The Good, Bad and the Ugly of Monitronics Home Security
Last updated: April 7th, 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:
- Been in business for over 20 years
- Touchscreen panel
- Mobile control
- Home automation available
- Available nationwide
- 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.
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.
1. Basic security package - $34.95 / month + $99 installation + activation. Comes with:
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
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.
Security system installation process
Most companies are now DIY self-setup. Monitronics still offers professional installation.
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.
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.
A look into their past
Onto their 20th year in the home security industry.
Founded: In 1994.
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
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:
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.