4-Minute Phone Call Saves ADT Customer $100 Per Year

Aishel is an ADT home security system customer. When he received a letter in the mail that the company was increasing his monthly bill slightly, he decided that this change made him feel quite insecure in the wallet. He called up ADT to see whether they could waive the increase for him. Of course they could: and how would he like a $6 decrease in his monthly bill while he was at it?

I got a notification in the mail that ADT home security systems would be instituting a $2.79 per month increase to help bring “the level of service you deserve, and explore new ways to help you protect what matters most.”

I figured I’d call and tell them that I’m trying to minimize costs and see what they could do for me. My entire phone call lasted 4 minutes and I was able to not only get the rate change waived, he also lowered my bill by $6/month.

It’s not much, but that’s an extra $100 in my pocket over the course of a year!

Excellent. Sometimes an annoying new fee or bill increase can be dispatched just like this: with a quick and civilized phone call.

Comments

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  1. SkokieGuy says:

    Let’s review their ‘explanation’ of the increase and guess at what it might mean.

    Part 1: to help bring “the level of service you deserve
    -Does this mean that ADT is acknowledging that until this rate increase the customer has not been getting the service they deserve?
    -Exactly what changes to ADT service will be occurring?

    Part 2: and explore new ways to help you protect what matters most
    -We have hired Dora, and she don’t come cheap
    -We want you to fund our R & D to develop new services to charge you for

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      What if you call and say, “I don’t deserve the level of service you are offering for the rate increase.”?

    • BurtReynolds says:

      One should request a refund for the past months where service has not been at the level they deserve.

      Explain that you are not interested in new ways to protect what matters to you. In fact, you thought the current ways were sufficient until you were just informed that you are not receiving the level of service you deserve from ADT.

      Switch to another service provider that does the same thing as ADT for $14.99/month, that is if you are done with paying 2x’s the value of their “free” security system over the course of two years.

  2. StarKillerX says:

    So, they were going to raise their rates in part to “explore new ways to help you protect what matters most” which to me means, “we need to raise your rates so we can figure out what extra services we can sell you!” lol!

    • SavijMuhdrox says:

      dude. guard dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you.

      this research isn’t free ya know.

  3. HoJu says:

    Funny. I didn’t get this letter but I called and told them I was thinking of switching cuz their service is too expensive. I was told I have 6 months more on my contract but she’d cut my bill in half for that 6 months anyway. Thats $84 in my pocket. Can’t complain about that. I’ll probably still switch in 6 months anyway. Their service is too expensive.

  4. SkokieGuy says:

    Dear valued ADT customer.

    We are exploring the benefits of trained zombie monkeys to assist us in our efforts to insure the things you value most are protected. To help explore this possible new service, we have adjusted your monthly pricing to better reflect the potential value this and other new services may provide.

  5. Hi_Hello says:

    ADT’s CSR so far is the best CSR I have to talk with.

  6. mrvw says:

    I just did this with Directv the other day. I got a bill that had increased $4 or $5 each month. I’m not under contract so I can leave them when I want. I asked why they increased it and the woman just said that tier price had been increased. All i wanted was the reason for the increase, she then said ‘let me see what discounts we can give you for being a loyal customer’. I am now paying $9 less each month than I was BEFORE the increase.
    Looks like I’ll stay with them for at least 12 more months.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      It’s all because they either don’t want to tell you why, or don’t have an answer why and aren’t allowed to say they don’t know why. Even with the discount, I’d still want to know why.

  7. deano says:

    meh.

    If you really want to save, you’ll dump ADT. A quick google search a few years ago found several security providers I could switch to and cut the cost in half.

    I elected to move from phone-line monitoring to internet + cellular backup, and still cut the cost by almost a third. Better service, lower price, and no annual rate increase or threatening to leave.

  8. The Twilight Clone says:

    I’d like to read a serious discussion on whether these home security systems are worth anything. I don’t think they are, but I would like to hear intelligent opposing viewpoints.

    We have a system installed, but I deactivated it when we bought the house. I couldn’t think of a scenario in which it would be worth paying upwards of $40/month. If I’m out of town and somebody breaks in, the system first calls me, then the police. The burglar is probably long gone by the time you could even hear the sirens.

    The one thing that MIGHT be worth it is temperature monitoring. Call me if the house temp falls below 50. But to my knowledge, this system doesn’t do that.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      I’d be interested in this as well. There is discussion about going from one company to another to save money, but does one service out perform on over the other?

      I’ve seen many home camera solutions, with features like motion sensors, and alerts that get sent to your smart phone. This seems more intersting to me, as it would record what is going on, instead of just making a lot of noise.

      • The Twilight Clone says:

        I’ve done some investigating of this. It seems to boil down to this: cheap or functional. Pick one.

        • Ragman says:

          Our neighborhood has had some break-ins, but they were all smash and grabs b/c of alarm systems. Our city cops show up about 2-5 minutes after the call comes in from the alarm company, so the crooks get 4-7 minutes from the time they kick in the door (2 minute delay default) to grab something and get out of the neighborhood. Breaking windows has not happened, my guess is b/c the window alarms have no delay and the siren starts screaming immediately. (The response times are based on what I’ve learned through police reports and our neighborhood watch.)

          Even if you can’t afford the monitoring, having one in the house should, at the least, make them move quickly and not spend time digging around, if not deter them all together.

          Then you get into layering your home security by reinforcing locks, hiding/securing valuables, etc.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      what if, you are sleeping. Someone broke in through the back. And their goal is to shoot you then rob the place?

      • The Twilight Clone says:

        That would be a scenario that would make it useful. But that wouldn’t need monitoring.

    • Rachacha says:

      I used to live in a new community, and for many of the homes, it included a “free” alarm system package. As both the wife and I work, we installed the system, and paid for monitoring. A few years after we moved in, there were several break-ins. All the break-ins occurred in homes that did not have alarms (our county required all homes with alarms to display a registration sticker in the front of the house so it was easy to see who had an alarm, even if you did not install the alarm company’s signs).

      The alarm can act as a deterrent as a thief hates noise.

      We found our alarm useful for determining when someone entered/opened a door as we had all of the doors set to chime when they were opened (useful when you are upstairs and no one else should be at home to determine when a door opens downstairs.).

      All that said, the only time the alarm ever went off was when the cat jumped on a chair in front of the motion detector or when the door to the garage did not latch and the wind blew it open.

      Pros for monitoring if burglar detection is not your thing – Smoke detection & carbon monoxide detection. Some systems also have water detection so you can place it near a sump pump located in a closet to detect if your pump fails and minimize flood damage to your basement and freeze detectors you could use in a crawlspace or basement.

      We just recently moved, and I am looking at getting an alarm because most of the people in my neighborhood are retired (home all day) or stay at home mom/dad (home all day). My wife and I both work and have very predictable schedules, and my kids are getting older so I can leave them alone for a short period of time, so I can have the system alert me when the alarm is disabled and I know that they have made it home from school OK. Also, I am the newest house in the neighborhood, and I have lots of windows in the back of the house that look into my office (6 visible computers) and my family room (Plasma TV).

  9. 420greg says:

    After my contract was up with ADT, I switched to a company I found on google that is only $8.95 a month.

  10. Press1forDialTone says:

    You shouldn’t have to call to get a rate decrease.

    They should quit charging more just because they

    think you won’t call.

    That’s what business has devolved into.

    Sickening.

  11. bben says:

    Former security company owner. At the time I owned my business, police response to an alarm nationwide average was about 20 minutes. Local in my area was considered very good at a little over 8 minutes. That is the time from when the alarm monitoring company calls the police – which could easily add another few minutes to the time from actual break in. A typical burglar is in your home less than 6 minutes. Most burglars would be long gone before the law gets there. The purpose of an alarm system is not catch a burglar, but to discourage them from targeting your house to begin with. If you cannot afford the cost of an alarm system plus monthly monitoring, get a yard sign – they are available for a few bucks on the internet. A casual burglar – the most common kind – will pass up a home with an alarm company sign for one that seems to be less protected.

    As for recommendations of an alarm company, ADT is very low on my list. A local independent who has been in business a long time will usually give the best deal as they live nearby and will value their reputation in the community a lot more than any national company. They will also probably be more expensive on the installation, but could easily be a lot less expensive on monthly contracts.

  12. randomneko says:

    In all honesty what your paying for with a Burgular system is deterence. If a thief wants in he will find a way no matter what. The system/service encourages most thieves to move on and the ones who rick your house move faster and grab less stuff.

    Most companies will also monitor for fire, temperature, Carbon monoxide, power, flood/moisture. though you have to actually ask for the rest. Also researching what kind of sensors you wants and how they function will greatly improve the performance of what your paying for.

    All this really boils down to is whether or not you perceive value in the service. If your running a high price salt water tank then you may see value in power failure detection to avoid losing a thousand dollars worth of fish. I know someone who has fire + power for that very reason. I honestly don’t. The things I value most have no value to thieves or are easily replaced. Its all about how you feel.

  13. aishel says:

    I appreciate all the comments. I can’t find any info on my contract, but it looks like my 36-month contract expired at the end of January, so I will take the advice posted here and look into using other monitoring services (alarmrelay and simplisafe look promising!)

  14. pamelad says:

    I don’t have ADT but several of my neighbors do. However, my next-door neighbor and I started a Neighborhood Watch Group, working with the local Sheriff’s Department. We went knocking on doors, and head of household or mom or dad of all 36 homes in our neighborhood agreed to participate (100% participation.)

    We heard a few horror stories from years past, first person, knocking on doors, neighbors inviting us into their homes. One was from a couple who had stopped their newspaper subscription while on a cruise, but the newspaper delivery chain failed to deliver the message. They returned home to a pile of “we’re not home” newspapers in their driveway and a burglarized home. There were more horror stories.

    No more. At least I hope not, with our Neighborhood Watch Group. Knock on wood, and it may be just coincidence, but we have had NO breakins since we started the Neighborhood Watch Group. The Sheriff’s Department was a great help.

    We now all know to watch out for each other and watch for burglar ques such as piled up mail and newspapers when we’re gone, etc.

  15. BurtReynolds says:

    Log on to FatWallet. Search for multiple “cheap alarm monitoring services” threads. Save more than $100 a year compared to ADT.

  16. FLConsumer says:

    I use both AlarmRelay and NextAlarm. Costs me ~$8-10/mo. Not sure why anyone would pay $35+/mo with ADT.