Getting bids for Security

Study all the facts and then make a prudent decision based on all factors not just price.

When getting bids for a security system, fire alarm system, camera system or access control system it is prudent to do the following:

1. Check all the companies you intend on calling on the Better Business Bureau site. Check each business name enter your zip code first

Two of our competitors have thousands of complaints listed on the BBB site. Some of them have changed their name several times after being sued in several states. Obviously when a company is sued it is not necessarily an indication that they are not a good company because people tend to sue companies with lots of assets. Another indication is when the companies have had action taken against them by the States and Cities themselves and how they handled those actions and if changes were made to correct any wrong doing.

2. Ask your friends and neighbors about the companies you intend on calling and get their input. Word of mouth is very effective advertising. Find out how much experience the company has had and how many years they have been in business. Find out what certifications they have as a company and find out what certifications their individuals have. Peak Alarm is a UL listed Central Station, Five Diamond Certified and Peak has multiple NICET certified individuals and Many are also certified through the State Fire Marshals office for Fire Alarm. Currently we have 12 individuals certified with the State Fire Marshal's office. Many of our employees are also certified as AXIS Certified Professionals. we have certified factory trained techs and many of our sales consultants also hold certifications. I myself hold a NICET level II certification in Fire Alarm, Level 3 Master Fire Alarm Tech Certification through the State Fire Marshal's Office, I am an AXIS Certified Professional, I recently completed courses in Low Frequency Sounders and Design as well as UL2050 Certification for High Security Installations.

2A. Have a specification so we know what type of equipment you would like us to bid. When you are unsure we can come to your home or business and discuss the different options and levels with you. Be sure to ask questions. Ask what options are available. Many sales people want to get in and out as fast as possible in order to move on to the next appointment. I would rather that you feel comfortable with your decision instead of trying to sell a system fast. Peak Alarm does not do same day installations. We would prefer that you make a solid decision. Some companies have their box systems installed quickly so it is harder for you to cancel. With our company there normally is a waiting list for installation. It is the same with good restaurants where you need to make reservations and wait. Good things come to those who wait and it is worth the wait.

2B. Give this same information to each company and get feedback from each company. This will allow you to adjust the equipment and give each bidder the updated information after you have made those adjustments. What you don't want to happen is to have one company bidding an entry level camera and another company bidding a high end camera.

Factors such as quality, brand, features and warranty will affect the price every time.

3. Understand that the least expensive systems and low bid companies often cut corners in some way or another. Our company does not give equipment away. Companies that don't charge enough, give away equipment and are always the low bidders often go out of business within the first few years. We are in business to make money and we will work with individuals and companies to get them the best system at a fair price but beware of companies that give equipment away for free because nothing is free.

Either your monthly payment was raised or your contract may have been extended to a longer time period. We can do 60 month contracts although most people feel more comfortable with a 36 month. We can lower your install cost by extending the length of the contract and we can also lower your initial down payment by extending to a longer contract. We can also lower your monthly payments when you pay more up front.

4. Understand that the free systems are not the best quality. We have entry level systems, mid-range systems and high end systems to meet the need of the individual or company. About 70% of our business is commercial. When you are comparing prices make sure you are comparing similar equipment. When you want the least expensive systems that is what you will get. "You get what you pay for." and "Lo barato siempre sale caro." (Cheap things always cost more." are sayings that hold true in every industry. If you hold a $50 dollar camera in your hand and then hold a $500 dollar camera in your hand the difference is obvious. Quality equipment works better, lasts longer and is more expensive to manufacture.

4A. Also it is prudent to make sure the products that will be installed are not proprietary. Some companies install equipment that no other company can service or repair. When there is only one company in the State that can service your system you lock yourself into a corner and most of the time the labor rate and the cost of parts is much higher.

5. Consider buying from a local company to keep the money in the State. Peak Alarm has been in business for over 46 years. Peak is licensed, insured and we pay our taxes and maintain an ongoing training program for all of our employees. We have 5 offices and employ over 270 people here in Utah and Idaho. Peak Alarm has their own local UL listed Central Station that is 5 diamond certified. Peak Alarm has a full Guard and Patrol division. Salt Lake City police and some other departments do not respond to home alarms so we can respond and if there is evidence of a break in we in turn call the police and then they will respond on a verified alarm.

Many of our employees have been with Peak Alarm for many years it is not uncommon for Peak employees to stay or over 20 years. It is like a family atmosphere here at Peak. We have fun events where we play together and eat together.

6. Does the alarm company you are considering have a Guard and Patrol service?

7. Peak Alarm has a full service AV company that ranked 18th in the Nation this year.

8. Peak Alarm combined with our Central Station ranked in the top 100 companies in the Nation. (#61) We are family owned and operated.

9. Check internet reviews and evaluate each review carefully. Understand that larger companies will have more complaints because they have dealt with more people. As an example, Peak Alarm has had 5 complaints on the Better Business Bureau web site in the last 3 years and all of them have been resolved. There are some internet complaints listed on some other sites such as YELP and KSL although some of those were repeated and posted on multiple web sites so understanding in this day and age how the Internet is used is also important.

10. Evaluate the complaints and how they are written for validity. Understand that when a person does not pay their bill and won't work with the company to make payments, the outstanding invoices are sent to collections and many people that complain are not happy about that.

11. Peak Alarm takes all of the complaints seriously and we use that information and the experiences for customer service training to help avoid similar situations in the future. All of our calls are recorded so when a customer says that a Peak Alarm employee was swearing at them we pull those calls and listen to them and if it were found that one of our employees was treating a customer inappropriately we in turn would let that employee go. Every Peak employee at our office has to be licensed by DOPL and pass an FBI background check.

12. You may be assured that if a Peak employee treated you with disrespect and you made our management team aware of that fact, action was taken and corrective measures were put into place to assure that it would not happen again. When calling in to speak with management at other companies the chance that you could speak with the CEO or President is low although here at Peak you could still call Jerry Howe our CEO and speak to him in person and the same goes with Steven Kappel our president or our general manager Clint Beecroft.

13. Consider an extended warranty or repair agreement. Many times the price will end up being similar but you will be paying an extra amount each month for peace of mind so you can avoid expensive labor charges if something wears out or stops working. Our repair agreements start at $7 per month. Our labor rate is $100 per hour on residential and $130 per hour on commercial. When you have a repair agreement on a camera system if your NVR stops working after 3 years we fix it or replace it. The same goes with the cameras or security equipment. Some people like these agreement and others want to take the chance that nothing will go wrong. It is very similar to your extended warranty on a fridge or stove. Having it gives you peace of mind and paying a bit more per month on your monitoring contact is an easy way to do it.

14. After you have done all your research on pricing, service, ability to complete the contract, reputation, BBB score, insurance, licensing then you will be able to make an educated decision on your system and know that you can trust that company to serve you for many years with all your needs such as Patrol, AV, Security and a local Dispatch Center. (801) 428 1384 Our direct number is (801) 486 7231 or toll free (888) 822 7231

Ask for Larry Love

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