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Grand Alarms Review

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  • Oct 7th, 2013 4:15 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 13, 2004
152 posts

Grand Alarms Review

Currently scheduled to do wiring/conduit with Grand Alarms as our builder has contracted out to them.

We've been talking to Grand Alarms about their security system as well. We're currently with ADT with our existing home and have no complaints but we'd would like to update to more recent equipment (cameras, wireless, able to arm remotely etc). However, I've also read about Rogers and their generally pricing (40+ per mth).

I've been researching Grand Alarms and I'm confused about what to do. They are offering the equipment free with exception of extra cameras we need, but that the equipment will be ours after the 5 yr term. $10 for monitoring, but it seems that is on top of the $25 base monitoring fee. So, $35/mth for 5 years. We plan on staying for a while at this house.

According to review websites out there, homestars.com has tons of glowing reviews, while others (including RFD) are on the opposite end. We haven't signed anything as we asked for more time to consider. Mind relating experiences and are there any other firms out there that offer similar after-closing pricing?
12 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 9, 2003
24704 posts
1835 upvotes
Markham, ON
knock on wood...nothing going off for 1.5 yrs with Grand alarm.

We have called them about 6 times after false alarms on fault of our own...usually get someone within 30 secs on calling.

the only thing i have to say is it is expensive...but is piece of mind.
Sr. Member
Sep 24, 2001
656 posts
146 upvotes
Thornhill
if you can get them to just rough in the security system, go with The monitoring centre.. They are 9.99 per month... only catch is you have to pay one year at a time.. so $120 in one shot. it cost around $400 to get the security alarm system.

I originally was going to sign with Grand Alarm, because they installed our system when we bought the house, but they want $30 for monitoring fee and $5 for smoke monitoring fee. whereas TMC is 9.99... no extras for smoke alarm monitoring. Also, if you read the fine print, they install the security system for free, but you don't actually own the equipment. You'll make back your $400 in about a year. TMC give you 18 months for the price of 12 when you first sign.

5 year contract is a long time.
Member
Aug 23, 2007
452 posts
135 upvotes
Was in the same boat. Grand Alarm being my builder's contractor. They used to do the rough in for free but now they won't do the wiring unless you sign with them
The deal is not bad, $25 per month / 3 YR for Basic DSC system with 1 motion and all basement/first floor doors & Windows sensored.
Monitor Station has good rate for monitoring but you need to shell out the full cost of the system (In many case it only come with a certain number of sensors)
I thought about the upgrades system with video monitoring but decided against it when they told the video cameras will no longer work if I cancel the monitoring service after the term.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 4, 2009
4743 posts
1153 upvotes
Tell them you'll sign for 3 yrs, nothing more. Have them mark down on your contract that all the equipment is yours at the end of the contract term (except the panel, they won't leave that). If you decide to cancel make sure you follow the requirements to the letter.

Read the contract carefully. I don't buy all the glowing reviews on HS over the last 3 years occurring almost on a daily basis. But that's just me...
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
8828 posts
669 upvotes
$120 prepaid is actually not too bad provided lot of alarm companies bill by quarter. So, if they charge $30-40/month, it is already ~$100 per billing.

$400 upfront equipment fee is way better than those so called free equipment alarm monitoring contract. Remember to read the contract carefully. Lot of us assume we will own the equipment after 3 years of contract like our cell phone contract. In facts, lot of alarm monitoring companies (including mine) state on the contract that we don't own the equipment at the end of 3 years contract !!!

Imagine you are paying $20+ per month more than you would have paid to TMC, it means you are paying $240+ per year. Thus, less than 2 years, it would be more than the $400 equipment fee TMC charges (which you OWN the equipment).

zackweed wrote: if you can get them to just rough in the security system, go with The monitoring centre.. They are 9.99 per month... only catch is you have to pay one year at a time.. so $120 in one shot. it cost around $400 to get the security alarm system.

I originally was going to sign with Grand Alarm, because they installed our system when we bought the house, but they want $30 for monitoring fee and $5 for smoke monitoring fee. whereas TMC is 9.99... no extras for smoke alarm monitoring. Also, if you read the fine print, they install the security system for free, but you don't actually own the equipment. You'll make back your $400 in about a year. TMC give you 18 months for the price of 12 when you first sign.

5 year contract is a long time.
Member
Dec 19, 2006
433 posts
35 upvotes
Was going to go with grand alarms until I luckily checked their Bbb ratings. Many complaints. Do some Google searches, lots of shady business practices being claimed. Not my place to slander so read the Google reviews. I just decided it wasn't worth the risk if even half of them were true. Personally I am always suspicious of homestars ratings when there are so many and everyone is a perfect 10.

For me and my requirements Rogers was even cheaper (I know is that even possible!)
Newbie
Mar 15, 2007
6 posts
My suggestion is to stay away from grand alarm for 2 reasons. first, their system doesn't work on any internet based phone such as vonage. Second when you try to exit the agreement due to Grand alarm's inablity to work with vonage, they will keep on dragging the issue for months and still bill you every month....they don't seem to have any ombudsman or complaints cell...
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
8828 posts
669 upvotes
According to the alarm technician who alarmed my alarm system, alarm on VOIP is not reliable. Even it is compatible, they do not suggest clients to use it.

It is really up to the clients. We install the alarm system for safety and peace of mind. Not sure if you want to install the alarm on a line which is not reliable.
gun wrote: My suggestion is to stay away from grand alarm for 2 reasons. first, their system doesn't work on any internet based phone such as vonage. Second when you try to exit the agreement due to Grand alarm's inablity to work with vonage, they will keep on dragging the issue for months and still bill you every month....they don't seem to have any ombudsman or complaints cell...
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 13, 2005
5793 posts
219 upvotes
GTA
Grand alarms wired my house through my builder 8 years ago. I bought 2 more key pads from them too (one by the garage entrance & one by my master bedroom). Other than a couple of false alarms that were our fault, no issues at all.

Now that I'm in my 8th year with them, wondering what options I have now???
sk
Deal Addict
May 26, 2011
1804 posts
474 upvotes
Vancouver
I would make the argument that an alarm system connected to a POTS line is not reliable. If your demarc is mounted outdoors, an intruder could simply disconnect the line.

Instead, why not buy a system that connects to the monitoring station via cell, and perhaps also via IP so you can monitor it from your phone?
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2006
4478 posts
474 upvotes
Burlington, Ontario
gun wrote: My suggestion is to stay away from grand alarm for 2 reasons. first, their system doesn't work on any internet based phone such as vonage.
Every reputable alarm installer will say exactly the same thing. Public internet VOIP services do not work well at all for alarm services. We tell our clients the exact same thing. It is not reliable. It may work for 1 call, but not the next. It's garbage and will not be guaranteed by any means.
Audio - Video - Data - Security - This is what I do
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 11, 2005
8238 posts
1205 upvotes
TO
Good timing of this thread as I was calling to get a new system installed, they quoted, 30$ month, $150 installtion fee and 3 year min contract. Plus DSE system is mine to keep after 3 years or atleast that's what the rep told me on the phone. I don't have homephone line and these guys use GSM technology so works for me but I think it's better if I fork over money upfront and go with TMC (although they charge $10 extra for wireless as I don't have homephoneline).

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