Questions & Answers

Q Why would I want a security system?
A There are many reasons to invest in an security system. For each person it's something different, but here are some of the most popular ones:

  1. Your insurance company is insisting on, or offering you a better rate if you get a security system. This discount can be up to 25% off your insurance.
  2. For you, your family's or employee's peace of mind and safety.
  3. You are going to be away and want to ensure someone is watching out for your home/business.
  4. You or someone you know have had their home or business broken into and that has made you aware of these types of security measures.

Q How do I know what kind of security system to get?
A We have a team of consultants that can help you by giving you the information you require so that you may make an informed decision. We also offer free on-site consultations where a security consultant can, not only explain what the different devices do, but can also show you what they look like as well where they might go.

Q Will I need a wired or wireless system?
A Normally you have a choice between either wired, wireless or a combination of both, but there are some homes and businesses where the walls, ceilings and basement are completely finished without drop ceiling before being pre wired for security. In these cases, when running security wire behind the walls or above the ceiling is extremely difficult or impossible, we strongly recommend wireless. Our systems are compatible with both wired and wireless devices, so that you may decide (for example) to have wired devices in your home and wireless devices in your detached garage. A consultant can go over these choices with you, but if you have a strong preference for one over the other, please let the consultant know first.

Q If I choose a wireless security system, do I have to change the batteries every couple of months?
A No! Normally you would change your batteries every 9-11 years. Wireless devices have come a long way in the last 10-15 years. Our Honeywell devices all have great long lasting batteries. There are some considerations to note though: batteries don't like extreme cold weather, so if you wish to put a motion detector in an unheated area, you may be changing the batteries a bit more frequently. In a high traffic area such as a restaurant seating area that is constantly busy, your door contact or motion detector batteries may wear much faster than your batteries in devices that are located in lower traffic areas. You can purchase the batteries at most battery stores or from us. Beware of companies where you can only get the batteries from them, you may regret this later as pricing for the batteries can be outrageously high where competition is not an option.

Q If I get an "Authority Alarms" security system, do I own it? Are there any advantages over owing my system to renting it?
A Yes to both questions. We do ask that our clients purchase their security systems, so yes, you do own it. Here is why it is better to own your system:

Our fee to install a basic system is very low which you could pay for outright and owe nothing but monitoring, or lease the equipment to own it by paying a few extra dollars a month on top of your monitoring. We pride ourselves on one of the lowest monitoring rates around! Free is just another way of saying - you don't have to pay up front, but the charges are hiding in your contract somewhere. And because you took the free option, you may be paying double or triple what you normally would have paid in the beginning. Normally, we see these costs reflected in the monitoring rate or service rates or additional equipment. Looking at some of these high monitoring rates, no wonder companies can afford to give you a free system. You are in fact paying for your system over and over again throughout your contract term. I wouldn't look for a drop in your monitoring rate either, because after all, this is your set monitoring rate. Our rate for monitoring and a lease on equipment to own, is generally around the same cost as many of the leading "rent-your-equipment" companies or lower, but there is one difference!!!! After your contract term your cost will go down to just the monitoring rate because you have now paid for your system. With other companies, it won't. Not only that, but with Authority Alarms, you are getting a Honeywell system which is another name you can trust.

The companies that say, you don't own your system put a very nice spin on why it is best not to own your system, but, ask for references to check on service times when equipment breaks down or look at a contract to make sure you are not going to be charged with extras, when this system that is not yours breaks down, or go around your neighbourhood and ask people that have their sticker. When you don't own your system, you pay for the privilege of having it over and over and over. And if you ever wish to change to another company, you are starting all over again, back at square one, because after all, you don't own your system!

Q What should I look out for when getting quotes from security companies?
A Where do I start?

  1. The pushy sales person! So many sales people are on commission only and can and will get extremely pushy near the end of the month when the commission period is closing. At Authority Alarms our consultants are here for you Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm, paid hourly without any agendas. After hours and weekends, we have on call consultants that you can contact via email. We appreciate our staff because they work hard, have great work ethic, are highly trained and are very good, compassionate and understanding with people so we treat them well too - at all times!
  2. The fear factor! All too often I hear about sales people generating sales due to scare tactics. If you don't buy this, this could happen. This is not that far from the reverse scare tactic. You've heard it, "because we went with this company, when our home caught fire, this company saved our dog Molly!" This is still a scare tactic, it just has a happier story to soften the fear around the edges. We, at Authority Alarms, assume you know what the dangers are in your areas, and that is why you are looking for security in the first place. A TV add costs thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. Ever wonder who's really paying for these ads? Something I generally ask myself, is: who are you to a multi-million/billion dollar company? Do they really care about you, your family or your business? I don't know how many times we have sent a technician out on a weekend or after hours out of town because of the worry in a clients voice or their personal circumstances were a bit different from the normal....yes, you know who you are... and yes, I would do it over and over again, because, why? We care! It is not the right business to be in, if you don't! Yet safety is a huge cash cow to many corporate companies out there who are just in it for the profits. We and our children live, work and contribute in your communities too!
  3. The giver! These sales people are hilarious. That is free and this is free, oh I can't convince you yet, well then I'll throw this and that in too! I have a few things to say to these people - how much is your equipment worth if you are giving it all away? How long will it last before I have to pay for its' replacement? How much am I actually going to paying for all this free stuff in the long run? Because, believe me I've seen enough contracts to know, it's there.
  4. The "I'm special" system! There are many brands of security systems floating around in Alberta. On average, one lasts 5-8 years, another lasts 9-13 years, others require in-person technicians on site to make simple changes (codes, delays...), some have extremely high cost measures to replace keypads or parts or to add parts. Here is the real deal: since we use Honeywell and Honeywell always makes their older equipment compatible with their new "high-tech" equipment, you can add a new color graphic touch screen keypad to a 20 year old panel, you can add wireless devices to an older wired model of panel, and you can always find replacement parts whether it is 1, 10 or 30 years later! Ask our competitors these questions and watch them spin their wheels before your very eyes. You'll know who is telling you the truth now that you are better informed.

 

We have watched, listened and learned from many other companies on what NOT to do. We have seen clients turned off a company because the sales person used these above techniques. We have trained our consultants - notice we didn't call them sales people? This is because this is not what they are trained for. Our security consultants go through weeks of security training, weeks more of social training and then kept up to date on product and training regularly. Our consultants are here to help clients and potential clients make informed choices and decisions! We are very happy to have your business and appreciate it greatly, but we won't lie, haggle, deceive, push or cajole you into choosing "Authority Alarms Inc" - we hope you will choose "Authority Alarms" because we are honest, reasonable, caring, thorough, local and do excellent work from our reception to our technicians workmanship! After all, we and our children live in your community too and we understand what clients want, because we are clients ourselves. We invite you to use these simple tips to find the right company for you, even, if that might not be us. We believe that the right information is a very key issue when choosing a company to install, service and monitor your security system.

Sincerely,
Albert & Wendi Matthes
President & Vice President

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