Monitored Alarm Systems

Monitored Alarm Systems

Does the Site of a Security Company's Monitoring Service Matter?

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For a long time, security companies provided alarms and monitoring services as a package deal. Now that wireless alarms are becoming the standard for both businesses and homes, customers have more options when it comes to who watches over their security system.

The question is; does the monitoring location itself have a big impact on the quality of a company's service? There is an ongoing debate on this topic, and here is a breakdown of the arguments for each side.

Local-service companies present a concrete option

Pro: Having a local service means having the option to know where your monitoring service is located. If problems ever occur, you'll have the opportunity to address them in person with company representatives. Investing in the community has other benefits as well.

Con: There could be limitations to monitoring services when they are local to your area. Events that affect your business could also affect the monitoring service. For example, should a storm or other event knock out the power grid, you may find yourself without monitoring service when you need it the most. Choosing local is always a sound investment in your community, but make sure there is a remote alternate should there be a natural disaster.

Tip: The size of the company you will be employing is also a factor. Smaller, local monitoring services may also encounter trouble if they experience a sudden spike in the volume of calls coming into their system. National companies have the capital to invest in equipment that can provide service to countless customers at once.

National service companies provide a wider range

Pro: National companies can reroute your distress signal to another region should there be local trouble. Power outages in the South can become neutralized when a national company has other monitoring locations in the Northeast, and vice versa. Developments in different areas of the country can help a local affiliate adapt to trends as well. What worked for the company in the West could be implemented in Ohio, a move that small companies would never be able to attempt.

Con: On the other hand, having a national brand on your alarm system doesn't mean it has standardized services in all its coverage areas. Corporations have to subcontract to local affiliates in order to fill orders. Their decision in this aspect may determine your overall experience with your monitoring package, so if the corporation's attention to detail is on point, you'll have the best of both worlds.

Tip: When determining whether or not to use a national service, ask about grievances. For example, does the company have a representative in your area that you can engage if needed? Some national companies will have regional managers whose only function is to interface with customers and resolve disputes. If the regional customer service representative or manager is far away, this could be indicative of the company's service commitment.

Additionally, ask if there are any reputable service representatives in the area as well. Reporting issues to your security company and having them dispatch a qualified person to fix your issues is a much preferred method to finding your own technician.

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