Bright House by Spectrum Review 2017

Bright House Networks is a security and cable company selling their services under the Spectrum brand (previously known as Bright House).

The company is owned by Charter Communications LLC, a corporate giant which is present in 41 States with 25 million subscribers, making it the second-largest cable provider in the country.

Bright House Networks is headquartered in Syracuse, New York and has 2.5 million monthly subscribers.

They have a limited coverage area and provide, voice, video and security services in only Michigan, Alabama, California, Florida, and Indiana.

The Good

The company provides 24/7 professional monitoring services, and latest security equipment which can be remotely accessed through any mobile device. This is particularly helpful for busy individuals who are away at work, on business trips or holidays. Users have a wide variety of wireless equipment to choose from such as motion detectors, touch screen panels, and indoor cameras.

The system is fully automated and sends alert notifications through emails and text messages. In the case of an emergency, the security system automatically signals local police authorities to take action as soon as possible.

One of the biggest advantages of Bright House Networks is their minimum contract length of only 12 months, far less than the industry average of 3-5 years. Another advantage is the fact that all system settings can be customized according to the requirements of each customer, providing tailored solutions for varying needs.

Their services are also highly reliable and well maintained since all monitoring is performed on the company’s own wireless broadband network.

The Bad

Customers face a lot of ambiguity when it comes to fees and charges. For example, the company promotes a basic security plan for residential users but does not clearly mention how this plan actually provides limited security options. For a normal-sized family home, customers would need to buy extra equipment in order to adequately protect their property which can mean up to $125 extra charges in upfront costs.

Furthermore, customers who are simply wishing to move their current equipment to a new location would need to pay extra in re-installation costs. The exact amount of this re-installation cost is not disclosed on the company’s website. If a customer chooses to prematurely terminate a contract, they will need to pay for uninstallation as well as $375 if the equipment is not returned immediately.

Other problems with the billing occur every year when alarm permits are renewed and costs added to customers’ bill without any prior notice. A pattern emerges of overcharging customers and downplaying costs that might incur on top of the basic package.

As far as equipment warranties are concerned, the company has not publicly mentioned anything on their website, which is contrary to industry norms. They also do not offer money-back guarantees on any of their products or services, something that might deter new customers from trying their services.

Bright House Network also suffers from a very limited coverage. The company only covers the city of Bakersfield in California, Detroit in Michigan, Indianapolis in Indiana, Birmingham, Eufaula and Elmore in Alabama and Panhandle, Tampa Bay and Central Florida areas in the State of Florida. With only 9 areas covered in 5 states, services hardly reach 5 percent of the US population.

Bottom Line

Bright House provides the advantage of an established company with a well-maintained infrastructure and quality products to choose from. However, the company’s ambiguous billing and high upfront costs of extra equipment and installation might put off some customers who are looking for the cheapest option.

Monitoring Plans and Pricing

The company does not service commercial properties and their products are tailored especially for the residential market. Home Security and Control system plans start from $32 per month. Depending on the size of the property and customer requirements, additional equipment can be purchased at the following rates:

  • Door & Window Sensor – $40
  • Motion Detector – $75
  • Key Fob – $60
  • Indoor Camera – $110
  • Smoke Detector – $80
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector – $85
  • Glass Break Detector – $125
  • Flood Detector -$60
  • Thermostat Control – $110
  • Wireless Keypad – $80
  • Appliance Adapter – $50
  • Lamp Adapter – $50

Features

The Home Security and Control System comes with:

  • Touch screen, to monitor and control the system
  • Window decals, to alert potential intruders
  • One Yard sign, in order to alert potential intruders
  • One motion detector
  • 27/4 Managed Home Security system
  • Modem and router for secure wireless connectivity
  • An option of either two door or window sensors
  • All the above equipment and features are inclusive as long as the customer is paying the monthly contract bill

The additional equipment offered by the company can provide the following features:

Remote Video Surveillance Monitoring: Customers are able to view live feeds from all cameras via any mobile device.

Burglary Monitoring: The company provides door and window sensors which can detect intrusions and automatically alert local authorities.

Flood Monitoring: Customers even have the option to install flood sensors for early detection in order to minimize property damage.

Fire, Smoke, and Carbon Monoxide Monitoring: Fire and smoke detectors can be installed which can automatically signal local response teams in case of an emergency. Sensors can also monitor dangerous levels of carbon monoxide within the property and immediately alert the property owner.

Arming and Disarming the System: Once the equipment is set-up, a user can monitor everything from their mobile device, including receiving notifications, alerts, updates and the power to completely arm or disarm the security system.

Equipment Options

All equipment by the company, including, security cameras, sensors, locks, and alarms are wireless and can be monitored from a mobile device. The company does not provide equipment from any other well-established brand, instead selling all hardware under their own name.

Customer Support

Support is available 24/7 via email, phone, and live chat, however, customer support reviews have been particularly poor. There have been repeated complaints about account mismanagement, unhelpful representatives and long waiting times before issues are resolved.

Contract Details

The company provides a relatively short 12-month contract obligation. The basic plan starts from $32/month but additional equipment will cost much more in upfront fees. If a customer wishes to discontinue the services before the contract ends, they will need to pay uninstallation costs.

Review Summary

Being a small part of a large organization, Bright House Network suffers from a very limited coverage area of only 9 cities in 5 US States. The company provides poor customer service which is frustrating for people looking for robust residential security. Inefficient bill management, overcharging, no warranties and guarantees and tons of hidden costs are problems which might be hard to overlook for many.

At $32 per month, it is also not the cheapest option available on the market. Customers do have the option to buy additional equipment and develop a truly bespoke security system for their house, but that can increase the upfront costs by hundreds of dollars. The only attraction for the first-time user is it’s relatively short, 12-month contract obligation, which can convince many to give it a shot.

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