The Truth About Home Alarm TV And Radio Commercials…

Have you ever seen a TV or radio for a home alarm company? Companies like Rogers Smart Home Monitoring, AlarmForce and ADT spend millions of dollars on commercials focusing on how they have the best home security system. The thing to remember is often in these commercials certain things are either not mentioned or are misleading to the customer.

Here are a few things from recent commercials to note:

  • In Rogers Smart Home Monitoring’s recent TV commercials they show footage taken from their indoor video surveillance solution. The truth is that it’s not actual footage from one of their security cameras, but instead professionally shot footage recorded on an expensive professional camera. Will the actual camera footage look as crisp and clear as that shot on a $50,000 camera on a professionally lit set? Probably not.
  • In AlarmForce’s recent TV commercial, the “central station” is actually not their central station. The station in the ad looks like mission control, when in fact it’s simply a call centre located in the bottom floor of their office. While I understand the want to spice up a boring unglamorous call centre, the fact in the commercial the call centre looks like mission control is misleading.
  • Recent Rogers Smart Home Monitoring radio ads would mention the price of the system, however, they would say it’s “x” amount over the first two months of a 24-month contract. Then they would never mention the inflated rate of the monitoring over the remaining 22 months of the contract. Is the remaining rate $25/month? $40/month? $1000/month? It’s never mentioned! Plus, they never mention the fact that Rogers reserves the right to raise monitoring rates at any point during the contract and often do.
  • ADT uses dealers to sell their products. One such dealer is a company that used to be called Defender. Defender doesn’t have the same brand value as ADT, so Defender changed their name to Protect Your Home. This way, one direct mailers and various print marketing that Defender historically used, the customer would see the ADT logo followed by the words Protect Your Home. The customer may not have known Protect Your Home was a secondary company, but rather they could have thought that ADT is simply using Protect Your Home as a marketing byline. Misleading? You be the judge.

With any marketing, make sure you read the fine print and question everything. Understand that what may look slick in a commercial is actually not as great in person. Ask the right questions and look at the real underlying value. And cover yourself by never agreeing to anything that forces you into a contract!

Who Is Rogers Smart Home Monitoring?

Rogers Smart Home Monitoring is the home security/home automation service offered by Rogers Communications. Rogers Smart Home Monitoring is offered in various areas across Canada. While their systems have some bells and whistles, ultimately it’s an expensive security solution that falls into many disadvantages that can be seen in various other home security offerings.

Rogers Communications is a massive company that offers cellular service, TV, and internet as well as smart home/security. Beyond that, they own magazines, radio stations, TV stations and sports franchises. They are an enormous company that employees tens of thousands of people.

Rogers Smart Home Monitoring has been in service for around two years and offers security and for additional costs can provide smart home features (remote arming, remote control over your thermostat, video, etc).

The low-cost security solutions, $0 upfront and $19.99/month is a self-monitored home alarm system. The $0 down is actually only if you pay $459 to purchase the equipment, otherwise, they add another $4.99 rental fee to the package. Rogers requires a three-year contract for service. Remember, with any self-monitored solution, the system does not connect to a central station. In the event of a break-in, the system would send you a notification, where then you need to take care of the event yourself. This is not real protection and cannot adequately protect a home or family. Avoid all self-monitored systems.

For a monitored alarm system, Rogers charges an additional $12.99/month, bringing the package cost up to $32.98/month. There again is a required three-year contract for service.

Two-way voice monitoring is an additional $3.49/month, smoke/fire monitoring is an additional $3.49/month and carbon monoxide monitoring is also $3.49/month. Three-year contracts are required for each of the additional services.

A customer can easily see how Rogers is an expensive solution with all of these added monthly costs. Beyond that, there are costs for the equipment beyond the basic package.

Rogers is notorious for the customer service one would associate with a company of their size. Levels of bureaucracy and lack of showing they value their customers, have constantly left Rogers customers with “bad tastes in their mouth”.

As a Rogers customer (cellphone, internet, home phone) I’ve experienced their subpar customer service. Frustration and anger have become commonplace when dealing with any cable company and Rogers is no different. Their goal is to tangle you in a bundle, where because you have multiple services with the company, you’re unlikely to leave to a competitor since you have so many services with them. It’s as if laziness trumps the want for quality, and unfortunately, this is often the case with Rogers customers.

Beyond that, the price is incredibly high and Rogers has in their contract that they reserve the right to raise their prices at any time. So your already high rates will become higher, and since you signed a contract you have to pay whatever rate they choose.

Rogers does offer some smart home solutions, however, these services just further increase your monthly monitoring rates. All of their services are offered by other companies at a fraction of the cost.

Customers need to distinguish between smart home features and home security. While smart home technology is trendy and some aspects have value, any home alarm system needs to be focused primarily on offering maximum home protection. Think protection when looking at home security systems and let the bells and whistles come second.

Rogers Smart Home Monitoring is an extremely expensive way to protect your home. They force you to sign a three-year contract and will raise your monthly monitoring rates while under contract. There is no shortage of better security solutions offered by other home alarm companies at a fraction of the price that can provide similar or better service than Rogers. And remember that with Rogers you’re dealing with a company that focuses on tons of things beyond security (running a baseball team, TV networks, etc), so they will treat security as an afterthought.

Think protection when choosing a home alarm system. Make the best decision and don’t always go with the bundle. When you do, you just end up getting tangled in a bad decision.