Central Security Group
Reviews of their security system & more
Central Group has been in business for over 40 years, providing security and home monitoring solutions across the Southern United States. Since their opening in 1973, they have expanded their portfolio of services to include video monitoring, home automation, energy management and interactive security. Their worst reviews have come from customers complaining about hidden clauses in the contract, along with high cancellation fee and poor customer support. Before diving deeper let's take a look at some of the good and bad things.
A glance at the pros and cons of Central security:
- A+ BBB rating
- Over 42 years in the security industry
- Decent prices
- Wide range of services offered
- Smart device control of alarm system
- Finally, home automation products available
- Lack of transparency
- Move with you fees
- Not available for renters
- This company has a poor online reputation for customer service and resolving issues.
- A recurring complaint is that when a problem arises, a customer gets passed back and forth between the local dealer and head office. This is a negative aspect of having a network of local independent dealers who carry out installations.
- Limited availability only to those on the East coast
- Finally, it's difficult to cancel the services and end up being contractually tied into services which were not explained to them.
Tip: Read all paperwork before you sign anything. If you may be moving within the next 3 years it may be smart to go with a national security provider.
Did you make the cut? Unfortunately, Central is a smaller company with services only available in the following states: Louisiana, Kentucky, California, Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.
Central Security Prices
They do a very good job of hiding their prices on their website and only offer 'Free Consultations', tricks to get you on the phone with a high-pressure sales rep. After doing some digging here is what we found:
Monitoring at $39.99-79.99/mo. Depending on whether you go with basic or home automation.
Starting costs of $199-399. Installation and activation are common fees in the industry but paying anything over $99 means you could have gotten a better deal elsewhere.
Packages offered. This is one of the most confusing parts about Central Group. They can't just list 3-5 packages, what you get along with prices like most companies. Here is a picture of the several options they have which can make it confusing on which one is best for your home.
Over 12 different packages to choose from, they did a good job at even confusing us! Expect $55-75 a month average between their various options.
Other available services with Central Group
A variety of services are available to help customers and businesses keep their home safe and comfortable, including:
Home automation control - Staying connected to your home via video and imaging on smartphone, tablet or PC. By integrating technology with your home security system you are able to benefit from text or email alerts when your child gets home from school, giving you peace of mind and eliminating unnecessary worry from your life. You can also see what your pets are doing while you're not home, ensure elderly parents are safe in their home or check on contractors and babysitters that may be in your home. The system will also allow you to know when an important parcel has arrived at your home, or enable you to spot any unexpected guests and visitors to your property.
Identity theft protection
Online bill pay
Commercial and business security solutions
Security system equipment
Central Security Group offer equipment from various manufacturers including GE alarm, Honeywell, 2GIG and DSC. Offering an array of different equipment to their customers means that the security company is able to customize a package to a client’s specific needs and requirements. Installation is completed by local dealers who are assigned to a customer and will be the contact point for any issues with the system which may arise in the future.
You can choose from a handful of standard security equipment such as:
- Wireless window and door contacts
- Motion sensor with image capture
- Security cameras (not pan-tilt, if wanting the best in home automation & cameras learn more about Vivint).
- C02 & smoke sensors
- Smart control
- 2gig touchscreen panel
The People on the other Side
While Central Security Group states that it prides itself on offering a reliable service with comfort and peace of mind, many customers seem to disagree. Customer service is where this security company apparently falls short, with billing issues being one of the main complaints from past and existing customers. The company is rated as having only 1 star out of 5 by ConsumerAffairs, the lowest possible rating.
The complaint that appears most frequently is that customers continue to be billed even after they have had their service uninstalled, or that they have problems canceling the service even after their agreed term is over. Central Security Group does not accept cancellations over the phone and instead require a written letter requesting cancellation. Some customers have also commented that the company automatically renews the services without authorization.
If you live in one of the 16 states that offers it; Central Security may be worth adding to the list of companies to look into. What turned us off the most is their lack of transparency in openly showing prices and options. Making customers call in for a consultation and then those customers leaving negative reviews regarding their contract terms is a big red flag in our books. If you have any experience with this home security provider please leave your feedback below.