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Tuesday, October 19th
If you've ever had someone knock on your door to talk to you about installing a home security system, chances are good that it was a representative of Vivint. With over two million customers in the US and Canada, this company is definitely a familiar one.
Appealing smart home integration options
One of the reasons Vivint home security 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.
Can only purchase through a representative
Understanding what a Vivint home security system will cost is challenging - because you are required to purchase it through a representative, either in person or over the phone. That's a big drop in convenience compared with many of the home security services in our review that let you buy online and install it yourself. (By the way, your Vivint system will also require a professional to install it - for fees of up to $200!) Vivint feels intentionally vague: even their "what's the average cost?" resource page says that it "costs less than the average monthly cell phone bill" and there are packages that "start as low as around $1/day" .
Much more expensive than competitors
So, we turned to what customers have said around the internet to get a better idea, since every caller will get a customized quote (probably with lots of upselling, too). We found comments saying that people paid over USD $2000 for two cameras and four window sensors, all with a lengthy service contract. If that's accurate for what the average Vivint customer will pay, you can definitely find another provider that will offer a home security system with the same equipment for much less.
Why does Vivint wind up at the bottom of our rankings among providers of home security systems? As you may have already guessed, it's because of their reputation. It's hard to get past an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau, where we found nearly 5,000 complaints filed in the 3 years preceding this review! Customers describe significant issues with billing, Vivint not fixing systems that stop working (or never worked to begin with), and not being able to transfer service when moving. Out of more than 20,000 reviews outside of the BBB, 20% rated Vivint as "poor" or "bad" (1 or 2 stars), and we noticed that among the positive reviews, almost all of them were brand-new customers who said that the sales and installation process went great but didn't have anything to say yet about how the system actually worked. On the other hand, most of the reviews that were at least a month post-installation were very dissatisfied with Vivint's service.
Fraudulent sales tactics
And if that's not enough, Vivint entered into a settlement agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission for fraud surrounding the use of credit reports and adding third parties to contracts as cosigners without their knowledge and permission. You know it's bad when your home security company actually poses a risk to your (financial) safety!
Look elsewhere for home security systems
We're all for home automation and having access to the latest tech, but with Vivint it's just not worth it. You're too likely not to get what you paid for, leaving you with an expensive hassle at best. We strongly recommend you look at any other home security system before choosing Vivint.
Today's marketplace gives you more options than ever, with packages ranging from budget-friendly, basic home monitoring with equipment you install yourself, to technician-installed systems that include smoke and flood detectors.
Before you determine which home security system is right for your needs, it's important to understand why you should have one. Although crime rates have been dropping in some areas, there are still nearly 2 million break-ins nationwide every year, resulting in losses of at least $2,000 on average. And, even if a burglary doesn't lead to a big financial loss, there's no way to put a monetary value on the peace of mind that vanishes when you find out that an intruder was inside your home.
You may feel like your home won't be a target because you live within a gated community or you have strong deadbolts and motion-activated floodlights. While those preventative measures can make it less likely you'll be the target of a home invasion or robbery, the most determined criminals can still gain access to your house. For that reason, the experts strongly recommend that you invest in a 24/7 monitored home security system. Not only does it make it less likely that a criminal will target your house to begin with, but it also ensures that any attempts to break into your home will be detected immediately and reported to you and to local law enforcement.
When considering the many home security systems on the market today, you'll quickly see that they vary widely with respect to features, provided equipment, and service fees. Some providers give you all of the sensors and other equipment at no cost, with the understanding that you'll install the needed components on your own. Other services require you to make an appointment with a technician who will set up your home security system for you. Also, while most systems are monitored using wireless connections, some companies still use landlines - which can add to your costs if you are one of the millions of homeowners who rely solely on mobile phones and need to add a landline to use the home security system.
As you look through home security systems reviews, it's easy to get bogged down in the numerous packages, price points, and add-on features. Keep in mind the following basic criteria, to help you narrow down the options to find the right protection for your home:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best home security systems available today. We hope this information gives you all of the insight needed to identify the home security system that will protect you and your loved ones now and in the future!
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