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#17
cox

Cox Homelife

Biggest Customer Gripe: Bad Customer Service (read reviews)

Our Score
7.5
User Score
2.5

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Our Score
7.5
User Score
2.5
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
68

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

8.4
$19.99-$42.99
$0

#2

8.1
$34.99
$99

#3

6.5
$34.95-49.95
$99

#17
cox

2.5
$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.

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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68 Cox Homelife Reviews

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  1. User Score
    0
    April 28th, 2017 Newport News, VA
    0 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
  2. User Score
    10
    April 18th, 2017
    0 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
  3. User Score
    0
    March 29th, 2017 Lincoln, NE
    1 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
  4. User Score
    0
    March 24th, 2017
    2 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
  5. User Score
    0
    March 23rd, 2017 North Providence, RI
    2 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
  6. User Score
    0
    March 21st, 2017
    2 people found this review helpful!
    I have never posted a single complaint on social media but I can only hope to deter other people from wasting their time and money on home security from Cox Homelife. They installed their system into our home in December 2016 (3 months ago) with the promise that if we had issues that could not be resolved and the system did not function properly, that they offer a money back guarantee on installation and home monitoring fees. As a Cox customer for the past 15 years, I am utterly shocked that we “do not qualify” to get our $700 reimbursed for the installation of the system they installed which DOES NOT WORK and after all we have gone through in the short time it has been installed. One of our main concerns was the camera monitoring that they feature on all of their TV advertisements to keep an eye on your small children. We installed them on our first level of our home in hopes to check in on our 1 and 3 year old children when they are left with a nanny. Our cameras only work about 20% of the time AND our alarm randomly goes off in the middle of the night by sensors loosing connectivity. I’m told the root of the issue is that our baby monitors are interfering with the alarms signals. We have been woken at night (2am, 4am, etc) with the alarm blaring, waking our young children and being terrified that someone has broken into the house. We have also had visits from the police department who plan to fine us $200 the next time a false alarm occurs. We have had service from Cox 3 times since it was installed 3 months ago, I have spent hours on the phone with them and all Cox can tell me is to discontinue using my baby monitors and they want to keep sending technicians to my home. I am currently expecting our third baby in a few months and baby monitors are not going anywhere in my home. We are now too scared to arm the system at night in fear of it waking our entire house with another false alarm… but we are still being billed the $47.99 per month and they have no plans to credit us for anything. Do not trust this company and they do not stand behind the so-called guarantee they advertise.
    Read More
  7. User Score
    0
    March 20th, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Dishonest in their sales tactics, unable to reach anyone on the phone when you need help, product serves no purpose and a huge penalty for cancelling the contract, as in I was quoted $800 today for terminating with 12 months remaining. Today I have come to really dislike COX.
    Read More
  8. User Score
    0
    March 17th, 2017 Mesa, AZ
    2 people found this review helpful!
    The thermostat hasn’t worked correctly from the day it was installled. We have had 3 separate service visits. The first 2 service visits revealed the thermostat was hooked up incorrectly. When we put the AC on it turned on the heater. The next problem was that the thermostat would go back to 85 F by default. I would come home to a hot house.
    Read More
  9. User Score
    1
    February 20th, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Horrible service, slow internet and $715 to break contract!
    My digital touchscreen was slow and would spin in circles not allowing me set the alarm. This was really frustrating when in a hurry to leave the house. There also seemed to be a lot of add on options that cost more and more. The phone app seemed to not function properly. I called and was told I could break my contract for $350.00. We boxed it up and returned the equipment only to be billed $715 cancelation fee due on February 15th. There has to be a better service out there then Cox Homelife.
    Read More
  10. User Score
    0
    February 14th, 2017 Omaha, NE
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Horrible Co. to get mixed up with as the customer service don’t take notes, return calls or schedule appointments as a result costing the customer a lot of money and heartache!
    Read More
  11. User Score
    0
    February 10th, 2017 San Clemente, CA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    never worked properly and over $600 to back out of contract. Cox is horrible to deal with.
    Read More
  12. User Score
    1
    January 12th, 2017
    4 people found this review helpful!
    Stick to the company’s that know home security..ADT, I should have never left ya! Horrible service…an what’s up with cameras you have to drill holes in my roof to install outside and all these adapters…smh and those flimsy pretend door sensors…really? And they use a battery which doesn’t last a year…I’m not sure if adt even has a battery in the door sensor. Really?
    Read More
  13. User Score
    0
    January 1st, 2017 Sand Springs, OK
    2 people found this review helpful!
    This is worst camera service and home security I ever have don’t get it if u don’t have to ….. I won’t recommend it .. cable and internet is good
    Read More
  14. User Score
    0
    December 27th, 2016
    3 people found this review helpful!
    Cox Homelife is a fraud. Plain and simple. The advertised services either are not available or if they are, they do not operate as promised. As is typical, all broken promises are discovered upon installation and after the long term contract is executed.

    Lies:

    Surveillance cameras:
    Cox will not take over existing camera systems. Any industry standard, compliant (zigbee) system will be refused. Cox has a single contracted vendor. My cameras were disconnected by Cox installers when the junked my perfectly good Honeywell panel with their Honeywell panel. It was after the fact these hacks discovered the DVR that was staring them in the face for 3 1/2 days was not their contractor.

    Thermostats:
    This time its the zones: I have an 8 zone Honeywell system. These monkeys bypassed this for a single thermostat. 3,600 sq ft, three levels, 15 rooms, all on one thermostat; great efficiency Cox! I actually measured the use. Set the Homelife thermostat at 66 degrees. By the time it trips the furnace has been pumping 104 degree heat for 37 minutes and my bedroom thermostat (now bypassed) is reading 81 degrees.

    Lights:
    Just forget it.

    Syncing system:
    Synchronization between proprietary display and mobile devices and PC is poor. It does however operate enough that Cox can say it does work. You would literally have to develop a spreadsheet to log all the failures in synchronization. The end result is the alarm and thermostats are totally unreliable as a remotely operated, IP based system.

    Cox support:
    Installer knowledge and customer support is ignorant of how the system is designed, what its limitations are and the functionality of the various applications. My system was a run of the mill, totally bread and butter takeover of an existing system. There is nothing proprietary about any of my household systems. The alarm is a robust Honeywell system that is easily transferred from any monitoring company to any new firm. Cox spent 3 1/2 days of labor to takeover the system. In the end I determined with senior management the Homelife system is not designed to be compatible with keyboards of any type. Too bad Cox never informed their installer crews of this fact. I have 34 sensors and contact locations. They jacked my index of contact locations up so bad the keyboards are completely useless. We live in an area of both poor cell reception and poor 2.4 ghz wireless reception (thats wireless anywhere outside of a small radius within your home). Basically the only way to reliably set this alarm system is to walk up to the one proprietary Homelife display. I have a three level, 3,600 sq ft home with 6 alarm key panels. This robust, convenient setup is now bypassed for a dysfunctional single location.

    Senior management:
    My situation was escalated to senior case management based on the $743 that was deducted from our account. We never could get access to the Cox website because of a billing screw up on their end that had our new account subordinated to a 15 year old account with an acient email address. Because they couldn’t fix that problem we had no ability to know of a pending and absolutely erroneous install charge. When contact was made with senior management all charges were reversed and funds returned to our bank account. The issue here is that senior management knows of the vast limitations of the Homelife system. Why are they selling this crap?

    Read More
  15. User Score
    2
    December 16th, 2016 Gilbert, AZ
    1 people found this review helpful!
    I wish I never changed to cox homelife. The key pad is huge, super ugly, double the size of my old one and not as user friendly. The stickers labeling the buttons fell off the first month and I never even pushed them once. The tablet that you get, isn’t even a tablet. You can’t move it. It’s only good for a clock. I do not recommend the system for anyone.
    Read More
  16. User Score
    9
    December 7th, 2016
    4 people found this review helpful!
    I love in Vegas and just had Jason as my installer. He was awesome. He was able to clearly discuss my needs and we even decided on extra equipment and he was able to lower my monthly rate. Amazing experience. If this service is available to you, get it.
    Read More
  17. User Score
    3
    November 29th, 2016 Las Vegas, NV
    1 people found this review helpful!
    you cannot see the recorded video with your i phone its been almost 3 month they cannot fix the issue.i ask to buyback the cameras they refused my request.
    Read More
  18. User Score
    0
    November 26th, 2016 Laguna Niguel, CA
    3 people found this review helpful!
    “Buyer Beware” Installation was done very poorly/ unprofessionally, wires drilled through the walls, no caulking or sealing, cameras plugged into all of our outlets , wires left in a rats nest throughout the house, plastic and equipment boxes left strewn throughout the house. Untold to us the cameras only allow 50 videos per day and fill up within a couple of hours due to the fact they are triggered by actual insects/bugs. The service was also not working on our iPhones ” due to a glitch with compatibility they were working on” . The cameras prior to filling up also had a 5-15 second delay. We spent over 3 hours on the phone with customer service , cancelled within 24 hours and were told we had to pay for the equipment originally billed at $1277 and then bumped to over $1500. We disputed and they finally agreed to remove and take back the equipment. They removed everything , left all the damage to our home and now are sending cancellation notices of our standard service for non payment of the home security system we returned and cancelled. Spent another hour on the phone today and still not resolved. I run a high end real estate business, my wife is a doctor and we are both appalled at this debacle. This is the short version of our experience.
    Read More
  19. User Score
    0
    November 16th, 2016
    4 people found this review helpful!
    I’m not even one to take the time to write reviews but I had to on this one. Cox is a rip off, I’ve had cox for over 2 years and the security system about a year. After canceling the cable because they kept raising my bill I had to keep the internet and security system. My touch pad broke and these people say I have to pay 400.00 plus 70 to have a tech to come replace it. The cost to cancel the service is that much? Why the hell would I pay that? The reps did nothing to work with me, wouldn’t even offer to spread the bill out. As soon as my contract is over I’m done with cox.
    Read More
  20. User Score
    9
    November 15th, 2016 South Windsor, CT
    1 people found this review helpful!
    I have had Cox home security for one year. So far no issues that could not be addressed with one phone call.
    Read More

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Our Score
7.5
User Score
2.5
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
68
Our Score
9.0
User Score
8.4
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
1,879