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LiveWatch Reviews: Are They As Good As They Seem?

ASL Take Note

Livewatch is now Brinks

In early 2018, Brinks acquired both LiveWatch and Moni. Current LiveWatch and Moni customers can expect the same equipment and services. However, monitoring plans, pricing, and equipment charges may have changed from when this article was originally written.

If you’re looking for a consistent home security company, LiveWatch is a good and safe option. However, if you’re looking for an evolving, modern home alarm system, you may want to consider other options. LiveWatch covers the basics but hasn’t done much in the way of innovation lately. We’ve covered what LiveWatch does well and where it falls short so you can decide whether LiveWatch is the security company for you.

Overall rating

3.5/ 5

LiveWatch is our eighth pick for best home security system. LiveWatch performs well, and users tend to have few issues with installing and operating the system. However, the company could improve its customer service and we wish it were more up front about its warranty. The equipment could also use some updating since it’s not the most attractive.

Customer service

Price

Features & equipment

LiveWatch is our eighth pick for best home security system. LiveWatch performs well, and users tend to have few issues with installing and operating the system. However, the company could improve its customer service and we wish it were more up front about its warranty. The equipment could also use some updating since it’s not the most attractive.

Pros

  • 365-day guarantee
  • 12-month contract (no penalty for cancelling early)
  • Discounts for homeowners with qualifying credit
  • Z-Wave compatibility
  • Supports z-wave technology including lights, locks and small appliances
  • 100% cellular systems
  • Flexible cancellation policy and full refund on your equipment if it’s returned in the first year

Cons

  • Ability to add only up to four cameras
  • Cameras available only with highest-tier monitoring plan ($49.95/month)
  • Default warranty of only two years, compared to competitors that offer a three-year or even lifetime warranty
  • Lifetime warranty available only upon request

How LiveWatch compares to the competition

Below are some features that stand out for LiveWatch.

  • LiveWatch offers home automation but offers fewer devices than some of its competitors, and it charges a higher price. You’re better off purchasing the devices from a hardware store, Amazon, or other retailers.
  • LiveWatch has an alert system called ASAPer (As Soon As Possible emergency response), which immediately contacts everyone you put on your emergency list via email, text, or phone call as soon as a device is triggered. You can resolve the alarm from your internet-enabled device, and if you’re unavailable, LiveWatch will dispatch the police to your home.
  • All LiveWatch plans, except for the Basic plan, come with Crash & Smash Protection. This means that if a burglar destroys your control panel, your system will remain active, and it will send an alert to the monitoring station. Your security system will then be placed on a “watch” status. If the system is not disarmed, the monitoring station will send authorities to your home. Our top two home security companies, Frontpoint and Link Interactive, both have this feature as well.
  • The IQ 2.0 touchscreen panel has a built-in camera and weather information.
  • LiveWatch automatically offers a two-year warranty, but if you ask, you can get a lifetime warranty. We think it’s a little dishonest of LiveWatch not to offer this option up front, and we really wish it would give all customers the lifetime warranty by default.
  • LiveWatch has three redundant monitoring stations, so if one monitoring station goes down, the others will act as backups.

The relationship between Moni and LiveWatch

moni logoIn 2015, LiveWatch was bought by Moni. Many Moni customers have complained about their service, which worries us and makes us wonder if these complaints will eventually carry over to LiveWatch. When we spoke to a LiveWatch rep on the phone, they promised there would never be contracts and the prices would never change. We hope that remains the case, but for now, we’re keeping an eye on LiveWatch and are curious to see how it will change in the coming years.

Monitoring packages

Below are the four monitoring options for a LiveWatch security system. If you plan on adding Z-Wave devices to your system, you’ll want to purchase Total Home or Total Home + Video. If you’re just looking for a basic home security system, Basic Monitoring and Mobile Pro are both good options.

Equipment package namePlug&Protect BasicPlug&Protect IQ
Price$99$99
Activation fee$19.95$19.95
GE keypad alarm panel
Yes

No
IQ 2.0 touchscreen panel
No

Yes
Equipment package name
Price
Activation fee
GE keypad alarm panel
IQ 2.0 touchscreen panel
Plug&Protect Basic Plug&Protect IQ
$99 $99
$19.95 $19.95

Yes

No

No

Yes

Equipment packages

LiveWatch offers two equipment packages. Both are the same price, but each comes with a different control panel. The Plug&Protect IQ is more technologically advanced with a built-in camera and various apps. You must purchase one of these packages to start your LiveWatch system, and then you can add other devices to it.

Equipment package namePlug&Protect BasicPlug&Protect IQ
Price$99$99
Activation fee$19.95$19.95
GE keypad alarm panel
IQ 2.0 touchscreen panel
Equipment package name
Price
Activation fee
GE keypad alarm panel
IQ 2.0 touchscreen panel
Plug&Protect Basic Plug&Protect IQ
$99 $99
$19.95 $19.95

Add-on equipment

You’ll find the pricing for additional door/window sensors, keychain remotes, or other equipment below. If you want to add a doorbell camera, smart lock, or other home automation equipment, we recommend checking out Amazon for Z-Wave equipment.

Equipment
Price
Door sensor
$29
Motion sensor
$78
Keychain remote
$29
Indoor IP camera
$249

Our experience with LiveWatch

We contacted LiveWatch with some questions via live chat. We posed as a potential buyer and LiveWatch was never pushy with sales. The rep answered our questions, and when we asked about home automation equipment, they recommended that we purchase it from another retailer because it is often less expensive from places like Amazon. We appreciated the rep’s honesty and the general helpfulness we’ve always experienced with LiveWatch’s customer service.

In the past when we’ve spoken to LiveWatch reps, they never mentioned a lifetime warranty. It wasn’t until more recently that a rep confirmed that LiveWatch offers a lifetime warranty, but customers have to ask for it. This was a bit troublesome because LiveWatch doesn’t advertise its lifetime warranty, so how is a customer supposed to ask for something that they don’t know exists? This reflects negatively on LiveWatch and indicates that it’s not giving its customers the best service possible. Customer service is an important element for a home security provider, and this is a disservice to its customers. In our rankings, we have deducted points from LiveWatch due to this policy.

How do users like LiveWatch?

We always recommend speaking with previous or current customers of a security company to hear about their experiences. We’ve chosen a couple positive and negative reviews of LiveWatch to give you an idea of what you can expect from this company. Some common things customers like about LiveWatch is that the system is easy to order and set up. However, some customers have had issues with billing and there have even been complaints of LiveWatch running a hard credit inquiry on customers’ credit scores.

Positive reviews

Ordering, delivery, and setup were all excellent and system integrated with my current Zwave devices easily. Highly recommended! – Ben, TrustPilot (Verified Order) 3/2/2017

The information and buying experience was a pleasure using the online chat option. I was given all of the information I requested and all questions answered and most importantly the person I dealt with did not try to sell me more than what I needed and he gave me plenty of time to discuss the products with my husband while he waited on standby on chat. I can’t tell you how valuable it is to someone like me who is retired and on a fixed income to not be pressured in any way. All products arrived as schedule and installation was so easy. The few days given as a test period for the system was a plus as well. It gives you time to decided what works best for each of your situations and to make any adjustments to placement. I researched many security systems and I say without a double I HIGHLY recommend LiveWatch for its simplicity, low cost and excellent customer service. – K.M., Better Than Reviews, 2/17/2017

Negative reviews

Company runs credit check without informing customer. When I contacted the company via phone to get a quote for a security system, I was never asked if they could run my credit. I never got so far as to try and order a system, I just asked about pricing. I told them I would call back later if I decided to order. A week or so later, I got a notice from ************ that I had a hard credit inquiry from Live Watch. I emailed the company asking about this credit inquiry and they told me that they “ran a credit check using name and phone number so they could try and offer the most lucrative deals”. I now have a inquiry on my credit report that I can’t remove simply for calling and asking some basic questions about service. This is unethical and they make no attempt to make it clear to the customer that they intend to run your credit. Any other time I have had my credit run, the company makes it clear that is what they intend to do and request your authorization to do so which typically includes providing SSN. – BBB, 1/30/2017

[R]efunds my money to an old credit card in lieu of one they billed me monthly on. charges me for service after I signed to cancel it. still billing after cancelled in writing. refunds to old card that is part of debt consolidation with *********************** out of ** and I have lost ****** thereto. took two weeks to give me return address on their items and an rma number. just incompetent. why could they not write a refund check like every other company out there???? when I had service, signal strength poor and did not know I was not protected for some major amount of time. – BBB, 12/8/2016

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