There could be a number of reasons why someone would want to terminate their monitoring agreement with their current home security provider. Perhaps they have had poor service done in the past, feel they are paying too much per month, or are just wanting to make a change. Regardless of their reasons, it is well within their rights as consumers to switch providers or cancel the monitoring services outright.
Cancelling your Security Monitoring Agreement
The first step in cancelling your security monitoring is reviewing the original contract and determining if there is any time remaining in the term and/or if there are any other special conditions involved in terminating the agreement. Some providers also require that you return the security equipment. It is important to understand the terms of the sale before buying an alarm system.
- Do I own this equipment?
- Can I switch alarm providers down the road?
- Is the equipment locked or is it reusable?
Usually the way the contracts work is that when the initial system is put in a contract is signed for usually 3-5 years. The monitoring cost rate shouldn’t fluctuate at all during this time. Once the initial contract is over, it usually goes to a month-to-month kind of situation. This is often when rates tend to increase. Cancelling can usually be done anytime after that point.
Reusing your Security Equipment
It isn’t uncommon to see older alarm equipment (15-20 years) that still works fine today. If you used to have a security system, chances are if you ever want to get one again you could reuse a lot of the existing sensors and wire. Oftentimes running wire is the hardest part of installing a security alarm.
To reuse your system you must know the user code. If you don’t know the code, there is a way for programmers to reset the alarm panel to default settings. However, in some cases this can’t be done if the previous alarm installer has “locked” the board. Locking the board involves putting in a password that any new installer would have to know in order to modify settings in the system.
Even if you don’t know the code, or if the alarm board is locked, it is still a relatively inexpensive fix to get the system going again. Simply remove the control board, which is usually in a metal cabinet somewhere by the electrical panel and phone connections, and swap with a brand new board. Transfer all the wires over from the old board to the new, and you are back in business at default settings.
Some companies, who will remain nameless, use alarm equipment that is proprietary to them. If you have one of their alarm hubs, then the entire system must be swapped if you want to switch providers. It’s usually only a problem with wireless devices, such as flood sensors and/or tablets. Any sort of hard-wired detectors will still work and can be kept.
It is important to ask when first installing the system whether or not the equipment can be reused! Otherwise, if you are ever unhappy with their service and want to switch, you have to start back at square one.
Barnes Protection Services Inc.
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