Be aware - your monitoring contract may require you to cancel by writing as early as three months before your term ends. Otherwise, you're contract will renew automatically!
It is important to look carefully at your present monitoring agreement. We'll guide you through it.
Don't have your alarm monitoring contract? Ask for it from your monitoring company. It is your right for them to provide you with your contract.
What to Look For in Your Alarm Contract
Before before switching to a lower cost alternative like Blockwatch Alarm neighborhood based alarm monitoring, look for the following information in your current monitoring agreement:
- Term of agreement: What is the expiration date of the agreement?
- Notification for termination: How much notice is required before the end of the agreement in order for the agreement to not automatically renew? Does the contract provide for canceling the service?
- Penalty for termination: If you cancel your service before the end of the contract period is there a penalty? What is it?
- Ownership of Equipment: Who owns the equipment? Will the Alarm Company remove the equipment? If the monitoring agreement doesn’t stipulate who owns the equipment, you own it.
If you get your contract as a digital file, try searching for these terms. On a PC, most software lets you hit Ctrl-F to do a search in the document.
Canceling your contract can be simple, but the high rates of alarm monitoring agreements are very important to these companies. They are not about to go out of their way to assist you in leaving them as a monitored customer. But you have legal rights to see your contract and cancel it within the terms of the contract.
Canceling Your Contract with a Letter
Most commonly, you'll need to send a written letter to cancel your contract. We even recommend you use a signature confirmation or other proof that they received the document. You then have proof, and you know when they received it.
Save a copy of your letter before sending so you know exactly what you sent. Document all correspondence and actions you take!
State in the letter that you will consider the cancellation accepted if you receive no written response by the end of the thirty days. Again, send your letter return receipt requested so that you have proof they received your correspondence.
Ask them to put any explanations or clarifications in writing. If they indicate that you have a contract that requires more of you, have them send you a copy of that contract with an explanation of the requirements. Always write your letters in such a manner that if they fail to respond they are agreeing with your position. Also make sure that you always give them a deadline date for a response.
If you feel you need assistance in communicating with your alarm company or alarm monitoring provider, feel free to contact us for assistance.
There is nothing to be gained by alienating your present alarm company, but as the customer you certainly have the right to question them and receive information that is pertinent to your alarm service and monitoring agreement.
By properly canceling your monitoring contract, you can convert your system to another with lower prices, no contract, and more control like Blockwatch Alarm. Someone like Blockwatch Alarm will be able to handle the technical process of converting your home security equipment to work with your new monitoring service.
You can call Blockwatch Alarm at 1-855-955-7763 for advice on switching over to Blockwatch Alarm monitoring service, which we recommend if you are unsure about your existing system and service. Blockwatch Alarm is a unique, neighborhood based alarm monitoring built on the Danger Network.
A Brief Industry History
Wonder why most alarm monitoring service is so expensive? A brief industry history shows you why:
There are currently over 20,000,000 alarm monitoring customers in the U.S. For the last twenty years the industry has been structured such that the “monitoring” revenue subsidizes the non-monitoring operations of the Alarm Company. This was a necessary part of maintaining a more predictable cash flow for the Alarm Company. With the entry of large investment companies into the alarm industry monitoring rates were increased dramatically to subsidize installation of new alarm systems. There is nothing wrong with this practice and it served to expand the markets of the alarm industry dramatically.
At the same time that the large companies were increasing the size of the industry the smaller companies were struggling to compete with the lower installation prices from subsidized systems. The number of companies shrank from 15,000 to 5,000. Now all the small companies were much more reliant on the increased ‘monitoring’ rates to subsidize their falling sales.