact, if your new home comes pre-equipped with a home security system, we may be able to activate it remotely with no additional equipment or labor costs, as long as the existing security system is compatible and good working order. We will ensure you have a hassle-free moving experience.
Market leaders like ADT have some of the most inflexible and expensive pricing plans. What’s worse, the premium costing isn’t backed up by any special features or perks. You can get just as good security service (or better), minus a few unnecessary bonuses with a local security company.
With so many competitors around, ADT’s pricing is a big drawback. In addition, customers need to upgrade to a higher tier and pricier plans in order to get smart home integration and mobile app functionality.
When looking for a security system installer, checking out a company that provides customized professional installation options will serve you well. Companies like ADT that provide pre-determined bundles don’t allow for the customization modern consumers need and benefit from. Professional installation by ADT may also cost you a pretty penny.
ADT in the news: Security Risks You Need to Be Aware Of
If you are purchasing a home security system for the first time, doing due diligence when it comes to the company’s recent track record is extremely important. Searching out real customer reviews online, thoroughly reading expert critiques, consulting people for feedback and most importantly tracking any news coverage regarding the company’s services will serve you well in the long run.
In 2020, researchers found that ADT’s LifesShield security cameras had major security flaws that could expose the cameras to hacking . What was even more concerning however was that despite notice to ADT of said security issues, it was months before the researchers received a response. Action was subsequently taken to patch up the defective cameras but there was a long intervening period .
Now you might be thinking, what does that mean for me? How can I be assured that the company I choose does not expose me and my family to security risks and privacy violations? Well the answer is simple. You need to do the legwork in searching for a company with a demonstrated track record when it comes to customer service and responsiveness to security vulnerabilities. If you do find security vulnerabilities in your security systems you want to be contracting with a company that takes immediate action, is transparent in their response and does not allow repeat hacks.
Responsiveness and transparency however is an area where big tech and security companies with massive customer bases have historically failed. You are better off working with a smaller regional company that takes your complaints to heart, makes timely changes and is accessible when complaints need to be addressed.
When it comes to choosing a security system installer, experts also recommend paying special attention to the fine print, researching the security update policies enshrined in your IoT vendor products. Checking if your security system installer has recently received any negative news coverage or lawsuits for its product offerings will also help keep you on the right path.
What is Rhodes Security Systems?
Rhodes Security Systems is a family-owned and operated northeastern Ohio-centered security company. The company has been in business for over 45 years and is one of the larger security system installers in northeast Ohio. The company provides a whole range of security services, including selling, installing and servicing security, fire and camera systems. The company provides security services both for commercial and residential use.
Why going with a local security installer is better?
When it comes to choosing a security system installer, going with a local company will reap you rich rewards in terms of personalized customer service, customizable contracts and flexibility with payments. Read ahead for our exact list of reasons why choosing a smaller company is a better option than an impersonal big security company.
- Better Connections: Local security companies operate in a smaller area which makes them more efficient at assessing neighborhood security risks. Not only that, they tend to have a better relationship with local law enforcement and can provide you with speedier, service in case of unforeseen events. According to Mike Silva, a security expert, with Silva consultants, how quickly a law enforcement agency responds to alarms is entirely arbitrary . This means that a personal connection or network can help get you a quicker service in case of a burglary or other kind of breach.
- Better Response Time: One of the biggest drawbacks that critics of companies like ADT have pointed out is the slow response time of these companies in case of emergencies. There are innumerable cases of false alarms and response time varies widely based on geographies. With a local security installer, you get the benefit of a triggered alarm reaching the nearest call center and prompt action.
- Better Repair and Complaint Service: Using a local security system installer means you are also getting the benefit of local staff and technicians. This improves customer service time significantly. For people who prefer hand-holding and at-home repair, using a local company is the best bet. Even more importantly, local companies are more in tune with the area, local security risks and can guide you better than a national provider with limited expertise in all regions. Some people may prefer a face-to-face or interaction with an actual human than wasting time chatting with a bot when critical issues need resolving.