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AT&T Digital Life Review 2019: What To Know Before Buying Services

AT&T Digital Life provides professionally installed, professionally monitored home security systems. They offer broadband monitoring with cellular backup and two-year contracts as well as wireless equipment. Monthly monitoring rates start at $34.99.

Monitoring Type: Professional
Install Type: Professional

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High-quality customer service
  • Low-cost Add-on Equipment
  • Smartphone Access
  • Email & Text Alerts

Cons

  • Limited Equipment Choices
  • Lacks Home Automation
  • Limited Nationwide Availability
  • Lacks Security Camera

Digital Life Sales Process

With Digital Life, the sales process is exclusively done online, although a representative might pay you a visit prior to the installation.

You can get started by choosing a monitoring plan. Digital Life used to offer three monitoring plans, but they've since removed the two options, leaving us with only the basic monitoring plan to work with. Digital Life provides clear details on how much the service will cost you: $39.99/month and $549.99 upfront.

The next step is expanding your system. With the base equipment package, you get a control panel, keypad, indoor siren, and a bunch of security sensors. You have the option to add more security sensors or expand your system to include carbon monoxide sensors or even a smart doorbell.

Finally, the system will be shipped to your house and a technician will install it.

Digital Life Equipment Review

Digital Life used to offer a long list of security and automation equipment, but after removing the other monitoring plans, they've left us with just a handful of equipment choices.

Base Equipment Package

Your initial purchase includes a base equipment package that comes with a touchscreen control panel, two recessed door sensors, four door/window sensors, an extra keypad, and an indoor siren. These devices alone are enough to protect an average sized home, covering both front and back doors with the recessed door sensor and up to four first floor windows. However, if you need more sensors, you can always buy add-on equipment.

Touchscreen Control Panel

As its primary means of control, Digital Life offers a touchscreen control panel made by Cisco. The control panel links your security system with Digital Life's monitoring center. In case of an emergency, the control panel will send an alert to the monitoring center so they can check on you.

One downside of the control panel is that it uses broadband monitoring. As we all know, internet connections aren't always reliable. If your internet fails, your security system won't be able to send alerts to the monitoring center. As a way of contingency, the touchscreen control panel includes a cellular chip that acts as backup communication by taking advantage of cellular signal.

Add-On Equipment

What used to be a long list of add-on equipment has been cut down to only a handful of devices; nine to be exact.

  • Contact Sensors ($19.99) - Digital Life's contact sensor is a recessed door sensor, installed in door jambs unlike door/window sensors that are highly visible.
  • Door/Window Sensor ($9.99) - The door/window sensor is a two-part sensor that trips when its components lose contact.
  • Motion Sensor ($19.99) - The motion sensor uses PIR technology to detect movement. It's a reliable sensor for detecting human movement.
  • Glass Break Sensor ($29.99) - The glass break sensor trips when it hears the sound of glass breaking. It's great device for detecting forced entry.
  • Carbon Monoxide Sensor ($39.99) - Digital Life not only protects its customers from break-ins, but also from dangerous natural gases. The CO sensor trips if it detects harmful amounts of carbon monoxide.
  • Indoor Siren ($49.99) - The indoor siren acts as a local alarm. If your system detects an emergency, the siren will go off to warn you and potentially scare off the intruder.
  • Keypad ($69.99) - The control panel includes a keypad interface that you can use to control your security system. However, if you want to control the system in more places than one, the extra keypad provides that function.
  • Active Doorbell ($29.99) - The Active Doorbell, available in nickel, bronze, and brass finishes, can be used to replace your existing doorbell. When pushed, it can send an alert to your phone wherever you are.
  • Conversion Kit ($99.99) -  Digital Life offers a conversion kit, a device that can convert your existing wired security system to a system monitored by Digital Life.

Lacks Camera, Home Automation

Digital Life notably lacks any security camera or automation product, except maybe for the Active Doorbell that sends alerts when pressed. This wasn't always the case. Digital Life used to offer an indoor camera made by Samsung as well as home automation products for light, appliance, and temperature automation. There is no word from Digital Life whether these products are coming back or not.

Although it's a con for those looking to add both security and automation to their homes, it's a pro for DIYers. Instead of building a smart home around a system tied into a monitoring service, you can build your own smart home system that you can maintain on your own, even if you decide to cut ties with Digital Life.

Digital Life Monitoring Review

Unlike other companies that outsource the monitoring job to third-party monitoring centers, Digital Life owns and manages its own monitoring centers. It has several monitoring centers for redundancy, wherein when one is unable to operate, the others can take over monitoring. Each monitoring center is also equipped with generators and uninterrupted power supplies so they can continue operations during power outages.

Broadband Monitoring

There are three types of monitoring methods used by alarm companies: landline, broadband, and cellular. Landline monitoring is the least secure as it can be deactivated by cutting the landline wire. Cellular monitoring is the most reliable because it uses cellular signal, thus, there are no lines to cut. Broadband monitoring is somewhere in the middle. It's reliable and excellent when your internet is up, but doesn't work when your internet is down. Fortunately, Digital Life offers cellular backup. If your internet is down, your system can use cellular signal to send alerts to the monitoring center.

Mobile App Access

If you sign up for Digital Life's monitoring, you also get access to the Digital Life mobile app. It's mainly so you can remotely arm and disarm your security system, but you can also use it to check on individual sensors and devices and receive notifications. Besides the iOS and Android app, you can use the Digital Life web app to remotely access your security system via phone, tablet, or PC.  

Email & Text Alerts

In addition to mobile app alerts and check-in calls from the monitoring center, you'll also get email and text alerts if something at home goes amiss.

Digital Life Customer Service Overview

AT&T is better than most large companies when it comes to support. For a while, they managed to maintain an impressive A+ rating with the BBB. What likely contributes to its high BBB score is its well-defined and clearly stated policies. With Digital Life, what you see is what you get.

When it comes to policies, Digital Life offers customer friendly policies that are not bad but also not incredibly good.

Return Policy

With Digital Life, you have 14 days to return the system if you find that it is not for you. While this isn’t  terrible, it isn’t as generous as other companies that offer 30 days. Also, if you do return the system, they will charge a restocking fee of up to $99.

2-Year Contract

Also, Digital Life requires a two-year contract. If you cancel the service before you hit the 2-year mark, you'll be required to pay a termination fee amounting to up to $640.

Like-New Equipment

You also won't get any assurance that you'll receive brand new equipment. Digital Life reserves the right to sell certified like-new equipment. This helps them lower the equipment cost and all like-new products have been tested and certified by them.

Submit Your Review of AT&T Digital Life

Customer AT&T Digital Life Reviews

Does not protect your home or family
Reviewed by Rebecca on Apr. 28, 2017

Time after time I have problems with this system. AT&T decided to do a system update, not notify customers of possible issues, and because of these updates, I got kicked out of the system and not allowed remote access. My 12-year-old could not enter our home because we could not unlock the doors remotely - as the system is set up to. After waiting for 15 minutes to speak with someone, I was told it was a nationwide issue. And that if I want a credit, I needed to call back, again, and request a credit once the system is up and going in 24-48 hours. I demanded a credit now since I don't have the time babysit this company, she issued a $15 credit, as a courtesy, because technically, "The system is still working." With all the competitors available in this area, I would think AT&T would learn to give better customer service and take responsibly for their immense errors and give people more than a $15 credit. I was asking for a one month credit. Overall, this system is inadequate and clearly needs to work their issues out. For a security system, that luxury is not available. Safety is in their hands and frankly, they could care less. This is a complete failure of a system.

Contempt for the customer
Reviewed by Keith on Jul. 23, 2018

System error messages from day one. Installation botched. Avoid at all cost! Without question the weakest security system offering on the market. AT&T could not care less about the customer/consumer I've had my system for 2 years and from day one we have had problems with the installation and AT&T customer service is horrible. I have not set the alarm once, NOT ONCE since installation. The only thing that AT&T is motivated to do is to sign you up, then you are owned. I signed up with Directv at the same time and we were given a "free" phone. Free my _ _ _ ! I have been paying monthly installments ever since. I have spoken to at least a dozen AT&T and Directv personnel and each points the finger at the other. I have canceled Digital life and paid the early termination fee as it is less than the remaining three monthly payments. I will be AT&T in the rearview mirror in October when the contract is up and the same goes with Directv, AT&T mobile (3 phones and 2 tablets.) I will be doing the same with my 90-year-old parents AT&T accounts (Directv, AT&T mobile 2 phones and 4 tablets.) You know what blows my mind? .... they don't care. Bubbye!

Unreliable Customer Service and product
Reviewed by Luis E. Perez on Mar. 22, 2019

One of the worst customer service I have ever seen. This company sucks!!! I've been dealing with a simple issue as to replace a door sensor since December 2018; it is now March 2019, and still dealing with the issue, on top that they want to charge me $39,95 for an error they committed. Customer service representative doesn't seem to have enough knowledge to resolve simple issues, and went you request a supervisor or someone that can be a decision-maker, they are reluctant to transfer you. Do not commit the same mistake I committed switching to AT&T Digital Life alarm system. I walked away from Directv for the same reason, and already started the process of finding a new provider for my alarm.

DO NOT GO WITH DIGITAL LIFE
Reviewed by Austin on Apr. 12, 2017

We have had Digital Life for a little under a year at our house until a tornado came through and took out most of the house including a lot of the DL equipment. We immediately called all the services we had at that time to put them on hold because we would not be able to use them or be at the house. All went smoothly. They let us know they were very sorry for what happened and when the house was ready that they would be more than happy to send someone out to replace all of our lost equipment.

The day we moved back we gave them a call to send someone out and even let them know that we lost a camera, 2 water sensors, all window sensors, 2 door sensors, a motion sensor and the deadbolt lock was busted down by fire dept. so we needed that as well.

When the DL tech came out, he repaired our main system and reactivated the remaining equipment and asked if there was anything else we needed before he left. When we asked him about the missing equipment, he responded they did not tell him to bring anything else. We called DL back and they refused to replace any equipment unless we bought it all at full price. After arguing with them for WEEKS they said they would send equipment to our house. We received a small box in the mail with only 4 window sensors.... So we now have 1 camera and 4 sensors. That's about it. we lost hundreds of dollars to this deal and will definitely be canceling this service.

DigitalLife does work
Reviewed by Don on Sep. 18, 2018

About 6 months ago we returned from a trip late in the evening and went to bed. About 5 in the morning an alert horn went off and our phone rang. The carbon monoxide detector went off. The operator asked about the welfare of all occupants and said the fire department was responding. I got my wife and animals out of the house into a car and the fire department showed up. In fact, there was an issue. The fire Lt. told me what was going on, I contacted a furnace guy and the issue was resolved. Now in the past, I have had some false alarms due to our forgetting the system was armed. But the system worked fine. Human error. We are glad we have the system and have recommended it to others.

Called to cancel
Reviewed by Ken on Jul. 24, 2018

I had their security system and called to cancel on 19 April 2018, everything seemed fine until I received a collection call the other day. I contacted them and they said there were no noted from my previous call so they could not do anything about it. I guess I should have typed the notes in there for them.

AT&T Digital
Reviewed by rqmefs on Dec. 7, 2018

Very poor customer service, hard to get them, not very responsive and quality of installations are horrible. video cameras not good, doesn't detect motion and video recording worthless DO NOT GO WITH DIGITAL LFE