Understanding The Cost Of Bay Alarm
Bay Alarm is one of those companies that are not transparent when it comes to their pricing. The only way to get a quote is to request an in-home visit by one of their security experts so they can assess your security needs and recommend a security system tailored to your specific security needs. While many potential customers see Bay Alarm's lack of transparency a disadvantage, Bay Alarm sees it as a good thing for their customers. In fact, the Bay Alarm website itself explicitly says:
"Home security systems should not be “one size fits all.” That’s why we insist on sending one of our security experts to your home before we install. With a comprehensive on-site review, you’ll get a home security system that’s perfectly tailored to you and your property."
Still, in researching Bay Alarm, we were able to gain an understanding of the cost of using a Bay Alarm security system. To sum it up, these are two primary expenditures you should prepare for: the equipment cost and the monitoring cost.
In reading various customer reviews, we've encountered customers claiming they've been charged hundreds of dollars for installation. Although they might have associated the fee they paid to the installation service, we think it actually covers the equipment cost. So who's to be blamed for the confusion? No one. The confusion might have stemmed from the marketing hype most alarm companies use where they say they will give you free equipment if you sign up for their service and that all you'll need to pay is a one-time installation or activation fee. The truth is, in most cases, the one-time fee covers the installation service and some of the equipment cost. The rest of the equipment price is rolled over into the monthly fee, which is why they require a long-term contract. That is possibly the case with Bay Alarm and why some customers are calling them out for expensive installation services.
So how much will the equipment actually cost you? It actually varies depending on what monitoring plan you'll choose, the type of system you want, and how large the system is. On average, expect to pay at least $200 for the equipment and installation.
Of course, having a security system installed is just the first step. To complete your home security system, you need professional monitoring, which Bay Alarm also charges for on a monthly basis. We also don't know the exact rate of Bay Alarm's monitoring plans, but the truth is, it may vary depending on your location. On top of that, not all monitoring plans are equal. We estimate that the entry-level plan has a $25 to $30 monthly charge. Adding extra features, such as smartphone access, smart home automation, and video monitoring will only increase your monthly fee. If we are to assume that Bay Alarm's pricing is similar to other companies, then the mid-level plans must cost somewhere between $40 to $50 while the high-end plans are somewhere in the $45 to $55 range.
One thing you should keep in mind is that Bay Alarm requires a long-term monitoring contract, so when computing the monitoring cost, you must consider the fact that you're required to use the service for 3 to 5 years. You should also remember that there's a penalty for cancelling service while under contract with Bay Alarm. According to customer reviews, Bay Alarm charges the remaining full price of the contract as penalty, which means if you have two more years in your contract, you'll need to pay for two years of monitoring in one go in order to wiggle free from Bay Alarm.
Ways To Save
Without knowing the actual cost of the equipment and monitoring service of Bay Alarm, it's hard to find surefire ways of saving money. However, these general tips might help you get discounts or at least recoup some of your expenses.
Ask For Promotions
Most alarm companies run different promotions every month, and while Bay Alarm doesn't post their promotions on their website, you can directly ask the sales rep paying you an in-home visit if the company is currently running any promotion. Hinting that you'll only set up service with them if you get a discount might also help.
Time Your Purchase
If they are currently not running any promotions, waiting for special holidays, which is when most alarm companies offer great deals, might be a good idea. Alarm companies often offer big discounts during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and around the end of the year. You may also be able to get good deals during Father's Day, Mother's Day, and Independence Day. And lastly, because Bay Alarm is a local company, you might be able to get good deals during local holidays.
Plan Your Home Security Layout
Knowing what you need in a home security system even before requesting an in-home visit can actually help you save. Home security sales reps are known to upsell their customers, meaning offer them upgrades or add-ons that they didn't originally request for. In case your Bay Alarm sales rep tries to upsell you, knowing exactly what you need and being firm on your buying decisions will save you from unnecessarily spending on upgrades and add-ons. However, take note that some sales reps actually make helpful suggestions, so still try to keep an open mind.
Claim Your Insurance Discount
Lastly, we highly recommend claiming your homeowners insurance discount once your Bay Alarm system is set up in order to recoup some of your home security expenses. The discount is usually offered to homeowners who have installed a monitored security system in their homes. The discount can be up to 20%, and you can claim it by showing your insurance company a certificate of monitoring, which you can request from Bay Alarm. However, take note that not all insurance companies offer such discounts.