Vivint specializes in home security systems that use high-tech modern devices like apps, wireless monitoring, home automation, and so on, but with a much more traditional pricing model based on monthly monitoring. In many ways it can act as a bridge between the old and the new…but how well does it work?
Vivint offers wireless devices to monitor doors, windows, motion, broken glass, smoke, floods, and more, typically controlled through the SkyControl monitor screen but also available to monitor via smartphone app. For those interested in more advanced features, there’s also a set of home automation devices.
- Many different wireless gadgets to choose from
- Mix and match security with home automation
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Pretty awful customer service reviews
- A monthly subscription that significantly increases long term costs compared to alternatives
C-Net sees Vivint as a bridge between old and new security systems: The review praises the ability of Vivint to work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and mentions how useful the a la carte model is. However, it does note that the smart feaures are based on a monthly subscription that you have to keep paying.
“Smart home security systems are an ever-increasing market, and you have a lot to consider before declaring allegiance. Vivint’s Smart Home is a good option for a monitored smart home with no long-term contracts. The $550 starter kit price tag isn’t outrageous, but be prepared to pay at least $40 monthly for security monitoring, app control and other features that are pretty much mandatory for your system to have any smarts. Compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Nest thermostats makes Vivint’s platform a solid choice, as long as you know what you’re getting into.”
The user reviews from Safewise uncover a big problem with Vivint – the products may be mobile and have lots of nifty smart features, but the brand’s local contractors and installers appear very hit or miss, with plenty of complaints about contract promises left unfilled and billing problems that can’t be fixed, even with a call to customer support.
“We were very happy with the installation and have been satisfied with the equipment and monitoring services to date. When we set up our billing we wanted the monthly payments to come from our bank account but Vivint set it up on our credit card instead. In addition the portion of the equipment purchase we wanted to pay up front was withdrawn from our bank account rather than the credit card as we requested
One of the reps in the billing area was very responsive and able to reverse the equipment charge. However, after several months talking to other billing reps to get the monthly billing set up properly, there are still issues. On the last occasion I spoke to a Manager in the billing area who said he would investigate and get back to me. That was over three weeks ago and I have still not heard back from him.”
From A Secure Life
A Secure Life focuses primarily on the changes Vivint made in 2017 to help reduce the costs of installing a system, which makes products more affordable for the average consumer…and has increased their BBB rating. They also note the handy cellular monitoring option and the many home automation products currently available.
“No need to worry about whether you are handy or tech-savvy enough to install your home security system—one of Vivint’s professional installers will come to your home to do it for you. As part of the new February 2017 update, Vivint no longer charges extra for installation.The outdoor camera and the doorbell camera are the only exceptions to this. The outdoor camera requires a $99 installation fee and the doorbell camera requires a $29 installation fee in addition to the cost of the cameras.
Because Vivint installers are paid on commission, they may try to upsell and suggest additional equipment on the spot, so be prepared for that. If you’re unsure in the moment about whether or not you need another piece of equipment, you can always think about it and add more items at a later time.”
If there’s a Vivint contractor in your area who comes recommended or who you already know, it’s worth looking into this mobile security system…for a price.