Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Friday, 29 July 2011

ADT - so full of shit!

I moved into my house in Jan 2005. From Jan 2005 - July 2010 we had no alarm, nothing. We survived just fine.

Then last year our neighbour was held up in his house at gun point. I suddenly felt nervous and vulnerable as a single woman on my own with young children. So I got an alarm installed, and allowed ADT to convince me I needed armed response and to be linked to their dedicated vehicle in our area. It's a grand cost of R420pm for this. That's a LOT for me... but you can't put a price on your and your family's lives right...? So we bit the bullet and went with it.

A year later and times have been tough. We have no DSTV any more and try to save wherever we can. That R420pm is not insignificant! But it was not considered a luxury, so I have been bearing it.

But then 2 things happened:

1- Quite some time ago my alarm activated in the night. I was about to leap up and check the house myself as I'd always done, and then realised I didn't need to. I pressed the panic button instead. Sure I got a phone call from the control centre. I said I had no idea what was going on so yes please could someone - big and brave - come take a look, to make sure. Did anyone arrive? Nope, not that I am aware of.

2 - Then on Sunday while we were out I missed a call that my alarm had gone off. Having missed the call, I reckoned that ADT could investigate since that's what I PAY them for right? RIGHT? Nope. I get home, deactivate alarm, check the property MYSELF again. A while later I get a call asking if all was ok?

That was when I realised I am paying a lot for a premium service I don't receive at all! So I said yes all is fine but I am not happy that I actually have an armed response service. The lady in the call centre said it had been noted that access to my property is not possible because we have spikes on the wall and a dog... WHAT!?

Ok. Let's examine these issues:

- The spikes are so minor and superficial that both the boys and I (and their friends) can and do climb over them and have done so a dozen or so times when we have needed to in the past. Are they saying a big fit and strong ADT man in protective clothing AND with a ladder can not manage that? Give me a break!

- And then the dog? Really. REALLY? Have you seen her?
She is smaller than a cat and the least threatening dog on the planet. She does not even bark, never mind bite. She doesn't even jump up on people. What nonsense!

So on Monday I send a very polite email saying I'd like to downgrade my service to alarm monitoring only thanks.

What has followed is a flurry of emails, calls and even visits to my home to convince me to stay on Armed Response, but at the same time either trying to make me purchase MORE stuff (a key safe etc.) or concede that my property is inaccessible because of the dog. They even wanted me to sign a letter to the affect - basically agreeing to pay the price for the armed response but acknowledging that they wouldn't ever actually come in and help me. WTF what bullshit!?

I have been nice, friendly, amenable, even humorous about it, but now I am over it. I mean the guy who came with the letter on Wednesday night actually LAUGHED with me about the spikes and the dog, who was sitting there blinking innocently at him. He agreed with me and said he totally saw my point and wouldn't sign that letter either if it was him.

So when I got yet another call this morning I lost my cool a little when the woman was STILL trying to convince me to keep the armed response, but that I must understand their occupational health and safety regulations. I said, in these words, 'Look either you CAN provide armed response or you can't. And if you can't, that is fine, but then I am not paying for it any more. End of story!' I mean that's not unreasonable is it?

Anyway, so now I pay R170pm and only have alarm monitoring. Yay, I save over R270pm, and honestly our local police department is great and usually respond within minutes anyway. So finally after a week of debate I have got what I wanted! Why did it have to be so frikken hard!?


  1. I would have bee so scared of that dig! LOL!

  2. hah I heard ADT is useless, and how come so expensive??? we pay R165 a month, which INCLUDES armed repsonse and they respond quick, within a couple minutes the guard has arrived. So what you were paying is just wicked! (I live in Durban and use Park Patrol) dont think they're in your area too, but surely you can find another security company which charges less than aDT and has better service. Jhb is usually more expensive for everything.