March 05, 2014 by Grant Clauser
If you’ve spent a lot of money for a professional security system (or even a DIY, like this one), you probably think you’re reasonably covered if someone tries to break into your home or business to take your stuff.
That’s what a Kansas City MO business owner thought too, until tragedy happened. Consumerist found this story of a security system that worked perfectly, except for one important step.
The owner of A’s Automotive used car sales was the victim of a break in several months ago. As a result he had ADT install a security system for $2,200. The system included security cameras and motion detectors, and it worked great. When a thief (possibly the same thief from the first time) broke in, ADT called the owner and the police. The business owner was even able to view the thief in action on his smart phone. Now he just needed to wait for the cops to show up and carry the burglar off in handcuffs.
Well, that’s not how things went. It turns out that in Kansas City the local police department requires a $45 annual fee from anyone who has an alarm system, or else the cops won’t respond. According to the news report, the police state the reason for the fee is to help mitigate costs for false alarms. Sure, we know false alarms happen, but this wasn’t one of them, and the business owner had live video as proof.
The business owner says no one told him there was a fee, but he would have gladly paid it if he had known. The police say the security system installer is responsible for telling the customer. Who’s right?
Do you have a security system or are you planning one? If you answered yes to either of those questions, it’s probably a good idea to check with your local police department to make sure a similar fee isn’t required in your town, and then get that taken care of quickly.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.
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