Is the Vivint Smart Home Security System Worth the Price?

Last updated: Aug 6, 2018.  Vivint Smart Home Security is the show it off, gotta-have-it-all security system.  The Vivint security home automation is smooth and you feel as if your home turned into a luxury hotel.  With Vivint reviews that luxury comes with a higher price tag. Expect $10-15 more per month than other companies.  Vivint Smart Home has been re-branded from APEX Alarm years ago.

In the most recent years, Vivint alarm systems have branched away from being a standalone security company into offering other services such as internet and solar energy.  In June of 2015, they were the first security company to add a camera doorbell so you can always see who is at your door before you answer it.

A quick look at the pros and cons of Vivint Smart Home:

Pros

  • 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 the security system
  • Professional installation
  • A- BBB rating

Cons

  • Most expensive of all home security systems
  • A door to door sales
  • Long contract terms
  • Nest integration with the app has several reports of being buggy

What Are the Features of Vivint?

Vivint SkyControl Panel

Vivint’s starter kit includes the latest version SkyControl panel. The control panel serves as the command center for the Vivint devices. The system will continue to work with its battery backup and cellular connection even if you lose power.

Mobile App

You’ll get the Vivint mobile app when you purchase the Vivint monthly monitoring service. The mobile app lets you control your smart home security system from anywhere.

Doorbell Camera

Vivint’s doorbell camera offers two-way talk and one-way video, night vision, and a 180-degree view to provide wide viewing at the front door.  Alerts will also be sent and record 20-second clips when motion is detected.

Doorbell Live Stream

View your doorbell camera at any time using the Vivint mobile app.  Users will be able to speak to visitors through the mobile phone or the SkyControl panel.

Ping Indoor Camera

Vivint’s Ping indoor camera provides a night vision, one-way video, and two-way talk capabilities.

Element Thermostat

Vivint’s Element thermostat profiles can be set for away, home, sleep, and vacation.  The temperature can also be adjusted through Alexa, Vivint’s app, and the Sky control panel.

Smart Home Security System

Vivint’s motion detector can be installed in any room to receive alerts if the motion is detected.

Tip – skip ahead in this review by clicking any of these quick links:  PricesEquipmentInstallationUniquenessDoor to doorCustomer supportConclusion

Vivint Quick Facts

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Pricing and packages banner with money icon

What’s a Vivint Smart Home Alarm System going to cost?

Their price is higher than average but you get more bang for your buck.  In February 2017, they changed their pricing to a leasing term.  See the updated information below.

3 steps to buying a vivint alarm

Free Installation and Activation:  $0.  You now lease/finance your equipment into the length of the contract (provided you qualify, see if I qualify!).

Packages updated:  Up until Feb of 2017, Vivint offered 3 packages ranging from $39-$60/month.  Each higher package had more equipment. With the recent changes, each package is now customized to what the user needs and wants.  There are no pre-defined pricing plans.  You just talk with a sales rep and decide what your residence needs in the way of home security and automation.  They have a ‘no money down’ option now available.

Monitoring:  This is dependent on how many services one uses.  For example, basic home security will be $15-25 less a month than the full home automation system.  Expect $39 to $80 a month with Vivint’s home security. If users decide to purchase the equipment outright, there is no long-term commitment.

Agreement:  Vivint is on the higher end of agreement lengths.  They have 36, 42 and now is 60 months.  You are able to move for a relocation fee during this time if needed.

Contract Length bar graph from 0-60 contract months with pointer at 42 and 60

Users can mix it up however they would like.  With $0 starting cost, now having a full home automation system is within reach. 

 Security equipment banner with camera over house icon

All the High Tech Gadgets…

Need the latest and greatest?  Want to convert your home to a Vivint Smart Home? This may be your choice.

vivint-smarthome-app-on-phone

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.

Laptop and iPhone displaying Vivints account center control
Account Control
vivint-app-ratings

(Vivint app store ratings, close to 5000+ 4.5 star reviews).

Home Automation: King of it.  Their mobile app can control your lights, smart 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. 

 Installation process banner with hammer & wrench icon

Let Them Do the Work

Vivint Installation Car & Technician
Vivint Installation Car & Technician

A Vivint branded technician will show up.  Because the equipment does take an expert to install, users are glad they did not try to do it themselves.

Here’s how it should go:

Decide: Call 855-298-7671 to hear about different packages.

Schedule:  Set a date. Plan a time and make sure you or someone you trust is home. 

Go Time:  Sit back & watch. 1-2 hours to install the security 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.

If you buy from a door-to-door salesman, you may get an out of state technician who is a first timer and doesn’t do a great job.

 What makes them unique banner with lightbulb icon

What Makes these Guys Special?

They stand out from other companies by being on the luxury end.  

vivint-sky-panel

The Sky Smart screen panel. 

Touchscreen panel: This will look good.  They use GE & Honeywell equipment but not for their control panel.  Every package now gets a Sky touchscreen panel instead of the 2gig.

Seamless automation:  That was easy…  From the panel to the smartphone control, iOS devices, Android boxes, and devices, 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, smart thermostat control, weather alerts, and small appliance control.

BBB Rating – A:  Updated — they now have an A on the BBB and negative reviews have been dealt with directly by customer relations.  Any bad rap they had 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.  

The Neighborhood Blog:  Does anyone read this? You should. A 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:  No landline package available.  Out with the old, in with the new.  If you do happen to be one of the few people left with a landline phone, check out Protect America who can monitor it for $19/mo. Customer support

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

Red Headed customer support worker for Vivint
Vivint Call Center

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 for Vivint’s customer service. 

Email:  support@vivint.com.

We give their customer support a 3 of 5 star rating. 

Who’s that Guy at My Door?  A Door to Door Sales Reviews

Solicitor in Orange shirt selling Security System

Each summer (and yearly in warmer states) Vivint Smart Home 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 APEX and then they re-branded 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 homeowners 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 the very same day.  You can verify your rep is by calling the company.

Tip:  If you are just not comfortable purchasing at the moment, then don’t rush it!  There are always good deals online and it is smart to have your other’s approval before doing anything first.

Vivint sales verification badge rep shown talking with customers

Make sure they have a  Vivint Smart Home badge and that it correlates with other IDs. 

Vivint’s home security & automation equipment:

Home Security in red text and Equipment in Grey
Standard 2gig touchscreen security panel
GE secondary touchscreen control panel
Backup keypad with 14 numbers and fire and police buttons
Wireless window and door sensor, white rectangular device
Recessed door sensor
Modern motion detector. White with infrared detection
White circular glass break sensor
Professional smoke alarm for the home
CO2 detector. Wireless and circular
Vivint's one touch medical pendant. White with grey button
Four button arm and disarm key fob to turn off security system
Home Automation in red text 'Equipment' in grey
Laptop displaying Vivint's account center
ipad and iphone displaying Vivint's mobile control app
Proprietary smart thermostat displaying 68 degrees
Smart lighting and small appliance control module
Modern square security camera
White pan and tilt security camera rolling ball in middle
6 button electronic door handle with key lock

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Vivint a reputable company?

Despite a few flaws and drawbacks, Vivint is indeed a reputable company. Nothing is perfect, and neither is Vivint, but that shouldn’t distract you from all of the things that this brand does so well. Overall, Vivint is a highly rated security system for those seeking professional installation. And, what’s best is that the brand offers all sorts of options for every possible budget. You won’t feel left out because there’s always an option for any pocket out there.

Does Vivint send door-to-door salesmen?

Yes, Vivint usually operates on this type of business model and their sellers work solely from commissions and nothing more. However, you can also access their website and purchase the equipment directly without having to wait for a door-to-door salesman to come knocking on your door.

How much does a Vivint door-to-door sales rep make?

The salary trajectory of a door-to-door sales representative ranges between locations and employers. The salary starts at $69,609 per year and goes up to $103,464 per year for the highest level of seniority. That is, of course, if the salesman manages to make their set monthly target. If not, then we don’t know the full level of disputes or what money they can get out of Vivint seeing that they only work on commissions and not actual salaries.

How much does a Vivint field tech make?

Typically, a Vivint Smart Home Field Service Technician makes $21 per hour. However, the salaries can vary based on experience, overall performance, and numerous other factors. Based on the most recent data, field service technicians at Vivint can make anywhere from $13 to $37 per hour. Is that too little? Well, we’re not sure because we don’t fully understand all of the work that goes into this position. So we’ll let you be the judge of that.

Final Thoughts on the Vivint Customer Reviews

Vivint has had its share of ups and downs ever since the start as APEX Alarm.  Due to high commission payouts 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 should 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.

You may also be interested in Vivint versus ADT.

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