Here in Orange County, California the continuing recession which has been made worst by out of control state government spending has wrought havoc on the local economy and has caused some people to search for services based solely on price. Now don’t get me wrong everyone wants a good value, but I don’t think that a person would want to drink a glass of 2 buck Chuck on their 25th anniversary at Morton’s Steakhouse.
I recently had a client who decided that saving a couple of dollars a month was worth breaking a bond of 15 years of trust. I was sorry to see her go but no convincing, special reports, videos, “should-ask questions” or a personal phone call from me could change her mind. Little did I know that her homeowners association was pressuring her to change service to a company named Dumb-tech. (The name has been changed to protect anybody that uses these clowns’ monitoring service).
Anyway, as my client cancelled her monitoring service with us her Dumb-tech installer arrived and asked her for the lock out code on her panel. An alarm lock out code is a special code some alarm companies use to prevent another alarm company from switching you to their service. With a lock out code you have to change alarm panels in order to change monitoring services. (Side note: because we at Electronic Eye Security are independently spirited and furiously independent, we find alarm lock out codes deceptive, misleading and unethical. Simply put we don’t use lock out codes because if someone does not like our service we want them to switch to another alarm company.)
This Dumb-tech installer told our ex-client that in order for him to change monitoring services he would need the lock out code. Our ex-client then called us and yelled and screamed at one of our operators for being so cruel and locking her out of the system. The Dumb-tech installer also told her that he would have to replace the panel and come back the following week. He also told her that he had this problem with us before (like any of our clients would be stupid enough to change alarm monitoring services to a company known in all of Orange County for shoddy service, pathetic half ass installations and unreliable monitoring services). I’m surprised that their installers don’t all drive AMC Pacers, this car would be a great reflection of their design, service and installation capabilities. Enough ranting.
When I returned her call I clarified that the installer was asking for the installer code. This is the same code that is used for ALL of our panels to protect unauthorized entry to the proprietary programming of the alarm panel. It’s the equivalent of your ATM PIN for your bankcard. Now seriously would you just give out your ATM code to anybody? Well at Dumb-tech Security I guess they think you would because with two simple programming changes they could be done with switching over the next victim’s service and on to the next half-ass alarm takeover.
Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote to my ex-client in an email . . .
First and foremost, regardless of being a monitored client or not you will always have the ability to contact me (through email) and ask about any security question you will ever have about protecting your family, home or business. Now I might not get back to you instantaneously but I will ALWAYS get back to you.
Second, I have never lied to you about the alarm panel having a lock out code. This lie was perpetuated by the incompetent and lazy alarm technician that came to your home this morning. Enclosed (Installation Manual) is what any experienced alarm company technician would have brought to reprogram a DSC alarm panel to his central station. On page 26 it even explains to the unskilled alarm technician how to default a working panel.
Third, another lie is that you would have to replace your motherboard because of a “lock out” code. This sounds a lot like the scam that unethical alarm companies use to sell you equipment you don’t need.
The Truth is:
Your new alarm company is lying to you and trying to sell you things you don’t need. If they are going to re-program your alarm panel to their central station (hopefully next time they will send out an alarm installer with some experience in working with alarm panels) make sure they TEST every device on the system. That includes keypad, sirens, wireless transmitters, smoke detectors, door and window contacts.
You should check these guys out through the BBB or check to see if they even have an alarm license to operate in the state of California. You can check here: http://www.la.bbb.org/BusinessFind.aspx http://www.bsis.ca.gov/online_services/verify_license.shtml
The whole reason this impotent Dumb-tech installer wanted our installer code was so that he would not have to bother with re-programming and verifying everything worked on the system. In other words, he did not care if the previous installer had programmed the system right or wrong. All he wanted to do is get in and out as fast as possible. This is a scary scenario and gets played out over and over again across the country with these low balling, corner-cutting, bean counting cheap alarm companies.
My question to you is, is your family, home or yourself worth more than the cheapest monitoring?
I mean if you needed open heart surgery would you look for the cheapest surgeon who specializes in the $1395 internet special?
How about flying? Would you want to fly with a captain with little experience that doesn’t even go through a checklist before taking off?
How about skydiving? Want to go up and jump out of an airplane with an instructor who never checked his or your parachute nor has any procedures for jumping?
How about a doctor who prescribes medication without checking out your symptoms?
I don’t know about you, but in all these situations, I would want the best for my family and myself. And I’m sorry to say that the best is not the cheapest! As in the case with Dumb-tech,
the less you know the better for them but what about for you and your family?
Next time you’re shopping for a security company arm yourself with the facts and then make an intelligent informed decision.
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