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CenturyLink Review 2019: What To Know Before Buying Services

CenturyLink provides professionally installed, professionally monitored home security systems to residents of Monroe County, Louisiana. They only offer monitoring services to CenturyLink landline and internet customers and they require a three-year contract.

Monitoring Type: Professional
Install Type: Professional

Pros

  • All-in-One Provider
  • Wide Equipment Selection
  • Transparent Equipment Prices
  • Mobile App
  • Low-Cost Home Automation

Cons

  • Requires an Existing Subscription
  • Prices Can Change
  • Short 1-Year warranty
  • Lengthy 36-Month Contract
  • Pricy Cancellation Fee
  • Limited Service Areas

The Good

CenturyLink offers security, automation, internet, cable, and landline all from one provider, simplifying bills and service management. They offer an exceptionally wide variety of equipment products, including 21 different devices. Plus, unlike some competitors, equipment prices are all listed by individual device, so you can clearly understand the value of your purchases.

The Bad

CenturyLink only offers Smart Home to their existing landline or Internet subscribers. If you don’t have a landline or internet service package through CenturyLink, you can’t receive their security monitoring services. Their contracts are a lengthy 36 months and carry a hefty cancellation fee — if you cancel services before your contract is up, you are responsible for the full unpaid balance remaining. Monitoring rates aren’t guaranteed so Centurylink can change or update pricing at any time. Services are only available in limited areas around Monroe, LA — not nationwide.

Bottom Line

CenturyLink security might be convenient for existing customers in Monroe County, LA and surrounding areas, but for everyone else, it’s a so-so option. It’s best for those with longer term security needs of three years or more. Its wide equipment offering and transparent prices are outweighed by changeable prices, a short one-year equipment warranty, pricy cancellation fee and limited service areas. If you’re not a current subscriber (and even if you are), there are other companies out there that offer higher quality service.

Equipment & Monitoring Packages

Smart Home is offered in three subscription plans: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each plan comes with 24/7 professional monitoring, smartphone and web access, text and email alerts, and free equipment. Each also locks you into a 3-year monitoring agreement.

The Silver plan includes a control panel, a motion sensor, three door and window sensors, a key fob, and smartplugs. According to CenturyLink, the equipment’s retail value totals to $641.

The Gold plan includes the same equipment, but with the addition of an indoor camera. If purchased separately, the camera costs $160.

The Platinum plan adds one more camera and your choice of an electronic door lock or yet another camera (indoor or outdoor). This is an excellent deal, considering that most companies only offer one camera or no camera at all.

SilverGoldPlatinum
Price$34.99/month$44.99/month$54.99/month
24/7 Monitoring
Email and Text Alerts
Smartphone and Web Access
Automation of Temperature & Locks
Control Panel
Motion Sensor
Key Fob
Smart Plug
Camera
12
Additional Equipment
Choice of Smart Lock or Third Camera
Contract Length3 Years3 Years3 Years

On paper, they all look like good deals. But, when you read the fine print and disclaimers, CenturyLink’s pricing isn’t guaranteed for the term of your contract: your monthly rates for services, leased equipment, and other fees may increase during the time of your service.

Equipment Pricing

You can further expand your system by purchasing additional equipment. Here’s a list of all the devices offered by CenturyLink:

  • Thin Wireless Door/Window Sensor ($55)
  • Recessed Door/Window Sensor ($55)
  • Pet-Immune Motion Sensor ($115)
  • Glass Break Sensor ($120)
  • Tilt Sensor ($45)
  • Flood Sensor ($60)
  • Smoke/Heat/Freeze Sensor ($120)
  • CO Detector ($100)
  • Wireless Keypad ($120)
  • Wireless Touchscreen Keypad ($200)
  • Panic Button ($55)
  • 4-Button Keypad ($50)
  • Appliance/Lamp Module ($95)
  • Outdoor Module ($95)
  • Remote Module ($95)
  • Smart Thermostat ($150)
  • Smart Lock ($250)
  • Garage Door Controller* ($160)
  • Indoor Camera ($160)
  • Outdoor Camera* ($200)

*Only available in select markets.

After choosing your equipment, the next step is installation. This is done by a professional technician sent by CenturyLink. Most of their devices are wireless, so installation only requires minimal drilling and wiring. Make sure the technician activates your system after installation, as there are reports of techs leaving without activating systems. Also, there is a one-time installation and activation fee. The fee will vary depending on the package and equipment you choose.

Once your system is activated, it will be monitored by a professional monitoring center 24/7 for burglary, fire, carbon monoxide, and other threats. CenturyLink uses broadband monitoring, a monitoring method that relies on your internet connection to send signals to the monitoring center. There are pros and cons to this kind of monitoring. One of its benefits is speed. But one of its biggest downsides is instability. Internet connections are prone to disruptions, and if your internet goes out, so will your alarm system.

Things to Know About CenturyLink Equipment & Protection:

  • CenturyLink High-Speed Internet (up to 1.5 Mbps or higher) Required
  • Free Basic Equipment Included
  • Professional Installation Required
  • 3-Year Contract

Key Features & Tech

Home Automation

CenturyLink also offers home automation services. You can control some services through the touchscreen panel, through the web portal, or through the mobile app.

Mobile App

The CenturyLink Mobile app (available on Android and iOS devices) not only brings security to your phone but also automation. You can use it to control your CenturyLink home automation devices even if you’re not home. However, it only lets you control the core features of your system, and it lacks features such as geofencing.

Unfortunately, CenturyLink has decided to manage their own mobile app. The app currently holds a 2.5 star rating on Google Play and 1.6 stars in the App Store, making it one of the lowest rated apps in the home security industry.

Smart Home Equipment

CenturyLink offers four types of smart home devices: thermostats, door locks, smart plugs, and garage door controllers. To use these devices, you need a subscription to the right plan. Smart plugs work with any of the plans. The thermostat, door lock, and garage door controller are only available with the Platinum plan.

The thermostat lets you adjust your home’s cooling and heating, swap the Fan Mode, as well as set the mode to Home or Away. It also shows a history of your home’s temperature. Finally, it can follow a pre-programmed schedule.

With the garage door controller and smart locks, you can lock and unlock your doors, give access to other people, and see the status of your locks.

The smart plugs allow you to turn your appliances or lights on and off.

Cameras

Aside from automation devices, CenturyLink also offers indoor and outdoor home security cameras. You can monitor your cameras using the smartphone or web app. The app allows you to watch live feed coming from your cameras. You can use this to check on your house or to verify an alert. The cameras also record videos of events, although it’s unknown how much cloud storage you’ll have access to. There is also a Video Timeline feature that can help you look back on missed events.

What you need to know about CenturyLink’s Smart Home Offer:

  • Smart Outlets for Lamps and Small Appliances
  • Smart Thermostat Offers Remote Control and Follows a Schedule
  • Smart Locks
  • Indoor and Outdoor Cameras
  • Smartphone Access, Poorly Rated Mobile App

Customer Service and Support

Assessing CenturyLink’s customer service reviews can be tricky because they are a triple-play company—they have cable, internet, and home security offerings. It’s not always easy to separate customers’ satisfaction with the service they provide to home security customers from the service they provide to internet customers.

CenturyLink’s home security customers have access to customer support through the phone, email, or chat. Current customers claim there isn’t a dedicated line for home security customers. This means that when you call in, you are likely to be referred from one department to another resulting in increased wait times and possible miscommunication. Also, a lot of Smart Home customers claim that most representatives have far more knowledge about their internet and cable service than their home security service. It’s clear that training of CenturyLink’s employees is focused on their primary forms of service, not home security.

Another complaint about CenturyLink’s Smart Home is their short warranty period. Most companies warrant your equipment for as long as you have a contract with them or for at least three years. CenturyLink’s warranty only lasts for one year.

And what happens if you don’t like the service? You better decide quickly as there is no return period, though you are covered by a 3-Day right of rescission.

On the bright side, CenturyLink offers a Complete Smart HomeUser Guide, which contains information on how to set up and use their system and more. If this guide isn’t enough, you can contact chat support from their website.

What you need to know about customer support:

  • B Rating With the BBB
  • Short Three Day Return Period
  • 1-Year Equipment Warranty
  • Live Chat, Email, or Call
  • Online User Guide

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