Why do Alarm Companies check your credit score?

June 17, 2013 | Comments Off on Why do Alarm Companies check your credit score?

I am often asked why we need to check a new customer’s credit score. Customers often feel that since the monthly monitoring cost is such a small amount, their credit history should be of little significance.

If a customer is paying cash for all of the equipment being installed in their home or business, as well as the cost for the installation of that equipment, they should NOT have to have their credit score checked; however, in most cases the customer is paying little or nothing for the equipment and installation. The monitoring service is paying the Alarm Installation company for these costs, and typically the amount that they are paying is more than the customer is committed to pay over the term of the monitoring agreement. The monitoring company is gambling that the customer will in fact continue their service for well beyond the initial term of the agreement. The statistics kept on the retention and attrition of customers over the years show a direct relationship between an individual’s credit score and their likelihood to not only fulfill the terms of their agreement, but continue for years beyond the initial term of service.

So, even though a customer is not getting credit from the company, the credit score is very important in determining whether the investment made by the monitoring company will pay off. Typically the credit score is determined through what is called a “soft inquiry”, meaning that only one of the three credit bureaus is being checked, and only the score is determined without any details of credit history, delinquencies or current creditors. Because of the limited scope, a soft inquiry does not have the same negative impact on an individual’s FICO as a full inquire has.

 

 

Home Security Systems: More Than Burglar Alarms

March 5, 2013 | Comments Off on Home Security Systems: More Than Burglar Alarms

Why should you get a home security system? The obvious answer is for home security. But that’s not the only answer. There are at least five other reasons you should consider getting a system:
· Fire. Smoke and heat sensors will give you – and firefighters – an early start if there’s a problem at your home. You can get yourself and your family to safety, while firefighters will get to the home in a flash. That will result in less damage to your home from smoke and fire.
· Carbon monoxide. You can’t see it or smell it. But carbon monoxide can have serious consequences to your health. Prolonged exposure can even cause death. Most security systems come with options for carbon monoxide sensors, which will alert you at the first sign of the gas.
· Medical emergency assistance. If you need help in a hurry, you don’t want to fumble around finding a phone and calling 911. Most monitored systems have one-touch buttons to summon dispatchers to get help. The keypads often are so simple that children and elderly residents will be able to operate them.
· Flooding. Suppose a pipe starts leaking in your house? Eventually it will break, and water will pour out, damaging your ceiling and other parts of your home. You’ll face expensive repairs to put things right. But if you have moisture and flooding sensors as part of your home security system, you’ll be alerted that there’s a problem long before the situation gets too serious.
· Money. You could save up to 10% on your home insurance premium. Insurance providers like it when you lessen risks at your house, and most provide discounts when you present proof that you have a system. Plus, you increase the retail value of your home up to $3,000.
If you live in a colder climate, you also can select to purchase cold sensors. They will alert you when the temperature at a designated part of your home drops substantially. Again, that can save you the hassle of broken pipes and the resulting water damage.
The bottom line: Protecting yourself against break-ins is a great idea in and of itself. Having a security system means your home is up to three times less likely to suffer a break-in than a home that doesn’t have one. Criminals prefer to pick the low-hanging fruit. That’s a tremendous benefit to purchasing a system. It’s just not the only benefit. Check out what a system can mean to you.
This article was contributed by Arthur Murray, who writes for HomeInsurance.com. Arthur has more than 30 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism.

Cable companies getting into the Security Alarm business

January 9, 2013 | Comments Off on Cable companies getting into the Security Alarm business

As a member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Security Association, currently serving as its Treasurer, I was a bit surprised to see several representatives from Cox Cable and Time Warner at our annual Christmas party last month. I thought and hoped that these folks realized that this was a bad idea from the last time that they attempted and failed to break into the Security business.

Today I received a call from a nice gentleman who had signed a contract with Cox to provide his alarm monitoring, but they were not familiar with the GE security system that was installed in the home that he just purchased, so they advised him that he would need to find an alarm company that could have a technician get his system up and running and programmed to send signals to their central station. Are you kidding me? We are not talking about an old and outdated off brand security system. This home had a General Electric (one of the three major manufacturers of systems) that was only four years old!

People have to understand that this is not like picking a calling plan and an internet speed and a TV channel line up, and you’re done. Every home is a little unique, and every homeowner is very unique. A security system needs to be designed by a professional in the industry who can customize each system to fit the needs of the individual users, and needs to be installed by a trained and experienced technician who can program the approximately eighty options to work most effectively for those individuals and make sure that the equipment is installed properly to work effectively and not cause false alarms.

Whether someone is serviced by AT&T, Cox, or Time/Warner, I have never met anyone who raved about the wonderful customer service that they receive from their cable provider. Why would they want to add security to the list of things that they receive bad customer service from? If they do not even have technicians with the skills to put a new system online, how are they going to provide repair service when these systems are malfunctioning and require a service call? Maybe instead of adding to the list of bad services that these companies can offer the public, they should concentrate on improving the services that they currently provide.

Let me know what you think about this…

 

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