How to Get Out of a Contract With an Alarm Company

By Stephen Brown
How often do you forget to set the alarm before walking out the door?

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If you are like many Americans, you probably forgot to set your alarm more times this month than you remembered to. Then you start to resent wasting money every month on something you just do not use. Unfortunately, you likely signed a contract that requires you to keep the alarm monitoring service for a number of years. But you are not necessarily on the hook until the end of the contract term. With a little preparation and patience you can get out of that contract and put the money you save to more productive use.

Your contract can be your ticket to freedom.

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Read your contract. Look for a section that specifies the length of your contract or when your contract expires. Also look for any mention of an early termination fee or cancellation fee.

Consider your options. You can pay the early termination fee in order to quickly and painlessly end your relationship with the alarm company. If you take this way out, you have the advantage of being finished with the alarm company, but you will always wonder if you could have saved yourself some money. You may prefer to try to get released from the contract altogether without paying the early termination fee. If so, keep reading.

Gather any necessary documents.

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Prepare yourself for battle. To get released from your contract, you will need to show the company that they have not met the promises they made when you signed the contract. Gather your copy of the contract, any correspondence between you and the alarm company and any notes you have kept about the alarm service over the years.

Be polite with the customer service representative.

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Start making calls. Call the alarm company and speak to a customer service representative. Explain, as courteously as you can, that you are dissatisfied with the alarm service and that you want to cancel your account. The representative will most likely tell you that your contract requires you to keep the service until a certain date and that early termination of the service will subject you to a fee of a few hundred dollars.

Be as polite with the supervisor as you were with the representative.

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Go up the chain of command. If the customer service representative fails to give you the answer you want, politely ask him to transfer you to a supervisor. When a supervisor gets on the line, tell her the same thing you told the representative and ask to be released from your contract.

This is the make or break point. If you continue to be polite and respectful to the supervisor, there is a good chance that she will agree to release you from your contract and waive the early termination fee. The key is to be polite at all times.

Continue calling until you get the answer you are looking for.

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Do not get frustrated if your first call yields no results. It may take several calls before you get the result you want. Call again in a couple of days or a week. And keep calling---always being polite---until you get the answer you are looking for.

About the Author

Stephen Brown began writing in 2009, with work published in the "American Journal of Trial Advocacy." He practices law in Birmingham, Ala., representing health-care professionals and their business organizations. Brown holds a Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law.