Moni Security System Review

Overall Rating2.5 out of 5
Moni has professional equipment, a range of plan options, and certified monitoring specialists.
Recent Updates: 1 month ago
Heads up, since we last touched this review, The Brink’s Company acquired MONI and its DIY installation security business, LiveWatch. The two will now be rebranded as BRINKS Home Security. Basically, Brink’s will take the best of each brand and roll it into a single offering. Don’t fret, though—we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop on any updates we hear in a separate review for BRINKS.

OVERVIEW

Much like ADT, Monitronics, recently rebranded to “Moni,” uses their legions of dealers to hit the streets selling and installing home security systems across the US. They’ve been around a long-time and though their business model is a bit old school they have over 1,000,000 customers who like it enough to keep paying. But should you sign up?

It’s important to note that Monitronics is monitoring only. Their independent dealers perform the installations and sales process before passing the contracts back to Monitronics for monitoring services. Our Monitronics home security review highlights the cost of using the provider, the features you’ll get with the Basic or HomeTouch packages, how to control the Monitronics system from your phone, along with commonly asked questions about the service.

How Much is It?

Monitronics starts at $34.95 per month for landline monitoring plus the cost of installation which starts at $99. They require customers to sign a 3 year contract but may ask for up to 5 years of commitment. They use five Diamond Certified Alarm Response Centers to monitor for burglary, fire, carbon monoxide, and medical emergencies. Their monitoring centers are also UL listed.

Home Security Packages

Basic Home SecurityHomeTouch Security
Monthly Fee$34.95+$42.95+
Installation$99.00+$99.00+
24/7 Security Monitoring
Remote Arm/Disarm
Alarm Email and Text Alerts
Full Sensor Email and Text Alerts
Extra Charge
Video Surveillance*
Extra Charge
Cellular ConnectionLandline Required
Two-Way Voice CommunicationExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Severe Weather Alerts
Medical Monitoring*
Fire & Smoke Monitoring*
Carbon Monoxide Monitoring*
Water/Freeze Detection*
Lock Automation*
Extra Charge
Light Automation*
Extra Charge
Thermostat Automation*
Extra Charge
Remote Appliance Automation*
Extra Charge
Remote Garage Door Automation*
Extra Charge
Color Touchscreen Panel
Keychain Remote
Pet-Sensitive Motion Detector
3 Door/Window Sensors
4 Window Decals
Indoor Video Camera

*Additional equipment purchase required.

In addition to the included equipment, you can buy a medical pendant/watch, keychain remote, light/appliance module, CO detector, moisture sensor, shock sensor, smoke detector, heat detector, image sensor, glass break detector, freeze sensor, door locks, thermostats, and garage door sensors.

A Little More About Smartphone Control

Monitronics partners with Alarm.com. Alarm.com offers an app for iOS, Android, and Blackberry users. They also have an app for Apple Watch, Pebble Watch, and Kindle Fire TV.

Alarm.com’s iTunes app is currently rated 3.5 stars which is lower than it has been in the past as customers do not like the redesigned homescreen. The Android app is rated a solid 4.5 stars.

With the right package and equipment you can use the app to turn off your lights, adjust the temperature in your house, lock and unlock the door, and check-in on your home security cameras.

What Do Others Say About Monitronics?

Others complain of terrible customer service but at the same time Monitronics does have an A- rating with the BBB.

Primarily customers complain that they call or email for help and simply never hear back! We decided to test this ourselves with a quick secret shopping call. We called customer care at 4pm on a Friday. I was able to reach a live English-speaking tech within 3 minutes. Their alarm response center is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Their customer care reps work 6 days per week with limited office hours.

With that said, the A- rating from the BBB gets fishy…There are several complaints where Monitronics was in the wrong and they simply allowed the customer out of the contract.

Why is this bad? It’s not really bad but it’s important to point out. Essentially customers complained that installations were botched, alarms weren’t getting any response when triggered, and of course complaints that sales rep lie. It seems to me that the complaints are legitimate but in order to maintain an A- rating, Monitronics time and time again chose to cancel contracts vs adjust their policy to truly make things better for everyone. To me this is a red flag.

FAQs

Is there a trial period?

No trial period. I was told that once the system is in … it’s in. You may be protected for 3 days under the Federal Cooling Off rule.

Does the equipment require drilling? “It all depends on the type of equipment installed” according to my sales rep. He says, “drilling makes the equipment more secure”, though anyone who has tried to peel off a 3M strip may disagree. He did reassure me that more than likely it is just the keypad that is drilled.

Do you sell to renters?

No, they require their customers to be property owners.

How long are the contracts?

The minimum contract length is 3 years but they go up to 60 months.

What benefits do I get for signing for 60 months vs 3 years?

My sales rep says this depends on several things like credit but that I would need to talk to one of their local dealers in home to find out.

I also found out Monitronics reserves the right to increase your monthly rate after 12 months. Imagine that! Sign a 60 month contract that can’t be returned and your rate increases after a year = yuck.

So what happens if I move?

My sales rep says that they always try to help out but that their customers are “held up to the contract”. If I move to where I can’t take the service they may give me the option of letting a family member or the new owner take over the contract if they qualify. He says that moving gets easier the longer you are with Monitronics. For example, if I move within a year, I would probably wind up owing them the value of the balance of my contract but if I’ve been a customer for three years he says things may be different.

How do I know if your installers are trustworthy?

My sales rep says that authorized dealers go through background checks but to ask them questions and make my own judgement.

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  • Cheri

    They are THE WORST! We fall under the “we had the system for 3 years of a 5-year contract, and moved.” We were FORCED to install in our new location, but were in a remote location where the cellular service that the alarm system depends on to work was spotty, and the installation company/technicians were over 100 miles away. After complaining and going back and forth for over a YEAR to their horrible “customer service center”, and getting on social media telling our story, it finally got kicked up the chain of command, and they let us out of the last year of our contract, with a $30.00 buy out. I’m guessing they just wanted to stick it to us one last time. So basically, we spent $40/mo for an entire year, plus $30 to get out of the contract, without actually having a usable alarm system. We will NEVER recommend them, and tell everyone to steer clear of this company!