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  Reply # 949109 11-Dec-2013 08:33
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I have a non-monitored Bosch alarm which was around $500 (from memory). It has a dialler so will ring me if there is a breach and it is hooked up to the smoke detectors so I get calls if there is a fire as well.

I am using a couple of Fibaro Universal Binary sensors inside the alarm panel itself, each which can monitor two binary inputs. This means I can monitor the state of all the PIRs in my house from my HA system. These devices are great - they are 'invisible' to the alarm itself - the values are just passed straight through the sensor, but they are also broadcast to my ZWave network where my HA system is listening. So using these I am able to detect movement in most parts of my home and use this to switch on lighting etc.

I also bought an extra RF keyfob and an extension output panel (for about $150) and after 'hacking' the RF fob and connecting the Arm/Disarm buttons to a couple of relays and hooking the output panel outputs all a Raspberry Pi I now have complete control via my HA system.

I can arm and disarm the alarm from anywhere in the world, and can monitor the state of it - i.e. whether it is armed/disarmed, if the burglar alarm is tripped, if the fire alarm is tripped, or if the alarm is reporting 'trouble'.

Using my HA rules I now automatically arm the alarm when the house detects it is empty, and disarm when a 'known' occupant is approaching.

I guess my point is if you are prepared to think a little outside the box you can build yourself a pretty well 'automated' alarm/security system for well under $1000...but you definitely need to get your hands a little dirty ;)!

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  Reply # 949191 11-Dec-2013 10:16
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timmmay: I paid $1000 for a nice Bosch alarm and $30 a month for monitoring, which is $2260. It's not as fancy, has no HA features, but does the job of an alarm well. Sounds like you got a decent deal, though time will tell.


Which alarm did you go with out of interest? We are due to replace ours I think, though I am in the same boat as a lot of people now and don't have an Analog line at home. 


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  Reply # 949220 11-Dec-2013 11:01
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1x Bosch Solution 880 Control panel (8 zone).

Turns out it was actually more like $2K, including a cellular communicator and a year of free monitoring.




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  Reply # 949225 11-Dec-2013 11:10
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networkn:
timmmay: I paid $1000 for a nice Bosch alarm and $30 a month for monitoring, which is $2260. It's not as fancy, has no HA features, but does the job of an alarm well. Sounds like you got a decent deal, though time will tell.


Which alarm did you go with out of interest? We are due to replace ours I think, though I am in the same boat as a lot of people now and don't have an Analog line at home. 



Any panel with a communicator can have a 3rd party GPRS dialler or tcp/ip added to it.
Allow about $200. So a Micron alarm at $250 with a TCP/IP board = $450.00

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  Reply # 949229 11-Dec-2013 11:26
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The gsm modem thing cost $350 through SafeGard alarms.




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  Reply # 1048484 20-May-2014 00:09
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Hi,

Thank God for technology & google!! I've got the Vivint guys knocking at my door in the weekend and it looks like they've just started to venture on the north shore area. I live closed by to the dairy and these guys were saying that they are more than happy to offer free installations and giving me all these robust security alarm system for my house. In return, all I have to do is to put an orange sign on my letter box advertising their company. Now, because I was rushing to go out at that time, I told him to come back in the next couple of days. We didn't get into details although I did ask if there were any maintenance fee and what's the catch, etc. All he said was perhaps $1 a month depending on what security system is being installed and all I have to do is put up the sign like some of my neighbours ( I can see they managed to sign up about 4 houses just up the road!!). 

I don't really believe in freebies especially with door knockers! Is it safe to assume that after been a year anyone has commented on this forum, Vivint are still offering the same thing (i.e free security alarm system, free advertising for them in return), however the "catch" is the long term contract? For anyone that has sign up for this, do you find their security system adding value (money wise & security & support line)? Appreciate your feedback. Thanks!



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  Reply # 1048679 20-May-2014 11:26
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Yep installation is free but monthly contract is approx. $50+ per month depending on your options. Don't do 60 month, go 42 month if you can.

It's a great alarm system.  Super reliable, not a single false alarm since I had it installed (yes sensors are all working because I can see the activity in the log when I'm home).  The automated door locks are awesome but do require battery changes every few months depending on use.  Also I wired in the garage door opener to the alarm so now I can open/close the garage door from the same keyfob too.

Home automation is pretty basic.

However I do have a few annoying gripes though mainly with the VIVINT handling of the rollout, not the product itself.

- No chirp
VIVINT have chosen to use an Australian solar wireless alarm sounder for its outdoor siren.  This device doesn't support chirping.  So if you want to use your keyfob to arm/disarm the house, it won't beep back at you (like a car alarm does).  If you try to enable it the wireless siren will sound continuously instead of chirping.  What I did was remove the wireless siren and hardwire back in my old alarm siren (via relay) - now it chirps properly.

- Limited add-ons
The 2GIG hardware used by VIVINT is well established overseas where they use the 345MHz frequency for wireless communication.  In NZ/AU we use 433MHz so VIVINT has had to get 2GIG to supply some of its products in the 433Mhz freq instead.  This selection is very limited and only includes the basic door/motion sensors.  All the other products in the 2GIG catalog are not compatible or available here in NZ (keypads, smoke/CO detectors, super switch, etc).  Calls to customer support asking when always return the same "very soon" bs response.

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  Reply # 1050183 20-May-2014 23:42
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Thanks mate, I still have my doubts with this company. Plus I don't think I need such robust alarm system at this stage. I guess I'll just have an open mind when I see them tomorrow and hopefully won't buy in to their sales-pitch. 

Do they charge a call-out fee as well on top of the monthly fee? 

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  Reply # 1051653 23-May-2014 12:40
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I thought I'd share my experience too as I've just had Vivint uninstall their system after 2 days of having it put in.

We also live opposite a dairy and had the same offer of a free alarm system with automated door lock, window and door sensors and a security camera in exchange for having their orange sign on the fence. I assume the living opposite a dairy thing is rubbish and their sales reps offer the same deals to everyone. We didn't have an alarm so we thought it sounded pretty good and their marketing looked pretty slick and the product was very modern and fully featured.

The sales rep was good, not too pushy, though I didn't offer much resistance as it seemed like such a good offer.

The thing that really gets to me about door to door sales is that there are never any prices given to you, only things scrawled on scrap paper which they don't leave you with. The rep wrote down all the things the package included with their values and crossed out all the prices (classic), then wrote the figure $99 for set up of the account and monthly monitoring of $60.99 for 42 months. It was at this stage that I started scrabbling around for a calculator, but being dinner time with 2 kids getting homework done and so on I couldn't find one but quickly worked out that it must be around $2500. He also wrote down a weekly range of figures that we may be able to get off our contents insurance for having the alarm.

At this stage what I should've done is said to myself that signing up for that amount of money should be done after some thorough research. I should have taken time to work out what we actually want, whether monitoring is worth it and what I could get from another company.

In a moment of temporary madness I signed, noting before signing that the monthly amount was +gst but with the money off the insurance I figured it should be okay still. 

Up till this point, Vivint haven't done anything unethical in my book, it's all above board – the rep may have talked about the recent home invasion in Tuakau that was in the news but he didn't say anything completely dishonest except maybe tell my wife initially that they would install the system for free and said there were no catches when she asked him (60.99+gst per month for 3.5years is a bit of a catch).

The next bit I'd say is where it does become unethical. Instead of leaving us to look over the brochure, think about whether we really wanted all this tech in our house, within five minutes an installer was in our house drilling into the walls and putting everything in.

He was a nice enough guy, said he'd started as a sales rep and moved over to installations – but I became a bit concerned when he took the cover off a double powerpoint and began drilling through the stud to put the wires through for the control panel with his drill bit right next to the live wires. Everything was installed and working by 9:30 except the camera and the account setup which he'd have to come back for. To his credit he didn't take any money since the job wasn't completed.

Anyway after a bit of a sleepless night and talking to a few people the next morning we decided it was way more than we wanted, we didn't want it monitored and the $3000 cost over 42months was way too high for us.
Today the installer came and removed everything and filled the holes (roughly) but with no complaints. I rang Vivint's customer service which goes off to their US office and after a while on hold managed to get everything cancelled without any problems. Their customer service team was very good and for the short time it was in our house the hardware seemed well put together.

If I could give some advice to Vivint it would be:

1./ Give me a range of options to choose from not just bundling monitoring into every one of them. If your hardware is that great why can't you sell it without the monitoring. I'd happily have paid $1000 for the system without the camera, door lock and monitoring.

2./ Give me time to choose. Hard sell door-to-door tactics may work but it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

3./ Give me time to consider it before you send an installer around - we just feel preyed upon now.





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  Reply # 1051670 23-May-2014 13:26
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tinSoldier: I thought I'd share my experience too as I've just had Vivint uninstall their system after 2 days of having it put in.

We also live opposite a dairy and had the same offer of a free alarm system with automated door lock, window and door sensors and a security camera in exchange for having their orange sign on the fence. I assume the living opposite a dairy thing is rubbish and their sales reps offer the same deals to everyone. We didn't have an alarm so we thought it sounded pretty good and their marketing looked pretty slick and the product was very modern and fully featured.

The sales rep was good, not too pushy, though I didn't offer much resistance as it seemed like such a good offer.

The thing that really gets to me about door to door sales is that there are never any prices given to you, only things scrawled on scrap paper which they don't leave you with. The rep wrote down all the things the package included with their values and crossed out all the prices (classic), then wrote the figure $99 for set up of the account and monthly monitoring of $60.99 for 42 months. It was at this stage that I started scrabbling around for a calculator, but being dinner time with 2 kids getting homework done and so on I couldn't find one but quickly worked out that it must be around $2500. He also wrote down a weekly range of figures that we may be able to get off our contents insurance for having the alarm.

At this stage what I should've done is said to myself that signing up for that amount of money should be done after some thorough research. I should have taken time to work out what we actually want, whether monitoring is worth it and what I could get from another company.

In a moment of temporary madness I signed, noting before signing that the monthly amount was +gst but with the money off the insurance I figured it should be okay still. 

Up till this point, Vivint haven't done anything unethical in my book, it's all above board – the rep may have talked about the recent home invasion in Tuakau that was in the news but he didn't say anything completely dishonest except maybe tell my wife initially that they would install the system for free and said there were no catches when she asked him (60.99+gst per month for 3.5years is a bit of a catch).

The next bit I'd say is where it does become unethical. Instead of leaving us to look over the brochure, think about whether we really wanted all this tech in our house, within five minutes an installer was in our house drilling into the walls and putting everything in.

He was a nice enough guy, said he'd started as a sales rep and moved over to installations – but I became a bit concerned when he took the cover off a double powerpoint and began drilling through the stud to put the wires through for the control panel with his drill bit right next to the live wires. Everything was installed and working by 9:30 except the camera and the account setup which he'd have to come back for. To his credit he didn't take any money since the job wasn't completed.

Anyway after a bit of a sleepless night and talking to a few people the next morning we decided it was way more than we wanted, we didn't want it monitored and the $3000 cost over 42months was way too high for us.
Today the installer came and removed everything and filled the holes (roughly) but with no complaints. I rang Vivint's customer service which goes off to their US office and after a while on hold managed to get everything cancelled without any problems. Their customer service team was very good and for the short time it was in our house the hardware seemed well put together.

If I could give some advice to Vivint it would be:

1./ Give me a range of options to choose from not just bundling monitoring into every one of them. If your hardware is that great why can't you sell it without the monitoring. I'd happily have paid $1000 for the system without the camera, door lock and monitoring.

2./ Give me time to choose. Hard sell door-to-door tactics may work but it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

3./ Give me time to consider it before you send an installer around - we just feel preyed upon now.






I'd say one of the most impressive parts of this story is that they came back and removed everything and as I understand it, you didn't spend a cent. That is some pretty decent customer service and shows they stand behind what they offer in my opinion. 



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  Reply # 1051672 23-May-2014 13:30
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networkn:
tinSoldier: I thought I'd share my experience too as I've just had Vivint uninstall their system after 2 days of having it put in.
...


I'd say one of the most impressive parts of this story is that they came back and removed everything and as I understand it, you didn't spend a cent. That is some pretty decent customer service and shows they stand behind what they offer in my opinion. 




It might sound generous but door-to-door sellers are legally obligated to offer a 7 day cool-off period

http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/for-consumers/shopping/where-you-buy/door-to-door-sales 

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  Reply # 1051685 23-May-2014 13:37
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nickb800:
networkn:
tinSoldier: I thought I'd share my experience too as I've just had Vivint uninstall their system after 2 days of having it put in.
...


I'd say one of the most impressive parts of this story is that they came back and removed everything and as I understand it, you didn't spend a cent. That is some pretty decent customer service and shows they stand behind what they offer in my opinion. 




It might sound generous but door-to-door sellers are legally obligated to offer a 7 day cool-off period

http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/for-consumers/shopping/where-you-buy/door-to-door-sales 


I understand, but a lot of them make this process VERY painful. I think they should be slightly less aggressive with the timeframes, but I guess time will tell.


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  Reply # 1051706 23-May-2014 13:56
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networkn:
nickb800:
networkn:
tinSoldier: I thought I'd share my experience too as I've just had Vivint uninstall their system after 2 days of having it put in.
...


I'd say one of the most impressive parts of this story is that they came back and removed everything and as I understand it, you didn't spend a cent. That is some pretty decent customer service and shows they stand behind what they offer in my opinion. 




It might sound generous but door-to-door sellers are legally obligated to offer a 7 day cool-off period

http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/for-consumers/shopping/where-you-buy/door-to-door-sales 


I understand, but a lot of them make this process VERY painful. I think they should be slightly less aggressive with the timeframes, but I guess time will tell.



As I said to his credit, the installer didn't take any money off us since the job hadn't been completed. I also know of someone who had theirs removed after the 7 day period without too much problem.

So yeah, good customer service but it all could be avoided if they treated each job uniquely instead of selling people into a premium product they may not want or need with the idea they are getting it all free in exchange for advertising.

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  Reply # 1051712 23-May-2014 14:01
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what happens if you pull off the orange circle?  thats what i would do... that thing is butt ugly IMO.   a house down the road from me appears to have just pulled it off (was on their fence for a couple of months)

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  Reply # 1052005 23-May-2014 23:57
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Thanks for sharing. The Vivint rep came back last night, unfortunately he didn't make the sell. I told him honestly that I'm not interested after doing a bit of the research. He didn't even say much apart from the fact that he can reduce the price on what was offered on the internet. Too bad that I'm not that naive and I don't agree with the way they sell their products. 

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