All in all, it's hard to go wrong with the trusted blue and white. Competitors still lack the brand name and good reputation that ADT has built over the past century. Being able to move anywhere in the USA and not pay a cancellation fee is a big plus. Great equipment, and a company that still installs the security system, they are our top recommendation for the average of a homeowner.
ADT’s use of local vendors creates some inconsistencies with customer experience. Not every area will have the same equipment or pricing options, and local vendors vary greatly with transparency of pricing and other information. However, even with these inconsistencies, millions of people still choose ADT to protect their homes because it has a long track record of keeping people safe.
As you can see, the control panel isn't as pretty as Vivint's, but Vivint expects you to do more with its panel than ADT does. The Safewatch has a monochrome touch screen and a somewhat arcane menu structure. You can select zones to be disarmed while leaving other zones armed (though I didn't enable this in my house). Key system functions are performed with a four-digit security code in addition to a menu command so the system isn't vulnerable to just anyone standing in front of it. The panel has a lot of other functionality, including the ability to adjust your lighting and appliances from its menu and even check weather, traffic, or news. But in the end you'll likely use it mainly for getting in and out of your house. The menu system is rich, but the ADT master web portal and the Pulse mobile app are far easier tools to use for working with your system. You won't even need to punch in your alarm code if you opt for one of the Safewatch's bundled fobs.
ADT Pulse Home Control with Video – Installation starts at $499. Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert devices. Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert services are an additional charge. Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT’s Extended Limited Warranty. 36-month monitoring contract required from $59.99 per month, ($2,159.64), including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Additional charges may apply in areas that require guard response service for municipal alarm verification. Prices subject to change. Prices may vary by market. Some insurance companies offer discounts on Homeowner’s Insurance. Please consult your insurance company. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided.
5/2017 aunt moves to retirement home. Canceled monitoring service. Still in auto bill system, I sent back stating it was canceled. 1/2018 she passes. Received continuation of bill. Sent back previous cancellation note along with death certificate. In April 2018 someone at ADT actually recognizes that she is dead. I receive invoice for 83.00, no big deal I just pay it. THEN I get invoice for 250.00 with no explanation for what it is for, I ignore. Another one, I write back, another one in Oct. 2018 and I call. They say that they sent me a box for the equipment and I have to return it. I never got a box and their records indicate that an empty box was returned to sender. The box would have been the only indication to me that I needed to return any equipment. So 18 months later I have to see if someone kept the equipment from a 95 year old who lived in a nursing home? This is not the first issue with ADT. Please don't use them, it's a headache.
Average contracts: Customers sometimes complain that the 36-month contracts for ADT monitoring are too long. We should point out that a 36-month contract is fairly standard in the home security industry. However, customers who care about shorter contracts with more flexibility could look into other companies. For example, Vivint customers who pay for all their security equipment up front don’t need monthly contracts, and Link Interactive offers shorter contract options (starting at 12 months).
Within each of ADT’s three package options, you’ve got various ways to upgrade or modify to better match your specific needs. Also, while ADT is known for offering high-quality equipment, if you are planning to lease it or you have your own equipment and you want to just obtain the monitoring service, the plan starts at a very competitive $19.99 a month.