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Frequently Asked Questions

Shopping Around

How should I shop around for an alarm system?

Use Caution
When choosing a company to install your alarm system, use caution and always remember the old adage: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Any company that offers free or almost-free installation is going to recover the cost of the “free” equipment and labor in much higher monthly monitoring fees. Nothing is ever really free.

Do Your Homework
Research every company you are considering with the Better Business Bureau. Always beware of salespersons coming to your door uninvited. Many companies using this type of solicitation are disreputable and have lengthy lists of complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau. Recent exposés on the local and national news have emphasized doing business with this type of company can be very risky. Use extreme caution.

Don’t Fall For Unnecessary Fees
When shopping for a new alarm system, keep in mind that any system you purchase will have a warranty – usually one (1) year. If the company doing your installation requires a monthly “service” fee added to your monitoring bill, remember that the system is under warranty for the first year, and all service should be free during that time. There should never be a service fee added while the system is under warranty.

Ask About Monitoring Station Location
Monitored Systems uses a UL Certified and licensed monitoring facility outside of Dallas, Texas. Many companies advertise local monitoring as an advantage. However, this can actually prevent your alarm from being monitored in some extreme weather situations. We chose to move our monitoring services out of the New Orleans area because of the problems we encountered as a result of the mandatory evacuations of the City due to Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav. With monitoring outside of a hurricane zone, our operators can and will respond to your alarm signals without fail as long as your system remains on-line and working. Always ask where the monitoring station is located and whether the station is UL Certified and licensed.

Read the Fine Print
Alarm monitoring requires a written agreement or contract with the monitoring company. Standard agreement or contract periods, or terms, are three (3) to five (5) years. At Monitored Systems we discuss the term of your Agreement in detail with you before our service representative comes to your location. We also have the term placed prominently on your Agreement so that it should be readily seen, read and understood by you before signing. Many companies hide the term on page two in very small print, making it difficult to find. Be sure to always read and understand the entire agreement or contract before signing. This will eliminate surprises that may arise at a later date.

Ask About Billing Options
It is becoming more common for alarm monitoring companies to require payment by credit card or taken directly from your bank account. Some also require that you pay for one year of monitoring fees in advance. This can leave you vulnerable should the company unexpectedly go out of business. Monitored Systems invoices our customers on a calendar-quarter basis (three (3) months at a time) unless you prefer to be billed annually. We offer a Direct Payment Plan, which allows you to pay your monitoring directly from your bank account. If you choose this form of payment, we offer you the option of having your account charged monthly or quarterly, giving you more flexibility with your finances.

Ask About Upgrades
Remember, too, that any additions or upgrades to your alarm system that one company offers, other alarm companies can also provide. If you find a product or service in which you are interested, please check your options. Monitored Systems and our recommended subcontractor technicians will always work with you to develop the system and monitoring services you need or want at a comfortable rate. All of the subcontractor technicians we recommend are highly qualified, licensed and insured and are fully capable of providing you with all of the security and technology you desire.

Alarm Monitoring

What is a “wireless” alarm system?

A wireless alarm system has no wires going to the windows or doors of the premises. It uses radio signals to communicate an entry or breach. A traditional “wired” system has wires running through the attic attached to sensors on the doors and windows. Wireless alarm systems are often confused with cellular systems. “Wireless” refers to the sensors on the premises, “cellular” refers to the type of phone line used to send the alarm signal to our monitoring station.

What are my options for cellular vs. a standard phone line?

For either of the below upgrades, you can complete our Quote Request form on the right or call 1-504-483-7700 or 1-866-736-9888, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time.

Cellular Primary – No Standard Telephone Service on Premises
Are you interested in eliminating your existing landline telephone? Do you prefer not to have a landline installed? If so, your alarm system can be upgraded to a cellular primary service, for an additional charge. This enables your system to be monitored without a landline present. This service does not utilize your current cellular phone or tie into your existing cellular account in any way. The alarm will work independently, through a different cellular network.

Cellular Backup – Standard Telephone Service on Premises
Do you wish to retain your current landline but want the additional security of a backup system? In the event your landline fails to function or is cut off for any reason, cellular backup is available for an additional charge. This does not utilize your current cellular phone or tie into the account in any way. If engaged, the alarm will work independently, through a different cellular network.

How does alarm monitoring work?

When an alarm is triggered your security system “seizes” the telephone line and dials the alarm receiver in our monitoring station. It then transmits digital data to the receiver which identifies your system’s account number and alarm condition, and then releases the telephone line. Our advanced monitoring equipment interprets and records each signal received while our operators rapidly access account information to relay vital facts to the authorities.

Upon receipt of an alarm signal from your security system, operators in our 24/7 monitoring station immediately attempt contact at the telephone numbers provided by you as follows:

Premises Verification: Our operators immediately call the premises sending the alarm (your home or business) to verify that no emergency exists by asking for and receiving your chosen secret password from the person answering the phone. If the password is given and we are told it is a false alarm, the operator will clear the signal from our emergency board. If the person answering at the premises does not tell the operator the correct password, or if they request emergency personnel be notified, we will dispatch police or fire personnel as appropriate with the signal received.

Emergency Personnel Notification: If there is no answer at the premises, or if requested by the person answering at the premises, the appropriate Emergency Personnel (Police, Fire or EMS) are called and sent to the premises.

Call List Notification: If there is no answer at the premises, after sending Emergency Personnel to the site, our operator then begins calling the persons you have listed on your Call List, in the order you designated. The operator then notifies the first person reached of your alarm and that Emergency Personnel have already been dispatched.

I just moved into a house with a security system. How can I get it activated?

Complete our Quote Request form on the right or call 1-504-483-7700 or 1-866-736-9888, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time.

Will my alarm system still work if I lose power?

Yes. In the event of a power loss, your system is equipped with a battery which will keep your system operating for up to 24 hours. If you receive a low battery notification, either from your keypad or our monitoring station, it is critical that you replace your battery as soon as possible. If you’d like help with this procedure, complete our Customer Service Request or call 1-504-483-7700 or 1-866-736-9888, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time.

Why is it important that I test my system?

Testing your alarm system ensures proper operation and communication between your system and our monitoring station. Be sure to call our business office at 1-504-483-7700 or 1-866-736-9888, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time or call our monitoring station directly at 1-800-683-6773 BEFORE you test your system. This will prevent a false alarm from being reported to emergency personnel.

My Account

How do I arrange for service of my security system?

Complete our Customer Service Request or call 1-504-483-7700 or 1-866-736-9888, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time.

I’m moving to a new home or business location. What do I do?

Complete a Customer Service Request or call 1-504-483-7700 or 1-866-736-9888, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time. We will call you back no later than the next business day.

How do I obtain proof of monitoring for my insurance company?

Complete a Customer Service Request or call 1-504-483-7700 or 1-866-736-9888, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time. Please have the following information ready: insurance company contact person’s name, your policy number, and the insurance company’s fax number. A certificate will be faxed to them no later than 5:00 PM the next business day.

How do I arrange to have my monitoring fees taken automatically from my bank account or charged to my credit card through the Direct Payment Plan?

Monitored Systems invoices our customers on a calendar-quarter basis (three (3) months at a time) unless you prefer to be billed annually. Our Direct Payment Plan allows you to pay your monitoring directly from your bank account or with your Visa, MasterCard or Discover Card. If you choose this form of payment, we offer you the option of having your account charged monthly or quarterly, giving you more flexibility with your finances. Complete our Direct Payment Plan request or call 1-504-483-7700 or 1-866-736-9888, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time.

How do I update my account information?

Complete our Contact Information form or call 1-504-483-7700 or 1-866-736-9888, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time.