Remember when ADT dominated the home security market?
Google purchased Nest, crowdfunded projects are eating away at market shares, and now Triple Play companies are chipping away at what was once a market dominated by ADT. It comes as no surprise as ADT left the door open by taking full advantage of their former “monopoly”. They became a giant dominated by confusing contracts, high monthly fees, and unfriendly business practices based upon the assumption that there was no competition. They were wrong.
Perhaps it is too late for ADT but they are now trying to re-brand by pulling in the reigns a bit and by introducing and new ideas like a self-monitored all-in-one system and inclusion of third party products like Nest. They’ve also partnered with the BBB to identify customer pains and to solve them together. Through collaboration they’ve managed to raise their BBB reputation to an A+.
However, not all is well with ADT. They still have their share of complaints and recently topped 24/7 Wall Streets list as one of the worst places to work in America. They have existing customer service issues which can’t be solved by who complain that they are asked to put quotas ahead of service. It might seem like I’m painting a picture of Comcast as a clear winner but Comcast is far from being America’s sweetheart. Comcast has the distinction of being called one the “10 most hated companies in America”. As one former customer states, “I would rather get a root canal then deal with Comcast”. Much like ADT, they suffer from the large and in-charge mentality that often leads to customer satisfaction issues. Though Comcast has the advantage of being a single vendor for homeowners their résumé in home security would be laughably short compared to ADT’s 135 years of experience.
To make things even more interesting I’ve decided to compare both companies to our top rated company, Frontpoint.
It’s difficult to compare online reputations because ADT often does business via authorized resellers and you can’t separate the home security reputation of Comcast from the TV/internet service reputation.
All and all I think there are better options out there. However, if you have your heart set on one or the other it should be easy to decide. Throughout 2014 Comcast remained ahead of ADT in our rating system but with the improvement of ADT’s BBB reputation they’ve pulled ahead briefly and then fell behind again. In other words, these two companies are neck and neck.
If you choose ADT be careful and do not sign on the first visit. Give yourself time to read the contract because that matters more than your sales person’s promises. On the other hand, don’t rule Xfinity out. You may want to choose Xfinity if you are a current Comcast internet customer and plan to remain one for at least 2 years. Customer’s who bundle other Comcast services with home security may be eligible for a discount off of the monthly monitoring fee. The fact that you can return Xfinity if you don’t like the service is comforting. We also like the fact that they centrally manage their employees. I’m not a huge fan of the door-knocker mentality that still drives ADT’s sales culture as it’s never a great idea to allow a stranger to come into your home.
It will be interesting to see what happens to these two companies in years to come. Some have even speculated that they might form an alliance. One thing is certain, if these two companies expect to compete with all the new school security companies they will need to relax a bit and advocate NOT suffocate their customer base.