Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 4, 2014
By Clark Howard
When you're paying for a home alarm system, you have every reason to expect that it will work, right? Not if you're with Comcast for home security, apparently!
Wait until you hear this story out of KPRC TV in Houston.
Lisa Leeson and her husband first contracted with Comcast for home security back in 2007. For 7 years, they paid $30 a month for the service. By the way, that's priced at roughly double per month what you should pay; $30 a month for monitoring is crazy!
But I digress. Back to the Leesons...
So earlier this year, they discovered their unit had never been properly installed. It went offline sometime in 2007 and hasn't worked since, according to a Comcast technician contacted by KPRC!
Fortunately, the family made their surprising discovery in the most benign way: The husband came home one day to find the backdoor open…and of course the alarm wasn't going off. Thankfully this wasn't an instance of an actual home invasion.
When the Leesons contacted Comcast, the company reportedly wanted to give them only $20 back as a courtesy credit. We're talking about people that paid upwards of $2,000 over 7 years…and the best you can do is $20?!
So the Leesons brought their story to TV and that's when Comcast changed its tune and finally agreed to a full refund. But not before a company spokesman pointed out a clause in Leeson's alarm contract that reads, in part, "I also understand that I must test my system on a regular basis and that I must contact the central station before testing to avoid false dispatches and false alarm fines."
So in essence, Comcast was shifting the responsibility for their failing system back on the Leesons.
People often ask me if there's a company I recommend for home security. I always tell them that if you're willing to take a look at a simple self-install home security system, you should know about SimpliSafe. You buy the equipment for around $200 and then monthly monitoring is just $14.99.
Yet I know as self-install burglar alarm is outside the comfort level of some people. So with that in mind, I offer the following advice: