Before you commit to a home security company, one of the most important things for you to know is their auto renewal policy. This is for two reasons. For one, if there is no auto-renewal clause, you put yourself at risk of being unprotected after the contract expires. And secondly, if the contract does auto renew, you may be facing several more years of commitment after your initial contract expires, unless you cancel in time.
Why is This Important?
In either situation, not knowing the details of your auto renewal is dangerous. You could be left with your home unsecured, or you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars you never expected to spend finding yourself in a new contract with hefty cancellation fees. And sadly, it’s harder than it should be to find the details of the auto renewal policy of some companies. So allow me to make that easier for you. Here it is, broken down company-by-company, the auto renewal policy in their words and mine.
ADT’s Auto Renew Policy
From ADT’s user’s terms agreement: “The initial term of this Contract is three (3) years. ADT’s alarm monitoring and notification services will begin when the equipment is installed, operational and communicating with ADT’s Customer Monitoring Center (“CMC”). This Contract will automatically renew for successive thirty (30)-day terms unless terminated by either party at least thirty (30) days before the end of the current term. If terminated, this Contract ends on the last day of the then-current term. I may terminate my service by calling ADT at 800.327.4348. I authorize ADT to obtain a non-investigative consumer report, commonly referred to as a credit check or credit report, about me from a consumer reporting agency at any time during the term.”
After your initial three-year contract expires, ADT will automatically renew your contract for 30 days at a time, unless you call to cancel.
Frontpoint’s Auto Renew Policy
From Frontpoint’s website: “Frontpoint isn’t legally allowed to shut off your service without providing 30-days’ advance notice or receiving explicit consent from you first. But while most companies’ contracts automatically renew for a year or more at a time, Frontpoint renews on a month-to-month basis after the initial term. Forgot to cancel after fulfilling your contract? Just call and finish your agreement at the end of the month!”
Frontpoint automatically renews your service one month at a time, until you cancel.
Digital Life’s Auto Renew Policy
From their customer agreement: “The Term of this Agreement begins when the DLC is installed and continues for two (2) years (“Term”). AT THE END OF THE TERM, THIS AGREEMENT WILL AUTOMATICALLY RENEW ON A MONTH-TO-MONTH BASIS UNTIL TERMINATED BY YOU OR BY AT&T. IF TERMINATED, THIS AGREEMENT ENDS ON THE LAST DAY OF THE APPLICABLE TERM. If you buy additional Equipment from us at a subsidized price after the Term begins, you agree to restart the Term from the date of such purchase.”
After your contract expires, your service continues month-to-month, until you cancel.
Link Interactive’s Auto Renew Policy
Link Interactive doesn’t have anything about their auto renewal readily available, but we were able to call them. They have an automatic month-to-month renewal unless you cancel before your initial service contract expires.
If you don’t cancel in time, you will go month-to-month.
LiveWatch’s Auto Renew Policy
From their website: “Our initial monitoring agreement is for 12 months, not the typical 3-5 year contract required by most security companies. After those 12 months, the agreement becomes month-to-month. You can cancel your plan at any time without a termination fee. You can also get a full refund on your equipment if you return it in good condition within a year.”
Your LiveWatch agreement will renew month-to-month after your initial contract expires.
Monitronics’s Auto Renew Policy
There is no language listed on Monitronic’s website that mentions auto-renewal, which is probably why, when you research Monitronic’s complaints, you find hundreds of people complaining about automatic renewals. From the comments, it seems like they force customers into one year of extra service, unless you contact them to cancel before your contract ends.
It’s anybody’s guess, but it sounds like it’s a one-year renewal.
Protect America’s Auto Renew Policy
From their website: “And finally, you have the option to cancel at the end of your term. Some security contracts generally renew themselves automatically for a set amount of time rather than abruptly terminating. If the customer does nothing upon being notified, this is when the contract will renew. Many companies renew contracts for years at a time. However for the customer’s sake, Protect America only renews your agreement for one month at a time until you submit a request to cancel. We want to earn your business on a daily basis, rather than lock you into a renewed contract for multiple years without your consent. At least if you forget to cancel at the end of your term, you have some flexibility to do so with our month-to-month plan.”
After your initial contract expires, Protect America automatically renews your contract on a month-to-month basis until you cancel your service with them.
SimpliSafe’s Auto Renew Policy
SimpliSafe has a month-to-month monitoring plan. As long as you make your payments and don’t cancel, you will receive service every month and you don’t have to worry about an auto renewal kicking in; you can cancel service whenever you want.
You’re already month-to-month, and things will remain that way until you cancel.
Vector’s Auto Renew Policy
According to Vector’s contract, the contract “will automatically continue for successive one (1) year terms unless canceled by either of us in writing at least thirty (30) days before the end of the initial term or any renewal term”.
Vector has an auto-renewal that commits you to one extra year of service unless you provide written notice 30-days in advance.
Vivint’s Auto Renew Policy
Vivint has an auto renewal policy, but they don’t mention the specific terms on their website. They do mention: “If you wish to cancel your agreement with Vivint at the end of your term, call 1-800-216-5232 x5020. for assistance.”
Comments from Vivint users who have been trapped by the auto renewal claim that after service was set to expire, they were tied down for another year of Vivint service.
Your guess is as good as mine, but it sounds like you will be renewed one-year at a time.
Xfinity’s Auto Renew Policy
From their customer agreement: “NO TERMINATION FEE IS DUE IF YOU TERMINATE DURING ANY RENEWAL PERIOD, UNLESS YOU HAVE AGREED TO A SERVICE PACKAGE REQUIRING AN ADDITIONAL MINIMUM TERM COMMITMENT.”
The language in this is a little unclear, so be careful. The contract does renew. However, as long as you don’t agree to an extended contract with Xfinity after your initial service is up, you can cancel your service without paying termination fees. But you may “agree” to an extended contract without realizing it, so be wary.