A new year has begun, and many set resolutions to make changes.  Maybe you’re thinking about stepping up your home security to protect your valuables and loved ones.  If so, make sure you choose a company with good customer service.  As our partners at KTNV Channel 13 in Las Vegas report, one couple struggled for months before seeking help and getting results thanks to Call For Action volunteers.

The problems started in June:  Some buttons on the couple’s security system, which they’d had for 19 years, stopped working.  They called their home security company repeatedly, but they couldn’t get any action.  Things didn’t get any better when they called the corporate office — The company struggled to find their invoice and account numbers in their system despite the fact that the couple continued to receive and pay their bills every month, even though their system still wasn’t working properly.  Not knowing what else to do, the couple reached out to Channel 13’s Call For Action volunteers.  Volunteers contacted the home security company, which finally responded after about a week.  A representative from the company called the couple and offered to replace the full system at the company’s cost.

This story is an important lesson for consumers.  As with any contractor or service, you should keep in mind a few factors when selecting a company:

  • Are they properly licensed?  Each state has licensing requirements.  You can look up general contractor licensing requirements for every state here.  Keep in mind, not every state regulates security systems and their providers the same way.  You may have to do some research to find out how and if they are regulated where you live.
  • Do they have a good reputation?  Read reviews and ask friends and family for recommendations to make sure you’re getting a good service.
  • Are they local?  While national companies have more resources, working with a local company may give you a more personal customer service experience, where it can be easier to actually talk to a person when something goes wrong, especially if they have a physical location you can visit easily.
  • Read the fine print.  This tip applies anywhere in life — Make sure you read and fully understand the terms of any contract you sign.  In the area of security systems, make sure you know how long your contract will last.  There are some options available with no contract, while others could be 3 years, or even 5-7 years.  The longer the contract, the fewer options you’ll have if you move or are just unhappy with your service.
  • Be wary of door-to-door sales.  Pushy salespeople traveling door to door can try to force you into a hasty decision.  Make sure you’ve vetted their company fully before making a purchase, especially if their offer sounds too good to be true.  Any representative selling home security should be able to show that they have proper credentials and have passed a background check.  Don’t talk about your home’s security with anyone who hasn’t properly identified themselves.

Read KTNV’s full story here.

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