Is their Smart Home Security System worth the Price?
Last updated: September 14th, 2016. Vivint is the show it off, gotta-have-it-all security system. Their home automation is smooth and you feel as if your home turned into a luxury hotel. With that luxury comes with a higher price tag. Expect $10-15 more per month than other companies. Vivint had a rocky past and re-branded from APX Alarm years ago. In the most recent years they have branched away from being a standalone security company into offering other services such as internet and solar energy. In June of 2015, they added a camera doorbell so you can always see who is at your door before you answer it.
A quick look into the pros and cons of Vivint Smarthome:
- Lots of equipment points per package
- Advanced home automation
- 24/7 live monitoring with backup stations
- Great technology and always innovating
- Easy-to-use smartphone app to control security system
- Professional installation
What's this going to cost?
Their price is higher than average but you get more bang for your buck.
Activation: $99+. For most packages, expect a total of $99-199 starting fees.
Packages: Starter, protect and smart control. It starts at a basic security package and then depending on what services you want to add it goes up from there. We recommend selecting the home automation (going for the gold) if you are going to choose Vivint. If not, there are several cheaper companies such as Protect America that will give you the same for less.
Each package comes with a set number of 'points'. This points can then be used by you to get the security sensors you need. For example, 1 window/door sensors is 1 point. Points vary based on the security device. This allows customization so don't feel like you are stuck with the given equipment or features. Also included in each is yard sign, stickers and the technician will show you how to work the security system.
Vivint Starter - $39.99/mo. 5 points to go towards equipment of your choice, smart remote access and touchscreen panel.
Smart Protect - $49.99/mo. 7 points and basic energy saving features added.
Smart Control home automation - $60.99/mo. 9 points along with 2 choices of smart home automation control features. This is the master plan and a lot can be done with it.
You can mix up the starting equipment in any package for what you truly need.
All the High Tech Gadgets....
Need the latest and greatest? Want to convert your home to a Smart-Home? This may be your choice.
Essentials: From A to Z... The panel is touchscreen giving it a cleaner design than competitors. You get your basic needs met with glass breaks, motion sensors, windows, CO2, cameras and more.
Home Automation: King of it. Their app can control your lights, thermostat, alarm, door locks, video surveillance, small appliance controls, medical pendants and more. As a company they are pushing towards energy efficiency such as their solar panel program.
Advanced: Technically speaking... Are you a geek or like to show off? Perimeter access, remote locks, Z-wave integration and far more nerdy things are available.
Catering: Would you like some fries with that? Whatever you want you can get (for a price of course).
They lead the industry in smart home equipment. Just like anything nice, you get what you pay for.
Let Them Do the Dirty Work
An Orange car with a licensed technician will show up. Because the equipment does take an expert to install, you will be glad you did not try to do it yourself.
Here's how it should go:
Decide: Call 855-298-7671 to hear about different packages. (Security, energy, or automation)
Schedule: Set a date. Plan a time and make sure you or a spouse are home.
Go Time: Sit back & watch. 1-3 hours to install the system. Everything is wireless but door locks, cameras and other items will take longer.
You're secured: Show me how! The tech will teach you how to run everything as well as set up your key codes and mobile control accounts.
All their technicians are certified. However, if you buy from a salesman you may get an out of state technician who is a first timer and doesn't do a great job.
What Makes these Guys Special?
They stand out from other companies by being on the luxury end.
Touchscreen panel: This will look good. They use GE & Honeywell equipment but not for their control panel. Every package gets a 2 Gig or Sky touchscreen panel.
Seamless automation: That was easy... From the panel to the smart phone control, everything is one smooth transition. Imagine driving into a 50 ft. range from your home and the alarm turns off, doors unlock and you walk in.
Energy Management: Save some money! The energy management package gives you 12 energy efficient light bulbs, thermostat control, weather alerts and small appliance control.
B- BBB Rating: Dun, dun, dun, dunnnn... Any bad rap they get is often associated with their door to door sales program which can be tied to the salesman (lying to the customer, resulting in a complaint to BBB, lawsuits etc.) and not the company. This is a deal breaker for many but if you can overlook it you will be happy with them in the long run. If this is a deal breaker, go with the most reputable company, ADT who carries a A BBB rating.
The Neighborhood Blog: Does anyone read this? Daily blog with dozens of security (not just home) articles. They are socially involved online and actively involved with serving the community.
Cellular Service Only: Makes sense, it is 2015 after all. No landline package available. Out with the old, in with the new.
Hello... Anyone Home?
Their hours are more limited than other companies but they are easy to get hold of.
Chat Support: Type away. Customer or not you can chat with them. Click here to chat with them
Technical Support: Speak geek? They have direct lines to security and automation support.
Online Videos: Not your Friday night movie... When the technician comes to your home he will show you them.
FAQ: They have a great online FAQ area that is easy to navigate through and find your topic of interest.
Customer Support: They will be there. Vivint's customer support has a wide range of hours, making it easy to contact them.
We rate their customer support 3.7 of 5 stars.
Who's that Guy at My Door? Door to Door Sales Reviews
Each summer (and yearly in warmer states) Vivint sends out a massive door to door sales force.
It's how it all got started after all... Founder Todd Pederson first started a door to door Pest control company out of a trailer. Fast forward a few years and that turned into a Home Security company named APX and then they rebranded to Vivint to enter a new phase of innovative home automation, energy saving and solar features. In 2015 he even appeared in an undercover boss episode to better study Vivint security.
How the Summer Sales program works: They have 4,000+ commission based men and women who after finishing a semester of college (end of April) head out to their assigned area and knock on doors 8-10 hours per day. Offices staff between 20-50 sales reps and with their growing sales force size, a state may have anywhere from 1-5 offices. They are known to re-knock areas and homes multiple times throughout the year which irritates the majority of homeowners. Despite many lawsuits they have faced in several states, they bring in a LARGE number of sales each year (150,000+) most of whom are home owners who weren't planning on buying a security system at the time.
Because reps are commissioned based employees, they may have high sales pressure tactics to get the system installed 'same day'. You can verify your rep by calling the company.
Tip: If you are just not comfortable then don't rush it. There are always good deals online and it is smart to have your significant others approval before doing anything first.
Vivint's home security & automation equipment:
Vivint has had their share of ups and downs ever since the start as APX Alarm. Due to high commission pay outs for their sales reps, it may never be easy to monitor what is said and promised by their sales reps in order to get a sale. It is always smart to do your research and call before buying.
If you plan on living in your current residence for 5 years with confidence and can afford it, then Vivint may be your choice for home security. If you think you might move in the next 1-5 years and want something more affordable then review some of the other top home security systems first.