What are the most common problems and complaints with security systems?
The answers might surprise you.
Here at Cammy, we scoured the web for complaints about security systems to help you choose better security. We looked at forums, trade quoting platforms, and product review websites. We then segmented the feedback into these categories:
Sensors / Alarms
This covers motion detectors, PIR sensors, anything responsible for triggering an alarm or notification.
Keypads / Control Panels
These devices are used to manage alarm settings, manually arm and disarm alarms and motion sensors, and see which areas are armed.
This covers everything from WiFi cameras to PoE cameras.
Software / Apps
This covers video management systems, and apps that allows users to view cameras and/or manage alarms.
NVRs / DVRs
These devices typically store video footage from cameras.
These are the computer screens that display a live feed of cameras.
This covers communication with support, and troubleshooting requests.
Which categories above do you think garnered the most complaints? Here are the results.
The Most Common Complaints by Category
As you can see, Customer Support (23%) and Keypads/Panels (23%) closely followed by Sensors/Alarms (20%) make up between them 66% of all complaints!
I have listed some comments below to give you an idea of the type of issues that people are complaining about. I have removed names for privacy reasons but feel free to search online for security system reviews and you’ll find similar comments.
Customer service complaints:
“Each time we spoke to them, the call centre staff tried to abdicate responsibility for whatever was going wrong. We reliably found the staff rude, simple minded, uncompassionate, and uncompromising about any charges incurred, whether fair or not.”
“They can’t even arrange service call outs without stuffing up. The most inefficient, hopeless, incompetent, frustrating company I’ve ever had to deal with.”
“horrendous. from beginning to end. i’ve been a customer for over 3 years, initially they seemed alright but in time, the after sales service was terrible. talking to mindless drones over the phone that are not keen to help.”
“Need a new keypad replacement due to some buttons not working.”
“Getting constant beeps with the memory and battery messages flashing. Appreciate if it can be looked at today.”
“There are 2 zone lights which are activated and flashing and we are unable to activate the system.”
“I must have fat-fingered some programming commands and now, with the system disarmed, every time one of the inputs goes open circuit, the keypads start beeping and I need to punch in the arm/disarm code to turn it off. This is not once, but every time the PIRs detect movement. This one is really annoying.”
“Current entry delay doesn’t work, suppose to be 30 sec delays but somehow it doesn’t work, the moment I entered the premises the alarm went off straight away, doesn’t give any beep warning to enter the pin to the touchpad.”
“Each night the alarm beeps around 3am every day and I have get up and accept the error.”
“In the last few weeks since it’s been installed though there have been two false alarms with both of them being on zone two. I’m just hoping that someone out there might have experienced this before and be able to confirm it’s the panel. I’m this close to binning it and putting something from this decade in!”
“I’m able to register the PIRs vis the ICON key pad and the Receiver seems to acknowledge the PIRs when I insert the battery and the PIR initializes… it stays on for a little while and then it doesn’t detect movement. Also the zones on the keypad that are related to the PIRs flash on and off (Zones 1, 2 and 3). I would appreciate any suggestions on how to fix this problem. Thank you!!”
Knowing the main issues that people have with security systems, should help you better evaluate the different products out there.
Here are some recommendations to help you avoid the most common problems.
Software should drive your alarm
Most alarm problems are due to hardware break downs or with the very basic technology being used to trigger an alarm.
For example, a lot of cameras and sensors rely solely on PIR (passive infrared sensor) to detect heat sensing motion. However, this is not always accurate because PIR alone is unintelligent.
This is why I suggest you look for a security system that leverages software to trigger alarm alerts. Here at Cammy, we are using Artificial Intelligence to distinguish movement between people and other moving objects that might set off an alarm.
Eliminate keypads and control panels
If you’re a larger scale business that requires security plus access control, you may have no choice but to choose a security system that requires a keypad and/or control panel. In this case, do your research and make sure the hardware is easy to use, training and ongoing support is provided and there are easy to follow troubleshooting steps to follow when you run into issues, because there will be issues.
If you’re a smaller business, you can avoid keypads and control panels altogether. Again, software is the answer here. Whatever you can do on a keypad, you should be able to do on your phone whether that’s manually arming your alarm, knowing which areas are armed, or changing a password to keep your system secure.
If you can’t do these things without a keypad, the software is not good enough.
Avoid customer support with a better product
The best way to avoid customer support problems is to avoid contacting customer support in the first place. I’m only half joking but choosing security that solves the problems discussed can negate customer service issues.
In saying that, I recommend you look at online reviews to gauge whether a security company offers good customer support.
Here at Cammy, we researched the most common issues people have with security systems.
We discovered that three categories generated 66% of all complaints combined.
- Customer support
- Sensors and alarms
- Keypads and control panels
It’s no surprise that 2/3 of these areas involve hardware. Traditionally, hardware is prone to break down, requires ongoing maintenance, and needs to be replaced at some stage due to wear and tear.
So what can you do?
We recommend you pay more attention to the software than the hardware when evaluating security systems.
Software can eliminate the need for keypads and control panels and solve the issues of false alarms and this in turn should minimise the need for customer support.