There's been a lot of chatter lately around equipment warranties on home security products, particularly lifetime equipment warranties. Some of the top-rated security companies are touting a warranty as a key advantage to their offerings. But is it really? Our research indicates that this can be an advantage, but make sure you read the fine print before making the lifetime equipment warranties a major factor in your alarm system purchasing decision.
Home Security Equipment Warranties: How Important Are They?
One of our readers, for example, asked:
"Frontpoint and Protect America both feature the same GE monitoring equipment....Protect America keeps insisting the GE equipment is the same as Frontpoint but will not confirm that they monitor it in the same fashion. This is a big deal to me, especially when Frontpoint is actually cheaper. We are looking to make a final decision between the two and are leaning towards Protect America because of their lifetime equipment warranty vs only 2 years at Front Point. Over the years we are thinking it may be more cost effective to have a lifetime warranty than to continually replace equipment."
Excellent question. We got in touch with both Frontpoint and Protect America to see what their response would be. As far as the equipment warranties go according to Frontpoint's contract, they offer a two-year warranty. When asked, they mentioned the number of times they've done "the right thing" to protect their customer relationship, so that may mean that in certain circumstances (especially if it means keeping you as a customer), they'll replace the equipment beyond the two years. Of course now you ask, is that's the case, why not just put it in writing? If you're concerned about this, we suggest giving them a call at (855) 902-0688.
Protect America responded saying that their equipment warranty is indeed a lifetime warranty, and they will replace the same part no matter how many times it breaks. Their contract does say that the customer needs to call in regularly to test the system, or the warranty will be voided. To clear the air on this issue, Protect America responded:
"Our lifetime warranty claims:
'This warranty period will remain in effect for at least 90 days, or as long as Customer complies with the terms of the Agreement and the Equipment is monitored by PAI, whichever is longer.'
Therefore, as long as the customer is actively being monitored by Protect America, the warranty will NEVER expire.
We do 'require' the customer to test their system once a month in order for the warranty to remain in effect (not enforced). It demonstrates to our customers just how much we care about the safety of their home and family and allows us to build lasting relationships. In truth, we can test their system without the customer calling into Protect America, but we found that keeping our customers fully engaged with our company and with their system through this 'requirement' allows us to retain our customers. Furthermore, if the customer fails to call in and test their system and a part breaks, we will NOT deny them their lifetime warranty as long as they are current on their monitoring. In fact, we have never denied a monitored customer their warranty.
When we do replace a defective part we mail the replacement out to the customer along with a return envelope (with postage) to ship us back the defective piece. If the same part breaks again, we will replace it again."
Have you had an experience with a home security equipment warranty or replacement, good or bad? If you have, or have thoughts about the warranty process, please comment below with your experience to share with our readers.