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Vivint Review

Monday, April 15th

2024 Alarm System Company Reviews

Vivint Review 1 Star Rating


1 Star Rating
  • Innovative Doorbell Camera Pro proactively protects against package theft
  • 3 packages to choose from, can customize as needed
  • Equipment can be financed or purchased outright
  • Monitoring starts around $29.99/month

Vivint is pretty well known for its pleasant, door-to-door sales reps offering professionally-installed alarm systems that come with many smart home bells and whistles - like connecting to your favorite Nest, Amazon or Google tech.

Customize or look at packages

One of the reasons Vivint alarm systems are so popular is their integration: you can have all of your locks, cameras, lighting and thermostats connected through your hub or smartphone app, and they work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa too.

  • Starter: this includes the basics of 24/7 monitoring, intrusion detection, a touchscreen control panel as well as the Vivint mobile app, video security, theft deterrent, voice control, stored video clips, smart home automation, and vehicle protection.
  • Premium: described as "complete home protection" , the details for this package are much the same as the Starter package, and you'll have to start a quote to see the differences.
  • Premium Plus: Vivint calls this "security plus automation" , but again, you won't know exactly what you're getting until you build your own system and request a quote.

Equipment and monitoring is usually costly

We did some poking around, though, and found that you can expect monthly monitoring fees to start at $19.99/month (though most customers wind up paying at least $29.99/month with the equipment they select). In terms of the equipment, the Starter package tends to retail for about $599, which you can either pay for upfront or finance for up to five years interest-free; you'll probably get one motion sensor, one leak sensor, two door/window sensors and possibly a credit towards additional devices of your choice. You can predict that your equipment costs go up from there; we saw quotes for fully-featured systems with a base price of $1,700 just for the gear, not to mention the monitoring fees.

Unique video doorbell

On a positive note, we're really intrigued by Vivint's Doorbell Camera Pro. In an era when porch pirates seem to be more active than ever, having a video doorbell that not only notifies homeowners when a package arrives but also fires up an LED ring and a 65dB speaker when someone is spotted trying to remove a delivered package sounds like a pretty smart idea. Helpfully, you can create a surveillance zone too, so that your alerts don't go off every time someone walks a dog past your home.

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Professional installation required

All of Vivint's systems require professional installation. When you call or go online to get your quote, you'll set an appointment with one of their "Smart Home Pros" who will give you a free in-home consultation. When you've chosen your system, expect installation fees of $99 - though the authorized retailer of Vivint in your area may have promotions that give it to you for free.

Poor reputation

Vivint makes a lot of promises, but it's difficult to get past the company's reputation: an "F" with the Better Business Bureau and over 1,600 complaints filed there in the last 12 months alone. We're not seeing any signs of improvement in that regard, either, with Vivint entering yet another settlement agreement with the FTC due to fraudulent sales practices. Not so great, folks, especially for a company that's supposed to help consumers be more secure - not less.

Least recommended for alarm systems

Beyond sales, Vivint regularly disappoints with respect to service. Customer after customer describe systems that stop functioning for weeks or months at a time, with no-show technicians - yet ongoing payments. Spending money month after month, under contract for financed equipment, for home alarm systems that doesn't actually work? No thanks. You won't have a hard time understanding why Vivint once again earns our lowest ranking among alarm system providers.

Which Company Offers the Best Alarm Systems?

There are so many options today, from well-known providers that have been around for fifty years or more to brand-new companies selling DIY-installed, wallet-friendly home alarm systems and automation all in one.

You've got plenty of reasons to use an alarm system, whichever route you choose. Not only can they protect you against break-ins while you're away, but they can also give you extra peace of mind if you're one of the millions of Americans who find themselves working from home on a regular basis. Need to know who's at your door before you open it? Many systems will send live video right to your smartphone, letting you decide if you should interrupt that conference call with your team!

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Alarm System Company FAQ

As many as 21 million households in the US use a security alarm system to protect themselves from burglary, home invasions and other crimes. With almost four million burglaries each year, it's important to have round-the-clock monitoring and an immediate emergency response if someone tries to break in.
It doesn't have to be. There are two costs associated with all alarm systems: the equipment and the monitoring service itself. Some companies give you the equipment at no charge as part of your plan, but the monthly fees are often higher to account for the free gear. Other services may require you to pay for your equipment upfront, but your monthly charge will be lower than the competition. Most alarm systems have monthly fees ranging from the low $30s to the upper $50s.
In the past, alarm systems were 100% wired - and yes, they had to be installed by a professional. While there are still a handful of companies that use these types of systems (including a landline to monitor them), most services today use totally wireless technology. In fact, many alarm systems have equipment that you can install yourself in just a few minutes.
The most basic systems include a few door contact sensors and that's about it. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to include wireless motion sensors for the interior or exterior of your home, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, flood sensors or even a panic pendant. The most advanced alarm systems give you options for video recording as well.
You might. If you got your equipment at no cost, chances are you'll be signing a contract of at least three years (ouch). If that doesn't appeal to you, consider an alarm system company where you purchase your equipment outright: they're less likely to require you to sign a contract to use their monitoring service.
You can rest assured that your alarm system provider wants to keep your business, and they'll make it as easy as possible if you move. Whether that includes setting up monitoring at your new address or even doing a full install, they will help you get it done. The easiest systems to move are the ones with do-it-yourself installation: move the equipment when you go, and don't forget to update the alarm company with your location.
Almost certainly. Savings typically range from 2-10%, depending on the type of alarm system you have and your insurer.
Many of today's popular alarm systems come with a 30-day risk-free trial. However, some companies have hefty fees for cancelling a contract prior to the end date, so you'll want to read all of the fine print before you commit to a provider.
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Continued from above...

What are the basics of an alarm system? Most packages come with a few window/door sensors and some kind of control panel. You can still find traditional equipment that includes a wall-installed panel, but most of today's systems have a portable tablet used to arm and disarm it. From there, the options are nearly limitless and can include indoor/outdoor cameras, video doorbells, smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and many other features to keep you feeling secure.

Beyond safety, alarm systems now give you plenty of choices for home automation. What might have seemed like space-age tech just ten years ago is commonplace: use your smartphone to turn down the thermostat before you get home from work, arm your system with a voice command even when you're already in bed for the evening, or sign into your system from your computer at work to make sure you really did remember to lock the front door (and take care of it if you didn't!).

With so many options, it can feel overwhelming to choose an alarm system. There are several things to keep in mind that can help make the decision clearer and lead you to the package that will meet your needs:

  • Features. What are the most essential components your alarm system needs to have? For most people, that will be the right number of window and door sensors to cover all easily-accessible entry points (such as the first-floor), and a control panel that works best for all occupants. Is there any nice-to-have equipment on your wishlist? That could include indoor video recording/storage, lots of home automation capabilities, and so on. Use your must-have and nice-to-have lists to determine if a provider has what you need.
  • Cost. There are several costs associated with an alarm system. This usually includes the price of the equipment (either upfront or monthly with a contract), monthly monitoring fees, and possibly installation. The company may tell you straight out what you can expect to pay, or you might have to reach out for a quote. Make sure to carefully read all of the terms and conditions before you commit, especially if your home alarm systems provider requires you to sign a contract of a year or more.
  • Service Area. Most home alarm systems companies service all 50 states, but some have limited coverage areas. Before you get too far into your research, check to see if you're eligible to be a customer and, if so, which authorized retailer might be responsible for your installation and service.
  • Reputation. What do clients say about their alarm systems? Is it worth the money? Have they been able to get prompt, professional support when equipment doesn't work properly? It's not uncommon for the larger companies to have thousands of complaints, but that's not cause for concern if they're responding appropriately each time.

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best alarm systems available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the right protection to keep you, your loved ones, and your property safe and sound!

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