LAST UPDATED: February 15th, 2022
ADT Pulse has been offering home automation since 2010. These systems are professionally installed and are available with many different features, allowing customers to adjust their home automation system to their specific needs and circumstances. Each home automation package is conceptualized during a free in-home consultation, at which time the trained representative assess potential customers' needs and creates an estimate which is tailored to each customer. As such, there is little information about pricing and the specific features included with ADT's services. Some potential customers have reported difficulty in obtaining this information directly through ADT's customer service.
ADT Pulse is a good option for those looking for a company with a long-standing reputation, offering professional installation and able to customize their home automation; however, some might prefer a company which is willing to give more information before they welcome a representative into their home.
- Established company
- Combines with home security
Being a part of the ADT Corporation boosts ADT Pulse's credibility. ADT is the largest residential home security service company in the US. The company has over 6 million customers nationwide and over 130 years of experience, founded in 1874. While somewhat limited, ADT Pulse's selection of equipment is focused on the most relevant features to home security, making ADT Pulse an excellent add on service to ADT Home Security. Their guarantee ensures customers will receive a good working system. If during the six months following installation ADT is unable to resolve any installation or service issues, they guarantee a full refund of monthly fees paid and installation costs.
Combines with Home Security
In terms of home automation, ADT Pulse offers several basic features:
- Security: Of course, ADT is a home security company. Consequently, customers of ADT Pulse gain access to high-quality motion detectors, door and window sensors, and video cameras that stream live feeds to your computer or web-enabled device.
- Climate Control: Additionally, ADT Pulse offers customers the ability to automate, schedule, and adjust their thermostats remotely.
- Lighting Control:Optional upgrade in which users can control both indoor and outdoor lights, set schedules, and control energy usage
- Video monitoring: Optional upgrade in which users may monitor both the interior and exterior of their home and receive live or recorded clips on their computer or smartphone (running ADT Pulse's mobile app)
- Fire, Smoke, Carbon Monoxide, Water and Temperature Monitoring: Optional upgrades in which users are alerted to the presence of these in the home. In the event of a perceived emergency, they may disarm the system or allow ADT professionals to summon the proper authorities.
- Remote Front or Garage Door operation: Optional upgrades which allow users to operate their front and garage door remotely.
- Home automation not standard
- Poor online transparency
- Limited automation features
- Lengthy contract and termination fees
Home Automation Not Standard
While ADT Pulse is an impressive home security option, many of the features which come as standard in competitors' packages are considered as upgrades. To receive information on pricing, cost of installation, specifics about features or the contract, potential customers are only able to do so by having an in-home consultation. Potential customers also report that during their contact with customer service representatives seeking basic information that the interaction could best be described as being high-pressure.
Poor Online Transparency
ADT Pulse's website employs a similar tone with little information about the specifics of the programs, features and pricing being displayed and the focus upon having visitors enter their name and contact information in order to receive an in home consultation and estimate. When asked about this practice, there are reports of customer service representatives explaining that the systems and pricing are custom-designed, so they are not able to provide this information, which is not disclosed on the website on any page.
Limited Automation Features
ADT Pulse does not have entertainment or appliance control functions available in their system. The system uses Z-wave technology, which is considered to be the gold standard in home automation languages. Other communications protocols are not supported which limits customers' choices in the number of available products which they can add to their home automation system. Customers looking for a wide array of products which will be compatible with their system would be better looking for another option in a home automation system.
Lengthy Contract and Termination Fees
All ADT Pulse customers are locked into a 36-month contract when they begin services with ADT Pulse. The company offers a relocation special to customers who move during the term of their contract after they have had ADT Pulse services for at least six months. Early termination charges are included in the contract, but representatives will only discuss the terms of the contract and these fees during the in-home consultation.
The Bottom Line
As a branch of a well-known security company, ADT Pulse feels more as an add-on to their existing security product. The lack of transparency is significant and many would find the tactics of the customer service representatives off-putting. The missing and undisclosed information has adversely ADT Pulse's score by the Review Team; however, the high level of customer service which customers have enjoyed for a leader in the home security industry is notable and has been weighed into the rating as well.
We cannot fully recommend ADT Pulse due to the lack of transparency, as well as the undisclosed additional costs customers would have to ADT Pulse customers will have to absorb for additional smart home features.
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