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#61
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Northstar Alarm

Similar to: Vivint

Our Score
4.6
User Score
3.9

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Our Score
4.6
User Score
3.9
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
441

This Review is maintained by Chase Sagum

Review Last Updated: February 8, 2018

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.

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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 and compare with other home security systems before making a decision.

Rank Chart
User Rating
Monthly Price
Upfront Costs
Review

#1

8.0
$19.99-$42.99
$0

#2

7.3
$34.99
$99

#3

3.2
29.99-59.95
$99

#61
Northstar-logo

3.9
Undisclosed
Undisclosed

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441 Northstar Alarm Reviews

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  1. User Score
    0
    May 23rd, 2018
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Installed without disclosing 60-month required length of contract. Copy of contract provided is illegible and does not state when contract ends, designed to renew contract without customer knowing of it. I sent registered letter demanding no renewal. As contract is set to time out, company sent new invoice with higher rate.
    Read More
  2. User Score
    0
    May 14th, 2018 Houston, TX
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I had called in October after my ridiculously long contract came up, in order to cancel. I was told someone would call me back. I received no phone call. They continued to charge my account. My husand was coming back from a deployment and taking over paying bills, so it took us 6 months for him to realize we weren’t supposed to be being charged by them. When we discovered it, I called to cancel and request a refund from october. They said someone would call me back again. They didn’t. I got busy and forgot for a few weeks, but when the charge went through again, I called a third time to cancel. This time they told me that they saw no one called me back from last month, so they will go ahead and cancel now, and refund one month. However, their records show that someone did call me in October, therefore they won’t be refunding the other months. They had clear proof that I had requested cancellation, and did not inform me of any further action required on my part.

    Finally, someone contacted me and told me to send an email cancellation request to a specific address. I did. 10 minutes later, I received an email that said that cancellation request wasn’t good enough. That I needed to take a picture of a hand-written signature and email that. I have never seen so many ridiculous hoops a company sets up for its clients to jump through. This is an awful company.
    They also say that the cancellation process is lined out in the contract, in order to cover their asses. They just don’t inform their clients of the next step until the next person with the company contacts you to let you know the next step. An appalling system.

    Read More
  3. User Score
    3
    April 30th, 2018
    1 people found this review helpful!
    proper supervision(s) of and alarm or IT First everything on cancelation of non service is correct:

    I am fighting to cancel my contract. I may have to cancel payment with my bank, and take them to court.

    I had worked for 45 years in this and IT field as an Eng.,

    See the service was not installed for a 5 year term (to work).
    The wifi window, doors. were installed with glue that dries up and the magnetic sensors fall off. In my highly qualified opinion , sensors need to be screwed into the wall/window pain, to work for a year or more.
    When the alarm monitoring does not send out technicians when service is in alarm for more than a week, nor even calls shows that Northstar has no intention of holding up their end of the contract.

    Be warned this in total is a scam. The system is installed and maintained as a good security system for 30 days to a year max. It is not installed nor maintained, for a contract more than a year. (at lest the one they installed in my home ~two years ago).

    Again I am “over” qualified as an expert for (install/maintaining) as an engineer on these types of systems.

    Read More
  4. User Score
    10
    April 28th, 2018 Virginia Beach, VA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I am so happy with my updated alarm system. Kyle N., the technician whom installed my alarm, was awesome.
    Read More
  5. User Score
    0
    April 27th, 2018 Boise, ID
    2 people found this review helpful!
    Horrible horrible horrible company…. if something breaks they charge you alot to come out and fix it… if something is even a letter off from what you’re asking in comparison to the contract they don’t budge. ZERO understanding. Rude customer service. I was literally told by one of their customer service people “No I will not transfer you to a manager”… really?!They have lost a customer of nearly 6 years because of poor customer service.
    Read More
  6. User Score
    0
    April 25th, 2018
    1 people found this review helpful!
    NorthStar sold my account to someone out of state when that was the main selling platform about being local. I’m consulting with an attorney at this point. Scam scam scam and Greg in tech support after hours sucks he’s rude and sighs like you are wasting his time. Good luck Greg you will need it.
    Read More
  7. User Score
    0
    April 24th, 2018
    2 people found this review helpful!
    We had moved to a new home, we had Vivant prior . Northstar came to our home and we decided to use their service. I have never been so dissatisfied with a company in my life. it took a good couple weeks to get the initial installation set up CORRECTLY. at the beginning we were told they would pay for the last of our charges from Vivant if we went with North Star. Twice we were told the check is in the mail, RIGHT!!!. Since we have signed with them we are now having to pay for 2 alarm companies every month. Half of the time the system is off line.
    They are horrible at returning calls so much to the point the guy told us he never got our message, seems odd we still had the info on our phones when we were sending messages to them. I HAVE NEVER WRITTEN A REVIEW LIKE THIS AS I REALIZE PEOPLE ARR TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING, I RESPECT THAT, FOR THE LIFE OF ME I CANNOT LET ANOTHER PERSON BE SCAMMED BY THS COMPANY. HORRIBLE SERVICE, HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE, HORRIBLE MISTAKE,
    Read More
  8. User Score
    0
    April 1st, 2018 Las Vegas, NV
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Absolutely the worst customer service of any company I have ever dealt with. During my contract I have moved two times and taking the system with me. It has been a logistical nightmare from them losing my transfer order initially to getting the system reinstalled. I transferred service from one state to another a little over a year ago.
    The process started with them losing the transfer order and literally had to come out the day before the house transferred owners to get the system out. The person that came out damaged the system to the point it could not be reinstalled in our new home. It took that installation person 5 visits to get the system in over a period of two weeks. The installation person canceled appointments and left me waiting all day for him to show up. Fast forward to one year later and it literally is the exact same situation again. The only way out of my contract is to pay it off which I still have 2 years left and is very cost-prohibitive to do so. A zero rating is too high for this company. Buyer beware
    Read More
  9. User Score
    0
    March 14th, 2018
    2 people found this review helpful!
    Northstar home systems are horrible. I made several requests for call back and got called back one time. I as to speak to a supervisor and somehow no one was around. They sold me on their system because of the Skybell feature. However, the Skybell stopped working properly. They refused to come out and fix the issue but instead wanted me to contact the third party and for me to fix it. I asked to be released from my contract since the services that they contracted to provide were not being fulfilled. Obviously they refused. Be warned, they will tell you the reviews are old and they have fixed their issues. NOT TRUE!
    Read More
  10. User Score
    0
    March 12th, 2018
    2 people found this review helpful!
    I can’t imagine there being too many security companies worse than Northstar. I signed up, not realizing there was a 60 month contract. Within a few months, they had sold my account to another company, and my service suffered greatly. Slow response times, or no,response at all. When I moved I asked to cancel, and they said the only way out was to pay a few grand as a lump sum to get out of my contract, so I told them I would like to move service to my new home. They got back to me much later, and said I was out of their service area, but they would look into getting my service cancelled. After that, no response at all. They are incredibly shady, and make it hard to reach them by phone, and they do not respond to emails at all. Now I’m indefinitely saddled with a payment for a horrible service that I cannot even use any longer. If you go with Northstar, you’re guaranteed to have at least one crook steal from you, and they don’t even need to break in to do it.
    Read More
  11. User Score
    3
    March 8th, 2018 Houston, TX
    2 people found this review helpful!
    I’ve been a customer for over 6 years. My system broke and I’ve been unable to get anyone to fix it. After three attempts I cancelled my service. They are still debiting money from my bank account. When I finally spoke with someone they said my contract was still in force and that I would have to pay over $300 to cancel. AND, the repairs are not covered under my plan unless I upgrade.

    I was told that the upgrade I signed in 2014 was a new contract. However during this discussion, Northstar stated that the new terms were in addition to the terms previously signed and that a new contract did not replace the old one.

    Here is the clause that I can’t fight. “,,,commencing from the end of the initial or renewal term of the Agreement.” So I am stuck with a system that doesn’t work and a monthly payment through November of 2018. Of course, they offered me a new upgrade for another 3 years.

    I would highly recommend another firm for your security needs.

    Read More
  12. User Score
    1
    March 8th, 2018 Spring, TX
    2 people found this review helpful!
    A Northstar salesman showed up at our door less than 24 hours after our home was broken into. Hard pressure, scare tactics, sold an alarm system. We have since moved and paid thousands of dollars on a system we are not using. NO CUSTOMER SERVICE AT ALL>
    Read More
  13. User Score
    2
    March 7th, 2018 Portsmouth, NH
    1 people found this review helpful!
    When my husband and I sold our house and wanted the new owners to take over the Northstar contract, Northstar told my husband on multiple occasions that they were sending him a form that he would need to complete, but the email was never sent. He had even asked for someone to send the email while he was on the phone so he could confirm he received it, and he was told that wasn’t possible. He finally got it, filled out the form, and thought we were done with it. Then, about a month later, we were told the new homeowners had not taken over the lease and we were out of luck. The person I spoke with was rude, dismissive, and completely unhelpful. She said there was no way whatsoever to break the lease. She said there was nothing they could or would do to help us get the new homeowners to take over the lease. We had stopped our automatic drafting, and we still have not received as much as a phone call from them about the now overdue balance. When I brought up a question about payment, this woman just dismissively told me I would be sent to collections if I did not pay. She then told me there was an extra fee if I wanted to pay any other way than auto draft. Our real estate agent got involved to help resolve the situation, and she got very different information from Northstar, including an email address we were told we would need to email to get the ball rolling on the contract cancellation. I sent an email to the email address she was given, but it came back as undeliverable. This company is horrible, horrible, horrible.
    Read More
  14. User Score
    0
    March 5th, 2018
    4 people found this review helpful!
    3/5/18 Greg
    I contacted NorthStar customer assistance by phone on March 2, 2018 to cancel my alarm service. My original contract was signed on April 9, 2013 and agreed to add the smoke detectors on February 20, 2017. The sales rep Chris D. (hard to read his last name) stated not to worry about the 60 months that Northstar is very easy to work with if you want to cancel your contract. He said it would be a 30 day notice, so I would have to pay an additional month. When I contact Northstar customer service on 3/2/18 I talked with a Blake J. I explained my situations and he became very rude, said the contract is contract. I once again explain that I was lied too, and I ONLY agreed because we believed that rep and all his lies. It apparently does not matter to Northstar because I signed, and a contract is a contract. I asked Blake point blank if this was the way they got all their business because that was despicable on their part if it was a common practice in their company? He once again stated it’s a contract. I asked about t a buyout/cancellation fee. He said NO. When I realized at the end of the call this was going nowhere I asked to talk to his supervisor and he said NO! I was shocked. I again asked, and he said No! I told him this was unacceptable, and he said if I don’t pay my monthly fee then they would send it to collection and my credit would be impacted. Very rude. I plan on seeing an attorney in the next few days. After reviewing everyone’s comments Northstar is a scam. So much for a Morman owned Company.

    3/5/18 I contacted the BBIS (800) 952-5210 was told to fill complaint online. Plan to after talking to the attorney. What a pain…..

    Read More
  15. User Score
    0
    March 1st, 2018
    3 people found this review helpful!
    I’ve had Northstar Alarm for almost 4 years now. I think it is a complete waste of money, and I am unable to cancel service because they have me under contract for 4 years. The customer service is very bad also. It almost impossible to communicate with someone that can resolve any issues. And when you finally reach someone, the issue is not resolved so you have to keep calling and calling. I’ve called 3 times asking them to update my phone number, but they still have my old number on file. So when the alarm does go off I am not contacted. I ended up moving out of the country for work about a year into my contract. It took me almost a week to get information about my contract duration and when I finally reached someone, I was told that the only way to end service was to pay my monthly contract in full. I highly regret getting service with Northstar.
    Read More
  16. User Score
    2
    February 20th, 2018 Sacramento, CA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    We entered into a contract with Northstar, our sensors started failing and sending false alarms which ended up with us being fined by the Sheriff. When calling Northstar you will be put on hold for anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. They stated they cancelled the sheriff on the false alarms but then our neighbors would say the Sheriff’s were there. When my husband called to cancel our contract they never told us that we still had a year left, instead they offered lowered fees and sent paperwork to my husband over a cell phone saying it needed to be electronically signed for the lower fee and the Norhstar employee directed my husband where to sign, turns out it was a contract extension of an additional 3 1/2 years. Now we are in contract until 2021 with faulty equipment. Called customer service to complain that my husband was on the phone for over 20 minutes and never once did their employee say anything about contract extension and they should either let us out of the contract or at minimum just hold us to the 16 month standard extension and their response was basically “too bad” your husband signed it he shouldn’t have let the employee rush him and if someone just says the number 42 during conversation any adult should know that means 42 month extension. This company is beyond shady and could care less about customers. Customer service even had the audacity to say they’ve had customers who love them so much that they call a year before their contract expires and voluntarily extend 3 1/2 years with old products. Nonsense, no one would do that, especially when their contract would automatically extend 1 1/2 at the end of the 1st contract and thereafter. This is the worst company I have ever dealt with in my life and we are stuck with them until August 2021 with faulty equipment that they will replace for a high price.
    Read More
  17. User Score
    0
    February 19th, 2018
    4 people found this review helpful!
    I wouldn’t recommend this company to anybody Horrible customer service horrible contracts horrible equipment horrible equipment stay away
    Read More
  18. User Score
    0
    February 14th, 2018 Saint Petersburg, FL
    3 people found this review helpful!
    Contract 60 ,months. I may not live that long. High priced. Would never recommend. $2000 to cancel. These people should be wearing masks.
    Read More
  19. User Score
    2
    February 14th, 2018
    1 people found this review helpful!
    It is impossible to get out of a contract with them unless you are willing to pay the cost. I have a sensor that has not functioned since installation because of the location. When I called for them to replace I was given instructions instead of them sending someone out.

    Sales rep was smart and engaging. Was willing to help and assist with initial setup costs and the like. I know for a fact the contract period was not discussed.

    Monthly monitoring cost 59.99

    Monitoring service is excellent, everything else about them is suspect. I wish I had done more research when I made this decision.

    Read More
  20. User Score
    10
    February 12th, 2018 Edison, NJ
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Amazing home security and customer service! Dulce D. was so very helpful when I had a billing issue and needed certain documents! She is so very thoughtful and treated me like a truly valued customer- not just another number. She’s a HUGE asset to Northstar! Thanks again!
    Read More

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Our Score
4.6
User Score
3.9
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
441
Our Score
9.0
User Score
8.0
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
2,167