Monitoring Plan Features & Pricing Estimate
Although we don't know Alder's exact monitoring plan pricing, we estimate it to be as low as $35 per month. Protect America also mentioned a $49.99/month plan on their Alder review, which is likely Alder's home security plus home automation plan. We can't tell you which of these plans is of most value to you, but we can tell you which features to look for:
- 24/7 Professional Monitoring
- Fire Monitoring
- Smartphone Access
- Shortest Possible Contract Term
24/7 monitoring is the primary service offered by Alder and is included in every monitoring plan. As for fire monitoring, you should explicitly ask the Alder sales rep whether it's included or requires additional equipment and monthly fee. Although Alder offers smoke sensors, it needs to be paired with a secondary alarm panel called the Firefighter in order to alert the monitoring center. You should also choose the plan that includes smartphone access. Most alarm companies only offer smartphone access in their higher tier plans, but there are a few that offer the feature to all users. Finally, negotiate on the contract term length. The minimum contract term length is three years, so that's what you should be shooting for.
Alder Contract Details
While we're on the subject of contracts, let's talk more about what signing a contract with Alder means. As mentioned, the minimum contract term is 36 months, but Alder is known to make customers sign contracts as long as 60 months or five years. Signing a long-term contract of five years may seem like a good idea, especially because Alder will likely offer you promotions in exchange for the longer contract term. However, remember that it also traps you into using Alder's services for a very long time and that you can't get out of the contract without paying hefty early-termination penalties.
Cancelling the service before the end of the contract term can be a very expensive ordeal. If you cancel early, you have to pay the termination fee and buyout your contract by paying the remaining months on your contract term. For example, if you're paying $35 per month and you cancel your three-year contract after two years, you'll be on the hook for $420 ($35 x 12 months). That means you'll pay for the service even if you're no longer using it. Imagine terminating a five-year contract.
You should also be wary of the auto-renewal clause. While auto-renewals are common and understandable in the security industry, Alder's auto-renewal clause is overrated. Here's why: After living out a long-term contract (3 to 5 years), you'd expect that it will renew with a shorter term length or even month-to-month renewal. That's what most companies do. With Alder, the contract auto-renews to its original term length. For example, if you have a three year contract, it will auto-renew for another three years; if you sign a five year contract, you get another five years automatically. If you wish to prevent it from renewing, you must provide a written notice of the cancellation months prior to the end of contract.
On a positive note, Alder's contract does have one good feature called Price Lock-In. This guarantees that your monthly fee won't ever increase while your contract is active. If your monthly due is $35 at the start of the contract, it will always remain $35.
Discounts & Promotions
Alder rarely offers discounts and promotions online, but given the company's aggressive marketing approach, I'm certain its sales agent will offer you promotions to convince you to get on board. The trick is knowing when to take the deal and when to walk away.
A good rule of thumb is that if the deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is. The first thing you should do is ask what's the catch. Will it lock you into a longer contract? Will it in any way affect the monthly monitoring cost? Also, don't rely on the sales rep's word alone. For instance, if they promise you free equipment, make sure that it's mentioned in a written agreement or contract. If you're still in doubt, walk away. Remember that you don't have to decide anything immediately. It's also a good idea to call Alder's support team and ask if the sales rep you spoke with really have the authority to give you the deal or just making up promotions to get you to sign up.
Another way to save some money, especially if you're planning on getting home automation products and security cameras, is scouting for a better deal on Amazon and other retail stores. Alder doesn't really offer smart home products and security cameras. What it does is it integrates with third-party devices, such as Amazon Echo, Yale smart lock, and Ring Video Doorbell. Ask the rep what it will cost you to add these products to your order, and then see which is cheaper: getting them from Alder or buying them somewhere else.
Another Way To Save Money: DIY Installation
There's another way of cutting down your security system expenses, and that's installing the system yourself. Doing so saves you money in more ways than one.
Let's start with the obvious. Professional installation requires an installation fee typically amounting to $99 or more. With DIY installation, you have no one to pay but yourself.
DIY installation also takes less of your time. Installing the system only takes 30 minutes or so. Although a technician can probably do it faster than you, there's still the fact that you have to wait for them to show up, which usually takes hours as you're only given a time window and not a specific time of arrival.
Finally. you can install the system on your own time. You can do it before or after work hours. Technicians only allow installation during work hours, which means you'll probably have to take an entire day-off from work.