In response to "Jim" I also work on and with Xfinity home security systems, and have very few to no …
We call them the “New Entrants” – the cable and telco providers (Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, AT&T) who have jumped with both feet into the residential security industry with bundled offers that include home alarm services. We can see they are not having an easy time of it, and understand that they are all well behind on reaching their forecasted sales goals.
Dedicated alarm industry professionals are hardly surprised: many of us actually predicted that mastering the complexities of home security – or even the simpler aspects, for that matter – would be a challenge for the new entrants.
While protecting homes and families may not seem like rocket science, homeowners do expect reliable service and technology that works, along with company representatives that understand what they are selling and servicing.
Defining Peace of Mind
For those of us who spend all day, every day providing peace of mind, the issues are pretty straightforward: make the system work, and if it stops working, then fix it right away. But that level of service involves a number of elements that it’s tempting to take for granted – and that established alarm companies do very well. A few of these are:
- Provide reliable equipment that really works.
- Employ technicians that can install and service the equipment, with the right training, and the right inventory. Of course companies like FrontPoint with easy setup systems do not face this challenge. We can remotely diagnose an issue and send a replacement part, overnight if needed.
- Employ phone representatives that understand the urgency of a home security problem for the homeowner, and who are well trained on the equipment.
- Institute a service response window that is not only short, but also convenient for the customer. This is not just cable – it’s what lets people sleep well at night.
The Right Stuff?
There are more factors, but a quick read of this list reinforces the question of whether some of the new entrants into home security really have what it takes to compete.
A Different Standard
What these companies don’t seem to grasp is that peace of mind really is a different proposition: just because you have an Internet “pipe” into a consumer’s home, that doesn’t mean they will rush to sign up for your latest offering. And the stakes are much higher: protecting people’s homes and families.
Does it Actually Work?
The issue is not just poor service: after all, the biggest name in the alarm business is known for providing less than stellar service to its customers, and you can see it in their cancellation rates.
But with the cable and telco providers the challenges run deeper, all the way to technology that simply does not work or is not well supported. Here’s are several great examples – comments posted over the past several months on Comcast’s own user forum