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Home Security Systems: Don’t Fall Prey to Deceptive Vendors


Installing a home security system can make your home safer for you and your family. But not all home security vendors are created equal, and for every reputable service provider there is, there seems to be an unscrupulous one ready to swindle unsuspecting homeowners who are anxious to secure their homes. To keep yourself from becoming a victim, keep these suggestions in mind when you are on the hunt for a home surveillance system.

Ask Questions – Exercise due diligence and ask plenty of questions during consultations with any prospective vendors. For starters, find out how the home security system works, the length of the service’s contract period and what happens when your system is triggered, whether falsely or due to a real issue. You should also inquire about pricing; ask for an itemized service estimate and how often you will be billed. Reputable providers are eager to help you find the perfect home security system for your house, and therefore will be forthright and open in answering your questions.

Request Written Estimates – Any cost estimates you get for a home security system should be put in writing. Be sure to also ask for any other verbal promises made by the company to be included in the contract. Any vendor that is reluctant to provide a written estimate or to put its offer in writing may not be as trustworthy as it would like you to believe.

Read the Fine Print – Security system installers should provide you with a contract to thoroughly analyze before you actually sign on the dotted line. Be sure to read all the fine print; it often contains terms and conditions that limit the company’s liability and your ability to terminate the contract once it is in place. Understanding these policies can help you prevent costly service headaches in the future.

Verify the Vendor’s Background – The most reputable companies that provide home security systems are transparent about their background and certifications. Make sure that any vendor you are considering has valid contracting licenses that allow the company to operate in your state; a good place to start is with the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies. Be extremely wary of any vendors that evade your request for documentation of relevant licenses.

Exercise Healthy Skepticism – The easiest but perhaps most important way to avoid becoming a victim of a security system scam is to exercise caution and use common sense. If a home security systems vendor offers something that sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. A healthy dose of consumer skepticism and asking plenty of questions can help you avoid falling prey to a deceptive vendor.

Installing a home surveillance system should give you peace of mind, not cause aggravation and unforeseen costs in the process. Following these simple but effective tactics can help you shut the door on questionable home security companies that could potentially cost you far more than lost time.