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#17
cox

Cox Homelife

Biggest Customer Gripe: Bad Customer Service (read reviews)

Our Score
7.5
User Score
2.2

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Our Score
7.5
User Score
2.2
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Essential monthly payment
$29.99 - $44.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$99

Technology & Equip.

5/5 = BEST
4/5

Contract Length

Total # of months
24

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Undisclosed

Moving Policy

Can you move with system?
Undisclosed

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
83

This Review is maintained by Chase Sagum

Review Last Updated: November 30, 2016

Cox Communications is one of the largest phone, cable, and internet providers in the nation. Cox Homelife is its home security package. The service offers complete security and automation as well as a 24/7 professional monitoring center, and customers can bundle Cox Homelife with another Cox service. While Cox Homelife offers a number of baseline features common to top home security companies, its system requirements and features, service availability, and undisclosed cancellation fees prevent Cox Homelife from top-rated status.

Rank Chart
User Rating
Monthly Price
Upfront Costs
Review

#1

8.3
$19.99-$42.99
$0

#2

7.7
$34.99
$99

#3

5.9
$34.95-49.95
$99

#17
cox

2.2
$29.99 - $44.99
$99

The Good

  • Several Monitoring Options
  • Live and Recorded Video Monitoring
  • Remote Access through Mobile App
  • Free Quote and In-Home Consultation

Cox Homelife was designed with three main purposes in mind: to protect, monitor, and control your home’s security features. As such, the company offers a number of options that you can either bundle with an existing Cox subscription, or customize to meet your specific home security needs. In terms of protection, Cox Homelife offers a number of devices, including 24/7 monitoring, flood and carbon monoxide monitoring, smoke and heat detection, and both a battery and cellular network backup.

Users can access their Cox home security system through the interactive touchscreen, online, or through Cox Homelife’s mobile app. There, they can gain access to live and recorded video monitoring, receive text or email alerts, and even control security and energy features in their home, such as lights, small appliances, doors, and the thermostat. Cox Homelife’s wide array of devices allows the company to compete with top companies by allowing users to customize their home security packages. And if customers aren’t familiar with how home security works, they can receive a free in-home consultation from one of Cox’s home security representatives.

The Bad

  • Signup Requirements
  • Potentially Hefty Cancellation Fee and Other Costs
  • Limited Availability
  • Poor Customer Service

Cox Homelife’s terms and conditions list a number of requirements customers must meet before they can sign up for a home security system. Most notably among these requirements is that Cox Homelife is only available to individuals with a current or new Cox phone, video, or internet subscription. Customers are also required to purchase a touchscreen with their system (not included in starter kit). This touchscreen comes with an additional $3.00 monthly fee. In addition to the touchscreen fee, customers will need to pay up to $99.00 upfront before their security system can be installed. Access to recorded video monitoring requires an additional $14.99 monthly fee.

Cox Homelife is only available in 19 states, while industry leaders boast a true nationwide presence. And despite its 24/7 professional monitoring center, customers have reported several service complaints against Cox Homelife. These complaints include unhelpful customer service representatives, and extended periods before Cox will respond to questions or issues. Some customers have reported issues with the required touchscreen device, and failure on the part of Cox to resolve these issues in a timely manner.

Want to know which home security companies are top rated? Click Here

The Bottom Line

For current and new Cox customers, Cox Homelife is a great option. The company offers a wide variety of home security devices, professional installation, and 24/7 customer support, however, Cox’s home security system also comes with a number of fees and limited availability. Cox Homelife’s customer service is also a major point of concern. Even if you reside within one of Cox’s service areas, you might consider other top home security companies that have less hidden fees, and a better customer service track record.

Information Taken from Notice to Alarm User*

Section 1

You are required to instruct all users of your alarm system on the proper operation of the system, the importance of avoiding false alarms and the duties discussed by this notice.

Why it’s important

Make sure you instruct everyone in your residence on how to use the alarm system as to avoid any false alarms and any fees incurred therein. 

Section 3

You may be required by your local jurisdiction to obtain a permit for your security system; this is the responsibility of the homeowner. Failure to obtain any necessary permits may result in fines or increased false alarm fees. For more information on your jurisdiction, please visit www.cox.com/homesecuritysupport

Why it’s important

Before purchasing your system from Cox make sure you check your city’s local permit laws. Failure to obtain a permit could result in fines and fees.

Section 4

You are required to update your information in the Cox Home Security subscriber portal with your permit number. You can do this by going to https://portal.coxhomesecurity.com, logging in, selecting Security, then Emergency Dispatch Setup. At the bottom of the screen is the “Alarm Ordinance and Permit Registration” section for the alarm permit number and expiration date. Complete your information and click on save.

Why it’s important

Cox requires home security customers to update their information in their Cox account profiles with permit numbers.

Section 9

Beginning on the date your alarm is installed, you will have approximately a 30-day grace period from fines for false alarms, although this grace period may vary by city, ordinance and type of alarm. This information will be in your applicable alarm ordinance.

Why it’s important

Cox customers have 30-day windows where they will not be charged for false alarms or fines. The window starts the day the alarm is installed.

The Good

Cox Home Security provides customer a package home automation deal on top of a home security system when you purchase the “Preferred” package.  This is their top package that combines some security, video surveillance, and home automation.  For $39.99/month for 24 months customers get the following:

  • Battery and cellular network backup
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Access via web, smart phone and tablet
  • SMS text and email alerts
  • Smoke/het detection
  • Water/flood monitoring
  • Carbon monoxide monitoring
  • Secure live video viewing or recording
  • Control lights and small appliances
  • Adjust thermostats remotely

The Cox preferred package includes many nice features that typically have to be purchased separately through other companies, such as the carbon monoxide detectors, video cameras, email & text alerts, and non-Cox appliance controls (a device that allows you to remotely control lamps, TV’s, ice machines, etc.).  Another great option that Cox provides is discounts when you bundle the home automation package with other Cox services, such as TV, internet, and phone services.

The Bad

In order to obtain a touch screen control panel to remotely control all your devices and appliance you have to rent it from Cox for an extra $3/month.  This service is usually provided with the main package from other providers.  Also, Cox does not provide door lock monitoring for the front and main garage doors as many other companies do.  Even in their a la carte section where you can purchase equipment on a piece by piece basis they are not found.  Again, this is typically a service that is included in home automation packages.

The Bottom Line

Cox provides a quality home automation package that is as good as or better than most systems currently on the market.  Also, their system is about $10 to $20 dollars cheaper than most.  If you live in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, or Virginia and are in the market for home automation we suggest discussing your options further with a Cox representative.

Cox is a major player in the home security industry. Founded by James M. Cox in 1898, Cox Communications has been a tried and reputable company for decades. Cox’s annual in-kind and direct cash contributions exceed $100 million, with a community outreach focus on youth and education initiatives. The Cox home security equipment is high quality and robust. In addition, Cox owns and operates six different central monitoring stations located throughout the United States. These stations are UL listed and fully redundant.

Cox supports customers with existing home security units and can add additional features plus monitoring. They offer two monitoring packages that start at $29.99 per month.

Technology and Equipment Overview

Cox uses SMC equipment and technology. SMC Networks (equipment provider) is the only vendor to service 12 of the top 14 multi-service operators (MSOs) in North America including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Rogers. The Cox home security system includes the SMC Ruby RB5701-Z touchscreen which is the central device that controls the entire home security and automation platform. The touchscreen includes ethernet, WI-FI and GSM/GPRS communication channels by default. In addition to the touchscreen, the Ruby family includes the SMCMT03-Z infrared motion sensor. The SMCMT03-Z Motion Sensor is highly sensitive to moving infrared sources. It features superior immunity to RFI, vibration, static electricity, temperature changes, and other false alarm sources.

With the Preferred package, here’s the kind of equipment customers will get:

  • 1 touchscreen control pad
  • 2 window/door sensors
  • 1 motion detector
  • 1 wireless router
  • Yard sign with decals
  • Video capture/live video monitoring (equipment not included)
  • Home automation (equipment not included)

Pricing and Packages

While customers can customize their own security system with the Cox Homelife system, they also offer two packages consumers can choose from. The breakdowns of the two Cox Homelife packages are as follows:

Essential Package: $29.99/month

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Battery and cellular network backup
  • Remote access with web, smartphone, and tablet
  • Text/email alerts
  • 2 window/door sensors
  • 1 motion sensor
  • Wireless router
  • Yard sign and window decals

Additional Equipment:

  • Window/door sensors
  • Motion sensors
  • Glass break sensors
  • Key fobs
  • Siren repeaters

Preferred Package: $39.99/month

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Battery and cellular network backup
  • Remote access with web, smartphone, and tablet
  • Optional live video and thermostat control
  • Free indoor camera or free professional install with qualifying purchase
  • Smoke/heat detection
  • Water/flood monitoring
  • Carbon monoxide monitoring
  • Remote access
  • Text/email alerts
  • Live and recorded video
  • Control small appliances, light, doors, thermostat
  • 2 window/door sensors
  • 1 motion sensor
  • Wireless router
  • Yard sign and window decals

Additional Equipment:

  • Video cameras
  • Thermostat controllers
  • Window/door sensors
  • Motion sensors
  • Smoke/heat detectors
  • Lighting controllers
  • Glass break sensors
  • Key fobs
  • Siren repeaters
  • Smart door locks

Potential customers are subject to soft credit checks that will qualify them for free equipment and $99 installations. Cox also offers discounted prices on their surveillance cameras and other technologies if approved.

Installation

Base equipment kit includes the paid installation. If there is no purchase of the base equipment, then installation charges may apply. Cox Homelife does require a professional technician to install the system. There is DIY option available at this time.

Customers will need to schedule an appointment with the technician which will require some coordinating of schedules. The homeowner is also required to be at the property throughout the duration of the installation process.

Monitoring

Cox Homelife offers 24/7 professional alarm monitoring for $14.99/month. Professional operators are on hand to ensure safety at all times. Upon enrolling in Cox Homelife monitoring, the home security system will transmit alarm signals directly to the control station. The operators are responsible for contacting the customer when the alarm is triggered and will also send police.

To learn more about Cox Homelife security, visit their website for more information. For more information on other home security providers, view other company profiles.

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83 Cox Homelife Reviews

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  1. User Score
    0
    August 22nd, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    80+ hrs of my life gone contacting lousy customer service, tech, etc TRYING to get the system to either work or be taken away (over a course of months…good thing someone keeps records for me)
    the system destroyed peace and quiet in my home (windy area) AND was a resource hog that my outdated Cox modem/router could never handle (impacting my other cox services)
    contract is meant to prey upon old, ignorant folks like me….and is so one sided that my attorney says it is a joke
    Read More
  2. User Score
    0
    August 22nd, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    BEWARE. Do not waste your money . The equipment sucks ! cameras work once in a while and the quality of the image is horrible. The cameras are NOT wide angle so you need many cameras to cover larger driveway. If you have any issues with your system costumer service is clueless. They need to improve this asap. Unfortunately i am stuck in my contract but will definitely be canceling !
    Read More
  3. User Score
    0
    August 14th, 2017 Poway, CA
    2 people found this review helpful!
    I have had the worst experience with the Cox Home Life Security equipment (motion sensor specifically) and you cannot simply disarm a section permanently. Unless you pay $7.99/month + tax you have to pay $75.00/hour for a tech to come out who may or may not fix the problem. Today I’ve had he worst experience with a supervisor named Fred and a retention rep named Wren (spell?). They were so insulting and they gave me incorrect information. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with Cox Communication unless I pay over $500.00 due to a contract that I didn’t know I was subject to until installation (along with upfront charges other customers have mentioned below! So much for that bundle with no contract the sales rep told me I sign up for. The sales rep…Marisa…lied (or maybe she just didn’t know the Cox trip wires through her ignorance and just wanting a sale?)
    I’m amazed that what Cox Home Life Security does is legal. I would never recommend Cox Home Life Security or Cox Communications as a result of Home Life Security horrible customer service. Once I’m free of their imprisonment, I’ll never use their service again.
    Oh…and they went up on their service within one month of me signing up. Bunch of thieving liars!
    Read More
  4. User Score
    0
    July 27th, 2017
    0 people found this review helpful!
    The representative didn’t show up for the initial appointment.
    Read More
  5. User Score
    0
    July 27th, 2017 Scottsdale, AZ
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Up front cost of over $900 that was not disclosed to us. Monitoring devices with two cameras cost us over $200 per month because you must have internet and phone services. Were not living in the home yet so, needed none of those. Poor customer service
    Read More
  6. User Score
    0
    July 11th, 2017 Phoenix, AZ
    3 people found this review helpful!
    I had Cox Security for almost a year. It did what I expected it to which wasn’t very much. My big issue is I had canceled it and my TV service on 7-7-17 due to some big personal issues between myself and Cox. They were fine with disconnecting it and I even turned in all my equipment on 7-8-17. The issue is that on 7-9-17, I had come home after running some errands to find my cox box at the side of my house damaged, some of my cable lines damaged, and the stucco on my house damaged. After talking to my neighbors since I couldn’t use my cameras from cox that I had paid for to see who had done it, I had found out that it was someone driving a truck with a cox logo and wearing a cox uniform. When I called to find out if someone was suppose to be out, the rep told me that there was no one out there from cox and refused to note my account that someone had been our nor allow any sort of follow up with the issue. How can you trust a security company that will damage your house when they know you don’t have a security system?
    Read More
  7. User Score
    0
    July 10th, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Cox homelife is a complete scam. The sales reps will come and tell you to E-sign and not to worry about the 24 month contract. You can cancel at any time with no penalties. Hurry up and sign. Then your stuck for 2yeats with penalties if you try to cancel. Just google the review and see for yourself. Somebody needs a class action suit!!!!
    Read More
  8. User Score
    2
    July 2nd, 2017
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Most of the time it does not or take forever to sign in to your mobile app.
    Read More
  9. User Score
    0
    June 27th, 2017 Phoenix, AZ
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I replaced ADT with Cox Homelife. I had it for just under 2 weeks before everything stopped working. They could not send out a repair person for several days. I asked to be transfered to cusotmer service that deals with cancelation. I tried to cacell because it was horrible service and equipment. i was on hold for 30 minutes before speaking to someone. They said there is no time limit on cancelation and I had to pay the $700 to cancell.

    STAY AWAY from homelife

    Read More
  10. User Score
    0
    June 27th, 2017 Bonifay, FL
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Cox homelife portal website stinks! It’s slow and the playback video skips and/or takes forever to load. The website portal renders their security/monitoring service absolutely useless. They used to have the classic view edition of the homelife portal that worked fine but leave it to cox to screw everything up. My advise to Cox is: Bring back the classic view or fix the current portal.
    Read More
  11. User Score
    3
    June 19th, 2017
    0 people found this review helpful!
    we have the homelife full security system paid over $2000 for equipment and install , when it works it fine but the cameras hardly ever come up when you need them. i was told if i upgraded my bandwidth for another $55 per month would work properly, wrong answer. Have had them to the house they reduced the frame rate and downgraded the resolution on the cameras and they still suck . Until they fix this problem i would not buy this system again. The service people are nice and try to help but they have poor equipment or they are selling something that doesn’t deliver what they promise . i have other systems in other houses i own so i have good comparisons and know what I’m talking about .
    Read More
  12. User Score
    0
    June 10th, 2017
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Sales rep will tell you what ever they need to to get the sale. You will end up with a sky high bill and the customer service department don’t even know the proper portal call to help assist you. They don’t tell you that they charge for mounting cameras that is not included in the installment original amount. Customer service also have no idea of theorniwn extensions. The service is good but you will get raped out of your money. So please don’t be naive and listen to what the sale reps or installers tell you before signing. Please read and make sure you record your documention and be sure to record every rep you speak with because each rep tell you something different and you will end up with alot of hidden fees.
    Read More
  13. User Score
    2
    May 31st, 2017 Aliso Viejo, CA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    What a rip off the system cost us and to have half-assed service. Half of the time the camera doesn’t connect and work. I am cancelling and going back to our old system.
    Read More
  14. User Score
    0
    May 18th, 2017 Lorton, VA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    The reps who came out to install were always nice but it took several months to get the equipment to set up right. The touchscreen monitor never worked well and it caused the alarm to go off a few times. When we called to complain- they said they were aware but did not have new version yet. We bought a new home and had to cancel services but they are charging an early termination fee- $1,000 dollars. We paid half and called several times to try and waive the fee but the original service representative who is understanding passes it off to the supervisor that never calls back. We’ve called 7+ times and between being on hold and promised a call back- not one “supervisor” has called us. They sent the bill straight to collections.

    DO NOT get there service unless you want malfunctioning equipment and customer service that doesn’t exist. Any other company would be better!

    Read More
  15. User Score
    0
    May 6th, 2017
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Poor quality. Constantly crashes.
    Read More
  16. User Score
    0
    April 28th, 2017 Newport News, VA
    2 people found this review helpful!
    I Have Cox Bundle package. So I decided to go with Cox Home life System. Since Day of Installment had problems with the system. A BIG ISSUE was the long process of Telling and Cox Finally come and get the System out of My house. Now I am waiting for the Retention Department to send MY Money BACK.

    V/R
    Curtis

    Read More
  17. User Score
    10
    April 18th, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Already have COX, so, it was pretty much seamless for us. Rep was very helpful, Rafael McClain, and gave us a great impression of the company. We have been with COX for 23 years and are pleased with service, though price increases have been a bit substantial over the years.
    Read More
  18. User Score
    0
    March 29th, 2017 Lincoln, NE
    3 people found this review helpful!
    As soon as they get you signed up, they are a typical Cox company. The fees, equipment costs, and service costs are outrageous. $245 early termination fee after I sold the house. Over $1200 for the equipment. Salesperson failed to mention that the customer has to go buy a permit to have the cops show up if the alarm trips. Otherwise, the alarm goes off, but nobody shows up because they DON’T HAVE PERMISSION! Do yourself a favor and LOOK AROUND!!!!
    Read More
  19. User Score
    0
    March 24th, 2017
    7 people found this review helpful!
    Horrible! is the word I can use on here. I have had nothing but trouble with my Cox home life system 2 techs have been to my home to check it, they all say something different about the system.
    COX HOME LIFE refuses to let me out of a 2 year contract unless I pay a $670 fee, while only having the system for a month! they say its a 3 day cancellation Period! who does that!

    there is a early Termination of 6 months but they say I don’t qualify for that. I have missed 2 days of work waiting for Techs to come, its unreal!!! I have decided to Shut the system off, put it all back in my closet and pay the monthly Fee for the system that has nothing but problems. that is how I am dealing with COX HOME LIFE!!! I do not recommend it at all, and there customer service people are just as bad. Rude!!

    Read More
  20. User Score
    0
    March 23rd, 2017 North Providence, RI
    4 people found this review helpful!
    Cox Representative wasn’t truthful to me upon signing up.
    The sensors for the windows and doors are stick on and are poor quality.
    When calling Cox Homelife with an error on my bill the Retention Specialist laughed at me when I informed him of my concern.
    They only gave me 2 sensors for my 12 windows and doors and charged me $300 just for the additional 10 sensors that just stick on. They are charging me $800+ to cancel. But it’s worth it not to work with a company like Cox Homelife / Cox Communications.
    Read More

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Our Score
7.5
User Score
2.2
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Essential monthly payment
$29.99 - $44.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$99

Technology & Equip.

5/5 = BEST
4/5

Contract Length

Total # of months
24

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Undisclosed

Moving Policy

Can you move with system?
Undisclosed

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
83
Our Score
9.0
User Score
8.3
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Price Range
$19.99-$42.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$0

Technology & Equip.

5/5 = BEST
5/5

Contract Length

Total # of months
36

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Pay Balance

Moving Policy

Can you move with system?
Free

Index

Quality Index (Below 413 is good)
77

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
2,035