ADT makes it nearly impossible to price their packages without an in-home visit, but through a series of calls, chat sessions, and a visit to their booth at CES, we were able to gather generalized base pricing and information.
ADT has made great strides to stay current and they continue to be willing and open to working with others. Yet, their door-to-door sales model remains antiquated and they use up-sell tactics and fine print in ways that I’m not okay with.
What does ADT include with their monitoring fees?
It is difficult to tell the true price, but in general, we gathered that we could purchase equipment, activation, and installation for around $324 if we were willing to sign a new 3 year contract. The monthly price of the service was $36.99. For $36.99 per month under a 36 month contract, we were quoted fire monitoring, smoke monitoring, and 24/7 burglary monitoring from UL listed facilities (they use 6 different monitoring centers). ADT’s central station’s average response time ranges greatly, but most experts say that it is over 45 seconds.
Let’s play a game. Sit down quietly and pretend someone is breaking into your house. Count slowly to 45 seconds. It’s actually a long time in context.
Our sales rep assured us that we should sign right away as all packages include a 6 month money back guarantee. After questioning the policy, we found the guarantee to be flaky at best. Basically, they will only refund your money if you have a service or technology issue that they cannot fix. It’s not a real “no questions asked” return. If it is presented to you as a real no questions asked return policy, we suggest pushing back or getting this in writing.
All of ADT’s packages are customizable to an extent. This is part of ADT’s business model and it is why they require an in-home evaluation. In part, the in-home evaluation is to make sure you are fully protected, but the high pressure sales tactics make it difficult to make a good buying decision. We’ve seen unhappy homeowners begging for a solution to get out of their contract after committing to a few thousand dollars in equipment during an in-home evaluation. This is a stark contrast compared to our top recommended home security company, FrontPoint Security.
Where ADT puts an emphasis on sales, FrontPoint focuses on customers. To put it into perspective, we’ve decided to chart the difference. We took a package from ADT and a similar package from Frontpoint to create the best possible apples to apples comparison. Keep in mind, this is not what’s possible, but rather a comparison. For example, ADT does offer light automation, but they do not offer it in the package that best compares to Frontpoint Interactive.
ADT Pulse Remote Arm vs Frontpoint Interactive
24/7 UL Listed Monitoring
*ADT offers a 60-day money back guarantee, but it is not a return policy. The 60-day money back guarantee basically states that ADT will refund your purchase amount should you have an equipment or technology issue that they cannot resolve. On the other hand, FrontPoint offers a no questions asked 30 day money back guarantee.
Does ADT Offer Home Automation?
ADT is a leader in the field of home automation. has branded their home automation offer “ADT Pulse”. Through Pulse, you can setup rules based upon events. For example, “turn on my lamp when I open the garage door”. You can also setup recurring events like “open the door at 3pm on Fridays for my house cleaner”.
ADT Pulse runs on Z-Wave technology, but they have limited approved devices for customers. The list includes specific models including a Kwikset Deadbolt Lock, Jasco light automation, two Jasco Lamp/Appliance Modules, and two RCS Digital Thermostats. Instead of adding more devices to the list, ADT has focused on working with others to provide a new approach to home automation. They’ve announced that they now work with Nest and they are opening up their platform so that they can work with others like Ford Sync, Intel Security, iControl Networks, Life360, and IFTTT.
ADT offers four packages starting at $47.99 per month. The packages vary, but in general they let you automate locks, lights, video, small appliances, and/or temperature. The packages are called Remote Arm, Control, and Live Video.
What is IFTTT?
IFTTT is a free app that connects smart devices that wouldn’t normally work together through what they call “recipes”. ADT went to another level of thought leadership when they announced that ADT Pulse and IFTTT will work together. ADT Pulse is beta testing the ability to connect ADT Pulse homes to more than 100 existing channel partners. ADT has presented several working proof of concepts or recipes already. They say that the system can turn on outdoor lights when the sun sets, or it can signal your alarm to turn off when your wearable device changes to awake mode. Though ADT is limiting the pilot to a few working rules, this could mean big things when they open up ADT Pulse Channels to the public. In the future, your ADT system could play with other non-ADT devices. For example, IFTTT works with devices like SmartThings, Fitbit, Jawbone, and the Philips Hue bulb.
ADT Pulse Packages and Pricing
The Remote Arm Package is the entry level package and we assume this is the $47.99 per month package. It includes 24/7 monitor, fire monitoring, and smoke monitoring. It also includes remote web and mobile access, remote arm and disarm, email alerts, text alerts, and a service plan. It comes with a standard non-touchscreen control panel, 2 door sensors, 1 motion detector, and the option to monitor with a cell phone.
The Control package includes 24/7 monitoring, fire and smoke monitoring, remote web and mobile access, remote arm and disarm, email alerts, text alerts, and a service plan. You have the option to add flood monitoring, carbon monoxide monitoring, lock automation, light automation, temperature automation, and/or small appliance control. Essentially it is a pick and choose package. It comes with a standard security panel, 2 door sensors, and 1 motion detector.