9 Questions to Ask a Security Company Before Signing a Contract

You’ve considering installing a security system in your home or business. Before you make your decision on which security company to use, make sure you’ve asked the right questions of each company.

1. Does your company do background checks on all employees and sub-contractors?

The technician installing your security system will know exactly what components you have in your house and any potential weaknesses. You want to be sure this person has a solid installation history – and has passed a background check and driving record assessment.

QEI Security & Technology requires a background check and clean three-year driving record. All technicians have been installing systems for at least 10 years.

2. Is your company licensed, bonded and insured?

Burglar/fire alarm companies in South Carolina are required to pass a technical exam and Alarm Code of Laws exam in addition to NTS Level I or II certification.

QEI Security & Technology is licensed by the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR) and is bonded and insured.

3. Exactly what will I have to pay?

Most companies have an equipment fee, an installation fee, an activation fee and a monthly monitoring fee. Most companies will offer you some sort of deal that includes waiving or reducing some of these fees. Just make sure you understand exactly what you’ll be paying – and read the fine print!

QEI Security & Technology offers free standard equipment with a qualifying contract. It is possible to have other fees waived or reduced.

4. Who will be monitoring the security system and what qualifications and ratings do they have?

Look for a company that uses a monitoring center that is CSAA 5 Diamond Central Station Certified. Central Station Alarm Association rates monitoring stations for the highest level of customer service, highly trained emergency response agents and work to minimize false alarms.

QEI Security & Technology uses Security Central’s monitoring center, which is 5 Diamond rated.

5. Are you an Authorized Dealer? Do you use sub-contractors?

Many security companies contract with local agents to provide service for their installed systems – they are an authorized dealer of the security company. However, there may be gray areas in contractual commitment or guarantees extended to the customer. Sometimes a security company will use a sub-contractor to install the system. You’ll have to decide if that is a concern.

QEI Security & Technology is not an authorized dealer and does not use sub-contractors. All employees work directly for the company, which is locally-owned and operated.

6. Do I own the equipment or is this a lease agreement?

Many security companies who offer ‘Free Systems’ with low-cost installation are leasing you the equipment. If you move, the equipment stays with the premises. If you own the equipment, you can have it moved to your new location and continue your monitoring agreement at the new location.

QEI Security & Technology offers free security systems that you own. The equipment is yours and can be taken with you if you move.

7. What happens if I move?

If you are even considering moving within a few years after your alarm system installation, ask companies upfront about it when obtaining quotes. Things come up and people move all of the time; home security companies know this and can come up with an agreement that will benefit both you and the company.

QEI Security & Technology offers three options: customers can pay for their remaining contract, they can take their system with them and continue the contract in their new home or they can leave their system and contract for the new owners of their home – if the owners have agreed.

8. Is the company stable and does it have a long-term record of successfully serving the local area? What about references?

Ideally, the security company you choose should have been in business for at least three years – that way you can be pretty sure they aren’t going anywhere and they’ve had time to establish themselves.

QEI Security & Technology installed its first alarm system in 2009, but Quality Electric, our sister company, has been around since 1979. Read more. We’re happy to provide references – read some testimonials.

9. What is the company’s average response time to alarms?

A good company will respond to all alarm reports within 60 seconds.

QEI Security & Technology’s average response time (through our monitoring center) is 45-seconds from the time the signal is received to police dispatch.

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