What is "the big lie"? You see it
all the time in newspaper and TV ads that state"
protect your home and property for only $24.95 monthly, 5 year contract, with a free alarm
system complete with two door contacts and one motion detector".
This simply cannot be done for 99.9% of homes !!! This is strictly a
"lowball" marketing tactic by the mass marketers of alarm systems to get their
salesman's foot in your door, and frankly in this writer's opinion, borders on unethical business practices (or at the very least misleading advertising). This is a
standard tactic by those whose primary interest is not always the completeness of the
system they install, but rather the drive to sign you up to a binding contract for monthly
monitoring revenues to ensure themselves a continuous profitable revenue stream. Once
their commissioned salesman has done his "security audit" you generally
end up buying additional very expensively priced equipment to
provide sufficient security to properly do the job (most houses on average use 3 doors and
2 to 3 motion detectors to provide a reasonable level of protection). However, had you
done your shopping in advance before calling one of these mass marketers, you could easily
have obtained better and more modern equipment, for less or equal money, and not been subject to
long term contracts, expensive after sales service, and often very limited warranty on the
A monthly term monitoring contract without a long term commitment, coupled
with ownership of the equipment, puts you the consumer in the drivers seat against
impersonal, overpriced and sometimes shoddy service from your alarm company.
Good companies don't need a long term contract to keep your
business ! It is a fact that in this
industry today, there is virtually no money in selling and installing the actual alarm
system itself (thanks in large part to these same mass marketers). Only monitoring
brings in recurring revenues for all dealers large and small.
This said, one cannot argue with the fact that this marketing tactic
works, and works well. I can only conclude that this is a clear and indisputable example
of the triumph of slick marketing prevailing over common sense and intelligent shopping
Trust is a primary factor in choosing a
security system provider. If this deception is part of their initial approach
to winning your business, one can only wonder what other deceptions big or small await the
buyer in dealing with these types of firms !!
Don't fall for it! Do your comparison
before you call that mass marketer. Calculate your total overall costs over five years for
system and compare on that basis, remembering as well that you will be dealing
with this company or person for the long term.
Recently, a newcomer to the market, heavily promoted in
the marketplace through TV ads, and peddling a poor quality "two way
voice" system, has become quite successful in spite of being little
better than a scam. They use unsupervised, very low quality wireless
equipment with no proper line exclusion, and are without doubt the very
worst option a client could ever choose. The fact that most of their clients
are totally sold on their system is in itself a reflection of the triumph of
sales technique over true security.
Unfortunately, in the security business it very much remains,
"let the buyer beware "