RESTON, Va. — AlarmSystemReport.com, a provider of residential security system reviews, named four do-it-yourself (DIY) firms among its inaugural Best Home Alarm System Companies awards program. Following is the complete list of winning companies:
- Frontpoint Security
- Protect America
- Broadview Security (an entity of ADT)
- SafeMart Home Security
- Guardian Protection Services
- Pinnacle Security
- LifeShield Security
AlarmSystemReport.com, which launched about six months ago, is the latest venture of Primal Strategies, a company that aggregates deals for flash sales sites to help consumers make buying decisions. To provide valuable reviews for consumers, the company hired 10 experts, who formerly served as salespeople for alarm companies, to audit 15 industry firms, Primal Strategies CEO Trevor Soares tells SSI.
“We looked at the best companies in the industry and rated them,” he says. “There are hundreds, but we felt that these were the ones that had commercial appeal to our audience. Some of our reviewers worked at some of these companies, so we already know what the strengths and weaknesses are from an internal standpoint. But we wanted to find the benefits for consumers.”
Reviewers independently submitted their rating on each alarm company. Centered on a ratings system of one to five, critics evaluated the companies based on six criteria including, affordability, customer service, ease of installation, equipment quality, support and warranty. Additionally, AlarmSystemReport.com employees looked at reviews and customer feedback from the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List and Yelp.
The audit team expected well-known traditional security brands, such as ADT, to take the top spot. While the familiar industry names did well in customer service in reliability, reviewers found that the companies fell flat when it came to new technologies. Soares notes that traditional installation firms offered substandard technology at the same price point as other companies that offer newer technology. For example, he says, FrontPoint Security offers cellular monitoring, Web remote access and mobile apps for around the same monthly fee as ADT charges for broadband monitoring packages.
With two DIY alarm firms edging out top industry firms, Soares believes that installation companies focused on the residential market should get concerned.
“I think the DIY model will overtake the bigger companies,” he says. “It’s got a little bit of stuff to figure out, but it will take out the majority. People are more comfortable with the DIY model nowadays, and it’s a lot easier to set up and sync things. It’s not like taking out a hammer and cutting holes in dry wall anymore.”
However, Soares says that not all hope is lost for traditional alarm companies. For instance, AlarmSystemReport.com found that established alarm companies had better customer service ratings than SafeMart and Protect America. Additionally, there are still residential consumers who prefer to have their security systems professionally installed, especially customers seeking a high-end security solution.
“There will always be people who are not handy at all that will always go to a professional install,” Soares says. “And if someone has a 10,000-square-foot home, they’ll want a professional job too.”
Currently, AlarmSystemReport.com is in the process of reviewing other alarm companies and will post the results next year. The company also plans to evaluate security equipment manufacturers in the coming months, according to Soares.
To read the full reviews of the best home alarm systems companies for 2012, click here.
Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.