Oh dear, this looks like work.
Update – I posted a full review after 7 months of use – http://windowsnerd.com/simplisafe-vs-adt-review-page-1/
Maybe I should have an alternate title, “ADT sucks donkeys.” I dropped about $800 on Simplisafe to see if their security system works as well as the reviews seem to indicate. The problem with Simplisafe is that their SEO is SO good, you don’t know if you are finding real info or one of their marketing tribe schlepping the same crap. If you google Simplisafe, all of the search results are the product of Simplisafe paving the internet with yellow bricks to their house. I will build my own independent review free of any Simplisafe shackles. Their hardware is here, I think the worst they can do to me is turn off my cell and refuse to give me service. If I can make it to the 8th google page of results for a simplisafe search I will consider my effort worthwhile. It may be a warning sign that Simplisafe started working search results so hard, or could be a symptom of winning a battle with an established ADT presence. I don’t know.
Overall the concept is neat. The founder of Simplisafe decides ADT sucks and starts a new company. I agree, we use ADT at work and fight with them every time we need something done. I had to drive to the ADT office to demand service in person twice, despite paying gobs of money as a company vs private individual. The contracts are horrible and ADT doesn’t appreciate you redlining the contract and sending it back like you would for any normal business transaction.
ADT likes to ask you to indemnify them from key tasks like failing to provide security monitoring services. If you haven’t dealt with indemnification clauses, ADT wants you the customer to provide legal consul on their behalf in case you need to sue them for failing to do their job. So if you sue ADT, you already signed a contract saying you will pay for ADTs legal defense against you. Twisted eh? Read your cell phone bill, an iTunes EULA and you will be welcomed into a whole new world of dishonorable conduct.
ADT sales people LIE. I’ll say it again. ADT sales people LIE. We tried to get them to put a lot on paper. They either refused or delayed. Over and over. Many of the promises made never materialized. We asked for a document saying they would cover 3 false alarms per year. They did not. We asked for a document saying they would do a free install if we changed locations. They did not. I don’t remember the other questions we had for them but I’m sure I have plenty stored away in email.
If I understand correctly, these are franchise type deals, so any ADT contractor could be a bad apple out of their control. A few google searches will show you one of two things. Buyer beware doesn’t mean anything to consumers anymore in litigious society or ADT really just has problems as shown by a B+ BBB rating and many losses in court. I have a feeling there are a mix of the two because consumers do suck at reading the contracts they agree to. My main issue with ADT is cost.
On ADT’s side, once you get the service set up, all the bugs worked out, all the extra over the top money paid, it works ok. We don’t have false alarms often anymore. The interface to program users sucks, is outdated and shows the company would be dead if a computer company. But it works. We get calls when the power goes out at the office and when someone can’t remember their code and walks in. After we had the service for a few years and worked out the kinks I would say ADT is good but too expensive for a low tech low cost service. I would not ever want to go through the initial woes with ADT again. They are almost as bad as ip5280 for phones.
If simplisafe can get me out from under the thumb of ADT in my new home, and puts the installation/placement decisions on my shoulders I think that is cool. I know I can set the hardware out in a reasonable pattern with logical choke points, flood risks etc. As long as they can provide the monitoring without fail, I can keep the false positives to an absolute minimum. Their hardware needs to work near the level of ADT hardware.
My Simplisafe box arrived today. There are 25 components and I have very little time to install. Maybe this weekend I can begin. For now I’ll just look at it and wonder how much trouble I signed up for. I started to read the Simplisafe terms and conditions, I’ll hit that a few times and let you know if there are any red flags. Right now the return policy looks great so we can go back to ADT if we need to.