ADT Security Review: Read Before Buying! (Aug 2017)

adt-logADT is a household name in the home security industry, having been providing their services to customers for over a century.

For years, the ADT name has been synonymous with reliable home security, although they are making some significant advances when it comes to home automation as well.

As a company that has been around for as long as any other security company in the world, there is obviously plenty of perks to the home security services that they provide. In recent years, however, there have been quite a few complaints when it comes to issues that users have faced.

The purpose of this review is to provide you with a complete picture of what you can expect from ADT. After reading through this review, you should have a better idea of whether or not they are the right security company for you.

Summary

ADT provides home security services to over six million customers throughout the United States and Canada. They continuously rank as one of the most reliable companies in the industry while providing security systems that are at the cutting edge of home security technology. While their rates are a bit over-priced, the reliability they provide is unmatched.

PROS:
  • Free Mobile App
  • Fire and Smoke Monitoring
  • Ability to Control Lighting and Thermostat
  • Remote Video Monitoring
  • Email and Text Notifications
  • Carbon Monoxide Monitoring
  • Tremendous Resource Center for Self-Help

CONS:
  • Issues with Customer Support
  • Complaints About Billing Related Issues
  • Long Contracts with Bad Cancellation Policy
  • High Equipment Charges
  • Hidden Costs

On top of the traditional, remote, and video package, ADT also offers a Pulse Advantage package that comes in at a little over $50/month. The Pulse package includes a monitored security system, thermostat, 2 light control modules, 2 window/door sensors, smart voice sounder, on/off appliance module, motion detector, z-wave door lock, cellular connection, and small appliance control.

The Pulse package also comes with a 6-month money back guarantee and the ability to have remote web and mobile access. It should be noted that the exact prices for each package may not be entirely accurate and that ADT actually offers free quotes to their customers to ensure that you are receiving a personalized quote based on the size of your home and the plan options that you choose.

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Package Comparison

Features Traditional Remote Video
24/7 Monitoring Yes Yes Yes
QSP Warranty Yes Yes Yes
6 Months Money Back Guarantee Yes Yes Yes
Cellular Connection Optional Yes Yes
Fire & Smoke Monitoring Optional Yes Yes
Carbon Monoxide Monitoring Optional Yes Yes
Water Detection & Temperature Monitoring Optional Yes Yes
Remote Web & Mobile Access X Yes Yes
Email & Text Alerts X X Yes
Remote Lock/Unlock Door Control X X Yes
Lighting and Thermostat Control X X Yes
Remote Secure Video X X Yes
Garage Door Control X X Yes

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What Do ADT Customers Say?

The overall opinion provided by ADT customers varies quite a bit depending on who you talk to. While there are several customers who swear by the ADT name, there are others who claim they would not recommend their services to their worst enemy.

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Positive Reviews

Most of the positive reviews associated with the ADT security systems all point back to the fact that their systems are incredibly easy-to-use, even for non tech savvy customers. The response time is also an advantage that many users consistently rave about.

“Oh, how do I love ADT Security? Let me count the ways. First off, their system is super easy to manage, even for someone like me who’s not at all tech-savvy. Secondly, their customer service people are awesome. They are super nice, they know their stuff, and they make you feel that they care about you and your well-being. Finally, their response time is terrific. I set off the alarm by mistake once, and they responded to the alarm almost before I realized what I did. I really could not recommend ADT Security enough even if I tried. They are the best!”

Jan Lane, Top 5 Home Security

“When I found ADT Security, I knew pretty quickly that it was the perfect fit for us. The system’s very easy to manage, the people that provide the service are friendly and knowledgeable, and their price is highly competitive with the market. Then again, even if the price wasn’t competitive, I’d have no problem shelling out a few extra bucks a month to retain ADT Security’s services. They’ve so far provided perfect service for me and my family, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we’d be in good hands if something unthinkable would occur.”

Glen Grant, Top 5 Home

“I was pleasantly surprised with ADT’s service. I live in San Francisco and called to have a burglar alarm set up. The next day a nice sales rep showed up, answered all my questions, and didn’t try to oversell me.”

Murphy O., Yelp
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Negative Reviews

For a company that has built such a strong reputation, it is quite surprising to see the high amount of negative reviews that ADT has received over the years. Several customers have complained about everything from the lack of customer service to having issues with being overcharged.

“If I could give ADT minus 0 stars I would. They are hopeless! I have been a client for years, but only because the small, local, efficient security companies I started with kept getting bought out by this clumsy giant. I recently sold my house and moved to a converted warehouse condo in South Beach. ADT immediately phoned to offer me huge discounts on installing a new service. Bait and switch is more like it, coupled with missed appointments, clueless technicians, pushy sales reps — you name it. I’ll skip the big “discount” and research another service.”

Nomie M. Yelp

“The customer service at ADT is terrible. Each person passes you the next person who has to review notes that seem to disappear from the last to end with someone who just says sorry we can’t help you. After an ADT technician messed up our whole system, sending false distress signals on its own, shutting down our system while on vacation, ADT still has done nothing to help us out. We tried to cancel the system because of all the issues and they won’t let us cancel without a $800 fee. Now, we just got hit with fines from our police department for the FOUR false alarms that were sent on their own somehow (our system was not working) and ADT said we have to deal with it. Thats it.”

Jenny, Best Home Security

“A complete waste. Spent two years trying to make the system work properly without problems. They nickeled-and-dimed us to death, and finally, $$$ poorer but wiser, we scrapped the system and went with a competitor.”

Charles H., Yelp

As you can see, customers have not been shy when letting potential users know about their displeasure with ADT as a whole. It seems to be, however, that the major issue is with the many franchises that ADT has. This creates a scenario where each franchise is responsible for their own customer service, which has obviously led to some franchises not holding up their end of the bargain.

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Unique Benefits of ADT

ADT certainly has not been a leader in the home security industry by accident. Here is a look at some of the unique benefits that ADT provides that separate them from many of the other home security companies out there:

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Free Mobile App

While just about every modern home security system comes with a free mobile app, very few companies offer an app that is as easy-to-use and reliable as ADT’s option. The app is extremely easy to setup and the helpful resource center makes it simple for even the non tech savvy user to get used to how to run their security system directly from the app.

ADT_Pulse

Customers that go with the video or pulse package will be happy to know that you can also control many of the home automation features that the system offers straight from your phone. Whether you want to view live streaming video, control your lights, or change the temperature in your home, you can do it all directly from the mobile app.

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Fire and Smoke Monitoring

The fact that ADT’s security system can also serve as a fire and smoke monitoring system is a major perk for many homeowners. This, combined with the security and carbon monoxide monitoring, leads to a strong feeling of safety for users. It should be noted that fire and smoke monitoring is optional for the traditional and video packages while it comes included with both the remote and pulse options.

What You Get With Fire Alarm & Smoke Monitoring:

  • Fire & Smoke Detector
  • Smart Voice Sounder
  • Power Supply and Battery Backup

What You Get With Carbon Monitoring:

  • Carbon Monoxide Detector
  • Indoor Sounder
  • Power Supply and Battery Backup

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Ability to Control Lighting and Thermostat

As has been mentioned, the home automation capabilities included with the video and pulse packages are among the easiest-to-use that you will find. While home automation does require a small additional monthly fee, the convenience and utility savings that these features provide make it well worth the extra couple bucks.

With Light Control You Can:

  • Turn lights on and off remotely.
  • Dim or brighten your lights whenever you like.
  • Automate your lights to make your empty home appear occupied.
  • Set an exterior light to turn on when a motion sensor is triggered.
  • Trigger your lights to automatically turn on if the ADT smoke detector is triggered.

With Temperature Control You Can:

  • Change your home’s temperature right from your app.
  • Schedule your thermostat settings when your home’s empty to help lower energy costs.
  • Create an emergency fire automation that turns off your thermostat and slows the circulation of smoke.

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Remote Video Monitoring

While video monitoring has generally been reserved for business owners in the past, many homeowners are beginning to add it to their security systems in an attempt to further dissuade potential intruders. Video monitoring is a feature that comes included with the video package and is optional in the pulse package.

Unfortunately, users that go with the traditional or remote packages will not be able to include video monitoring. Once the video cameras are set up, users are able to easily monitor their home or business through the mobile app. There are options for recording and storing video feeds, although this will also require an additional fee.

With Video Monitoring You Can:

  • See live video of your home from anywhere on your smartphone or connected computer.
  • Sync your cameras to motion detectors and receive triggered clips automatically.
  • Store video clips of triggered events.

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Fast Response Times

One of the main reasons that users trust ADT is because of their ability to provide reliable, 24/7 professional monitoring for all of their security systems. They have several monitoring centers throughout the United States and Canada, which allow them to quickly react to a triggered alarm and contact you as well as the necessary emergency personnel in a swift manner.

The communication between ADT’s monitoring centers and the user take place through either the security panel, the smart voice sounder, or the motion detector. While ADT has been recommended by many for their fast response times, you will want to be sure to take a look at their resource center for ways to prevent false alarms (as this can be costly if your local authorities charge you).

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Free Quote

One of the reasons that ADT has developed such a strong reputation for reliability is because of their commitment to providing users with free quotes. While a lot of security companies will just give you a broad initial fee that ends up being much more down the road, ADT generally provides home and business owners with accurate quotes so you know exactly what you are getting into.

ADT_Free_Quote_001

When speaking to an ADT sales rep, they will ask you specific questions about the home or business that you are purchasing a security system for to ensure that the estimate they provide is personalized and accurate. It should be understood, however, that the quote will not be exact.

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Personalized Settings

The ability to set up personalized settings for your security system is another major perk that many homeowners enjoy. You can set things up to have alerts sent to several different emergency contacts while also deciding whether you want to receive email or text alerts. You are even able to set up the system to react to different scenarios however you would like it to.

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Tremendous Resource Center for Self-Help

While some users have complained vigorously about the lack of customer service provided by ADT, this issue will, in most cases, come down to the specific franchise that you are purchasing from. In order to off-set the potentially terrible customer service provided by the ADT franchise that you are working with, ADT corporate provides users with an extremely thorough resource center for self-help.

In the resource center, you can find tons of useful articles that will help you get the best out of your home security system. Whether you want to improve the way you currently do home automation or would like to find out how to reduce the amount of false alarms that your system is setting off, you can find it all in the resource center. They even have a live chat feature that allows you to get even more in-depth answers to your questions.

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ADT Competitors Comparison

ADT AT&T Xfinity Vivint FrontPoint Protect America
Years in Security Business 140 1 4 15 7 20
Company-owned Monitoring Centers 6 2 Not Company Owned 2 Not Company Owned Not Company Owned
Money Back Guarantee 6 Months 14 Days 30 Days 3 Days 30 Days 14 Days
Remote Access Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Video Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Home Automation Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Business Security Yes x x Yes Yes Yes
Nationwide Coverage Yes x x Yes Yes Yes
Voice Control Yes x x x x x
Learn More  Visit Website  Visit Website  Visit Website  Visit Website  Visit Website  Visit Website

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ADT Review

Do you currently have an ADT security system in your home? If so, we would love to hear what you think of it. By providing us with a review, you can help make the decision easier for other users that are looking into the potential of going with the ADT home security system.

8.2 Total Score
Reliable, Home Automation, Free Quote

Considered as one of the most reliable home security companies for years. Allows you to control your home's lightning, thermostat, appliances and more from almost anywhere. Offers free quote. Long Contract.

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Becoming a dad ignited my interest in home security. I started with security systems and quickly fell in love with the fast-evolving internet of things (IoT). I love to review home security and smart home products, and learn about new technologies in the IoT space.
1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Lisa Owsley October 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Do not waste your money on ADT outdoor security system. We had their outdoor camera installed due to theft in our yard and low and behold…AGAIN, my sons Mongoose was stolen out of the front of the yard. Not only did their outdoor system not pick up any clip at all due to no motion (so we have nothing to present to the police dept.) but when I called asking for a resolution no one wanted to give me a supervisor and the only ones paying for my sons stolen bike(which was about 10 feet from the camera) is my fiance and I. Save your money; keep your money. Their security is a joke. We signed a 3 year contract, paid to have their service installed and now we are paying to be robbed not only by the thief that stole my sons bike but by ADT too.

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