Ackerman Security Review – What A Buyer Is Missing?

Ackerman security CCTV review

Ackerman Security has been providing services since the 1960’s, making them an old player in the market. Unlike other companies providing security setup for both home and business, though, Ackerman offers a limited scope of service in only a small part of the USA.

The company is proud of its customized service features. That means that instead of offering packages, Ackerman will help you set up a security system tailored just for your home or business. Interested? Read on for our in-depth Ackerman Security review!

The Company

The Ackerman Security Systems was founded by Bruce Turry and Charles Ackerman. Turry has been a victim of a home robbery that led him to create a security company with Ackerman.

The company was acquired by the Canadian firm, the Imperial Capital Group, last 2015.

It has been in the business for almost 50 years – making it one of the oldest home security companies in the US. It claims to be the only security company that guarantees a quick response time. It is on the 19th spot based on SDM’s ranking on the 100 Top Security Systems in 2017. Despite its age, the company remains medium-sized as it only caters to customers in Maryland, Georgia, Washington D.C. and Virginia.

Its “seniority” in the safety solutions field helped Ackerman earn the Five Diamond Award certified by the Central Security Alarm Association (CSAA). The company also claims that it’s the only security provider in America with a Guaranteed Response Time (GRT). That means that if they’re the ones doing the monitoring, you can expect help to immediately come once your alarm goes off.

Ackerman Products

Ackerman is an authorized dealer of Honeywell products. The latter is a respected manufacturer of security units such as alarms, motion detectors, CCTVs, and the like. These are some of the equipment/devices sold by Ackerman as well as their uses:

  • Protection against intrusion: Ackerman has door/window contacts, motion detectors, and glass breaks that are capable of alarming you and the authorities should there be break-ins. Of course, let’s hope that no one trespasses into your property. That said, it won’t hurt to be prepared. 
  • Surveillance: Honeywell offers a wide variety of surveillance cameras for your every need: indoor, outdoor, pan, or tilt.
  • Life-saving devices: The company offers CO, smoke, and heat detectors before the said elements result in endangered lives.
  • Home automation: Use Honeywell products to control your smart home much easier. Using their devices, you can wirelessly control your place’s lighting, thermostats, and door locks.
  • Cellular communication. Honeywell control panels can accommodate cellular chip for wireless communication. This means that Ackerman may still monitor what’s happening even if you have no landline. This feature eliminates the chance of cut phone or cable lines.
  • Medical alerts. If you think Ackerman solely cares for security, think again. Aside from a plethora of devices meant to drive burglars away and prevent hazards from harming you, they also have medical alerts that will remind you when you should take your medicine within a day’s period!

Ackerman uses the Honeywell Lynx Touch 510 Panel as the brain of its security system. This ever-efficient device contains the majority of safety and automation capabilities you need. Basically, you will be able to control each installed protection device. What’s more is that you can connect your computer, tablet, or mobile gadgets to the panel to enable remote controlling.

It also uses fire safety products from First Alert and equipment from Panasonic.

Service Highlights

We also like to point out to you what we like best from the company’s services through this Ackerman alarm security review. These include:

  • Smart mobile control: It’s one of the things we look for in modern security systems. As the majority of people turn to their mobile devices more frequently than other things, knowing that you can control your system through your gadgets is a big plus.
  • No-Theft Guarantee: This guarantee means that as long as you use their system, Ackerman can help prevent your home from being burglarized. This is true, as long as your system is properly installed and is in its top shape.
  • Customizable alarms: False alarms will cost you more money than you’ll ever want. Fortunately, Ackerman allows you to customize when you want to set off your alarm. For instance, you can set sensors installed in your medicine cabinet or gun display cases to only notify you if someone’s opening them. 

Plan Pricing and Services

Ackerman doesn’t release pricing information, pre-existing packages, and its terms unless you are ready to sign a contract with the company.

Information from its website says that its monitoring system starts at $19.95 a month. This comes with a $99 activation fee to start the service. However, this is only a standard residential plan that makes use of a landline monitoring. It also requires a 3-year contract.

One good thing about Ackerman Security is that it creates a home system that would suit every customer’s needs. It also caters to both residential and commercial customers. 

Ackerman Security System offers services that will suit the customers’ business size:

  • Small business with 30 employees or less (less than 5,000 sq ft) – This plan has the basics that would fit a small business like keypads, motion detectors, glass break sensors, cameras, and remote access.
  • Commercial business with 31 employees or more (5,000 – 1 million sq ft) – Have a bigger business? Ackerman offers custom security solutions and integration. This plan also has an advanced internet video surveillance systems. You can also have the ability to easily control and monitor on who has access to your facility.
  • National accounts with multiple site locations – Businesses with multiple site locations can also be protected by Ackerman Security. The features may depend on the business but the basics offered are customer security solutions and integration, advanced internet video surveillance, as well as visitor management.

Although the base rate is $19.95 for the simplest monitoring, its packages can go up as you add more equipment and customizations to your system. Upgrades to cellular or broadband monitoring cost $29 per month.

If you also want the mobile application access, it would cost you an additional $35 per month. These rates are fixed and won’t be raised over the duration of the contract unless you want to have additional equipment.

If you have existing equipment from other companies, Ackerman Security promises to switch your monitoring system at no extra cost. In addition to this, it also offers free upgrades when your monitoring agreement ends.

Ackerman also boasts its “No-Theft Guarantee” claim. In case of burglary, it won’t just cover the total theft cost, it will pay you double. It also offers a five-year warranty on control panels and one-year warranty on security components.

It also has cellular radio monitoring which can be used in case of a power outage. You can connect with the monitoring center using this. Just always make sure that its battery is always sufficiently charged.

As of now, it is offering a free HD indoor camera that comes with any interactive security plan.

Pros

  • Ackerman’s system is extremely affordable
  • The company offers an expandable system that you can upgrade anytime without changing the main units (such as the control panel)
  • The company will customize your security system based on what you require for your home or business
  • You can customize when to sound your alarm

Cons

  • Ackerman’s services are only limited in Maryland, Georgia, Washington D.C. and Virginia
  • There is a lack of transparency due to the minimal information available in their website and the limited data (regarding costs, terms, etc.) that you can obtain from their representative upon negotiation
  • Reports of hidden fees and charges that you’ll only know once you’re already a subscriber
  • Reports of customers having difficulty in ending the contract
  • Reports of units malfunctioning and poor customer service

Considerations

As said before, Ackerman is an authorized dealer of Honeywell products. The said manufacturer is a world-renowned brand, giving us the impression that their devices can provide quality service.

That said, Ackerman may allow you to only buy their Honeywell equipment. As for who will service and monitor the devices, you have the option to look for another security company.

You might consider the said option if you’re not confident of Ackerman’s customer service. Choosing it, though, will result in a more lengthy process.

Ackerman is known to be very vague when explaining details about the plans so it’s better to be proactive in asking questions about your desired package. This will help you avoid being stuck in an unclear agreement with the company.

According to some reviews, Ackerman has increased its monthly charge when it upgrades to wireless system.

If you also want better monitoring, it is better to upgrade for cellular or broadband monitoring since landline is much less secured. Thieves can easily cut your phone lines and without it, the company won’t be able to monitor and respond to your home.

If you have existing equipment, you can save a few bucks by utilizing them instead of buying new ones. Ackerman will change the monitoring system for you with no additional fee. But if your current equipment has panels that are not compatible with the system to be installed, be ready to spend a little.

Cancellations and Transfer Policies

There is no information available on its site when it comes to guaranteed money back. Reviews from past and current customers are usually about issues when canceling the service from Ackerman.

If you opt to cancel your current plan, you need to notify the company 60 days before the policy automatically renews. Be sure to ask for a cancellation form from the company. Send it two months before your contract ends via email and according to past customers, via snail mail too.

Furthermore, if you decide to discontinue the service in the middle of your contract, you must pay the full price for the remainder of the year. Most customers were not aware of this.

What if you decided to move and want the same system on your current location to be applied to the new one? Don’t worry since Ackerman offers free moving as long as the new location is within the scope of its service which is mostly in the Mid-Atlantic States.

What's the Bottom Line?

If we talk about affordability and the range of security features, Ackerman is a great prospect. On the surface, at least. That said, you can avoid hidden fees and charges by thoroughly understanding the terms of your contract with the company. You should also make sure to ask detailed questions and be as assertive as the Ackerman sales representative. It might be a hassle, but doing everything you can during the negotiation can alleviate future problems.

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