Vivint

Vivint Smart Home is a relatively new company that has many options for making your home safer and 'smarter.'

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9.3
Grand Score
8
User Score
9.3
Grand Score
8
User Score
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A home security system is a must in today’s world. According to Securing Home and Business by Simon Hakim and Erwin Blackstone, homes without a security system are 2.7 times more likely to be targeted by a burglar. Not only does a security system help to deter burglars, it will give you and your family peace of mind. Should an intruder find their way into your home, a monitored system will call the appropriate authorities. A monitored security system can also give you early notification of smoke or heat, and call the local fire department. 

If you are considering a home security system, you should do some research on the type that is best for your home and situation. Vivant is one of several companies that you might want to consider.

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 10/10
Warranty 10/10
Cancellation 5/10
Customer support 6/10
Mobile app 10/10
Temperature control 10/10
Voice control 10/10
Ease 8/10
Cost
What is the monthly fee?
As low as $39.99/month
Warranty
Can I return or replace equipment?
Yes, during the Right of Rescission (ROR) period
Cancellation
Can I cancel the service?
Yes, during the ROR period. After the ROR period, you must pay in full
Customer support
Is customer service available to help?
Customer service and online chat 6 AM-8 PM MST Mon-Fri, 7 AM-5:30 PM Sat
Mobile app
Is a mobile app available?
Yes
Temperature control
Does the system adjust the thermostat?
Yes, can be scheduled, or adjusted by voice with Amazon Echo (Alexa)
Voice control
Can systems be controlled by voice?
Yes, using Amazon Echo (Alexa)
Ease
Is the system easy to install?
Professional installation is needed for this product
Age Score:
10
50-65 Years
10
65-75 Years
10
75-85 Years
10
85-Above

Home security systems are designed for everyone. They act as a deterrent to burglars, notify you of problems occurring at your home such as fire, flood or the presence of carbon monoxide, and give you peace of mind. Vivint systems are professionally installed, so you don’t have to worry about getting the right equipment. A company representative will make recommendations about the equipment you should consider for your home. The usefulness of this service to seniors of any age should not be underestimated. 

Vivint systems can be operated either from the main panel or from a smart phone app, making it easy to lock doors, adjust lighting and manage the thermostat. Seniors who have an active lifestyle will appreciate the freedom that these types of systems provide. If you take a short trip out of town for the weekend, you can remotely turn lights on and off to appear as if someone is home. Almost any appliance in your home can be automated. 

For older seniors who may be less mobile, the option of adding smart devices can be a big help. Through Amazon Echo or a similar device, you can use voice commands to adjust the thermostat or automate your lighting. Should someone knock on your door, you can adjust the outside camera to see who it is. If it is someone you know, you can give them access by remotely unlocking the door. This type of system is of great value to a senior of any age.

Health Score:
10
Great health
10
Good Health
10
Fair Health
10
Poor Health

Vivint’s security and Smart Home system is of value to a senior of any age. The ease of operation and sense of security it provides will likely improve life for anyone. For those who are caregivers supporting aging parents or those who are ill or disabled, this is an especially great value. Family members who are out for errands can stay in communication with the caregiver and patient using indoor ‘ping’ cameras. With a touch of one button, a person in the home can call the person who is away. The cameras will record up to 30 hours of playback, and have infrared night vision to see what is happening anytime, day or night.  

Custom alerts can be set using the Smart Home app to alert you when something happens in your home. For example, you can be alerted when a window or door opens. Window and door sensors will provide an alert that someone is trying to wander away, which is extremely valuable in a home with a senior who has dementia. Using Amazon Echo, voice commands can remotely adjust locks, lights and the thermostat. This makes monitoring your home more convenient and flexible. This technology provides endless possibilities for improving quality of life.

Pros:

  • Website is easy to navigate; clear explanations of the system and its options are available.
  • Military-friendly policies.
  • The company will consider extenuating circumstances if you must cancel.
  • Referral policy provides a $50 account credit.
  • The system works with consumer smart home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home.
  • The system is cellular based, not broadband, so it is less susceptible to damage.

Cons:

  • Vivint will collect information electronically through its system, such as your location and web pages you may visit. The company may share this information with third parties.
  • There is a moving fee of $99, but this can be waived if you have been a customer for at least a year and you sign a new agreement for your new residence.
  • Vivint’s five-year contracts are longer than those offered by many other companies, and prices are higher than many competitors.’
  • Very strict contract terms.

Bottom Line:

Vivint offers one of the best systems in the business, but it also has some of the highest prices. The company does its own professional installation — you cannot self-install. The option of adding voice commands with Amazon Echo is a nice addition, and one that is immensely helpful if there is someone in your home who needs constant supervision, or someone who is alone and has limited mobility. 

The contracts are for five years, much longer than many competitors', and the terms of the contract are strict. However, if you need to cancel, the company will consider extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Vivint does 24/7 monitoring, but its customer service hours are limited to regular business hours. The company also offers internet and smart cloud drives. 

There is the issue of Vivint's legal problems. The company has spent a lot of money settling claims in several states over its selling and marketing practices. This could cause a bit of concern as you consider a company's products. However, if you want top-of-the-line products, professional installation and lifetime warranty, then Vivint is a company you should consider when you are looking for home security.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long is the contract for service? 

Vivint's contracts are for five years. You can prepay or pay off the system early if you wish.

Is there a fee if I cancel before my contract has ended?

You will need to find someone to take over your contract or pay the balance in full.

Can I communicate with the central monitoring station during an emergency?

Yes, through the SkyControl panel, you can engage in two-way communication with family, visitors or agents at the monitoring center
 

More Information:

Product Details

Overview: The basic system includes a touchscreen control panel, one motion detector and three door and window sensors, as well as 24/7 monitoring.

Package Details: Systems will start with the basic package, but you can add many other items for added security or to create a ‘smart home,’ such as doorbell camera, outdoor camera, garage door control, smart thermostat and smart locks. 

You can add a ‘ping’ indoor camera, which allows you to have two-way communication with family members while you are out. This also lets you save 30 days of camera footage, and provides custom alert notifications. 

You can also add Amazon Echo or Google Home to enable voice commands. Each of these items adds to the final price of the system, which is billed monthly.

Other Services: None

Additional Company Details

Contract Details: Vivint contracts are for five years. After installation, there is a Right of Rescission (ROR) period, during which you can cancel your agreement without penalty. If you decide to cancel after the ROR period, you must find someone to take over your agreement, or you must pay the account balance in full. 

If you want to cancel after the term of your agreement has ended, there is no penalty. In either case, you must write to the company to request cancellation. Vivint acknowledges that there are sometimes extenuating circumstances surrounding cancellation, which the company will consider on a case-by-case basis.

If you move, you will be charged a $99 moving fee. This is waived if you sign a new agreement with the company. The monthly fee can be as low as $39.99, but is usually higher if you are using more equipment. 

Warranty: If you select Premium Service, the company will repair and replace any defective parts without charge. If you do not select Premium Service, the warranty is 120 days, during which any repairs are without charge. After the warranty period, parts will be replaced, but you will be responsible for a service charge for each service call. Services are guaranteed for 60 days.

Accreditations: Vivint was recognized by Consumers Digest as a Best Buy, and was a Gold Stevie Winner for sales and customer service in 2016. The company was also rated best of the year by PCmag.com in 2015. Vivint is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but maintains a C- rating. 

Company Details: Vivint, Inc. began as APX Alarm Security Solutions Inc. in Provo, Utah in 1999. The company rebranded to Vivint in 2011, when it completed a $565 million debt financing with Goldman Sachs. In September 2012, the company was purchased by the Blackstone Group. In 2013 Forbes included the company in its ranking of “America’s Most Promising Companies.” Vivint has since acquired Smartrove (wireless networking technology) and Space Monkey (cloud storage). The company went public in October 2014. 

Vivint has had ongoing legal issues due to alleged deceptive sales and marketing practices. It has agreed to settlements in several states, including Wyoming, Arkansas, Oregon, Wisconsin, Kansas, Ohio and Nebraska. Furthermore, the company was named in two federal class-action lawsuits in 2014 for violations of the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). 

The company has several philanthropic programs, including support for children with intellectual disabilities and working with Feed My Starving Children. The company is also the official safety sponsor for Autism Speaks, all through the Vivint Gives Back program.

Contact:

Vivint Smart Home Security
4931 North 300 West
Provo, UT 84604
Tel: 800-216-5232
Email:customersupport@vivint.com
Website: https://www.vivint.com

Donna McDurfee - Senior Advisor

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