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Northstar Alarm

Biggest Customer Gripe: Contract Transparency (read reviews)

Our Score
6.6
User Score
4.8

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Our Score
6.6
User Score
4.8
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
268

This Review is maintained by Isaac Ericksen

Review Last Updated: August 4, 2016

See if in your stateWith 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
User Rating
Monthly Price
Upfront Costs
Review

#1

8.7
$19.99
$0

#2

8.3
$34.99
$99.95

#3

4.3
$34.99
$0

#34
northstar_alarm_services-130x130

4.8
$34.99 - $75.99
$0-$99

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.

5 yearcontract

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.

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268 Northstar Alarm Reviews

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  1. User Score
    0
    August 25th, 2016 Oakland, CA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    This company is so dishonest it makes me sick.. My 80 year old mother is being swindled out of money . They have used her age and disabilities to trick into letting her contract renew even though she has been trying to cancel for 2 years
    Read More
  2. User Score
    0
    August 23rd, 2016 Cedar Hill, TX
    0 people found this review helpful!
    System does not allow for a full control unit at 2 locations. Second location is just a push button with no security code or anything. Advertised price was lower than what the salesman offered. I found out a couple weeks after signing the contract and they would not budge unless I signed an even long contract. When a sensor failed, they would not fix it. I had to take it down and open it up and figure out what the problem was and fix it myself. This was in the first year of the contract.
    Read More
  3. User Score
    0
    August 19th, 2016 Portland, OR
    1 people found this review helpful!
    North Star Alarm are crooks. DO NOT GO WITH THEM. Our away function on the alarm systems stopped working long ago. They were going to fix it and set us up on a free upgrade for mobile access to our system (we had been with them for 8 years). They sent a tech which tuned out to be a sales person. He could not fix the problem and tried to charge us for the free upgrade. After this we tried to cancel and they had upped our contract for another 60 months. We went through their dispute process on line and they sent us a letter they could not get a hold or us or had the wrong number. Our number had not changed in 20 years and no one ever left a message. I called after receiving the letter and was place on hold for 35 minute. Had to hang up and called back and explained my situation to the first person and his answer was only you are still on contract do you want to speak with someone, my answer was yes. They put me on hold for another 30 minutes. Then a rep Adam got on and admitted the 60 was wrong and reduced our commitment from November 2020 to May 2017. He is sending a tech to review the system and then will reimburse us for the length is was down. Let’s see, over an hour on the phone with the guys time I will never get back.
    Read More
  4. User Score
    4
    August 18th, 2016 Raleigh, NC
    0 people found this review helpful!
    It took 16 minutes to finally get a live person on the phone regarding a non-working camera inside my home.
    Read More
  5. User Score
    0
    August 12th, 2016 Roosevelt, UT
    0 people found this review helpful!
    The System started off great i was pleased with the system. The installer was lacking ALL knowledge. He was constantly on the phone with someone while installing the system. i didn’t mind i understand being stuck on a job and not having a full understanding of the system and needing help. After a SIX hour install (was quoted 1.5hrs max) he unable to finish as he messed up the door lock and it would not work. 1 week later he came back and installed a new lock but took off the metal plate that was on the door frame removing that takes all strength away from the frame as it is wood and told me i could figure out how to put it on myself if i wanted. The lock still never worked and after multiple techs, replacing battery’s 4 or 5 times, and dozens and dozens of phone calls. i finally had enough and cancelled my services. My experience overall is that customer service is a joke and will only help when they know they will get a sale. The techs CLEARLY need more training as not one was ever able to get the lock working. Not once did anyone say “well sir i don’t think this style of lock will work with your door/system lets try another or give up on it and get you a different product to replace it” I would have been more than happy to do that. The only way i could get any good response out of customer service was to get angry which i don’t like doing cause 99% of the time its not the person im talking to’s fault. I would NEVER recommend this company to anyone nor would i ever get there system again.
    Read More
  6. User Score
    0
    August 11th, 2016 Wilmington, NC
    1 people found this review helpful!
    A sales person just left my home . The young man had my vital information and was upset that he could not convince me to get rid of ADT for your product. He used fear and was very condescending, because of my age in his ales pitch. Please in your training provide your salespersons with sensitivity training when dealing with the aging population. Some of us are set in our ways and enjoy the familiarity of what we have Already. I appreciate your reminding your young salespersons of this large group of people and the need to be sensitive to our feelings.
    Read More
  7. User Score
    10
    August 11th, 2016 Pittsburgh, PA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    My husband and I recently switched our home alarm security system to Northstar. While we were a bit hesitant at first, the technician who arrived to install our new system was very professional, answered all questions politely, and without hesitation, and put us at ease.. Our BlueOps Technician was Chris Simmonds. As we reviewed the steps to alarm/disarm our new keypad, Chris was very knowledgeable and patient with us as we tried to familiarize ourselves with a few new changes which we were accustomed to with our old security system. He double checked all the sensors, we did a walk-thru test, and he helped us get setup on our mobile phone apps and confirm our online profile. He made sure we were comfortable before he left. My husband and I are quite pleased with our new system. It’s always helpful to have someone understand that this isn’t second nature to us and, although I’m sure Chris has installed hundreds of these systems, his demeanor and courteousness was a definite plus!
    Read More
  8. User Score
    0
    August 9th, 2016 Tacoma, WA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Constant loss of communications. Never contacted from company when alarm sounds. Never contacted from company due to loss of connectivity. Equipment way out of date. Constant attempts to talk with customer service have failed. Promises made when finally gotten through were never realized. Sorry, sorry company.
    Read More
  9. User Score
    0
    August 8th, 2016 Shawnee, KS
    0 people found this review helpful!
    These guys bought Vision Alarm after I’d signed on with Vision and had service with them for a few years already. The service was fine for awhile. I’d say up until these last 9 months leading up to the end of the initial 5 year contract, things ran fine. Within the past 9 months, though, the alarm goes off for no apparent reason. It’s claimed as a glass breakage alarm. This is when we’re sitting at home.

    What happens is a voice ends up coming through the box and asks what’s happening. We tell them it’s a false alarm (again) and they ask for the security password. We give it to them and they deny that’s what the password is. Wrong! I have it written down in a password application in my smartphone and have had it that way for a good 4-5 years now. So, I get the police at my door. I tell them what’s going on. They nod and leave. Then I get a letter telling me that I have to register the alarm locally. Well, I’m ditching it by 08/11/2016, so no need to. That’s my 5 years, and I’m done with these people.

    So, after the alarm goes off again, they call me at work. My wife is home and one of the kids dropped the silverware drawer on the floor, so that might have set it off. I tell them the passcode, and they say that’s not it again! I tell them it is and they’d better set it to be and I’m tired of their junk and I cannot wait to cancel them coming up here in a few months. The guy fixes the passcode. I ask to submit my cancellation request and he tells me I have to do it a month prior to the 5 year contract end date. He said he did put a note in there noting I want it cancelled though.

    I call to cancel 1 month prior to the contract date. The guy tells me I need to send in a scan or fax of a handwritten letter that says I want to cancel the service. I do. He tells me that they will send me an email with instructions on what to do next. Nothing. I call them back the following work week and they apologize stating it should have been sent and will be now. They remark that they did receive my cancellation notice and it’s all good and they’ll send me the email. Nothing. I call them back and same damned thing. Nothing. I call them again today (3 days prior to 5 year anniversary date) and this woman apologizes and says she’ll send me the email while we’re on the phone. I hear her typing and then she says it’s sent. I go check my email.

    It states my cancellation request from 7/16 (5 days after I sent it in) was received and my service will be cancelled as of 02/04/2018? WTF? Where do those dates come from? I sent back an email denying this is how it will be. I told them it’s cancelled as of 8/11/16 and I need to know when someone is coming to remove it and/or where to send them their equipment. Of course….nothing.

    Do not use these guys! I didn’t get a choice because my service was automatically transferred when they bought up my previous provider.

    Read More
  10. User Score
    0
    August 4th, 2016 Pittsburgh, PA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Confused! on the Northstar’s business card they have the BBB symbol however my research shows they are NOT accredited.(This business is not BBB accredited) Is that legal for them to claim they are accredited when they are not…..according to BBB, Northstar has 361 closed complaints.
    Read More
  11. User Score
    10
    August 2nd, 2016 Lehi, UT
    0 people found this review helpful!
    NorthStar Alarm has been the most honest and trustworthy company I have ever worked with! I highly recommend looking at this security company for your home automation needs. Working with Fletcher has been great!!
    Read More
  12. User Score
    0
    August 2nd, 2016 Reno, NV
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Not happy with service. hasn’t been working properly since installed 3 months ago. Paying for something the works half the time. I dont want it anymore. A technician has been to the house 3 times now to fix and now working on a 4th and in order to fix the Skybell I now get to pay a electrician up words of &200 to fix my doorbell wires to get my system to work!!!
    I should have NEVER got it!!!
    Read More
  13. User Score
    4
    July 31st, 2016 Chesapeake, VA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    I never knew this was for 5 years as if I did I would never have agreed to this. People show up at my door stating they are from the Company and I call and no one knows about them coming. This is very un-professional and I am tired of it. Once my contract is up I am going to cancel the service.
    Read More
  14. User Score
    1
    July 27th, 2016 Oklahoma City, OK
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I did not renew my contract. I will get my attorney involved for falsafication of my renewing the contract. When I moved from my house I called a head of time and they lied about me still having a year left, therefore I had it transfered to the duplex I moved into. Now that I have been at the duplex for a year now Northstar is telling me I signed an addendum for another 5 years and I did not apparently because I yet have received an email stating this nor have I received anything in the mail stating so. My attorney will be in contact.
    Read More
  15. User Score
    10
    July 24th, 2016 Murfreesboro, TN
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Why didn’t I find this company sooner?!? NorthStar is by far the best security company I’ve worked with yet. I love all the technology offered! The value of the product is unbeatable! I couldn’t say “no” after I saw what I got for such a reasonable price. I highly recommend this company to everyone who’s looking the latest technology that’s truly affordable. All the guys who came out to install the system were great but the one stands out is Steven. He has helped me with anything I had questions with or needed. He’s very courteous, polite and a pleasure to work with. Way to go, NorthStar!!! You’ve won my business for life :-)
    Read More
  16. User Score
    10
    July 24th, 2016 Deltona, FL
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Thank you NorthStar for giving me peace of mind. Jason and Todd have really helped me feel safe and secure with my new medical and fire alarm. I will be telling all my family and neighbors about you!
    Read More
  17. User Score
    10
    July 23rd, 2016
    0 people found this review helpful!
    My new alarm system from Northstar was installed on 7/21/16 by Technician Mike. Mike was very knowledgeable about the product and made certain that I understood how the system worked. The next day I experienced a problem with the system speaker and skybell. When I called Mike, he answered the call and stated he would be back the next day. Mike did come as he stated and gladly fixed the problem. He also explained to me the new upgrade of the North Star app that occurred after he originally installed and I was pleased to learn that I could perform the Northstar and skybell actions in one app. I really like that feature . Thank you Mike for great customer service.
    Read More
  18. User Score
    0
    July 21st, 2016 Miami, FL
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I have been calling for four months to get a replacement key fob and all I get is promises and no action. I was told because it use to be Vivint that it was not completed in the computer yet. But she would submit an order and call next week. Well next week i called and they didn’t know what I was talking about. So i went through the whole thing again. The order is in and you should have a new key for in about 10 days. Another lie. On my third call John helped me set up another code for my sister because i was going into the hospital and she was going to come over and check on my animals and house. I was using the key fob from the original company and was told i would get a new one .again another lie. Also the alarm has gone off three times and no one has ever called or sent the police to my home. I find this alarm contract a bunch of nonsense. All I want is what I was promised. A KEY FOB.
    Read More
  19. User Score
    8
    July 20th, 2016 Chicago, IL
    0 people found this review helpful!
    My system was just installed last week, so far no problems. The technician, Gabriel, was very professional, efficient and was very descriptive about the system. Since it was just installed maybe I’ll update in a few months to see how everything is working out. Chicago, IL.
    Read More
  20. User Score
    10
    July 7th, 2016
    1 people found this review helpful!
    I had a door to door sales Manager named Decker come by my house. The first security system person to ever come by my house in the 9 years I have lived in my house. Outside of the ADT system that Quicken Loans tried to force down my throat, (they called me three times), I didn’t really have much knowledge of what was out there. I was impressed with the sales manager and didn’t feel pressured because I was interested anyway. The cost was minimal as far as i was concerned and seemed a value for the money spent. You have plenty of options, I picked a slim line package with just door sensors, glass break, and a smoke detector, and was not pressed into anything else. After signing the contract, the installer, Nick was there within 2 hours and had it up and running in less than 45 minutes. The installer was efficient, informative and friendly also. Both the manager and tech provided me with their phone numbers in the event I had issues or questions. I received a phone call from the corporate office also asking if I had any questions and how the service was working for me. I am sure that all of the companies strive to do their best, but what I experienced with Northstar was an excellent product and stellar service.
    Read More

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Our Score
6.6
User Score
4.8
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
268
Our Score
9.4
User Score
8.7
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
1,212