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#61
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Northstar Alarm

Similar to: Vivint

Our Score
4.6
User Score
4.2

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Our Score
4.6
User Score
4.2
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Payment
Undisclosed

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
Undisclosed

Technology & Equip.

5/5 = BEST
3/5

Contract Length

Total # of months
60

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Undisclosed

Moving Policy

Can you move with system?
Undisclosed

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
402

This Review is maintained by Chase Sagum

Review Last Updated: June 13, 2017

With locations in 29 states, Northstar Alarm is one of the fastest growing home security and automation companies in the country. The company provides a number of important security features that compete with top home security companies; however, with a history of poor transparency, the company does not come as highly recommended as some industry leaders.

The Good

  • False Alarm Protection
  • Video Monitoring
  • Home Automation Options

In the event that a false alarm occurs while your home is being monitored by a Northstar Alarm system, Northstar will provide you with the necessary paperwork to dispute the charge associated with that alarm and get your money back. Few home security companies offer this kind of protection, and the feature helps to set Northstar Alarm apart in the industry. Northstar alarm offers customers the choice of two impressive home security cameras – one that has pan/tilt capabilities, and the other that is static. Both cameras operate on a cellular network, meaning that even if your power goes out, your cameras will still be running. Customers can view live video streams, or record and playback security footage from a mobile app or desktop.

Northstar Alarm also offers a number of home automation options. Through the mobile app, customers can control thermostats, lighting, and garage doors. Customers can even remotely power off small appliances.

The Bad

  • 60-Month Contract
  • Automatic Contract Renewal
  • High Service Fees
  • Poor Transparency

Several of the problems surrounding Northstar Alarm have to do with its contract. People who go with Northstar Alarm will be locked into up to a 60-month contract, which is nearly twice as long as most home security companies’ contracts. And if customers decide to cancel their service before the contract has expired, they will be required to pay 100% of the remaining balance, which at up to over $75 a month for up to 60 months, can be thousands of dollars. Customers must file a written request stating that they wish to cancel at least 60 days prior to the end of any initial or renewal term; otherwise, Northstar Alarm will automatically renew the contract an additional 18 months.

While Northstar Alarm does provide a lifetime warranty on some of its equipment, not all equipment is covered. In cases where a Northstar service technician is called to repair or replace equipment not covered by the warranty, customers will be required to pay $80 per visit, as well as the cost of the equipment being serviced or replaced. Unlike many companies in the industry, Northstar will charge customers to move and reinstall the system at another location.

Northstar provides little useful information regarding its contracts, both on its website and in-person. While the company provides adequate descriptions of equipment and packages, specific information like the number of sensors included in each package. Customers have also reported being pressured into signing up for a Northstar Alarm home security system without being given full disclosure on contract terms.

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

The Bottom Line

Northstar Alarm offers a number of impressive home security and automation features that compete with larger, more established companies. Its false alarm protection is a big plus, and its security cameras high-end. However, the company rates poorly in terms of online transparency and customer service. Customers investigating Northstar Alarm are strongly encouraged to examine their contracts and compare with other home security systems before making a decision.

Rank Chart
User Rating
Monthly Price
Upfront Costs
Review

#1

8.2
$19.99-$42.99
$0

#2

7.5
$34.99
$99

#3

5.7
$34.95-49.95
$99

#61
northstar_alarm_services-130x130

4.2
Undisclosed
Undisclosed

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402 Northstar Alarm Reviews

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  1. User Score
    2
    November 20th, 2017 Montgomery, AL
    0 people found this review helpful!
    North Star alarm tries to entice customers with a lot of add on features up front. They make you pay for that with 5 year contracts and monthly costs that far exceed the costs of their competitors. They do not care about the customer after the sale is made. I would not recommend doing business with this company.
    Read More
  2. User Score
    0
    November 9th, 2017 Meridian, ID
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Stay away like the plague ! We moved out of state and they still wanted monthly payments till the 60 month contract over.We called that home sold and would move out within 3 months.Told us to send cancelation notice which I did. We cont to have auto withdraws taken out.So we went to bank and filed a fraud investigation.Northstar credited the money back but now have sent to collection agency. Good Grief what a stupid company. Don’t play this game with them.Change banks and or acct # that’s what we did. We will not pay.
    Read More
  3. User Score
    0
    November 8th, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    I moved out of my house where I had service and I returned the system. They are making me pay 49.99 until May of 2019. They don’t care about my circumstances. Do not sign a contract with this company.
    Read More
  4. User Score
    3
    November 8th, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    This company has taken advantage of my 87 year old mother…..signed her up for 5 years which she wasnt aware of……now hse has moved into senior living and they will NOT let her out of her contract Not even willing to work with her…..will send her to collections in 6 months….WHO DOES THIS to the elderly She doesnt understand all of this Oh but she can pay 1700.00 to end this drama……
    Read More
  5. User Score
    0
    November 8th, 2017
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I’d do zero stars if I could. This place couldn’t be shadier or have worse customer service. From shoddy installation to nonexistent customer service… I was never on hold for any segment of a call (initial human contact to a transfer point) for fewer than SIX minutes, and the average was around 10 or more. What’s worse, when I’d finally had enough of poorly installed and malfunctioning equipment and horrendous customer service, I called to cancel, was told I had successfully canceled, and forgot the whole ordeal. A few months later I was combing through my checking account and saw that Northstar was still charging me every month for service. It was another several calls with ridiculous hold times, online chat attempts that no one answered, and emails back and forth before someone finally told me that I had to send in written notice of cancellation (which is stated nowhere on their website), and that they’d research my “claim” that I’d been told on the phone months before that my plan was canceled. And guess who has to keep calling who until that research is done? I have to call every 3 days until they’ve “reviewed my account.” Unreal.
    Read More
  6. User Score
    0
    November 7th, 2017 Las Vegas, NV
    0 people found this review helpful!
    The worst company I have EVER dealt with. The “professional” technicican who “installed” the key pad left exposed wires in my garage, couldn’t hook up the door bell AND the icing on the cake used the old equipment from a previous alarm company. This equipment was at LEAST 10 years old. I called the customer service department 7 times total each time I was told a technician would come fix the issues. I eventually had to reach out to the financial representative who recommended this company. i am stuck in a 3 year contract with this company and have NO recourse. I would not recommend this company to anyone!
    Read More
  7. User Score
    10
    November 7th, 2017 Indianapolis, IN
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I am very satisfied with the monitoring service I receive from Northstar. My kids set the alarm off once a month letting the dog out and by the time they’ve sent me a text saying everything’s fine, I’m already on the phone with Northstar. Literally 15 – 30 seconds to get a phone call.

    Just extended my agreement and got a discount on the rate. Long time customer and I look forward to staying with Northstar well in to the future.

    Read More
  8. User Score
    10
    October 30th, 2017 El Dorado, AR
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Parker W. helped me with several problems I was having with my security system. He was competent and friendly. His patience (it took almost an hour to work thru the various problems) was greatly appreciated. Should I need technical assistance in the future I will request him.
    Read More
  9. User Score
    0
    October 24th, 2017
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I had a 5 year contract with vision was bought by Northstar and I call several times to find out about cancelling the contract but they said I had to pay to the end….I took their equipment out of my home which left a big hole in the wall and I payed over a year on the contract. and the system was not even in my home anymore, wrote the letter about cancellation when the contract was due and they said I was 3 days late and they renewed it for another year which I would have to pay for… they could of held onto the letter so I would have to pay for another year. I talked to them for over 45minutes and finally they said they would cancel the renewal but only after I had already gave them $1049.00 for a service I did not have anymore.. I should have them fix the hold in the wall and all the times I did not have service when I had no electricity because it was hooked to my phone…
    Read More
  10. User Score
    0
    October 24th, 2017 Renton, WA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I have been trying for months to cancel our service. We have had this alarm for about 7 years. For a number of those years our equipment did not work properly, causing false alarms. A motion detector in a room with the door closed would go off, and they would call the police and send them out before attempting to contact us, even after there was a pattern of false alarms from this motion detector. The company made no effort to try and rectify this problem.

    We installed an alarm.com alarm about 6 months ago (I’ve been trying to cancel for that long now), and are very happy with them.

    Read More
  11. User Score
    1
    October 23rd, 2017 Indianapolis, IN
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Anytime I place a call to this company, I am put on hold forever…makes you wonder if, should there be an emergency, how long would it take before anyone sends notification to the proper authorities. I think I’d feel safer waiting in line on 911. I am a cancer patient, receiving chemo, therefore, immune compromised. A service tech called our home, hacking every third word, needing to cancel our appointment that took nearly two weeks to schedule, because he was sick. He called to reschedule again a week later, still hacking. His first availability was yet another week later (you’re catching a heads up on the timeline here), he calls the day of the appointment, wanting to yet again reschedule. I called the company, again waiting on hold for nearly 45 minutes before I had to hang up due to….well having a life and not being able to sit on hold for hours on end…a supervisor finally called me back two hours later, apologizing for the delay in installation (almost six weeks from our original request, all the while, we are still paying for a service we don’t have because we moved from one home to another—I wanted to cancel our service and just move on, but was told that even though we only signed a two year agreement, our contract “automatically renewed” when we didn’t sign a new one HOW THE FRACK DOES THAT WORK?!?)—back to the supervisor—he scheduled yet another installation appointment…I informed him of my medical issues and requested that Hacky McHackerson not be sent to my home, as germs were a major concern. He stated that he would send a different tech out, yet another week later, the doorbell rings and there stands the same tech who had called several times, still hacking. We had a system already from the prior homeowner, which included two panels, several sensors and was connected to our thermostat so we could control the system remotely. I had no desire to replace our system, I just wanted the current system monitored. Of course, they “couldn’t do this” and insisted on installing all new panels and a new thermostat. The tech stated he had no thermostats on his truck (even though we had informed them numerous times of the inclusion of one in our system) but insisted on “checking out the system anyway”. He then removes the thermostat panel and while holding it and screwing with the wiring, states, “I’m no electrician…I don’t really know anything about these things”. Then for the next hour and a half, he had the lack of professionalism to ramble on about how his wife left him recently, his loss of everything in the divorce and how he taught his son everything he knows about the business, and a couple of medical procedures he had undergone. Once I finally got him out of the house and disinfected everything, I realized it had become very warm in the house. The air conditioning unit that worked without issue before he screwed with the thermostat, no longer would put out anything but hot air. Not wanting to be blamed for what was obviously his screw up, I touched nothing and immediately called their customer service, waited on hold again for more than a half an hour while they tried to get the tech or even his supervisor to answer their phone. I was told his supervisor would have to call me back. The supervisor called about ten minutes later and informed me that he was having lunch with his kids about 45-60 minutes away, but once he finished his meal and made his drive back, he would head my way. This was roughly 1-2pm on a high nineties degree day. At 6pm, my husband and I began tag team calling the company. We were both on hold simultaneously for 30-45 minutes. I was then informed that the tech who had come to my home claimed “he didn’t even touch the thermostat” and did nothing wrong. I informed them that I was calling an emergency heating and cooling service, and they would be paying the bill. The HVAC tech actually arrived BEFORE the tech supervisor!!! And the cherry to this whole sundae was he had the audacity to bring the original tech back with him! I instructed my husband NOT to allow the original tech back into our home, as he had done enough damage (so, instead of just leaving, he sat in front of our house, on the hood of his car, smoking cigarettes). The supervisor followed the A/C tech around, being argumentative and insisting that his guy did nothing wrong. However, when the HVAC guy removed the thermostat from the wall, the wiring had been crossed. The repair was made, after which the supervisor actually attempted to convince my husband to allow him to install a new thermostat. Needless to say, he left with the thermostat he brought, still unopened. We then had to impose on my parents to allow our family of five to stay with them for the night, as the house was stifling and would take most of the night to recover. They did reimburse us for the a/c charges without incident. However, this new lyric system they insisted they HAD to install has been nothing but trouble since we got it. The bedroom panel was smaller than the panel we already had, requiring major patchwork to repair the holes left after installation. The primary panel locks up constantly. We’ve had it 3, maybe 4 months and it has locked up 5 times, rendering it useless until we remove the wiring from the unit to reset it (which oddly does NOT set the alarm off…makes you feel safe). Bad service, bad products. Save yourself and take your business elsewhere.
    Read More
  12. User Score
    7
    October 21st, 2017 San Antonio, TX
    0 people found this review helpful!
    The alarm system works very well. The problem that I have is with the skybell that I had installed at the same time. The customer service for getting the skybell working has not been very good and I’ve been struggling for the last 3 months to get it working properly. They will send me a new device but they won’t troubleshoot the problem. I finally got the owner of the installation company willing to come out and help me work through this issue.
    Read More
  13. User Score
    0
    October 17th, 2017 Anniston, AL
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Northstar is one of the worst companies I have ever experienced. It is clear their number one goal is not to provide security systems, but rather to lock you into long contracts that are almost impossible to get out of and collect a monthly fee from you for the rest of your life.
    Read More
  14. User Score
    1
    October 12th, 2017
    0 people found this review helpful!
    After 42 plus months of prompt payments, my 92 year old mom is moving and wants to stop service. One account manager told us to mail a written cancellation notice and that there would be no penalty. The house closing date had to be extended. When contacting the alarm company another account manager told us that payments would have to continue until August 2018.What are rip off to senior citizens! Not customer friendly,
    Read More
  15. User Score
    1
    October 6th, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    The alarm console in our home randomly asks us to “say your command” then beeps. The doorbell never sends the notification to our phones. Once the alarm went off and we did’nt even hear it while sitting on our couch. We did not get a call, my MOTHER did! She had no idea what it was because the connection was so bad so I did’nt even hear about it for about 45 min. AFTER that a police officer came to our door. This was almost a FULL HOUR LATER!
    Read More
  16. User Score
    1
    October 1st, 2017 San Antonio, TX
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Northstar alarms are liers they told me that my credit information would not be checked however it would be a soft check which not social security was provided next day i received an alert from the credit bureau stating there was a hard inquiry on my credit report called the representative and says that its the first he’s heard of that what a bluff im cancelling this service as they were not honest to begin with and will lie to customers
    Read More
  17. User Score
    0
    September 28th, 2017
    2 people found this review helpful!
    People beware of this company. They are the WORST! Trick you into signing a contract that never ends. Equipment is always faulty. Customer service is horrible. We finally had to cut the wires and report to the BBB which proves they weren’t even monitoring our home. Our alarm was going off due to malfunction every hour on the hour for a year and they had every lame excuse in the book! Rotten company. Tries to sway people by stating they are a good LDS company which is a lie! Do business at your own risk. They have over 371 BBB complaints for the same thing I just typed!
    Read More
  18. User Score
    0
    September 19th, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    DO NOT GET THIS SERVICE. IT IS HORRIBLE. I HAD CAMERAS OVER MY VEHICLES AND THEY WERE BROKEN INTO AND THE CAMERA DID NOT PICK UP ANYTHING. I HAVE HAD THERE SERVICE FOR 6 MONTHS AND I SIGNED A 5 YEAR CONTRACT AND THEY SAID THAT I NEED TO PAY THE REMAINDER OF THE CONTRACT IF I WANT IT CANCELLED EVEN THOUGH THEIR CAMERSA DON’T WORK HALF THE TIME.
    Read More
  19. User Score
    0
    September 13th, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Don’t go with Northstar. Your going to have to wait 30minutes to get a hold of a customer service, that customer service rep is going to then tell you to hold and make you wait another 15minutes just to somehow send you to the wrong dept. That person will then resend you back to customer service and they will tell you, “they are super busy and can they give you a call back.” Yet! They are able to answer the phone. Worst customer service. This has hpppened not once or twice, it has happened 5 times.
    Read More
  20. User Score
    0
    September 12th, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    This company has horrible customer service. They send out young kids to talk you into a “great deal” and then disappear. I’ve had to call in multiple times to get the billing straightened out and am on hold for over 30 minutes every time I call. And I have to re-explain the situation every single time I call. I wish I would never had signed a contract with this horrible company. If you are considering signing up with Northstar, I recommend you do not!
    Read More

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Our Score
4.6
User Score
4.2
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Payment
Undisclosed

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
Undisclosed

Technology & Equip.

5/5 = BEST
3/5

Contract Length

Total # of months
60

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Undisclosed

Moving Policy

Can you move with system?
Undisclosed

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
402
Our Score
9.0
User Score
8.2
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
2,057