This is a guest post from my friend YFS, owner and author of Your Finances Simplified. He was born and raised in West Philadelphia and is now a financial adviser, IT contractor, landlord, and treasurer of a non-profit. He created his blog partly due to his desire to help people with their finances.
ADT got me! They got me good.
You see, it was January of 2009, and I had just purchased my home. Everyone knows that when you buy a home with a mortgage, you will need to have home insurance. Home insurance can be quite expensive, depending on several factors, but there are things that you can do to lower your annual home owners insurance (I discuss this in my article, 8 hidden cost of home ownership.)
You can usually get a discount of at least 5% for a smoke detector, burglar alarm or deadbolt locks. Some companies offer to cut your premium by as much as 15 or 20% if you install a sophisticated fire and burglar alarm that rings at the police, fire or other monitoring stations.
The Quest for a Security System
Knowing that I definitely wanted a discount, I was already looking for a security system for my new home. I normally wouldn’t admit this, but I was being lazy and didn’t do my research. As a result, you won’t be surprised by what happens next.
What happened was a door-to-door salesman came over one day and showed me his shiny ADT security system. The ADT product was much cheaper than the security systems the other door-to-door salesmen were peddling.
“Oh, this person is much cheaper. It must be a good deal,” I thought at the time.
So, I signed us up for 3 years of service at $47.99 per month.
That meant that ADT cost me $575.88 per year! Yes, I got a small discount on my home owners insurance but not enough to justify paying ADT all this money for a sub par security system.
Three years later…
I sent in my cancellation notice. I switched to a DIY system which provides me with triple the coverage and utility of the ADT system for a fraction of the cost.
The new security system cost me 389 dollars to buy and 50 dollars a year to maintain. It’s so much better than ADT it’s not even funny. The payback period for the system is less than 1 year! When I called ADT to cancel, even the representative said, “Wow, that’s a much better setup.”
Details of the New Security System
My old Alarm system included:
1x ADT keypad
1x Motion detector
2x Key fobs
2x door/window sensors
My new alarm system includes:
1 x AAS-V series keypad w.auto-dialler.
1 x AAS wireless GSM module.
1x AAS wireless outdoor siren
1x AAS wireless indoor siren w.strobe
1x AAS wireless smoking detector
1x AAS wireless glass break detector
3 x AAS wireless motion detectos.
10 x AAS wireless door window sensors.
4 x AAS wireless remote controllers.
Big difference, huh?
You can find my alarm system on the website aasalarm.com
What I Learned
What I learned from the ADT experience is that I will never ever, ever sign a multi-year contract for services without a ton of analysis and research. I can’t be too upset at myself about my ADT mishap since I was 25 at the time. You live and you learn.
In summary, I gave ADT $1727.64 of my hard earned income for craptastic service. Now, I pay $50 a year for a better solution.
What are some services you saved money on recently?