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Alarm Relay Review 2019

: What To Know Before Buying Services

Alarm Relay provides professional monitoring for wired and wireless home security systems from third-party brands. They offer landline, broadband, and cellular monitoring with annual service contracts that auto-renews. Monthly rates start at $8.95.

Monitoring Type: Professional
Install Type: DIY

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low-cost Monitoring
  • Monitoring Takeover
  • Supports Landline, Broadband & Cellular Monitoring
  • UL-Listed Monitoring Centers

Cons

  • Contract Auto-Renews Annually
  • Mixed Customer Service Reviews
  • Monitoring Fee Might Increase Upon Auto-Renewal

The Good

Alarm Relay offers low-cost monitoring options that starts at $8.95/month. You're not required to buy the equipment from them (although you could). Instead, they can take over your existing security system whether it's wired or wireless and uses landline, broadband, or cellular monitoring. If you already have the equipment, Alarm Relay is a practical option.

The Bad

Alarm Relay has mixed customer reviews; some are good, some are bad. Its customer service is accessible during office hours, but you can't reach them on Sundays. Although Alarm Relay's one-year contract requirement is shorter than the industry norm (3 years), you have to pay the monitoring service annually and the service auto-renews. If you don't cancel at least 30 days before the end of your contract, you'll be on the hook for another year. Also, Alarm Relay reserves the right to increase you monitoring fee with or without your consent upon auto-renewal.

Bottom Line

Alarm Relay is a strong option for those looking for a monitoring company that can monitor their existing alarm systems. The short one-year contract is also a plus, but beware of the auto-renewal clause.

If you want to know if they can monitor your system, you can get started by filling up the form on this page.

Equipment & Monitoring Packages

Because Alarm Relay primarily offers monitoring services, they prefer clients who already have an existing system. Usually, they just send a takeover module that works with the customer's security system and then walk them through the activation process through an over-the-phone technician. The modules cost around $50.

If you want to purchase your security system from Alarm Relay, they also sell Helix security systems. Helix is just like most security systems: it's built around a control panel, has security and life safety sensors, and has the ability to send an alarm to the monitoring center. Helix is offered in kits, starting at $179.99. The most expensive equipment kit sells for $599.00 and includes enough sensors to cover an entire large house. There's also a kit that includes a fixed indoor camera.

Aside from kits, you can build your own system. Here's a list of add-on sensors and devices you can buy and how much they'll cost you:

  • Helix Door Window Sensor: $25.00
  • Helix Brick Sensor: $33.00
  • Helix Motion Sensor: $66.00
  • Helix Smoke/Heat Detector: $80.00
  • Helix Tilt Sensor: $47.00
  • Helix Keyfob: $22.00
  • Helix Medical Pendant: $28.00
  • Helix Siren: $99.00
  • Helix HeliPAD: $80.00
  • 1MP Indoor Camera: $99.00
  • 2MP Indoor Pan & Tilt Camera: $189.00
  • 1MP Outdoor Camera: $199.00

As for monitoring, Alarm Relay offers just one monitoring plan that can be upgraded with several features. It starts at $8.95/month, but you won't pay monthly. Instead, you'll have to pay for an entire year's worth of monitoring. Once the first year is up, the Alarm Relay's contract will auto-renew and you'll be charged for another 1 year of service. You can only stop the auto-renewal by sending Alarm Relay a written notice 30 days before the contract ends.

Keep in mind that the $8.95 introductory price uses landline monitoring, which isn't as secure as broadband or cellular monitoring. Upgrading to cellular or broadband monitoring will increase the monthly fee to around $20. You can also apply upgrades, such as regular connectivity tests and door open/close reports for a fee.

Lastly, take note that Alarm Relay reserves the right to increase your monitoring fee after the initial contract ends. If you paid $107.40 on your first year, expect to pay more on your second and consecutive years.

Key Features & Tech

  • Remote Programming
  • Smartphone Access
  • Home Automation & Cameras

Remote Takeover

If you're using an existing system, a technician won't have to come and program your system personally. Instead, they'll schedule a call and then walk you through the process. It takes less than 30 minutes to program a system depending on the number and type of sensors connected to it.

Smartphone Access

Alarm Relay does offer smartphone access, just not to all customers. It's an upgrade that you can apply to your monitoring service but will cost you a few extra dollars per month. Also, there's isn't a single app you can use. Alarm Relay will provide a list of apps that can work with your security system.

Home Automation & Cameras

If you're looking to add a few more bells and whistles to your security system, Alarm Relay does support home automation features and cameras. The catch is that your equipment choices will depend on what type of system you have. Also, if your system doesn't support the three security cameras offered by Alarm Relay, you'll need to look for another supplier.

Customer Experience

Alarm Relay claims to be customer-centric, but it does have a few policies in place that are not so customer friendly.

Auto-Renewal

Alarm Relay does have an auto renew clause within their contracts. If you do not cancel in time, they will automatically renew your service for an additional year. This is a contrast to other companies who will only renew 30 days at a time. Also, they will provide two weeks notice before auto-renewing your contract, but you must notify them 30 days in advance if you want to cancel. They also hold the right to increase your fee when they automatically renew your contract for you.

Moving Policy

The good news with Alarm Relay is that they will allow you to move for free at any time. Of course, if your security equipment is hardwired into your current home, it may be difficult to move the equipment. But, you always have the option of installing a new, wireless system at your new home before transferring service.

Returns

They also allow customers to give their service a try. If you aren’t happy, you can cancel within 30 days (less a 10% restocking fee).

Ratings

Despite its not-so-customer-friendly policies, it seems like most customers don't care. It currently holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and its monitoring centers maintain a UL-listed status. That said, there are still several negative reviews; most of which stem from Alarm Relay's slow response time to support calls.

Submit Your Review of Alarm Relay

Customer Alarm Relay Reviews

Stop Overpaying for Alarm Monitoring
Reviewed by Jim G. on Mar. 14, 2018

I have an alarm system installed during home construction 20 years ago, consisting of both wired and wireless sensors. Monitoring was (as is but not for long)via traditional wireline phone service.

I moved from a local-turned-franchise security service to Alarm Relay about 4 years ago. The migration to enable them to take over controller monitoring took one phone call.

Be sure you know (or get find) the manufacturer and model number of the system and user panel.

For pure monitoring and notification, Alarm Relay has been fully reliable.

I have a habit of sometimes entering the "stay at home" code in error when leaving the house. So, their responsiveness gets tested fairly regularly.

In every case that the alarm is triggered, they are calling me in less than 90 seconds (most under a minute).

Fortunately, we have had no reason to experience their local police notification but evidence suggests that they will carry through if needed for police dispatch.

Obviously, I would need to call a local security company if/when the security system needs repair. But I am easily saving $250 annually.

I get a good laugh every time I see Comcast advertising their home security for $40 per month. WOW!

BTW, is the ANYTHING that Comcast offers that doesn't increase in price every year?

Everyone has their own requirements, but for core security monitoring and response, I am quite happy with Alarm Relay.

PS A few months ago, I added a ring.com doorbell camera as a slight (and probably unnecessary enhancement) to my home security. No annual costs unless you want to buy cloud storage of camera recordings ($30/yr)...

Terrible service - I cancelled after 2 months
Reviewed by Diane O. on Jan. 23, 2018

TERRIBLE SERVICE!!! Costly to buy their equipment. I wasted ages of time and money ($325) on equipment and a fine from my city for a false alarm which was never resolved. Technicians kind but hard to book an appointment. Often had to wait 4 days to get help. What's an alarm system if I have to wait 4 days to get help if it stops working? Got lots of runs around in trying to get someone to help me.

Complete Bait and Switch
Reviewed by Amy on Oct. 31, 2017

Alarm Relay, with their $8.95 monitoring and $30 activation charge looks great on paper. The reality is that the price you see online is NOT what they offer you once you place an order for a system. After ordering and being charged +/- $400 for a Helix system, I received a call and email from a "Sales Representative", who offered me monitoring for $5 more per month than is clearly outlined on the Alarm Relay website, as well as an activation charge which is double what is state on their site as well. Just plain shady. The Helix system by Resolution looks great, the DIY aspect and feature set is exactly what I was looking for. I will however not do business with a company that pulls a bait and switch and I'd advise anyone who is considering Alarm Relay to look elsewhere.

Great Service
Reviewed by Cindy Miller on Jan. 23, 2019

We installed our own system (DSC) when we built our house in 2009 and started using Alarm Relay landline service. They activated everything over the phone. We have been very happy with the service and they are always polite and very helpful. Since we have our internet with our landline (DSL) we will continue to use this service.

nothing but excellent service
Reviewed by Mindy on May. 10, 2018

I am shocked by the reviews on here for Alarm Relay. Perhaps the difference is having a existing system with a landline vs one of the new systems. I had a hardwired system with landline installed by ADT years ago and paid $40/mo for monitoring. Switched to Alarm Relay five or more years ago for $8.95/mo and they have never raised the price. I understand that price is only for landline monitoring. If you want cellular or something different than it costs more. It does say that if you read carefully on their site. I have moved and need a new system and have no hesitation going with them even though the price will be higher since I won't have a landline. They are still much cheaper than other companies and have better equipment. I am temporarily living at a home that uses Alarm Relay as well and I routinely set the alarm off in the morning when letting the dog out and they call within 30 seconds.

Avoid this place like the plague
Reviewed by Mike C. on Aug. 7, 2017

Terrible Company. After waiting 2 weeks AGAIN !!! Now they want me to wait another day for monitoring, I would avoid this company like the plague. Wish I could post a negative rating because that is what is deserved.

Great service and price
Reviewed by Jon V. on Mar. 14, 2018

I have been using Alarm Relay for years and have never gotten anything but excellent service at a fraction of the price without the yard sign.

SCAM
Reviewed by John on Jul. 5, 2018

They claim that they can take your old ADT alarm system and turn it back on for $8 per month. You have to pay them for the year up front. I purchased the service in 2016. It did not work for me so I did not sign up for another year or pay for the next year’s subscription. They cut the service off. Now they are saying that I owe them for another year and turned it into my Experian report. I paid the full amount up front in 2016 for a year of service that I could not use because it never worked. In 2017 I did not renew my subscription and the service was turned off. They reported me to Experian for owing them a year's subscription that I did not subscribe to.

THEY ARE SCAMMERS. DO NOT ORDER THIS NON-WORKING SERVICE!!

STAY AWAY
Reviewed by Allen A. on Jan. 7, 2019

I used them for years but had to cancel my service because my equipment was getting old and constantly giving me errors. After I canceled I started receiving bills for the time I didn't even have service. They were belligerent about it even though I had the cancellation notice. Horrible customer service. I can not recommend at all.