Lifetime equipment warranties and decent home automation
Sold through authorized dealers and they have some high fees
Monitronics is an interesting home security monitoring company.
On one hand they’re good, but on that other hand there are some very questionable things that cause us reservations when recommending their service.
For instance, they have a decent reputation for customer service and are well-rated by the BBB. But they also have some seemingly shady pricing and fee structures including up to a 5-year contract and a potential rate increase after just a year of service.
There’s free equipment with every package, but very high early termination fees.
For what they offer and the prices they charge, you can find a better service (like one of our favorites, FrontPoint).
This security company is different from the others on our top list in terms of features. Everything is thrown into the air a bit due to the fact that they only work through authorized dealers.
Meaning all the features, equipment and certain terms can be different depending on your area and contractor.
The plans are always the same and here’s a brief description of each:
- Basic Security: It’s difficult to suggest this package as viable. It’s land line only (every other service offers wireless even on basic levels) and it’s higher than most other comparable plans. You do get a touch screen control panel and pet-sensitive sensors to go along with your basic level, but it’s not great service.
- Home Touch Security: This plan includes text/email notifications and remote arm/disarm. You can also pay extra to have an indoor cameras and get free local weather alerts are included. The alerts could be useful, but it’s not worth a couple hundred bucks more per year.
- Home Touch Premier: The premier level includes the indoor camera service and other video features in the price along with the typical home automation options. Door lock, thermostat, garage door, lights and appliances are all available to automate.
Every plan is either a 36 or 60 month contract. Five years is the longest in the industry.
In order to get two-way voice (more secure connection) you will have to pay an additional charge.
Fire, flood, carbon monoxide, water monitoring is available with every plan. Most companies do include them as part of at least one plan, but not the basic level—This is a serious positive for Monitronics.
Also on the plus side, Monitronics stands alone by offering medical monitoring as part of every single plan (including the basic).
We’re not sure why more security monitoring companies don’t offer medical alert systems, but Monitronics does it and it’s included in the price. There are even terms that will allow you to get discounts on the tech needed to help your elderly and disabled loved ones.
Equipment is a very touchy subject. Why? It’s all handled by the authorized dealers.
Information on equipment pricing via the website can’t be found.
Oddly enough, you can find equipment packages for their medical monitoring service. As far as security, they list out the applicable devices and leave it at that. Very little to go off of until you contact a rep.
Looking at a page for an appliance module, you get a two sentence description with no links or pricing.
An “appliance module” is a device that you plug an appliance into and then into the wall to allow that appliance to be controlled via the touch screen control panel or smart phone application.
With so little data on the gear, it's likely that you'll have to deal with a local vendor that may try to push you into getting things you don't want or need. Adding this negotiation process into your home security buying isn't ideal.
If you move, there is a policy that allows you to transfer your security system. The only requirement is that you’ve been with the service for at least 12 months. Of course, you’ll have to schedule it with your dealer.
Installs are done by the same dealer that you buy from and most of the equipment and maintenance details are decided between you and that company.
This is a bummer since most other monitoring services offer a warranty on all equipment. Your dealer might offer a warranty, but it’s no guarantee.
Monitronics support seems to be by phone only. Their customer care center is available 24/7.
Their website support page take you to a small FAQ section and they also oddly give an address for any written correspondence.
They also have video tutorials to give you a complete walk through of their most popular security panels. These videos can be viewed on their website or on YouTube.
Monitronics alarm monitoring center is Five-Diamond Certified. This is a very prestigious award given to less that 3 percent of monitoring centers in North America.
All operators at the monitoring center are CSAA-certified to provide you with the best round the clock protection.
After any alarm, the center attempts to contact you first before alerting the authorities.
All packages include heat, smoke, freeze, carbon monoxide, and water detection. There is an extra initial charge for the equipment however.