KPRC 2 Investigates: Why some home alarm systems are not actually being monitored

KPRC 2 Investigates: Why some home alarm systems are not actually being monitored

If your home security system is cell-based your alarm may not be monitored anymore.

One Northeast Harris county woman found out the hard way that she’d been paying for service she wasn’t getting. She called KPRC 2 Investigates when the alarm company told her it would cost more than $4,000 to get her system working again.

If your home security system is cell-based your alarm may not be monitored anymore. One northeast Harris county woman found out the hard way that she'd been paying for service she wasn't getting. She called KPRC2 Investigates when the alarm company told her it would cost more than $4,000 to get her system working again. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Is your home alarm system working?

This could easily happen to anyone who pays for alarm service. Pam Reynolds has been with ADT for more than 20 years and she has purchased a ton of equipment during that time. But now she says ADT tells her none of it is compatible with its systems. Reynolds is safety minded and locks her doors and sets her security alarm every night.

“When I go to bed, I want to know, ‘Ok, you can go to bed. You’re protected.’”

But one morning in June when she stepped outside to feed her furry friends she forgot to disable the alarm.

“And anytime the alarm goes off, ADT would always boom call, ‘Is everything okay?’”

But not this time no one called. And when she called ADT to find out why she was shocked to hear the response.

“You’re not being monitored. Go to your keypad and punch this code in. Which I did and it said, ‘No cellular service. Not monitored.’”

Why are some home alarm systems not being monitored?

Not monitored even though Reynolds was paid up. She pays some $260 every month.

If your home security system is cell-based your alarm may not be monitored anymore. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“Mad. Very angry to be paying for a service you’re not even getting. And to not be notified that you’re not being monitored, that should have been a priority for me,” she said.

But it was about to get much worse.

Homeowner told she would need an expensive new system

One northeast Harris county woman called KPRC2 Investigates when the alarm company told her it would cost more than $4,000 to get her system working again. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Reynolds said ADT told her that when the 3G network shut down her system could no longer communicate with ADT. She ordered what’s called a cell bridge offered to her from ADT back in February but she was still waiting on the equipment. Now ADT says those bridges are no longer available in her area. But the company is happy to update its system.

“To get me monitored again, I have to get all new equipment, all new cameras,” she explains.

New cameras, new sensors, and new keypads. ADT sent a quote for all of it.

“Over $4000 all at once. No payment plan - all at once,” she said.

The cost is $4,023 to replace the equipment she already purchased from ADT, equipment that came with a warranty.

“It said that they service, repair or replace. That’s their warranty,” Reynolds explains. “And they said that they don’t have to do that because this is a national event so their warranty doesn’t apply.

The national event ADT is referring to is the sunsetting of the 3G network. The networks are owned and controlled by cell providers and therefore out of ADT’S control.

If your home security system is cell-based your alarm may not be monitored anymore. One northeast Harris county woman found out the hard way that she'd been paying for service she wasn't getting. She called KPRC2 Investigates when the alarm company told her it would cost more than $4,000 to get her system working again. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“I would like someone to at least appreciate that I’ve been a loyal customer and give me some sort of a discount or work with me. I’m not asking for anything that I don’t already have and have already paid for,” she said.

When we reached out to ADT someone from the corporate office did call Reynolds. They have now offered to upgrade the equipment for about $1600 and they’re letting her break that up into monthly payments.

**If you have a home alarm system that is supposed to be monitored you should test it at least every 6 months by setting it off to see if the alarm company calls.


About the Author:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.