I'm going to enjoy these two phone calls today

First one is going to be to our home security monitoring system (ADT). We’ve been customers for five years or so. A few months ago, one of the little magnets that triggers the door alarm for our shed fell off and dropped under the shed, never to be seen again in all the debris under there. So I called ADT and asked for them to send me a replacement.

Oh - well I see you don’t have a maintenance contract with us, so we will have to charge you a maintenance fee and have our technician come out and replace that…

To which I responded: “Really?”

The little magnetic part is like $1. You can buy a bag of them for like $7 on Amazon. So I bought a net based security system that does a million more things than ADT does, without the monitoring fee, and it has way more capability. Thankfully, I don’t have any ADT contract…so this will be a great phone call where I can tell them to shove it and their $1 magnet.

Second phone call…which I’ll probably make from my cell phone, will be to Time Warner Cable to shut off our phone service. The only real reason we had the phone line was for the security system. As I was looking over some bills a couple months ago, I called TWC trying to figure out something odd I found, a $10 “Wireless Home Internet” charge that has been recurring for over a year. The TWC guy said…yes, that’s an error, that is part of the “package” I have and that I was being overcharged for $10 a month for the past 13 months. My math says that is $130. He says, the best he can do (the best) is give me a $50 credit. To which I said - give me 48 hours and I’ll get back to you. That will be the second phone call I make this afternoon.

I also (finally) bought my own cable modem today…after realizing I’ve been renting that from TWC for $10 a month for a decade. Stupid me. And I see I have a voicemail option or something on that land line for $3.95 a month. Really? Really?

So getting rid of the landline and buying my own cable modem nets me a bit over $400 a year in savings!

Getting rid of ADT nets me $384 in savings.

Yes, I had to buy the hardware for the internet security system and the cable modem, but those are one time purchases that will be paid for in half of a year.

The moral of the story - look at your bills.



Well done! Looks like a messy system!

Thing is with the security company is that they make a few guarantees when it comes to response time and how the equipment operates. That’s why they wanted to send out a engineer to fix it properly so that they know it has been done in accordance with their procedures.

Saving up for oculus?

You would think so, but as a former ADT customer, they basically don’t. It’s in the ToS, they make ‘best efforts’ but it’s all fairly useless on the legal front. We had a few false alarms (heat on windows, completely unexpected and unpreventable I guess, what with the sun being a big surprise and all) and got a $150 police call out charge. ADT (who installed the system) carefully explained to us that actually they don’t cover things like equipment failure, installation failure, issues caused by break-ins, force majeure, and annoying things like that - they are basically there just to help bring your insurance premiums down (at least in North America) and not really an actual working alarm system you would think you would get. It’s a comfort blanket basically.

@BeachAV8R For the TWC one, if you’re feeling up for it :slight_smile: when I cancel services like that before I’ve started the phone call with a very polite ‘Hello, I’d like to cancel my service please. I am recording this call, but I need you to acknowledge that you understand that. Ok?’. You’ll then get bumped straight to customer retention guy/girl, where they’ll do a different script rather than the usual ‘Don’t leave us!!’ drama.


And that’s why I hook up all my outside windows to a electrical grid with 380V 2 phase wire coming straight from my inverter bank in the basement. Shame about all the dead bodies in the morning though.


The thing that really made me turn the corner on ADT (as well as the $1 magnet) is that I recently read that home security monitoring services are basically a scam because they don’t really prevent theft. Pretty much any home security system is going to have an alarm. When the alarm goes off, the crooks either leave immediately, or dash, grab and leave immediately. The response time for ADT and all the other major monitoring services is way too slow to prevent real dash and grab burglaries. I mean, 99.9% of their alarms are false alarms. They go down the contact list trying to contact me, my wife, and my neighbor to verify whether it is a false alarm or a real alarm. That takes several minutes at best. If we either are not able to be contacted, or if we say we don’t know if it is a false alarm, they then dispatch police. And the police know that most of the alarms are false alarms, so they aren’t really compelled to come quickly. So the dispatch and response probably adds at least ten more minutes. By now…the criminals are LONG gone. So basically you are paying for not much in terms of security. You could argue the fire monitoring and CO2 monitoring are worth something…maybe. EDIT - and yeah…the trend is for police to (rightfully) start charging for false alarm callouts…

@fearlessfrog - Good idea on the TWC call. I’d rather not go through a half hour of them trying to keep me…because I’m not interested. I just wish I had something to threaten them on the one remaining service we will have…with is the internet cable. We don’t have any competitors here in my part of NC…and generally I’ve been pretty satisfied with the cable internet service. We dropped the TV part a couple years ago and went to DirecTV because they offered more modern equipment (multiple room DVR type stuff) for equal or less money.

Personally, I could cut out TV altogether I think at this point. Not much left that I really want to watch…


Yes, any false alarm is a charge from the emergency services here, which is fair enough if it comes from an automated system. They don’t want people to stop calling them.

But yes, those systems are pretty useless. And surely a local noise maker would work much better for CO2 or fire? We’ve got those little round devices all around the house to warn of impeding doom.

Yeah…we have four fire alarms in the house. The benefit of the monitored fire alarm (I guess) is that if we weren’t home, ADT would call and report the fire for us. But with this new Z-wave type alarm system I bought, I’m pretty sure I can get a fire alarm that will send me a push-notification if I have a fire. Actually, I think the base system I bought has a temperature sensor too that can be set to send push-notifications on temperature changes. The whole Z-wave network thing is kinda cool (if it works). You can have sensors in your basement (I don’t have one) that will send you a message if water hits them to let you know if your basement is flooding or sump pump failed. I’m interested in the one where you can control your house thermostat from the phone.

The system I’m going with has a nice high-def camera, through which I can also talk to people in the house (“Kai…stop trying to ride the cat…!”) and has all the standard motion sensors, door and window sensors, etc… You can really a la carte the system to allow you to manage a bunch of stuff. I don’t need a bunch of gadgets…but I can think of things I’d like to be able to remotely activate via my phone from anywhere in the world.

This is the one I’m getting:

1 Like

Couple Dogs > Alarm company…


I always thought Crockett from Miami Vice had the best security system…


Well honestly, the best system is like what Mad Max used in his car… of course there is the whole blowed up stuff thing, but get insurance.


Ah, 380V just tingles a lot. Unless you have a salt water moat under those windows as well…

Hey…look what Amazon just delivered…! I wonder if it will be plug and play or if I’ll have to run through hoops with TWC…

That one looks fierce indeed!

Oh…that was both fun and quick…! I’m back up and running…now with the above modem. They tried for a few minutes to “get me a rate” that would let me keep my current level of service…but after pointing out the $10 charge for months, the decade of modem lease, the ridiculous $3.95 “voicemail” charge (???)…I think they got the picture. She became all business, took my phone off the bill and then transferred me to Farooq, who was very efficient…took down my new modem MAC number and had me up in running in about 3 minutes.

ADT…you’re next…!

PS…with my new modem…do my posts look even better…? (That’s the kind of question my Dad would ask…)

I’m able to read these much faster, so I think it is working.


I think Time Warner was un-anti-aliasing my text too. Definitely smoother and sexier.

Oh…the conversation with ADT was a bit more…err…confrontational. LOL. In the span of 3 minutes…the ADT salesperson wanted to take my bill from $34.00 a month to $9.99. I told the guy…hey…why didn’t YOU call ME and offer me that at some point in the past? He said…“well…most of our customers don’t want us calling them” to which I laughed and said…“listen, if you called your customers and said you were going to reduce their bill by 50% and then said thank you for being a customer, no strings attached…0% of them would complain”.

I did bring up the $1 magnet too. LOL

That was pretty satisfying too.


Uh oh, I think TWC are reducing the bandwidth of your insanity wolf memes.

We had a 30% rise in our cell phone rates a couple of months back. Rogers, our incompetent incumbent supplier (Canada only has a couple, and they are listed under ‘Oligopoly’ in the Canadian dictionary I think) sent us a bizarre email entitled ‘Good News’. It went along the lines of 'Exciting times Mr Customer, we’re heavily investing in new infrastructure and we’re super excited to announce that as you are a long time customer your rate is only increasing 30% in your next bill! Great news! So exciting!

I reckon there might be some good money in realistic marketing message consulting: 'Dear Sir, you have no choice and we’re screwing you. Such is life. Anyway, rates going up again, but seriously what are you going to do? Ok then, thanks for um, being our captive and hope not to speak to you again next month. Regards, telco.

Yeah. I love the “value added” comments when I’m getting a rate bump. I get that rates have to go up over time…

The really funny part about the ADT phone call was that after slashing their offer to $9.99 and me still wanting to leave, he relented and started doing the work of taking my account down. But it was the ending of the phone call that I found so amusing.

Now sir, we have a 30-day cancellation policy, so you will see one more bill for $34 at the end of September, then the disconnection will be complete…

I mean…I’m sure they ran the statistics on how much money they make on that one more bill versus how many people might decide to come back at some point in the future. Because obviously, nobody that gets that ending bit of info is ever going to come back.