Monitronics Reviews - A Terrible Choice?
You might have probably been searching for Monitronics on the Internet but can’t find an exact match on Google. That’s because the company name has been changed to MONI Smart Security as of September of 2016.
If you are dead serious about placing security systems in your building, then you may consider this Monitronics home security review your introduction to the exciting world of alarm and security devices and equipment.
Monitronics’ History and Reputation
Monitronics is touted to be the second largest residential security company in the US in 2014, second to ADT Security systems.
Founded in 1994 at Dallas, Texas, it caters to residential, commercial, and even governmental clients within the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada.
They offer products that have been Five Diamond-certified; a recognition of security excellence being awarded by the Central Station Alarm Association or CSAA to the highest-quality providers in the industry.
It also offers its own ASAPer interactive alarm response which is basically an application integrated into your alarm system enabling you to communicate with their alarm center or your phone contacts using any mobile devices and computers.
As far as Better Business Bureau is concerned, it is accredited since 08/11/2011 according to BBB’s website and with a rating of A+.
Despite the rating, it’s flooded with 86% negative reviews as of writing, basically about poor customer service and cancellation issues.
Plan Pricing and Services
Basically, MONI provides live security alarm monitoring through your own landlines and mobile phones.
But unlike some of the companies offering similar services, you get more personalized with MONI. Meaning, the features and services are highly customizable. And all the customers’ accounts are being monitored at their central monitoring station in Dallas.
They have three different packages to help you decide which one suits your home best:
|Main Features||Two way Voice Communication and|
4G LTE wireless home security
|Core plan features+Customised texts and MONI’s mobile app access.||Connected plan features+Video recording and smartphone based home automation.|
3 door/window sensors
1 motion sensor
1 keychain remote
|All CORE equipment but with upgraded 7” panel|
Moni smartphone app
|All CONNECTED equipment
Indoor video camera
Garage door controller
All three packages have free activation. For new customers, site ownership is also required for the 3 plans. Duration of the packages is either 36 or 60 months with the monthly rate increasing after 12 months a possibility.
The good news; they have lifetime warranties for their devices. The bad news; you would need to pay $50 fee for every time a technician comes to repair or replace the defective or malfunctioning device after the first 30 days of subscription/purchase has lapsed.
Top Tips for Buyers
Before you could even sign up with Moni, you must have a credit score of 625 and above. That’s not really a high mark. But if you score lower than that, then better look elsewhere.
And because their authorized dealers send sales representatives offering the alarm systems door to door, expect to be promised one of Jupiter’s moons just to break the sale.
It is for the same reason that you need to sort of haggle with the sales reps. Prices tend to be different among the dealers so make sure to talk to several reps prior to deciding.
Before signing any contract, check first whether it is auto-renew. Since their seemingly good product reputation is tainted by rude customer service, you don’t want to deal with one when any problem arises.
And remember, if you ever decide to give it a try, you have a 3-day right to a cancellation if you change your mind for some valid reasons.
Cancellation and Transfer Policies
Moni offers “Free Move Program” if you suddenly need to move out of your current residence and relocate anywhere within the MONI service area. But this is only available to those who have been with MONI for one year and have “up-to-date” billing.
The catch – the contract automatically renews to a 36-month cycle once again but at the same rate.
The account cancels itself at the end of contract period unless you want to terminate it early on and subject yourself to 80% of the monthly service charges due for the remaining balance of the original term signed. And this applies to all of the three packages.
What’s the Bottom Line?
- Typically lower prices for basic features
- Has multiple dealers around the country
- Has been operating for more than 20 years
- Home automation available. You can check or alter the status of your system even when you are away.
- Free installation and activation (during promo)
- User-friendly activation
- No chat support
- Not for renters
- Contracts are longer
- Customer service hotline redirects to a sales specialist
- Abundant customer complaints about poor customer service
- No follow-up notification after the first alarm
Reading reviews about how bad its after-sales customer service is, it’s understandable if you’d take some of the few positive comments about them with a grain of salt.
And terminating a contract with Moni is rather “toxic”. Why?
Based on numerous posts on the internet, the contract is supposed to die a natural a natural death. But that’s actually not the case for some customers as they were still required to submit a letter to cancel the account.
And because it needs a cancellation letter, the account would not be canceled right away. If the letter reaches Moni a few days after the contract expiration, the customer will still be required to pay a whole month’s subscription. Definitely a hassle!
But despite the shortcomings in the customer service department, the Monitronics devices can be a pretty solid choice.