Another home improvement project is done. Not the painting which we technically are in the middle of (I'm sure that's another blog entry next week), but a long-term goal of having a security system installed is what I'm referring to.
Last week, I caught whatever virus RedFaery was fighting, and I spent a couple days at home feeling like a hot mess. Last thing I wanted to do was to go to work and make people sick before the holiday weekend.
As we sat on the couch watching bad daytime television, I saw a man come up to the porch and knock. I figured it was a salesman or a Morman, so I shuffled out to tell him we weren't interested.
It was indeed a salesman, but it wasn't at all what I was expecting. (By the way, you aren't supposed to know about the rest of this part, so pretend I didn't say it).
The home security system he represents (let's just call it the ABC Company) was looking for what they called "advertising homes" on our street. Appearently when ADT Security started out, they took this same approach - so this wasn't unheard of.
An advertising home basically has the security system installed and the sign in front of the house so people driving or walking by would see the name and get interest in the company. The equipment and installation are no charge to the customer (in this case, us), and the ABC Company is gambling that the name recognition our house generates will make them their money back.
I spent all that time with my fuzzy mind trying to hear the catch, but I couldn't find anything that sounded unreasonable. The only cost to us was the $45/month monitoring fee, and we had to agree to be an advertising home for a minimum of three years. During that time, our rate will never raise - in fact, we can extend it another two years if we want. Plus, with the savings from our homeowners insurance, it actually would cost us a dollar a day.
About five minutes into the conversation, RedFaery poked her head out the door to tell me that Max threw up. This is normally no big deal, so I recognized it as a cue she was giving me to get out of the conversation if I wanted to. After a few minutes, I excused myself to go clean it up. I grabbed her and told her to go talk to the guy and listen for something I missed. I waited a few minutes, pretending to clean up Max's vomit (which the salesman thought was out son, not our cat, and I didn't bother correcting him), and headed back out.
I could tell from Red's mannerisms that she was intrigued too. When he got around to telling us he would include a panic button to call the ambulance, like LifeAlert, we were both sold. After all, it was only a couple of months ago Red could have really used that when she went into anaphalytic shock while home alone. That measure of comfort was priceless.
So we signed up. From what we could tell, the retail value of the package we got was about $1,600, and it cost us nothing! About 30 minutes after all the paperwork was done, the technician was there and installing door sensors and the control panel. We now carry keychain controls as well to arm and disarm the system remotely. So far, we're VERY happy with not only the deal, but the system itself.
The funniest thing about it in retrospect - it's because of home security that we almost didn't get the system. If I weren't home sick, RedFaery would have never answered the door, and he'd have just gone to another house.
I now feel vaguely James Bondish. Without a license to kill, sadly.