You are considering getting an alarm system and are shopping around. While there is no shortage of alarm companies to choose from, each offers different security solutions and value. You may be leaning towards selecting your cable company to secure your home because of the perception of how easy it is to bundle your alarm services with your TV and internet. But the truth is, choosing your cable provider to protect your home can have significant negative repercussions. Here is why you don’t want a cable company protecting your home.
The major Canadian cable companies are enormous corporations with thousands of employees located throughout the country. Telus employs approximately 90,000 people, Bell Canada has over 50,000 employees and Rogers has over 23,000. These large national businesses, because of their size and corporate structure, may produce lackluster customer service.
Here’s an example. When you purchase an alarm system from one of these national cable companies, your first contact will be with a sales representative located in a large call center most likely outside of your local area and possibly overseas. The sales representative will ask a few generic questions and then give you a quote. All this is done without ever going to your location or truly understanding your specific needs. Then an installer, potentially a third-party subcontractor, will come to your home to install your alarm. No real thought is put into how to truly protect your home. It’s a quick and dirty process, designed for efficiency and volume, not quality protection.
After the installation, any issues, questions, or concerns will be routed to different call centers. Whenever you call, if your issue is unresolved, you’ll speak with someone new (since cable company call centers have hundreds, if not thousands of employees). You’ll recite your problem again, as well as what has or hasn’t happened during and after the last call. The large infrastructure leads to various points of contact.
Equally frustrating is the fact that the representative that you speak to isn’t compensated based on resolving your issue, but rather by maintaining short call times. If the Rep gets you off the phone fast and gets on to the next call, they hit their bonus. You might be transferred to technical support, to customer service, to supervisors, all causing frustration and subpar customer service. Seldom will a service person be sent back to your premises because of costs, so issues can remain unresolved for a long time.
When looking for home or business security, the best customer service comes from companies that provide a one-to-one, ongoing relationship between the customer and the Representative. This way you can ensure you are getting whatever security solution and pricing you were originally sold. Beyond that, the company can take ownership of any issues and make sure problem resolution occurs quickly. Direct communication with the person who originally sold you the system will always ensure the best customer service and ongoing value.
Cable companies reserve the right to raise prices on their services at any time, even while you are locked into a contract. They are notorious for raising prices annually and this applies to home security as well. The way cable companies get away with price increases is by having customers bundle multiple services together. The cable company is betting that their customers won’t go to the trouble of price checking each individual service. Understand that if you do have a cable company providing a home security solution, over time you will be paying far more than the initially agreed upon monthly price.
The big cable companies provide multiple services: internet, cell and home phones, cable television, and burglar alarm systems. Home security nets the lowest revenue so it is their lowest priority. But they remain in the security space as a tool to offer bundling. To ensure that you are receiving the best security and customer service, make sure you choose a company solely focused on the alarm space. This will ensure superior customer service, the best available technology, and focused response and customer care, maximizing your protection and value.