Ackerman Security Systems has been providing security solutions in the Georgia, Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia regions since 1967. The company provides custom-built security systems that are geared towards suiting the homeowner’s situation. Ackerman does not require customers to bundle packages or services and they provide a free consultation to help customers with their purchasing decision. However, in the company’s eagerness to get customers to call for a free consultation, little useful information (e.g., contract information, renewal policy, etc.) is available anywhere online, preventing Ackerman from competing with top home security companies.
- Low Monthly Rates
- Custom-Built Security Systems
- Home Automation Options
- Internet Monitoring Available
Ackerman Security provides one of the most affordable home security systems in the industry. For only $19.95 a month, customers can receive a full array of home security devices, including motion sensors, security cameras, touchscreens, and glassbreak sensors. Each Ackerman security system is custom-built to ensure the client’s specific home security needs are being completely addressed. Ackerman provides a free consultation to help give customers an idea of the system requirements before they have to buy.
Ackerman also provides a number of impressive home automation options you can add to your security system. Customers can arm/disarm their systems, control locks, thermostats, and lights, receive text and email notifications, and even view live video all through Ackerman’s mobile app. In addition to building custom home security and automation systems, Ackerman Security Systems provides professional monitoring service for burglary, fire, and medical emergencies. All systems have the option for broadband internet monitoring, which can be either a handy backup or less intrusive alternative to traditional landline monitoring.
- Limited Availability
- Poor Transparency
- Potential Upfront Costs
- Annual Renewal Policy
- Poor Customer Service
Ackerman Security has only three service areas: Atlanta, GA, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, PA. While this small-market approach is not necessarily unique in home security, industry leaders can boast a truly nationwide presence, with service locations in nearly every major city or metro area. And though Ackerman Security only serves three major cities/metros, that is not the company’s biggest problem; Ackerman Security has very poor online transparency, meaning important company information cannot immediately be found without reaching out to a customer service representative or scheduling a free quote/consultation.
Ackerman’s poor online transparency poses risks to customers in a few different ways. First off, customers will have no idea what kind of upfront costs (if any) they will be dealing with. Other home security companies that provide custom systems will usually charge customers for the price of the equipment, or some kind of activation/installation fee. Ackerman provides no such information on its site. Several customers have also complained about Ackerman Security’s automatic renewal policy (again, mentioned nowhere on-site). Regardless of whether customers want to extend their contracts or not, Ackerman renews their contracts automatically. According to customer reports, though Ackerman subscribers have 60 days to cancel their subscription, they will still have to pay the remaining balance of their contract.
It may be important to note that common concerns of current customers report poor experiences with individual sales representatives. The complaints range from misrepresentation of overall cost, confusion regarding cancellation policies and improper installation. Some customers have even reported never receiving a legible copy of their contract.
Ackerman’s goal is to help secure their customer’s homes by protecting each vulnerable area of the property. They do not believe in a “one size fits all” type of approach which is why they do not have pre-determined home security packages available. While having the ability to customize the system is desirable, it does make it difficult to figure out the costs of Ackerman’s service prior to the consultation and quote process.
Technology and Equipment Overview
Ackerman provides a customized experience for all of their customers. When you sign up, you will have the option of building your own security system. Since the customer knows where their home is the most vulnerable to a break-in, Ackerman believes it is best to have a customized security package.
When building a system, customers can receive the following if they decide:
- Keypad – comes with illuminated keys and easy-to-read display
- Glass break sensor – has a sensing method that reduces false alarms
- Motion detectors – complete with a pet immunity mode
- Remote control – provides some home automation features
- Video cameras – available for indoor and outdoor usage
- Fire and smoke detectors – photoelectric smoke detectors detect smoldering fires while the heat detectors detect fast flames
- CO detectors – utilizes electrochemical sensing technology to sense low levels of CO that may be hazardous
There are also options for upgraded technology, choosing between hard-wired or wireless monitoring as well as additional security features. Home automation equipment includes:
- Smart control panels – allows homeowners to control the security system, lights, locks, and thermostat
- Smart door locks – lock and unlock doors with mobile devices
- Smart thermostat control – allows for maximizing comfort and energy savings
- Remote light control – sets up schedules to control lights remotely
- Video cameras – remotely access live feeds of a home’s activity
- Security alerts – instant notifications will be sent in the event of an emergency
Ackerman also allows customers to keep their existing equipment and transfer security and monitoring control over to Ackerman.
Pricing and Packages
There are not necessarily packages for customers to choose from since Ackerman customizes each individual system. Alarm monitoring starts at $19.95/month, but it is not clear what home automation monitoring will cost. A quote will be necessary to know exactly what Ackerman will cost month-to-month for all services.
Those who visit the company’s website certainly provides a strong sense of what the company offers and a general idea of what to expect on a month to month basis in terms of basic costs of external monitoring; however, there is no place on the website that provides details regarding installation fees or system specifications. Additional efforts on the consumers behalf will have to be taken to find individual quotes for equipment.
Contract and Cancellation
Ackerman Security Systems provides a customizable service. Often times, this means that customers will need to purchase the security equipment since it will be suited for their unique living situation. Since Ackerman customers buy their security and automation equipment, there are no long-term contracts associated with the service. Contracts are often associated with home security providers that loan the equipment to their customers throughout the duration of the service period. By owning the system outright, Ackerman customers do not have to worry about getting locked into an agreement.
Because there are no contracts associated with the Ackerman service, customers can cancel at any time without paying additional charges or early termination fees.
Ackerman has professional technicians come into the home to install the system. There will be a scheduled appointment where a certified technician will install the wireless system and make sure activation is handled properly.
If a customer already owns a home security system and all accompanying parts, a technician will still come to the property to make sure the transferring of control to Ackerman is handled successfully.
Ackerman utilizes wireless alarm monitoring, which means customers will not need a phone line for their system to be activated. Monthly monitoring starts at $19.95/month, but that can vary based on home automation services or whether the system is for commercial purposes.
For potential customers who already own a home security system but decide to switch to Ackerman, there is an option that allows transferring of control. In these situations, Ackerman will provide free monitoring when the switch takes place.
Ackerman professional monitoring covers burglary, fire, and medical emergencies. All monitoring is backed up and covered 24/7.
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