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AlarmForce Complaints & Reviews - Awful company

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AlarmForce

Posted:    Helen

Awful company

Complaint Rating:  83 % with 260 votes
Contact information:
AlarmForce
Canada
Phone: 800-267-2001
alarmforce.com
We had our new AlarmForce system installed in July 2008. My wife was home during the installation and I had left instructions as to where I wanted the sensors located. On top of basic package we 'purchased' 2 additional smoke detectors, 1 glass break sensor and 1 door contact for a total of $361.20. (I put that in quotations because we really do not own anything.)

The installer insisted on placing the motion sensor BEHIND AN INTERIOR DOOR which, if left open, would render the system useless. He came back and moved it (damaging our wall) to another location. In this position, the system could not be armed if our wood stove was hot! I finally moved the sensor myself (damaging the wall again - the guy used tape and screws) and have not had another issue.

In October, the system said that there was a 'low sensor battery'. That's right, in three months a set of two lithium batteries had went dead in the glass break sensor. Then in December, the same error crops up again! The issue is that the system does not tell you which sensors are faulty! We did a test and three sensors did not report in! MORE lithium batteries down the tubes!

Just this past month, I took a terrible coughing fit near the glass break sensor and set off the alarm! That wasn't the bad part. I waited patiently by the AlarmForce box for the operator to come over the speaker. After a few minutes, I figured that they were not going to respond and went to brush my teeth. I had time to get to the bathroom and start brushing before I heard someone!

Our latest AlarmForce pain came when our credit card company canceled our card in a security investigation. I remembered to call our heating oil supplier, phone company, cellphone provider, etc. but forgot to call AlarmForce. TWO DAYS LATER they mailed out a $21 SERVICE FEE notice because of the card being declined! Let me stress that they did not call us at all, just mailed out the bill. I called to explain the situation and was met with a very harsh attitude by their representative. After 20 minutes, I was able to have the fee reversed.

The trouble is, I cannot get out of their service contract. Thirty months at $25 come to $750 that I just cannot throw away. I will have to live with their poor response and inadequate equipment for the foreseeable future.
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 18th of Mar, 2009 by   Ilia B. +2 Votes
We had a similar experience. Equipment is of "dollar-store" quality; the sensors are not pet-friendly, the main unit loves to complain about low batteries (and you have to change ALL of them to clear the error). The response to alarms is slow - they called the NEXT DAY(!) once to see if the alarm going off was legitimate. Every time the monotiring station failed to respond (at least on 3 occasions) there were always excuses like "we will send a tech to check out your equipment -- for a fee" or "we will perform testing of the system, there must be something wrong with the land line" (the line was never a problem for either DSL or phone service though). The two way voice thing is a gimmick. Unless you keep the central unit out in the open, the microphone is not good enough for the operator to hear you. The siren and the voice speaker are apparently one and the same -- so the voice quality is horrid, and the siren is too quiet to be heard outside of the house.

Call center and customer service are sub-par. The billing department is keen on sending canned letters, and it seems that they have a very poor system for keeping track of interactions with customers - some of the incidents we had were not logged when I phoned to cancel the service for non-performance.
As everyone else says - STAY AWAY. Change your credit card number if you have to, but don't be suckered into feeding this company. They are taking away business from proper alarm operators (ADT, Brinks etc.) by aggressive and misleading advertising. We are switching to a proper alarm system now.
 21st of Mar, 2009 by   fergie +3 Votes
I paid in full for one year as a gift to my son and being a new grandmother. Had the same problem as
mentioned as the installer wanted to place the sensor
and mid arm height enabling anyone that comes
through the front door to injury themselves or knock off wall. They came back to reinstall. After one year the contract was over. We were NOT contacted. The
equipment was taken off the wall near the door as condo corp redid all the entries and doors. NO one called to see why my son's unit became disconnected. So they have been monitoring the air in some box where equip was stored. Now they want me to pay for a 3 yrcontract and nothing beyond 1yr discussed. Pay for what I ask? Incompetence.
 27th of Oct, 2009 by   DavidToronto +1 Votes
I have used Alarmforce in the past and was very disappointed with quality of equipment. It looked like a $30 speaker!.
We have since bought a "real" alarm from Sears Home alarm. They used Honeywell equipment and we are very pleased. We didnt know Sears did alarms but its no surprise, they do everything else!
 26th of Nov, 2009 by   debbie mackenzie +1 Votes
I've had my AlarmForce alarm for six years and have on good words for the company, the service and the equipment. A medical emergency was able to get my mother help in minutes and I always feel safe when I'm home alone. I've recommended to all my friends and they're all pleased too, Batteries need to be changed, which they remind you in their regular newsletter, and I don't see what the big deal is.
 14th of Jan, 2010 by   Pierre-Andre Manseau 0 Votes
Me too i have problems with this company. Witch i was force to take when i bought the house.

They are charging my credit card directly and when my credit card expired they never sent or call to ask for the new credit card number. I have to admit that i didn't call them but the fact is that they sent my account for collection. I owe them little money and because the way the contract is made I end-up with a 850$ bill.

Be aware of this company. They charge 25$ per month but if you have an overdue then they charge 100$ fee to send you in collection + in the collection agency they charge you for the balance of the contract and also fees to send you in collection.

This is outrageous. I tried to pay the small amount I owe them but they don't want. They want the 100$ to having sent me to collection but the collection agency didn't reach me yet.
 18th of Jan, 2010 by   IMTYA +1 Votes
I too agree with this. The equipmetn is of low quality and this compnay have the worst response time. I have tripped my alarm 2 times to test the live voice response and it took them more than 2 minutes to start speaking on the intercom. My second test was done with mobile response, it took them 45 mins to get to my home and my wife left downtown toronto and got to my home before the mobile response could arrive.

Another issue is the backup battery that is found in the SPEAKER UNIT. This bettery dies within a year and you will need to pay $20.00 plus taxes to get a new one . However the battery states that is rechargable but it does not recharge so it needs to be replace. WHat a rip off. I was able to purchace a battery from EBAY for $5.00 and $2.50 shipping.. I suggest you go this route before you attempt buying it from ALARM FORCE.

WHAT AN AWFUL SERVICE, I CAN'T WAIT FOR MY AGREEMENT TO COME TO AN END.
 25th of Feb, 2010 by   Dani-L81 +1 Votes
Awful service!! They are thieves! A 3 -year contract which you cannot get out of unless you pay off the entire thing off is ludicrous! We signed over the contract when we bought our house almost 2 years ago, and it’s the biggest nuisance we've had with a 45 yr old home.
Equipment:
They don’t have anything available for sliding doors, contacts obviously do not work, and they don’t have an alternative solution! If you have a cat, forget about using the motion sensors! Even though they lie and promise you they have ways around it, it cannot work. At least the technical staff they send to your house cannot seem to find a way to make it work.
Smoke alarm goes off after we open the bathroom door after a warm shower! Then you better get to the call box and recall your password asap before they send a fire truck and charge you for that.
Service:
We don’t have a land line (we use VOIP vonage) and so had to pay $200 for a converter box (again if we didn’t have this contract, we would have never done this). This was a hard pill to swallow, but the alternative was paying off the contract or paying for a service we cannot use.
Finally the day of joy has reached when contract is almost over, however as usual its painful to deal with these people, even in terminating the service.
I ask if we can get a credit for the $200 unit we paid for, the customer service response is "NO, that’s alarm force’s property". So what did we pay $200 for? Do they not care at all about how they treat their clients, or have any sympathy for how the gouge us. They clearly do not believe on an equitable approach to business relations?
Also, like several others, there was a time when my card was cancelled, and 2 days after the first of the month I was sent a letter from Alarm force with a bill and a $21 service charge for the late payment. Again, it would have been nice if they could have just called me and requested they payment.
Cancellation Policy (Service)
They tell you to put you cancellation request in writing (email) and they will send a confirmation response. I do this, and wait 3 days, get no response, so I write again, and 2 days later than that (5 days in total), I finally get an acknowledgement. This is frustrating b/c the cancellation is time sensitive (what else can you expect with such pitiful customer service). My contract is up at the end of March and they need to get the equipment back by March 15th or else I will be forced to pay for the following month. Again, I take issue to this cause I have to pay a full months service ($36) for March, but I have to get the equipment back to them by March 15th?? This doesn’t seem like it should be legal?
They also boast that they send you UPS labels, so shipping is free, what a wonderful bonus (sarcasm). Why can’t they come back and take down they equipment they installed? So now I have called UPS for a pickup and Im forced to wait around all day between 9am and 7pm because they can come anytime in that window!

I have had only frustrating experiences with this company, and will advise anyone against signing up with them. These things may be more bearable if their customer service representatives had some empathy or were nice, but this is not the case.
 11th of Mar, 2010 by   Dave Jameson 0 Votes
We have nothing but great things to say about ALARMFORCE! We purchased a new home over a year ago and wanted to make sure that we were protected. Not only were they incredibly fast with the setup of the alarm, but the person doing the installation wasn't your typical installer. He was very knowledgeable and courteous. He suggested we consider motion sensors around some of our very large windows. Any issue I have has been dealt with quickly. Further when my alarm tripped up accidentally a few months ago the live 2 way voice was very effective. The person was adament that I know my code and this made me feel very safe.

AlarmForce is the biggest in Canada. I am sure that some people will have their gripes and Im assuming this is what has happened here. But all in all they deliver exactly what they promise which is much more than I can say about what our work gets with ADT.
 11th of Apr, 2010 by   IMTYA 0 Votes
Hi All,
I am not sure if you got any feedback from sharing your concerns about ALARM FORCE, but I have. Thanks to COMPLAINTS BOARD, I receive a response form the ALARM FORCE CEO ASSISTANT, see the email printed below. I have responded to her in an Effort to resolve my issues and hopefully everyone else's. I will keep you all posted on the progress and followup regarding my complaint.

PLEASE READ BELOW.. ALARM FORCE has registered an Account on Complaint Board.


"AlarmForce INC
2 days ago
Hello,

My name is Margaret Brady, Assistant to the President and CEO of AlarmForce. It is my duty to review any issues that clients may have and do my best to address them. I have read the issue that you have submitted and was wondering if you could please reply to this thread with any further information so that I can better remedy this situation?

At AlarmForce we are making every effort to constantly improve. We take every issue very seriously and we will investigate yours as promptly and thoroughly as possible. "
 12th of Apr, 2010 by   Ilia B. 0 Votes
This is a follow-up to my post over a year ago (2nd at the top?).

I, too, got the exact same email from Margaret Brady. I am glad they are trying to resolve the complaints now, but there is little they can do for me at this time. I am happily using a system where I own all the equipment and the monitoring service is free to be switched to any provider I choose. Unless AlarmForce made drastic improvements to their equipment and policies, I believe my complait is a valid and accurate description of the problems and experience shared by many other users of this site.

In regards to policies, this is something I did not mention in my original post but feel new/potential customers should be aware of: we had AlarmForce try and make us foot the bill for an upgrade to the cellular module in the unit since the wireless provider was changing standars. This was just after we had to change all the batteries in the system. We felt that the expense should be up to AlarmForce since THEY own the equipment, and a wireless module is hardly a consumable. And, well, the main battery not recharging is a joke and a rip-off, as other posters have mentioned.

I think that http://www.complaintsboard.com should keep the complaints up for the duration of 3 years, as that will give new users a chance to gauge overall customer satisfaction based on subsequent submissions.

Ilia B.
 17th of Apr, 2010 by   gillpatrick62 0 Votes
I have recently finished with a 3 yr contract and returned all equipment. I have my termination letter and UPS proof of delivery. Alarm Force claims that I did not return everything. I wish I took a photo of the box to prove I did. Now I have a bill for missing equipment for $291.36 and sent me to collections. This is stealing and harrassment. I have filed a complaint with BBB, Market Place and other blogs. Please do not get Alarm Force get a real security company. Also, customer service reps are rude and this usually comes from top down management. I had to buy the battries and change the battires my self, the problem is, when their battry runs low, we have to change the battries in each and every device, so it was costing me about $68 every 3 months. Their $25 per month is all bull shit, as we have to spend so much money to maintain their system. After researching this company I wish I never gave them my business and hard earned money.

Alarm Force Service is blocked when the phone is off the hook and their so called 2-way voice box is just pluged in to an outlet in kitchen. — so any smart burglar would know how to disable the system and the process to do his work in peace without interruption by the “security” system. There are several REAL security systems that cost no more — and actually provide security.
 19th of Apr, 2010 by   Patrick 0 Votes
I was going through the reviews about AlarmForce and i think that most of the comments posted are bogus.I am using alarmforce systems for a long time now and till date i have no complaints about the produce or services offered by them. Not only are the comments badmouthing the company tat has provided quality security systems they are indirectly promoting other products as well. I thought this forum is meant for true review of products but i don't think that people are actually interested in reviewing anymore.
 5th of May, 2010 by   Merrick1111 -1 Votes
We have nothing but great things to say about ALARMFORCE! We purchased a new home over a year ago and wanted to make sure that we were protected. Not only were they incredibly fast with the setup of the alarm, but the person doing the installation wasn't your typical installer. He was very knowledgeable and courteous. He suggested we consider motion sensors around some of our very large windows. Any issue I have has been dealt with quickly. Further when my alarm tripped up accidentally a few months ago the live 2 way voice was very effective. The person was adament that I know my code and this made me feel very safe.

AlarmForce is the biggest in Canada. I am sure that some people will have their gripes and Im assuming this is what has happened here. But all in all they deliver exactly what they promise which is much more than I can say about what our work gets with ADT.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The above was posted by Dave Jameson.
Dave, glad to see you are happy now.
But think about it.
You pay 30 bucks a month and you don't even own the system after you paid all that money?

And a 2 way voice is effective? Hahahahahaha
Little do you know.
AF procedures for the voice threat is that the operators say it three times.
After no response, then the operator calls the premises.
Then the operator calls keyholders.
Then after no response, they call the authorities.
That could take 10 minutes.
After all that, you still feel secure?
And, the voice threat. "Attn, this is the Alarmforce Central Station, idenify yourself immediately, the athorities have been dispatched."
Think about that. From the time the alarm was tripped and the voice threat come sthru, you really think the authorities have been dispatched?
NO. See above.
When the authorities have been dispatched, the operator has to give them your information. By the time somebody comes to your house, the burgulars are gone!
Wake up, Dave.
Cancel your agreement.
Trust me, I am a former employee.
 10th of May, 2010 by   roduntan 0 Votes
PLEASE NEVER sign a contract with this company. I signed with them in 2007 not really realizing that I couldn't get out of the contract without paying the balance of years. Some companies will charge you a penalty for canceling your service but these guys wanted to charge me 1.5 years of monthly fees when I moved out of the country and as a result had to discontinue my service only half way into the 3 years. I never had problems with the equipment and their response to alarm events but getting my service canceled has been an absolute nightmare. DO NOT BE FOOLED by the $25 monthly fees, you're going to end up paying a lot more for one reason or another. This company RIPS CUSTOMERS OFF.

Even after we decided to wait till the end of our contract and returned our equipment in person, they said it was not the same equipment they installed, can you believe it. Similar situation to gillpatrick62 above. I have put in a stop payment to my account and will contact the BBB so that I have back up in the event my account is taken to the collections agency. I am not sure why companies can not be honorable in their dealings.
 15th of May, 2010 by   FrankOlson +2 Votes
It seems to me that too many people these days leap before they look. Purchasing a security system to protect your family and your home is probably one of the most important decisions of your life. We all seem to become mesmerized by the fancy hyperbole and the glamour of owning the latest and the greatest without really investigating what it is that we're being sold. My Dad had a common sense approach to making decisions that wasn't based on "price" or how good the salesman said it was. First of all, if a sales guy (either in your home or on the radio) says it's "free", it has no value - to you or your family - as a security system. You can't get ANYTHING "for free" (except the air you breathe). The "free" system comes with one motion sensor, a keypad (base station), and a door contact (or two). This is NOT protection. A motion sensor will never protect YOU because you can't use it if you're home. The two door contacts may have some benefit if you're living in an apartment with only a single entry door and they can figure out how to put their contact on your sliding balcony door. If you're in the average house though, you have to protect a lot more than that. Most homes have four common entry doors and many accessible ground floor windows. When you mention you need smoke detectors, suddenly the "free system" isn't "free" anymore. And what's more... you'll never own it (or any parts you have to pay for to "add" to it).

You need to know what to ask. You need to know what your options are. You need to know a little about the the equipment you're buying. And most important you also need to know who's at the "other end" because that's the most important part of the "security" ANY COMPANY is selling. I've listened to "Joel Matlin's" ads. He broadly states that his central station is "fully certified". By whom? UL? ULC? FM? If any of the forgoing agencies, then why not come out and SAY SO? He says the equipment has a "lifetime warranty" and that AlarmForce "owns" it. So... why don't THEY replace the batteries in THEIR equipment? At what frequency are communicator tests performed? Is their equipment fully supervised? Do you all even know what any of this means?

There are two kinds of security systems (and it doesn't matter whose equipment you're looking at or if it's "hard-wired" or "wireless"). There's an "interior system" - which uses motion sensors, and there's a "perimeter system" - in which all accessible windows and doors are individually protected. One system protects your THINGS. The other protects your loved ones - even when you're asleep.

You can learn more about security (without all the hype) here - http://www.yoursecuritysource.com. And no... I won't try to sell you anything!
 23rd of May, 2010 by   Bryan Mullen +1 Votes
I agree AlarmForce is not better than MHBSecurity. Thats right its all about MHBsecurity baby! MHB MHB MHB! Ya know what MHB rhymes with? ADT! Thats right ADT ADT ADT ADT ADT ADT!

Ya think ya know security? Give me an M. Give me an H. Give me a B! What does that spell? MHB SECURITY! WHEW WEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Now that your so excited to not use AF... here is what you have all been waiting for!...

http://mhbsecurity.com/ http://mhbsecurity.com/ http://mhbsecurity.com/ http://mhbsecurity.com/http://mhbsecurity.com/ http://mhbsecurity.com/

and in case you forgot??? http://mhbsecurity.com/ ! BOOOOOMMMMM!

You think you know security gringo? Well ya dont know anything unless you have used MHB Security. And were gooood lookin too!
 24th of May, 2010 by   NatalieJK +1 Votes
Cool.. Is this FOR ADT or AGAINST ADT??
Anyways, to get into the matter. .. I had an opinion that if you have a superman dog to guard your house, then home alarms are an unnecessary waste. But one fine day, a sales man came representing Reliance Protectron and started giving a whole new session on how a house without an alarm system is in grave danger. Even my dog's life was in danger!
I thought giving it a try and agreed to the offer. Within twos days i my house became ' On Reliance Protectron Gaurd'. After two weeks i found the system to be inactive. We informed them and the representative said they have to do some verification regarding my account and then she will make a call back. And i had to wait for a long time for nothing. I made a call back and asked them to fix the issue or else i was going to cancel the service. It was then i came to know that it was a contract of 3 years instead of one, as earlier informed by the sales person! I did not want to continue in their service since they cheat people for making money. And as far as my equipment issue was concerned, it is still untouched for service. They never made a call to check how the system is. But next month my monthly credit was taken and then i had to make lots of calls to their customer care to get contact with their higher authorities to deal the system. No one came on the line. Now that i am done with RELIANCE PROTECTRON, i want to spread the word to all. Never believe the company.
 24th of May, 2010 by   Jack_Andrew 0 Votes
Very true. They are doing an illegal business in this industry. I had loads of complaints against this Reliance Protectron people that i switched to AlarmForce. I find a lots of complaints here. But it has worked fine for us till now. When i joined them, i was very alert and suspicious about their deals because of my experience with this voxcom. But then the representative was very polite and patient in attitude and also very knowledgeable. Its going to be one year and six months. The company, i must say provides an excellent service. They are very much affordable and their AlarmPlus feature was a relief to our locality. Thanks for the service.
 25th of May, 2010 by   Stephen Drake -1 Votes
People Don, t post In this Site...Tthis Site Is made just to sabotage the Image of other companies and Complaints Board gets Paid to do this, Most of the posts are being posted by their blooddy writers inorder to keep this site active ...
 2nd of Jun, 2010 by   ExAlarmForceEmployee -1 Votes
I have worked for an security alarm company for a little over 5 year 3.5 as tech 1.5+ as an inspector. AlarmForce should be called Alarm farce. The system they use is antiquated by design. What i mean is the technology is at least 20 years old. Also most of their customers use the phone to arm/disarm system (can you say redial!!!) also they do NOT have phone line seizure which means that if the phone is off hook it can NOT call out or if the Burglar calls in it can NOT call out. Placement of the panel is another story. The kitchen counter or behind a couch is good enough?? Next most devices are 2-way taped on?? Also for the first 5 to 10 minutes the "operator" you hear is a recording until a live operator can get to your alarm. Next and most important Joel advertises his 2-way as a good way to confirm alarms only thing is if the burglar is quiet the it goes the same way as any other alarm unverified. Next if it is a robbery in progress and the operator comes on after you press your panic button i really hope you are wearing a bullet proof jacket>>>>

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