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#33
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Northstar Alarm

Biggest Customer Gripe: Contract Transparency (read reviews)

Our Score
6.6
User Score
5.0
Our Score
6.6
User Score
5.0
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Payment
$34.99 - $75.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$0-$99

Technology & Equip.

10/10 = BEST
9

Contract Length

Total # of months
42-60

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Pay balance

Monitoring

Response Time
Fast

Time in Business

Total # of years
14 Years

B

Customer Support

Good, Bad, Limited
Limited

SDM Rank

Top 100 Company Rank
34

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
229

This Review is maintained by Jordan Zornes

Review Last Updated: April 7, 2016

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 only a B rating with the Better Business Bureau, and a history of poor transparency, the company does not come as highly recommended as some industry leaders.

Rank Chart
Monthly Price
Upfront Costs
Has Video
Review

#1

$19.99
$0
Yes

#2

$34.99
$99.95
Yes

#3

$24.99
$0
Yes

#33
northstar_alarm_services-130x130

$34.99 - $75.99
$0-$99
Yes

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. Once the initial contract has expired, customers will only have 60 days to file a written request stating they wish to cancel; 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.

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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 thoroughly before signing up.

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229 Northstar Alarm Reviews

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  1. User Score
    0
    April 14th, 2016 Lawton, OK
    0 people found this review helpful!
    BEWARE!!! The company is out to get your money!!!
    Their monitoring service is not worth the 60 month contract!! The representatives will LIE to your face!!
    I am near the end of my initial contract and wanted to send a letter letting them know I no longer wanted their services!! Well, I am now locked into another 60 month term, but was lied to by the Rep that came to the house. He stated that the Amendment would start AFTER my initial contract term!!! ON top of that they want to charge me for a battery that needs to be replaced!! I REGRET the day I opened the door to a Northstar Rep!!! Do not EVER use this monitoring company!!!!!
    Read More
  2. User Score
    0
    April 5th, 2016 Indianapolis, IN
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Signed up for a 42 month contract. About a year after it ended I decided to call and cancel. Nope, was auto renewed for 18 months (!!). Of course it was buried in the fine print, and of course it was also never explained to me when I signed up.

    Stay far away from this company

    Read More
  3. User Score
    4
    March 16th, 2016 Racine, WI
    1 people found this review helpful!
    I am unemployed and requested a cut in the monthly ( much higher Rate) than other companies. I was denied.
    The cost over 5 years is totally NOT worth this service. My failure to research other companies prior to my decision has been a painful lesson for me.
    Read More
  4. User Score
    0
    March 11th, 2016 Baltimore, MD
    2 people found this review helpful!
    Beware!!!! A rep for this company knocked on my door in 2012. They lied and said they were updating my alarm system for ADT, which was my alarm company at that time. Then they offered more options and requested a contract. Thinking they were ADT, I agreed. They installed the new system within a hour and I hadn’t even signed the contract yet. However, after looking at the contract I realized they were an entirely different company. I should have cancelled then but, I didn’t because they had already removed my ADT system. So, yes the system worked well. I had no complaints until two years later ( 2014) I was forced to sell my home and move because of a family emergency. I called Northstar and was told to leave the equipment with the old house. I advised them that I was moving and because I didn’t have another house yet, I would not longer need their system. I was then informed that I was locked into a 60 month contract and would have to continue to may until 2017. I was told I could cancel or take the system with me if I moved. As North star continued to bill me. Six months later I found another home and called the company and was told that because I left the equipment in the other house, I would have to pay another $200 and an installation fee to reinstall the alarm equipment. I refused to pay more money on top of the $50 a month they were already squeezing from my account. So here I am, paying for an alarm service I don’t even have. Read every letter of the little fine faded print on their contract. They will lie to your face. I regret the day I ever opened my door for these people. If you have ADT…Keep it!!!
    Read More
  5. User Score
    3
    February 23rd, 2016 Dallas, TX
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Unresponsive when problems occur, can’t find my account., unable to deactivate my remote for 24 hours when lost, the list goes on and on. I would not choose Northstar again.
    Read More
  6. User Score
    0
    February 7th, 2016 North Las Vegas, NV
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Northstar is a dishonest security company. It is widely known that North Star will look for security signs posted in yards. Once they find a sign, they will make contact by stating that NorthStar has bought out the security company you are presently with. They will tell you that they will install for you new equipment with the most updated service available. They will slide a contract for you to sign. This company will say anything to get you to sign a contract, including giving you” free stuff”. This problem is wide spread throughout the country. Once you sign you then will be signed with 2 security companies. This problem was presented on 20-20 a few years ago. Yet this dishonesty still lives on. DO NOT SIGN with this dishonest company.
    Read More
  7. User Score
    1
    February 5th, 2016 Kansas City, MO
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Very unhappy ! 60 month contract with no way out – Bad service . check the small print before you sign
    Read More
  8. User Score
    0
    February 3rd, 2016 Seattle, WA
    2 people found this review helpful!
    Time to call the BBB….. (seems like alot of reviews on here start of this same way, you would think Northstar would figure it out and make some changes)
    Anyway, I’m currently in a dispute over the ridicoulous 60 month contract. I’ve had my service for the contracted amount of time (never missed a payment) called about 6 months ago to see what I had to do in terms of canceling, was told to give 30 days written notice….. Great, mark it on my calendar to make sure not to miss that date. Called yesterday to cancel find out it’s actually 60 days notice. Lies, lies, lies…….even then I’m 57 days from the end of contract….3 days late….give me a freaking break. Been a customer for FIVE YEARS!!!
    Now trying to squeeze me for another 18 months of service that I don’t want or need, I hope the money they want for that is worth the negative reviews I will be posting EVERYDAY.
    Horrible buisness practices and no customer service
    Read More
  9. User Score
    0
    January 25th, 2016 Wagener, SC
    1 people found this review helpful!
    They do provide misleading sales tactics, and tricky wording in their contracts. They don’t offer relocation and will continue to withdraw from your account even after sending them a disconnection notice. And their equiptment is cheap equiptment stopped working and then charged ridiculous service charges after the fact. Very very poor security company, more of a scam than anything.
    Read More
  10. User Score
    0
    January 22nd, 2016 North Little Rock, AR
    1 people found this review helpful!
    We have had Northstar for 5 years after signing a agreement . I feel that we were misled as to the monthly cost, however service was acceptable. To renew the contract at a somewhat lower rate Northstar wanted a 5 year agreement. I would not agree to that length of time. My wife agreed to 3 years and we have the email stating such. The agreement was explained by phone as she could not see the full agreement by email. When able to access the agreement it was for 5 years. We contacted Northstar and were told we would be turned over for collection if we did not uphold the agreement for 5 years, even though the contract had not started, and we have an agreement for 3 years by email.
    Read More
  11. User Score
    10
    December 14th, 2015 Los Angeles, CA
    4 people found this review helpful!
    My husband did a lot of research and then signed up with NorthStar. They’ve been great. The technology is really cool, and I love being able to control my house from my phone!
    Read More
  12. User Score
    9
    December 9th, 2015 Los Angeles, CA
    2 people found this review helpful!
    We haven’t had any bad experiences with NorthStar Alarm yet. So far everything has been pretty good, and a decent price. I was surprised to find that some of the reviews here contradict our experience.
    Read More
  13. User Score
    1
    December 8th, 2015 Milwaukee, WI
    3 people found this review helpful!
    This experience has ben a very horrible experience. As a consumer I can not believe the lies I was told by the sales person and the cmpany. I requested tha the company send me a paper bill in the mail. The company still took the payment out of my wifes checking account causing problems. This is unfair and I would never have this company provide me service after this contract is up. They were suppose to deal directly with me but instead delt with a second party. Not good businesss practice. Im done with them at the end of the contract.
    Read More
  14. User Score
    10
    December 4th, 2015 New York, NY
    0 people found this review helpful!
    My wife helped us set up our contract with NorthStar. It was a few months ago, and we haven’t had any problems.
    Read More
  15. User Score
    10
    November 23rd, 2015 Los Angeles, CA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    We’ve had NorthStar Alarm for a little while now, and it’s been great. Our NorthStar Alarm rep is a super humble, down-to-earth guy that helped us out getting the system set up.
    Read More
  16. User Score
    0
    November 20th, 2015 Southfield, MI
    5 people found this review helpful!
    Northstar Alarm Company is the worst and I regret the day I ever let them step foot into my home. I was never told by the salesperson that if I sold my home, I would still be responsible for the bill. Sold my home and was told to pay balance or keep making payments. Told them we would not pay for a system that we weren’t using – especially when they said they would not turn off the alarm at a house we no longer own. My advice, run from this ridiculous company if they come knocking.
    Read More
  17. User Score
    9
    November 14th, 2015 Manassas, VA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    NorthStar has provided great security for our home and family. Any issues we may run into are speedily fixed through their customer support.
    Read More
  18. User Score
    0
    November 12th, 2015 Indianapolis, IN
    4 people found this review helpful!
    Very unscrupulous company, tricked into 60mo contract, lied to about my monthly fee, the sign in my yard and stickers on my windows. Over two years of complaints generates more lies from these bottom feeders.
    If you work for Northstar you really should consider moving on. Have some dignity!
    Read More
  19. User Score
    10
    November 9th, 2015 Los Angeles, CA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    We had NorthStar for several years, and it was great. Sadly, we had to transfer to a different company when we moved because they already had a contract with the house. The new company has been kind of annoying with several things, and we plan on changing back as soon as we can.
    Read More
  20. User Score
    0
    November 7th, 2015 Hanford, CA
    4 people found this review helpful!
    I called the Better Business Bureau on this company, because I paid for the monthly service for almost a year while not receiving the service when I stopped paying was threatened to be taken to collection. When I wrote the president of the company and told him what was happening a technician came out and attempted to fix the problem. (didn’t work, problem continued). Talked to tech support and was told they would send out a person to remove equip.. No one came, finally spoke with a rep and was told I needed to write a letter and send it to the cancellation dept. before they will cancel my service. Don’t know why I wasn’t told that from the beginning of all this trouble.. I was happy with the service when I initially started it, but as time went on the service became less and less reliable. Honestly, how do we really know that our homes are being monitored? There is no report that we get, not even an annual report, the money is just automatically taken out of our accts and we hope that they don’t take out more than they should.
    Read More

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Our Score
6.6
User Score
5.0
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Payment
$34.99 - $75.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$0-$99

Technology & Equip.

10/10 = BEST
9

Contract Length

Total # of months
42-60

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Pay balance

Monitoring

Response Time
Fast

Time in Business

Total # of years
14 Years

B

Customer Support

Good, Bad, Limited
Limited

SDM Rank

Top 100 Company Rank
34

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
229
Our Score
9.4
User Score
8.5
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Price (Copper package)
$19.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$0

Technology & Equip.

10/10 = BEST
10/10

Contract Length

Total # of months
36

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Pay balance

Monitoring

Response Time
Fast

Time in Business

Total # of years
22 Years

A

Customer Support

Good, Bad, Limited
Good

SDM Rank

Top 100 Company Rank
15

Index

Quality Index (Below 413 is good)
77

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
860