Our mission is to create data-backed reports that help you live a safer life. We sometimes earn commissions which support our research.

Ackerman Review 2019: What To Know Before Buying Services

Ackerman provides professionally monitored, professionally installed wireless home security systems. They offer landline and cellular monitoring with a short 1-year service contract, but the wireless system requires installation and activation fees. Monthly monitoring rates start at $19.95.

Monitoring Type: Professional
Install Type: Professional

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Local Company With Local Reach
  • Accessible Customer Support
  • Low Introductory Price

Cons

  • Poor Customer Service Reviews
  • Requires In-Home Visits
  • Pricy Installation Fees

The Good

Ackerman's local reach is its biggest asset. Because it serves the areas around its offices, setting up tech visits is easy. If you're a new customer, you can even get a home visit and free quote on the same day you applied.

The Bad

Ackerman's customer support doesn't have a very strong reputation. Despite a low introductory price, Ackerman's actual pricing is higher than most alarm companies especially if you want the best features.

Bottom Line

The features and services Ackerman offers are decent, but the customer service, not so much.

Equipment & Technology

Ackerman allows customers to choose the equipment they want instead of forcing pre-selected equipment packages.They use a wide range of equipment. They sell burglar alarm products, environmental sensors, and medical alert systems. Almost all of their security products are made by Honeywell, though they do use some fire safety products from First Alert. Honeywell is a major manufacturer of home security equipment, and this partnership allows them to compete with other security companies when it comes to the quality of their equipment.

Even though Ackerman's equipment is wireless, professional installation is required, and it can get expensive. Also, your experience with the system will be highly dependent upon your installer. A bad installer can lead to false alarms and, unfortunately, there is no way for you to make adjustments on your own. If they do a poor job placing a motion sensor, for example, they will need to come back out and adjust the equipment. And while they may choose to do this service call for free, any subsequent service calls will be a minimum of $90. To add insult to injury, if they can’t resolve your issue with one visit they do not accept responsibility. Several customers have shared that multiple visits were required to troubleshoot issues and each incurred a service charge, with some ranging well over the $100 mark.

Ackerman will also monitor existing alarm equipment for homeowners that have equipment from other companies or equipment that was preinstalled by a builder. If you choose this option, you will need to swap out control panels at a minimum. While we're not sure how much Ackerman charges for a control panel, industry average would be between $100 and $200 for a basic non-touchscreen option.

Key Features

Mobile App Access

Ackerman offers a mobile app that can control your home security system. To make this happen, they use Honeywell’s Total Connect 2.0 app.This solution allows remote access to home security controls, automated lights, door locks, and thermostats supported by Honeywell’s control panel.

Home Automation

Ackerman's home automation solution built around the smartphone app and Honeywell control panel. Using the app or control panel, you can access and control smart home products purchased from Ackerman, such as smart locks, smart lights, smart thermostats, and more.

Cameras

Ackerman's security system supports security cameras. With a camera installed in your home, you'll be able to check in anytime and anywhere as long as your phone is connected to Wi-Fi or 4G. You can also watch live video streams using your control panel and playback recorded event videos.

Equipment & Monitoring Cost

Unfortunately, Ackerman is not transparent when it comes to equipment and monitoring cost. After reading customer reviews, we found that the price of the equipment they offer varies. The only way to know Ackerman's pricing is to call them and get a quote. Even then, the quote they'll send you might have a different pricing than the quote they send to other customers.

As far as monitoring, Ackerman tells us that professional monitoring plans start at $19.95. This is an attractive price, but take note that it's for landline monitoring. Landline monitoring is old and it's easily defeated, so we recommend cellular monitoring. This luxury, however, will cost you between $30 to $35 per month.

As you add more premium features, your monthly fee will rise. For example, access to the Total Connect smartphone app so you can control your security system from anywhere will add in another $5 or so to your monthly fee. If you want home automation features and security cameras, be prepared to pay around $50/month.

Customer Service

Being a local company, Ackerman Security can have closer interactions with customers. In fact, in recent years, they’ve run an ad campaign where the previous CEO, Jim Callahan, offered up his personal cell phone number. In general, the company is easy to reach, and they are usually quick to respond to service calls. On average, they say it takes them about three days to get a repair tech or installer onsite.

That all sounds pretty good, right? However, digging into other customer reviews, you might notice dissatisfaction with the service provided by Ackerman’s customer care team. And don’t forget how expensive service calls are! While it’s nice to have someone come to your house to take care of things, it isn’t always convenient. Not only does it cost money, but it also requires time. Service calls are scheduled in advance, and you must be present during the window they provide. Other companies will allow you to troubleshoot over the phone. If they can’t resolve the problem over the phone, they will ship new equipment to your home. No extra fee, no extra time.

On a positive note, Ackerman holds an A+ rating with the BBB. However, no one can deny the fact that many of the complaints filed against Ackerman are related to their customer service

Submit Your Review of Ackerman Security

Customer Ackerman Security Reviews

No cancellation policy for moving
Reviewed by Alona on Jul. 18, 2017

Had a terrible experience with Ackerman security we signed a contract with them and ask the sales rep what would happen if we got transferred out of their service area she said no problem the contract will be void. When we did get transferred out of there very limited service area we found that this was a lie and we were to be held responsible for the complete term of the contract. This was going to occur even though they could no longer provide us with services in our new location. I spoke with everyone in their search complaint department until they told me there was no one else I could speak to that was their policy and it was just too bad.

Save time and just call the police yourself
Reviewed by Shon on Feb. 21, 2018

Horrible. We've had them for a year now, and it's been nothing but trouble the entire time.

First, just getting our system set up and working properly was a nightmare. It took 2 months and 3 different technicians to finally get it working.

Then, two days ago our alarm was triggered at 7 am. Ackerman called to make sure we were ok, and when I replied that I wanted them to dispatch the police, they wouldn't do so unless I gave them my passcode. So I hung up on them and called the police myself. After I got off the phone with 911, I noticed I had a voicemail on my phone. That's right, Ackerman called back and left me a voicemail. Yes, a voicemail. They left me a voicemail to make sure we were ok.

Today I called their customer service to inquire about ending my contract early (over $800 to do so, by the way) and to complain about the incident two days ago. Turns out their policy is to ask for the passcode every time. If you don't/can't/won't give it, they call again. If they still don't get it after that second call, then, and only then, will they call the police.

For the record, they do show that they called the police after that second call to me (where the left a voicemail). But the police department noted that I'd already called them and they'd already dispatched someone. (In other words, it's faster to just call the police yourself rather than relying on the security company you pay to do it for you.)

Bottom line - if I ask you to call the police, then CALL THE POLICE!!! It's what we pay you for!

I would only recommend Ackerman if you like all of the following:

  1. Being locked into 3-year contracts
  2. Dealing with inept technicians
  3. Dealing with terrible customer service
  4. Putting your family's safety at risk because of a company's idiotic "policy"
BEWARE
Reviewed by Julia on Sep. 29, 2017

Beware! I usually don't do negative reviews, however, this is the worst alarm company I have ever used. They have dishonest business practices. I don't even know where to begin...lies, lies, lies!

We have used them in every apartment we have had in the last 3 years...and apparently every time you move, they restart your contact (without telling you!) AND charge you to move (after you have already purchased the equipment and service. If there is a way for them to charge you, they will! So, now you want to cancel...watch out because you need to buy out the contract (which they don't advise you of). You will get a rude call from collections threatening to take you to court (within 10 days of canceling!).

Let's talk about the quality of the "monitoring"...you get an automated call if your alarm goes off; you can hang up and NOTHING HAPPENS! No callback, no police, no follow up ever! If you kill your wifi or power, the alarm doesn't work - they do not sell you a backup battery or even recommend one. The alarm does NOT have cellular capabilities. Supposedly they expect you to check your equipment monthly for service (WHAT??).

They need to seriously step up their game and customer service. There are better companies out there! Wishing someone would have warned me...

The Worst!
Reviewed by Jennie on Dec. 6, 2018

Signed a contract during a promotional period of 3 months free with sign up. Then was told it would happen at the end of the first year. Two years later still no free months. I called and they said it was one free month per year and they just happened to overlook the fact I had not received mine. I asked the sales rep about the contract knowing that we were planning to retire and move to an area that Akerman didn’t service. He said no problem, the contract would be voided. Called today to cancel and found out that I have to pay for the remainder of the contract even though I am moving to a state they do not service. Their solution was to get the new owners of my home to take over the contract. I had to explain that their company was founded on lie upon lie upon lie and I would not recommend them to secure a dog house, much less a home. Never sign a contract with them. The sales rep is denying that he even said anything of the sort to us.

Beyond the worst you can imagine!
Reviewed by Evan T. on Jun. 27, 2017

Just THE WORST! This company has no follow-up, minimal customer responses and they are obviously completely overwhelmed. Switching to them is the single worst decision I have ever made.

A power failure must have drained the 9V back-up battery and now the alarm system beeps endlessly at night. FORTUNATELY, I know how to turn the whole system off; if my wife were here alone she would have to hear this all day and all night!

Ackerman's time window--AND I pay extra for their "wire maintenance plan"--SIX FRIGGING DAYS!! Can you believe that?