Brinks Home Strikes Deal to Service AT&T Digital Life Customers

AT&T informed Digital Life subscribers their 3G controllers will not be upgraded and they have the option to sign a new service contract with Brinks Home.

It’s been eight years and change since AT&T Digital Life first brought its home security offering to the marketplace. Long live AT&T Digital Life. An email recently delivered to subscribers indicates the business will be essentially phased out by the time the telecom giant shutters its 3G network in February 2022.

That’s not an insignificant exit, considering the hundreds of thousands of accounts involved. Which security provider is stepping up to seize all that potential recurring revenue and upsell opportunity? The answer can be found in the opening paragraph of AT&T’s subscriber email, which SSI has reviewed:

As part of our network upgrade and the sunset of 3G in early 2022, your Digital Life controller which utilizes 3G will not be upgraded and your AT&T Digital Life service will be impacted. The good news is, we have worked with one of the most recognized names in security, Brinks Home, to provide you an opportunity to continue your home security and automation services, without interruption and including upgrade options we know you will value.

Your exclusive offer includes:

    • No increase in your monthly fee
    • Professional installation and limited, or no upfront cost*
    • The same services you have today, with some expanded capabilities*
    • Continued use of existing devices or comparable Brinks Home devices, with some upgrades included*
    • Replacement of all existing cameras with newly upgraded cameras at no cost*
    • Ability to add new devices, such as the highly requested video doorbell*

[* Whenever possible, existing compatible equipment will be integrated rather than replaced. Not all features/devices are available through Brinks Home. Certain devices may require an additional charge.]

The letter goes on to inform while AT&T will no longer support the Digital Life service long-term, the system and peripherals will remain active until transferred to Brinks Home, which requires a 36-month monitoring contract and acceptance of its standard contact terms and obligations.

I reached out to Brinks Home to learn more details about the agreement, but a spokesperson said the company was “not able to comment at this time.” AT&T has not acknowledged a request for additional information.

AT&T’s exit from the space has been brewing for some time. In 2017, the telecom giant was reportedly shopping the smart home subsidiary in an effort to pay down debt in anticipation of its Time Warner acquisition. However, a sale of Digital Life never transpired and the carrier has remained tight-lipped about the business ever since.

So, what gives with the transaction between Brinks Home and AT&T? Was there some sort of account acquisition involved here? Has Brinks Home ponied up a handsome fee for access to all those Digital Life customers? One thing is for sure: AT&T wants no part of making all those Digital Life customers whole with a 5G upgrade truck roll.

To bring some possible clarity to the transaction, I checked in with Kirk MacDowell, founder and CEO of MacGuard Security Advisors. “This is most likely a two-tier approach, and it gets AT&T out from a potential landslide of 3G to LTE, customer dissatisfaction and potential legal issues of not upgrading consumers to newer cell technology,” he says.

MacDowell, who is a member of SSI’s Editorial Advisory Board, suggests there are a couple of scenarios to consider here. Most likely, the Brinks Home partnership with AT&T is a “qualified” purchase of accounts, he says. Brinks Home is known for out-of-the-box deal making and they like companies in distress. And AT&T Digital Life certainly fits that bill.

“The qualifier is that the homeowner needs to upgrade the old system to Brinks’ system,” MacDowell posits. “Quite frankly, Brinks may pay AT&T for all leads that result in a sale. It’s like a merger in reverse, but clearly Brinks will only pay for accounts that make the change to LTE on new Brinks’ equipment.”

A second scenario, MacDowell describes, has Brinks Home possibly performing as the service wing for Digital Life customers. The expectation here is that Brinks Home will have the opportunity to rip out old equipment and put in its own new gear.

“For sure, this is a blended approach with many twists and turns. It will be a good deal for Brinks Home and good that it gets AT&T out of a pickle,” MacDowell says. “I would envision that there isn’t a standard asset purchase here, but rather an agreement of the companies to work together for a specific amount of time to accomplish no. 1 and no. 2, or some derivative of the two.”

About the Author

Contact:

Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

Security Is Our Business, Too

For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add sales to your bottom line.

A free subscription to the #1 resource for the residential and commercial security industry will prove to be invaluable. Subscribe today!

Subscribe Today!

11 Responses to “Brinks Home Strikes Deal to Service AT&T Digital Life Customers”

  1. G JONES says:

    As an AT&T Digital Life customer, I received the email about their service ending with the eunsetting of 3G. The letter directed me to call Brinks Home Security to continue my service with a guaranteed rate. I called Brinks, they placed my order and sent new equipment to my residence for their technician to install. Installation date came but no technician showed up. I called Brinks to inquire. I was on the phone over am hour only to be told that they don’t service my area. I couldn’t understand how an on could be taken for an address that they don’t service. That still baffles me and now I have to return the equipment. A very FRUSTRATING experience.

  2. Dana says:

    We had a similar experience. With AT&T for several years. Received notification about Brinks. It was a disaster speaking to Brinks. Missed the appointment , several calls with wait hold times up 2+ hours. When someone finally did show they did not have any equipment only to “try ” and sync – if it did not work would have to call Brinks again. Worse experience ever. We decide to not go with Brinks and went with another. We are very pleased with our new alarm system. Beware of Brinks and AT&T promises , highly recommend going with someone else.

  3. marc silva says:

    I am not in favor of signing a 3 year contract with Brinks, especially if it will require paying an early cancellation fee. I’ve shopped around and there’s no other company that can reuse our existing equipment, mainly the sensors of which we have a lot.
    Dana, which company did you decide to go with? I am considering Smith Thompson since they have no contracts and low monthly monitoring rates. The downside is if I want them to mirror what I have now, my initial costs are extremely hight, about $1200 for all new equipment.

  4. SML says:

    Similar issue. Had an appointment in December 10th to get switched over. When the tech didn’t show I called brinks. They said I had no appointment for that date or any date. They wanted to reschedule me for January. I said call me when you have something sooner and when I am available. December 23 and still no call. Didn’t really figure they would call. Not sure what is going to happen, apparently they have a 3 year contract that I viewed online in an email the first appointment taker sent me and she said I signed an agreement. How can they hold me to something that they will not come out to install?

  5. Herb says:

    January 3–same BS here. No show tech after waiting more than a month. No communication about a cancellation. Then suck and I’m going back to ADT

  6. John says:

    Home is large. First Brinks installer visited, and said he couldn’t do the job alone (btw he is a sub-contractor to Brinks). Together we called Brinks to ask for help. None was offered. “Install some, then come back later” we were told. No security? No thanks. Brinks rescheduled installation, then surprise, the same installer came alone. Called Brinks again, several days later they called back to set up sending ONE installer.

    Seriously considering leaving Brinks behind. I’ve had a break-in in the past and need a reliable security company.

  7. Gaylene Galliford says:

    Same issue…sign the contract, wait for the appointment, they cancel the appointment get the new appointment, then they don’t show. Then you sit on the phone for an hour only to be rescheduled for a month later when AT and T service was supposed to end in Feb. I need to check but if Brinks never installs then they can’t start billing me. There is no customer service. This is a shell game with no accountability!

  8. Don German says:

    This is BS! I have had 3 no show appointments and on hold over 2 hours trying to contact someone, with no luck. Att chose the worst company to pass digital life customers to. I’m going to find someone else to service my security system.

  9. Richard Morell says:

    Worse transition ever, Digital life sending me emails rushing me to transfer, completed my order with brinks on February 21, 2022 and they called me 2 days prior appointment to reschedule due to no technician available is april 19, my last appointment was for tomorrow and they now wanted to reschedule again till may 9. Is ridiculous that i been waiting over 2 months to get this service and still waiting for brinks

  10. Patricia Ann Black says:

    I received all the emails and ignored them, because I looked up Brinks’ reviews and they were not good. I also was suspect of the ‘all equipment may not work’ with Brinks.
    Last week I received an email that the change was going to take place in September. Since AT&T changed (supposedly) to 5 g cell service the end of February and my Digital life uses my AT&T telephone cell service, how could it be that my system is still working? I am not going to sign a 3 year contract. BTW, they didn’t send me a bill in May, but I paid the bill anyway.
    I am researching security systems now, and will wait and see what happens in September. I am not going to pay to have the equipment taken out, that is for sure.

  11. Loretta Lones says:

    Yes, having problems with Brinks with the camera system its horrible I tried to cancel but they said I had to pay a cancellation fee and I told them I did not sign any contracts because ATT sent my info to them without asking me if I wanted Brinks. This company is the worse I wish I have checked them out first. I don’t think I should have to pay an early cancellation fee. They said because I excepted the equipment and that was a contract. It’s a lot of mis quoted remarks that was told to me so that I would have to pay that cancellation fee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Our Newsletters