What should I consider if I am thinking of ending my contract with a security systems company?

You should consider:

  1. The terms and conditions of your contract including the notice period you are required to give to the company and, in some cases, the amount of money you may be required to pay for early termination of the contract. If in doubt, check with the company or your contract paper work.
  2. Whether you have paid fully for all the services provided by the outgoing company.
  3. Whether you want to request co-operation from the outgoing company to TRANSFER your contract to a new (incoming) company or seek DISCONNECTION.
  4. Co-operation for TRANSFER may be particularly important if your alarm system is remotely monitored at an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) and if, for example, your system uses the Redcare service provided by BT to communicate alarms to the ARC.
  5. If you are disconnected, please note that it may take several weeks to gain a new monitoring service and during this time your insurance cover may be invalid.
  6. If you are ending your contract without going to a new company, check if your system is set up to enable you to manage and operate it yourself with your own user code and also the engineering code. Check with the outgoing company how this will be achieved and see it if the set up can be organised to take place at the final routine maintenance visit before the contract is terminated.
  7. Engineering codes are private and confidential to security systems companies and they should not be disclosed to third parties. They help to ensure, for so long as the contract exists, that your system remains compliant with industry standards.
  8. Companies can visit your premises for a fee to change the engineering code to one you can use. Alternatively it is possible, in many cases, for an incoming company to revert the system to factory settings and then re-programme it with a new engineering code.
  9. If the engineering code has been locked-in to your system, as in some cases, then it may be necessary for the outgoing company to visit your premises to change the engineering code. The company can charge a fee for the visit and you should expect them to have declared the cost in their terms and conditions.
  10. Please note that NSI does not normally investigate complaints against a NSI approved company if there is no maintenance contract. This is mainly because the company does not have any commercial responsibility for the system once the contract has ended and also the company does not know whether any third party may have altered the system since the contract was terminated.