Breaking up with a security company can be a challenge. Most commonly, you will have to sign a longterm contract. It can cover a year or perhaps more years. At the same time, you might have a bunch of terms that prevent you from getting out of it without paying a fortune.
While there is, indeed, a short window to get out of this contract, you must be extremely careful and go through each term individually. Keep in mind that in the attempt to keep their customers, many companies will provide automatically renewing contracts.
It looks like you are stuck in there forever. However, there are ways to get out of a security system contract without too much hassle.
What to know about a security system contract
While contracts vary widely from one security company to another, there are certain parts that seem to be standard. Their main role is to lock you in. Of course, you will get some advantages out of them too, yet the company tends to benefit some more.
The contract is normally signed with a professional security company. It can be referred to as an alarm company or a monitoring service. Once you are in, you will end up paying a monthly fee for monitoring. The cost varies widely from one company to another.
Costs are likely to get higher than that – at least the initial expenses. You will also have to pay for the equipment. You can buy it or you can rent it. You can buy it from the security company or find a system yourself. The installation will also cost, not to mention the activation.
A bit of customization will make your plan unique, meaning there are some extra fees adding to your monthly expenses.
These costs are only initial and will not repeat throughout the contract. Keep in mind that renting the equipment means you have to return it once the contract is over.
As a general rule of thumb, the contract will be long. Most companies start with one year contracts, yet you can also find companies providing two or five year contracts. They also renew automatically. If you fail to get out of the contract before it is over, you will most likely be locked in for just as much time.
Meanwhile, you can choose to get out, but you will normally pay a big fee for the early termination. If you live in an area where your credit details your financial stability, you will end up with a bad credit as well. This is why you need to pay special attention when about to leave a security system contract.
How to get out of a security system contract
Assuming you do not want to be charged with a fat early termination fee, there are a few ways to get out of a security system contract without having to sell a kidney.
Go through your contract
Most people never read their contracts. If they do, chances are they forget all the terms and conditions by the time they want to move on. Ideally, you should go through the contract again. There are usually a few ways to get out of it without paying an early termination fee.
- The company fails to provide the service that you actually pay for.
- You move home and the security company cannot provide the service in the new area.
- The offers for this service are outdated.
- The system given by the company malfunctions and cannot ensure your protection.
- You return the system within the trial specified by the company or the legal returning time.
Find one of these loopholes and prove your case and you should be able to get out with no problems at all.
Move to another area
Whether your family grows bigger or your kids go out, it might be the time to move to a different place. Some companies do not allow you to take the equipment with you, while others will charge you a moving fee, as the whole system must be reinstalled.
If the company cannot provide the service in the new area, you are in luck. You will be able to get out of this contract without paying any early termination fees. Of course, you still have to go through every term and condition to ensure there is nothing wrong with it.
Transfer the contract
Home security companies are only interested in having customers. It makes no difference for them if they look after your house or your cousin’s house. From this point of view, you might consider transferring the contract to someone else.
Are you no longer in need of the contract? Is your neighbor interested in this contract? How about a relative or a close friend? It makes no difference where they live as long as they are in an area that the security company can cover.
You may still be charged a small fee for transferring ownership of the contract, but it is nothing compared to an early termination fee.
Just like for mobile phone contracts, you might be able to get out of a security system contract by switching providers. Make sure you find a new company that can provide exactly what you require. Consider the new equipment you might need, feedback over the Internet and reviews.
Although this is not a general rule, some security companies will buy you out of the current contract. You will not have to pay an early termination fee, but there might be switching fees involved. Make sure the new contract is more cost efficient overall.
How much is the cancellation fee?
The cancellation fee varies widely from one company to another. In more severe cases, you will have to pay whatever is left on your contract, which could be a fortune. You might as well keep the contract then. Other companies may come up with lower fees. For instance, ADT will charge you 75% of the remaining contract. Again, different contracts come with different terms.
Although you never imagine having to get out of a contract too early, it is always worth checking every contract before signing up. Ideally, you should opt for a monthly contract, yet it might cost more per month. Other than that, opt for the shortest possible period to prevent potential problems.
If you are close to finishing the contract, do not miss the short window that allows you to cancel for free. You might have to notify the company one or more months in advance, rather than the week before the contract is over. Otherwise, it will renew and get you hooked in for another long time.
As a short final conclusion, there are different ways to get out of a security system contract without spending any money. At the same time, there are options to get out and avoid the early cancellation fee – small fees may still be involved though.
On the same note, there are situations that leave you no room to move. Your only options imply sticking to the contract or paying a big fee. Given your available options, you should be able to find a loophole and work your way out without too much hassle though.