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How to hire a home security alarm company

Posted at 9:30 AM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 02:50:06-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nothing is more frustrating than poor customer service. A Las Vegas couple recently ran into an issue with their home security company. 13 Consumer Advocate Tricia Kean says they couldn't get answers for months. So they reached out to our Call For Action team and got some results.

"We got frustrated. We didn't know what to do," says Ron Lambert.

He and his wife, Val, say they were fed up. It was back in June when they started having problems with their security alarm system.

"The keypad, it wouldn't take," says Ron.

Some of the buttons on their 19-year-old equipment weren't working. Ron and Val called again and again, but with no answers.

"For months and months and months I called," says Val.

Ron says the situation went from bad to worse when he finally got in touch with someone from the corporate office.

"They couldn't find our customer number or the invoice number," says Ron.

Ron says not only was he getting monthly bills in the mail, he and Val were still making payments, even though they couldn't use the alarm system.

"Never, never behind on any payments," says Ron.

Finally left with nowhere to turn, Val had an idea.

"I've seen on TV so many times about Channel 13 and you can help people, and I said alright I'm going to call," says Val.

Our Call For Action volunteers reached out to the security company, and delivered results about a week later.

"They called me and told me they're going to do this; change the whole system out, put a new system in, at their cost," says Ron.

So, what do you need to know about hiring a home security company? First: make sure they're properly licensed with the Nevada State Contractors Board. The company's license number should be printed right on their contract. Second: check if they're a member of the Nevada Security Association.

"These are companies that have been licensed, they're insured and they've got a good reputation," says John Perdichizzi, owner of a third-party business, ASAP Security.

John says it helps to work with a Nevada-based company.

"If you use a local company, you've always got a place to go to speak to possibly the owners, managers. If you ever have a problem you have some recourse," says John.

It's also important to carefully read over the terms on your contract.

"We have a 3-year agreement, which is pretty much standard. There are some companies out there for 5 and 7 years, which I think is outrageous," says John.

Then once you've picked a company, John says it's important to check your system on a monthly basis.

"You should call your operators and let them know you're testing your alarm system just as a courtesy and then set the alarm off. Find out if they got the signal or not," says John.

As for Ron and Val, they're happy with their current security company, now that their equipment has been updated. But they have a message for anyone facing a similar customer service problem.

"Get a hold of Channel 13 because they do their job, and they did a darn good one," says Val.

It's worth mentioning: beware of security companies selling their systems door-to-door. There's a lot of deceptive sales tactics out there. Anyone you invite into your home should have a picture identification and a sheriff's card showing they've gone through a proper background check.