Monitronics Reviews

Monitronics Reviews

The Good, Bad and the Ugly of Monitronics Home Security

Last updated: February 1st, 2017. Monitronics has an old vibe to their company but like Buick is doing to their brand, they are working on revamping it.  They grow their business throughout the nation with authorized dealerships (such as Security Networks) who get sales and later sell the contract over to Monitronics.  Buying through a dealer means you will pay more than if you were to buy directly from the company.

A quick look at the good and the bad of Monitronics home security:

Pros
  • Been in business for over 20 years
  • Touchscreen panel
  • Mobile control
  • Home automation available
  • Available nationwide

 

Cons
  • Not available for renters
  • Long contract terms up to 5 years
  • BBB accredited but no rating
  • Thousands of customer complaints and reports filed
  • High starting costs
  • Slow to roll out new home security product technology

 

Now lets look at their prices, equipment, history and customer support in more details.

 Pricing and Packages banner with green money sign

What is this going to cost?

Monitronics is on the higher side for getting started.  They have 3 main packages ranging from $34-54 a month.

Installation:  $0-99.  Depending on current promotions you may get free installation.  Don't get too excited though as that is just turned into what's called an activation fee. 

Activation:  $99-199.  Regardless of what the fee may be called, expect $99-199 to get their security system up and going. 

Packages:  They have three different packages, the Basic, HomeTouch and Premier.

Monitronics security packages

1.  Basic security package - $34.95 / month + $99 installation + activation.  Comes with:

Touchscreen panel
One pet-sensitive motion detector
One key remote
 3 Door / window sensors
 Yard sign and decal stickers

2.  HomeTouch - $42.95/ month + $99 installation + activation.  Same as Basic plus:

Arm or disarm from your smartphone or tablet
Severe weather alerts
Remote control app

3.  HomeTouch premier - $54.95/month + $149 activation.  Same as HomeTouch plus:

Two light modules
One image sensor
Two-way over voice panel
Adjust your home lighting
Secure access to video
Control locks, thermostats & appliances

 

Price bar Graph showing $43 on a scale from $30 to $90Contract bar graph scale from 0-60 with 36 and 60 marked.Blue bar graph with $99 marked on a scale from $0-199.


Security Equipment banner with Camera over house icon

Enough equipment to scare the Pentagon

They have a full supply of everything needed to protect a home.  They carry Honeywell, GE and 2gig security brands which are compatible with most existing home alarm systems.

Essentials:  All the basics are covered.  They have 3 different control panels to choose from.  Security system products to choose from include:

  • Door / window sensor
  • Moisture sensor
  • Motion detector (pet friendly available as well)
  • Glass break detector
  • Freeze sensor
  • Shock sensor
  • Heat or smoke detector
  • Key fob / medical remote
  • Security cameras
  • Light module
  • Smart code door locks
  • Smart thermostat

 

Please note that you may have more upfront fees if you are buying something that doesn't come standard in the packages reviewed above.

Home automation:  They were slow to roll out these features but seem to work well for customers.  Cameras, appliance and lighting controls, door locks, medical pendants and mobile control is easy to do.  You can only get these features with the premiere package, which you can get the same deal for $100 less with ADT.  See them compared here

Customization:  If you need to change a unneeded sensor in one of their packages they should do it although you may have to pay some out-of-pocket fees.

>> See the Top 20 Most Affordable Security Systems <<

Installation banner with Hammer & wrench icons

Security system installation process

Most companies are now DIY self-setup.  Monitronics still offers professional installation.

The process:

1.  Decide:  Do you want basic, digital or automation?  You can always upgrade later but it will come at more then.  Get what you want the first time.
2.  Schedule:  Plan a time for installation.
3.  Go time:  Plan for 1-3 hours for installation to finish.  Some holes may need to be drilled for the control panel and security cameras.
4. You're secured:  The tech run through how to work everything.  This includes showing you how to control the alarm system with the app, setting up a verbal password and key code.

Monitronics Uniqueness banner with Lightbulb icon

What makes Monitronics different from others?

There are a few key differences but for the most part they blend in with the rest.

Cater to the older crowd:  Not a bad thing since they typically have the best standing credit.  You must have a credit score of 625 and above to sign up with them.

Endless equipment:  I could use that... They have 4 different cameras to choose from.  They carry sensors for parts of your home you never would have thought of.  Water and fire safety are easy additions to your security system.

Spokespersons:  Hey, I recognize that guy!  Deon Sanders, Micheal Strahan and Chuck Liddell have worked for and on behalf of Monitronics.

Authorized dealer network:  Why should you care?  This means they are franchised all throughout the country.  They have managed good customer ratings even with dealers selling their contracts.  Authorized dealers sends out door to door sales reps.  Careful about buying from them as they are paid on a high commission basis and will typically say or do anything to get the sale. 

History of Company banner with time capsule icon

A look into their past

Onto their 20th year in the home security industry.

Founded:  In 1994.Texas icon with 1994 in middle

Location:  Headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

Customers:  If I had a million... Over 1 million residential customers and thousands of businesses.

Awards:  And the winner Is...  In the 20+ years they have been in business, here are a few recognition's they have received: 

1 - Top 100 companies.   They have won this award several times from SDM magazine.
2 - 
Service provider of the year.  Frost and Sullivan gave them this award in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
3 - False reduction award.  Reduced false alarms from 6.5% to under 5%.  Police enjoy this

Customer support banner with chat bubble icon

How well do they handle their customers? 

Quick turn around on calls are what we liked most about Monitronics

Chat support:  Not offered.

Technical support:  Like to speak geek?  They will get you in touch with specialist needed fairly quickly

Online videos:  A couple flicks.  There are a few helpful tutorial videos on how to work the alarm system.

FAQ:  They have a very easy to use and navigate FAQ section on their website.

All of Monitronics home security system equipment:

A Monitronics Equipment Review

Pictures and descriptions of all Monitronics security sensors including door, moisture, motion, glass break and garage

Smoke and Heat Sensors with descriptions

Key Chain Remotes and descriptions

List of 5 Security Cameras used by Monitronics, with pictures and descriptions of each

Picture and description of appliance module

Description of two lighting modules with module picture

List of pictures and descriptions of 3 Z-Wave thermostats used by Monitronics

Pictures and descriptions of SmartCode Door Locks


Alarm Reviews conclusion

They are an all-around average security company.  There are dozens of other home security companies like them with the same equipment and better pricing.  If buying Monitronics, be careful when signing the contract to make sure they cannot auto-renew you after the 35th or 59th month.  If buying from a authorized dealer of theirs make sure to not make any rushed decision and to know that you have a 3 day right to cancellation regardless of where you live.

We hoped you liked this review on Monitronics.  Add your own voice if you have any experience with them below.

37 Comments
  1. Michele
    02/08/2017 at 08:44
    Reply

    We've been with Monitronics for 16 years, and their customer service has always been wonderful, prompt, professional and very helpful. They ARE available to renters. You just have to have permission from the landlord, which usually means providing a secondary access code to the landlord. I know this first-hand because Monitronics has moved me multiple times from a house we owned to a couple of apartments/rental house to my new permanent house. Each move was done smoothly with a simple phone call, and their wireless systems are easily installed/moved. You can get cheaper services, but I prefer to stay with a company I trust.

    • 02/09/2017 at 10:40
      Reply

      Thanks Michele. Yes, we marked as not avaialble for renters because this is not ideal for most renters or landlords to go through that process. Because renters typically stay in a residence for under 3 years (which is standard contract length in home security) then the Landlord also faces the risk of them leaving and abandoning their contract. The monitoring services are connected to the home and not always the account owner so at that point the landlord would be required for the bills. Anyways, yes it's a great choice and option for those landlords who trust their clients or have a history of on time payments! Thanks

    • David Shelton
      02/16/2017 at 13:22
      Reply

      Hello, I work for AMSA Security, a subdealer of Monitronics. Some dealers are better rated than others so not all bad things said about Monitronics are true, they might actually be about the dealer the user signed up through.

  2. Grace
    10/15/2016 at 01:34
    Reply

    Be careful with their auto renewal, I got stuck into another contract because I wasn't aware of it. They wouldn't let me out of it either. Trust me there are other companies out there for the same price but better equipment.

  3. Amber
    10/11/2016 at 02:13
    Reply

    I've had them for a year now and all I can say is that my alarm went off once and the responses quickly. I've read tons of compliments online about them after I signed my contact, so now I'm really just waiting to see if these compliments are true or not. My service has been great so far. Keeping my fingers crossed for the rest of my contact.

  4. Arthur Bolen
    09/11/2016 at 14:37
    Reply

    To Monitronics, Protection Source and anyone else that thinks they can send me bills for something and some company that does not have a current agreement signed by me. In early 2011 I called GUARDIAN Protection Services to inquire about an alarm system for our new home. I initiated the call specifically to Guardian which indicated that I wish to have Guardians service. They (Guardian) sent an installer out and installed our system. I paid Guardian monthly for over 5 years for GREAT service even after my contract ended on Feb. 28th, 2014. Guardian DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY renew their contracts. They go on a month to month basis. I have been out of contract for over 2 and a half years yet continued to use Guardian as my monitoring company. I NEVER authorized anyone to switch me from Guardian to Monitronics or anyone else and since my original phone call in 2011 was placed directly to Guardian that indicates my desire was to do business with Guardian. I will not pay anyone except Guardian and I will not pay a dime to Monitronics. The decision of Protection Source to “MOVE” my monitoring to someone else was not authorized and terribly unethical. Please do not send me any more bills. I have forwarded a copy of this letter to Attorney Steve Green at Bellah and Perez Law Firm in Glendale, Az. And I will be filing a class action lawsuit on behalf of the thousands of customers that this has happened to over the last few months. Please cease and desist any further attempts to extort money from me and send a letter to the below E-Mail indicating that I am NOT a customer of Monitronics.

  5. Katrina
    07/25/2016 at 17:44
    Reply

    I have a very basic system that covers three entry points, no cameras or anything. Twice now, my alarm has been breached and they can't find out why. This is very frustrating. I like the remote key fob. But for the amount of money and the no answers to what is wrong, it isn't worth it. When my five years is up, I'm finding a new company.

  6. Ian
    01/09/2016 at 06:42
    Reply

    Ha I think that's funny you mentioned their main client base as older people! You nailed it right on and other review websites won't mention anything like that. They are a sound company but they do need a little of something new to keep young adults coming on board too.

    • Kenny
      07/01/2016 at 17:22
      Reply

      I personally feel like not offering the options for apartment security is what is hurting the younger base. I know when I was in my 20's and even 30's I rented and enjoyed that the apartment supplied the system. When I bought my first home at 41, I got a system hooked up A-Sap!

  7. Linda Mike
    12/15/2015 at 20:03
    Reply

    We had a problem with our security system so we spoke to Monitronics' customer service. They came and fixed it. They were prompt and friendly. Overall, it was a good experience.

  8. Jeff
    11/09/2015 at 12:25
    Reply

    At first my bill was supposed to be $54.99 plus taxes per a month. After 3 months my bill rate jumped and when I called them about it they said it was due to security equipment I was leasing that I didn't know I agreed upon! Not a happy camper, I would've bought the equipment outright or went with Protect America who leases their equipment over 3 years. Now my bill is close to $70 just for a basic security system (yes, not even cameras!). Shame on Monitronics customer service.

    • Sam
      07/01/2016 at 17:25
      Reply

      I had the same issue as you earlier this year. Out of no where, the price jumped on me. I ended up getting out of my contract. I was ready to sue over it but my lawyer (who happens to be my brother) said there is no point.

  9. Miles Fraise
    10/18/2015 at 08:31
    Reply

    Well, this looks like a company that knows what they are doing and has some success with plenty of features. From what I have been reading, this company is going on my "short" list.

  10. Gail Jones
    09/11/2015 at 11:33
    Reply

    Not recommended or my first choice in security but Monitronics does the job that is needed for a home security system. Overall, it has been a great way to provide safety to my family and it's nice knowing that our house is monitored now that I've become a home owner. They also troubleshoot things when I feel something is not working.

    • Casey WIlliams
      10/06/2015 at 17:27
      Reply

      This is how I felt. They don't have the best stuff but what they do still works great. I mean if you need to cut corners and can't afford one of the bigger names, this is the best option. I have been with cheaper and some who were even slightly more, and this one takes the cake for me.

  11. Patrick
    07/23/2015 at 06:52
    Reply

    Great response to alarms set off in the years I have had them. I do see what you mean by they need an update or something to keep their current customers around because they never offer new incentives to stay on with them.

  12. Willard
    07/11/2015 at 19:34
    Reply

    I recently have been looking into getting a security system and know nothing about them. My wife's boss recommended them to us so I have been doing some research. Thanks for posting all this information. I am going to have my wife look it over and see what she thinks.

    • John Carroll
      10/18/2015 at 08:39
      Reply

      Great place to start your research. When I got my system, the research that I did before buying and committing was VERY helpful!

  13. Heather Wing
    06/29/2015 at 13:14
    Reply

    I agree about their items being out of date but it isn't that far off from the bigger shark companies of America. Think about it this way, their stuff is likely compared to that found in 2010... That is only 5 years ago and to me, saving a good $25 a month evens that out in my book. I was paying way more with another company and I am happy I switched. My husband feels better when he goes out of town and I feel better at night when it is just me and our two little girls. We can't get a dog so this is the next best thing.

  14. Kyle
    06/29/2015 at 11:44
    Reply

    This company has been around for over 20 years and I remember the first time I used them, back in 99, they had some issues. I ended up canceling. A friend recently got them installed and they have changed big time. It's good to see that kind of change but I'm still going to stick with my ADT.

  15. Tom
    06/16/2015 at 14:53
    Reply

    I owned a home a few years ago and had Monitronics. I had no issues and they were very helpful every time I called them. I recently purchased a home and forgot about Monitronics. I signed up with a competitor that was recommended by my Real Estate Agent. The competitor failed on many levels and I was very dissatisfied. I looked up what I had at the previous house and found it was Monitronics so I hit them up again. The sales guy was great to work with. The installer was professional. He explained everything to me and tested everything before he left. I had to call them a few times after the installer left. No problem at all. I usually get through to someone within 2 to 5 minutes. They were able to help me with my questions. I'm quite happy. I also like their touchscreen security pad. The best part is that the security pad tells you which window was opened or which door was opened (when they are opened) so you don't have to wonder. Finally, if something was open and stays open, the security pad is yellow and tells you exactly what you need to close.

  16. Susan Kraft
    05/19/2015 at 05:52
    Reply

    As I grew up in Dallas, now living out of state, I began my security with them, and when we moved, I stuck with them. Very happy with their customer service, and the price is good for the product you get. I just went with what I knew as a reliable company.

  17. Jerome
    02/05/2015 at 03:25
    Reply

    One of my cousins has this system setup in their house. Yesterday I went to meet him and he showed me the features about Monitronics and I am very impressed with what they have going for them. I asked around and their cancellation policy is pretty strict, you have to send in a letter signed by you with your phone number etc. to cancel after 3 years.

  18. Tom K.
    01/15/2015 at 07:10
    Reply

    Plenty of accessories, good pricing plans and more than 20 years of experience? I am thinking this one looks like a good option even if you only go with the lowest $35/month plan!

    • Michael Smith
      06/29/2015 at 13:08
      Reply

      The problem and only problem with them is the reason why they are so cheap... They have outdated equipment. Take it from someone who worked with ADT, they have great business and customer service but their equipment is just not reliable in comparison.

    • Jackie
      07/11/2015 at 20:01
      Reply

      I have found a few companies to be cheaper but they offer a lot less. I'm not convinced this is the company for me since no one has really heard about them and they are mainly a door to door sales company which I tend to shy away from!

  19. Sienna Davis
    12/03/2014 at 22:29
    Reply

    I don't really care what other people think of this company in regards to "coolness". They seem very effective and have the A+ rating which impresses me greatly. This is definitely making my list of companies I need to look at more for the future!

    • Becky
      12/15/2014 at 01:08
      Reply

      I personally loved the company up until they wanted me to sign a huge contract. I was ready to go with them but that contract is a killer. I don't like to have any contract be longer than 2 years, specially as a renter. Such a shame. They sounded so good and affordable for my needs.

      • Shelly
        06/25/2015 at 22:23
        Reply

        Trust me, that is the only downside. My husband and I ended up signing with them but I wish we would have looked around more. There are definitely better deals and better rated security companies out there so I would advise anyone looking to read other reviews first. Our dog passed away last year and I haven't slept good since. We both agreed on not getting another dog to replace it so security is the way to go!

  20. Jay
    11/24/2014 at 21:41
    Reply

    I had no idea that Deon Sanders, Micheal Strahan and Chuck Liddell have all worked for and on behalf of Monitronics. That's kind of cool. However, it's hard for me to not take into consideration the fact that they aren't big on innovation. That's something that makes me very cautious and think twice about their service.

  21. Emily Simms
    10/20/2014 at 13:40
    Reply

    They seem to have a lot of potential and they do quite good from what I hear. The cons aren't really that bad in my opinion, but I will do some more research on them just in case. Great review by the way.

    • D. Cliff
      06/29/2015 at 13:10
      Reply

      Monitronics was a great company until they went the Authorized dealer route like ADT and then their dealers have given them a bad reputation. I wish they would've stayed independent and ahead of the times but it seems like they have been overtaken by all the other companies reviewed here.

      • 07/15/2015 at 14:54
        Reply

        Agree Cliff, Monitronics was the main competitor to ADT in the early 00's but they have slid behind. Part of that can be attributed to the dealer program you mentioned and also a lack of presence online and in neighborhoods. They have spread themselves thin across several marketing techniques and now can't keep their current customers happy enough. Luckily for them, they have thousands of senior citizens that pay each month without knowing there is a better system or deal out there.

      • Sean
        09/25/2015 at 14:34
        Reply

        Monitronics has always been 100% through authorized dealers, unlike ADT which does their own corporate program and an authorized dealer program, essentially making their dealers compete with corporate.

  22. Whitney
    09/01/2014 at 13:54
    Reply

    Ha I agree with the cons of this review whole heartily. They are the company that a random neighbor or two will have in each neighborhood but no one proactively talks about them or proud of their alarm system. Pretty high prices over the usual and longer contracts kept me with the typical ADT.

  23. Payton H.
    08/17/2014 at 17:11
    Reply

    I don't believe the whole 'Monitronics went cool' marketing scheme and if they did I missed the boat. They did a new website I saw and new marketing but if you want a good automation company just go with Vivint or Protection One. Does anyone honestly go out of their way for Moni these days?

    • Sammy
      06/29/2015 at 13:12
      Reply

      I feel like they are due for upgrades but at the same time it will increase the cost. I know this sounds bad but at the end of the day, it would still increase sales. I love that they are cheap but I opted out because I needed more reliable technology to protect my home. It is a large home with lots of valuable things.

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