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.
- 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.
- 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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