NCA Alarm Review—Affordable Choice

security guard at work

Two of the most enticing things when it comes to selecting a home security provider is affordability and good customer experience. Finding a company that combines these two is a rare find.

The competition in the home security industry is fierce. A lot of companies offer a variety of services to satisfy their customers. Although there are other companies that offer affordable services, it’s usually at the expense of customer satisfaction.

This isn’t the case with NCA though. Not only are its services affordable, customers are also generally happy. So, is it any good? Let’s find out in our NCA home security review.

NCA’s History and Reputation

Established in 1997, NCA (National Certified Alarm) is the successor of Allied Security Systems, which was founded by one of the co-founders of the former.

It’s a local company as it serves only Nashville and the areas around Middle Tennessee. This doesn’t mean that its services are limited though.

The company uses COPS Monitoring as its monitoring provider. This monitoring center has six central stations that are UL Listed, FM Approved, and TMA Five Diamond certified. Despite the high quality of its monitoring, however, the company provides affordable services.

The SDM Magazine ranked the company as the 80th largest security company in 2017. For a local company, this is already a major feat.

The combination of these factors shows well in how customers perceived NCA. The Better Business Bureau has accredited the company since 12/18/2001 and has given it a rating of A+. Customers gave it an outstanding 100% positive review out of 210 reviews.

It also has only one complaint listed on the site which had been duly resolved.

On Yelp, another review website, customers gave the company 15 five-star reviews out of a total of 22 reviews.

Plan Pricing and Services

NCA offers both wired and wireless monitoring. It has three basic plans, all of which are comparatively more affordable than what other companies offer.

These three plans also cater to both residents and businesses. The plans are the following:

PlansMonthly ChargeFeatures
Landline Monitoring$9.9524-hour monitoring, monitoring of all devices, dispatch communication via landline
Residential Cellular Monitoring$19.95All LANDLINE MONITORING features plus remote arming and disarming and no landline required
Commercial Cellular Monitoring$24.95All RESIDENTIAL CELLULAR MONITORING features plus opening and closing reports and state license and insurance

The company assures that the price listed is a flat rate. This means that the price will never change. Throughout the company’s experience in the industry, the low $9.95 rate has never changed. It also bills its customers either quarterly or annually.

The company lists devices it offers. Although the specific devices included in each plan isn’t clearly stated. These are:

  • Hardwired and Wireless Keypad
  • Wireless Camera Systems
  • Monitored Smoke Detectors
  • Motion Detector
  • Glass Break Detector
  • Door and Window Contact
  • Medical and Panic Pendant
  • Keyfob Remote
  • Overhead Door Contact
  • Digital Cellular Module

In contrast to the cheap monthly monitoring, customers are required to pay a quite hefty upfront cost for the equipment. You would need to pay anywhere between $395 and $500 for these devices. This can increase if you add more sensors or equipment.

The company also offers additional features and plans to go along with your base plans. These additional plans are also quite affordable and would be a great addition to the company’s cheaper offerings.

The first additional plan is the “Opening and Closing Reports” which logs who accessed and armed or disarmed the system. It costs only an additional $5 a month.

The second one is the “Remote Access.” This feature allows you to remotely control your devices through a smartphone. This also costs an additional $5 a month.

The company’s official website though has no information on the equipment warranty of its devices. This is important to know as you might need to have repairs or replacements done. You might incur huge costs if there is no warranty protection available.

Top Tips for Buyers

When you decide to end services with NCA, you get to keep the equipment. You will be paying for them anyway as part of the upfront costs for the equipment. This means that even if you no longer use NCA, the equipment will still be yours.

There is also no auto-renewal of contract. You actually get to stay with NCA for as long as you want.

If you refer a friend and he/she also becomes an NCA subscriber, the company will give you a $29.85 monitoring credit. If you opted for its lowest offering and pay every quarter, this amount will actually cover one quarter’s amount of credit.

NCA can also take over your security system. These are some of the systems that are compatible with it:

  • Honeywell
  • DSC
  • Ademco
  • Caddx
  • GE Concord
  • 2GIG

Cancellation and Transfer Policies

The company has “no long-term contracts.” This simply means that you won’t be required to sign a contract with NCA. You get to stay with it for as long as you want to use its services.

If you want to end using its services, you need to send a written 30-day notice of service termination. This is the only thing that you need to do and the company will handle the rest of the process.

The company’s transfer policies are quite unclear. If you want to move within its service area, the company might allow you to bring along your equipment and resume monitoring at your new home.

However, a customer reports that the company required her to buy new equipment and pay a $69 service fee. This is confusing as the equipment does already belong to the customer. If you need to move, it’s best to contact NCA directly and ask about what your options are for moving.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Pros

  • Overall excellent customer service
  • No contract
  • Low costs
  • Allows takeover of preexisting security system

Cons

  • Limited availability
  • High upfront costs for the equipment
  • No options for home automation
  • Lack of information regarding equipment warranty and transfer policies

NCA complaints are few and far in between. There are often more praises for the company, such as its excellent, money-saving services and fast response times.

And this is not surprising. With its affordable prices and the overall satisfaction that its customers receive, NCA is a strong contender. The major downside to this company is its lack of options for home automation. It only covers home security and doesn’t offer other options.

But still, if you’re in the area that it serves and wants some cheap but capable services without anything fancy, you should consider NCA.

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