Online comparison shopping for home alarm systems

An editor takes a trip into the point-and-click world of bids and price comparison for alarm systems

Immediately, as a prospective consumer, I'm a little weary of what's going on here, because there's no contact or "about us" information for this website and I've been pointed over from another website that had little original information. It's feeling a bit like spam already, but since I have a Gmail address that is great at blocking spam, and a working knowledge of the industry, I decided to give it a shot. But that's about as far as I could go. I entered all my information and I hit submit, and then repeatedly faced an error message telling me that the request didn't process. So much for the promise of the message at the bottom of the page that tells me I'll be contacted: "By clicking 'Submit,' you agree that ADT, Broadview Security, APX Alarm, FrontPoint Security, Pinnacle Security and GE Security and their representatives may contact you (including via SMS) at the email address and phone number given above." A week later, as of the time I'm publishing this article, I haven't received any contact from companies affiliated with this site, so I have to believe that my request did not process, just as the error message indicated.

As a follow-up, I sent a request to ADT and APX to find out whether the site was a legitimate marketing partner for their companies (since the site publically displays their logos along with some of the other major national alarm dealers), however I have not yet received confirmation that there actually is any link between these reputable national alarm companies and this website. I'll post up their response in the comments if and when I receive replies. I also contacted and requested additional information on the site and any affiliated services, but no response was received from the company after one week's time. A press release from February 2010 about provided no media contact information for follow-up research.

In conclusion

There are some good choices for consumers out there in terms of bidding/price comparison sites, and with two very established sites (ServiceMagic and BuyerZone), consumers can have some trust in the process. At this point, especially since LocalPrice offers free listings for alarm dealers, you should certainly do a free listing with them (they are growing into more markets week-by-week), and alarm dealers should closely investigate the pay-for-leads business models that ServiceMagic and BuyerZone are using to decide whether the leads are legitimate enough to pay for (and whether there are even enough leads to bother making the effort). You'll find other lead generation sites, but some of these are highly suspect, and since you have spent years building your company's brand name as something customers can trust, be wary about linking it with a company that seems to generate little credibility itself. Online lead generation doesn't replace a comprehensive marketing plan for your company, but it might be worth it if you're conventional methods are struggling to generate leads.