Old alarm systems – keep them? Or Replace them ?

I write this because a lot of new home owners are faced with this challenge.

I write this because a lot of new home owners are faced with this challenge.
I had a customer one time who moved into a home that already had a pre existing security system. This was a good sight for her because she had planned on getting an alarm system anyway with monitored service. She figured she would save money by not having to purchase a new alarm system from scratch.
I visited her home to take a look at her system. The first thing I examined was her keypad. It wasn’t ‘that’ old, but it certainly wasn’t new. It was also a different brand than the one we are used to installing. We actually install Honeywell and DSC security panels and keypads. I told her we could possibly ‘take over’ her system if she wanted to. It was possible to use it as is. She started asking how difficult it would be to operate it. I told her I was not familiar with that type of alarm keypad. I advised her she would need to research online to see if she could download a manual for it or call the manufacturer for assistance. I also told her that once our technician comes over to do the job perhaps he could orientate you with the operation of her keypad. Well she had this puzzled look on her face of not knowing what to do. I asked her what she wanted out of her alarm system. Of the things she mentioned, was to access her alarm with her smart phone. I told her we would definitely need to ‘change it out’. Not only that, we don’t want to be making several trips out to her home for service calls on an old alarm system that we didn’t originally put in.
The type of service we use for smart phone interaction is a Lynx Plus keypad and also the DSC Impassa wireless keypad. Long story short, we mutually agreed to go ahead and change out the alarm pad for something more “to-date”. That way we could all be familiar with what we’re working with. As it turned out she wanted us to sign her up with ADT’s “Pulse” package. We did just that. She was happy end of story.

But I want to chat here a little bit more about this topic. IF you ever get in that situation it’s nice to have a licensed sales rep there to give you their opinion and evaluate your situation. In many cases an experience rep can consult you well over the phone (as I often do). I had a customer one time who describe to me her keypad over the phone with name brand and all. I did a quick Google search (Google images) and found exactly what she was talking about and I had her touch pad in front of my face. In that particular situation we went with it. We took over her ADT (3000) Safewatch keypad. But if it’s an odd ball keypad or seems to be out dated, I advise that we change out the keypad to a basic Honeywell 6150 or something else comparable. A change out is not a bad thing. We don’t charge extra for a basic keypad change out.

(For more information on what a change out is visit our Alarms 101 FAQ page).
Many times customers who move into a home with an old security equipment in it want features on their alarm system that they learn about on TV Ads or through their friends and to accommodate them we have to remove and replace their old alarm system with more modern equipment, even though that alarm system may work fine on a limited scale.
If a customer wants us to change out the keypad in exchange for a fancier keypad such as the designer keypad or touch screen,, then we charge a fair upgrade price. A lot of times the existing keypads work just fine. If they don’t there is always an alternative. Many customers want their system changed out ‘just because’. Maybe they don’t want to take a chance of inheriting any flaws with the current system. At least if they do a system change out they know they are getting new equipment.
Feel free to ask any questions here.