It can be very difficult to cancel a home security contract sometimes.
Many home security companies are notorious for their sneaky business tactics and often for their outright refusal to cancel contracts.
Other times they will keep billing people who may already have been left with the impression the contract has been canceled.
To cancel a home security contract, you need to inform your home security provider by calling their customer service and sending them a written letter or an email. Subscription-based home security contracts can sometimes be canceled by using their proprietary app.
Sometimes home security companies do not agree easily to cancel your contract. After all, they stay in business by having customers, and they will try to do anything within their power to keep them.
In this article, I go into detail about what you should know when canceling your home security contract.
- 1 How to Cancel a Contract With a Home Security Company
- 2 Can You Cancel a Home Security Contract Early?
- 3 Can You Cancel Your Home Security Contract if You Are Moving?
- 4 Canceling Subscription-Based Home Security Services
- 5 What to Do After You Cancel Your Home Security Contract
- 6 What to Do if the Home Security Company Refuses to Cancel the Contract
How to Cancel a Contract With a Home Security Company
Generally, there are several steps that most owners have to follow when canceling their home security contract.
Review the Cancellation Policies in Your Present Contract
Check your present contract.
It is recommended to read the whole contract, including all the fine-print type of details, while also looking for specific information.
While reading your service contract, look for these:
- The expiration date of the service contract
- Cancellation window: If you have just recently signed the contract, check to see if your home security provider allows new customers to cancel their contract within a certain period from signing it.
- Service termination notice: Some areas allow the use of automatic renewals of service contracts unless canceled within a specific timeframe. Find what the notice period is. Otherwise, you may not be able to cancel the contract. Usually, companies require you to send them the termination notice no later than 30 days before the contract’s expiration date. However, this period can vary between 30 to 90 days.
- Early termination fees: You may have to pay early cancellation fees if you are canceling a service contract before the termination date. So make sure you understand the possible consequences and what you may be expected to pay.
- How agreements between you and the company are handled: This part is important because of the sneaky ways some companies may try to lock you into another contract or try to claim you have agreed to something. Some contracts will specifically state that only signed agreements in writing are considered valid and trump other agreements over the phone or in person.
- Equipment status: After canceling your home security contract, some companies will disable and remove their equipment or require you to send it to them. And other companies may leave the equipment in your home. Termination policies will vary between the different home security companies. Check for any information about what happens with the security equipment after the cancellation.
Many of these home security companies will also have cancellation policy pages on their websites. Make sure to check what they say and if they require you to provide specific information or documents.
Inform the Home Security Company That You Want to Cancel the Contract
While being within the notice period and adhering to the termination processes established in your service contract with the security company, inform them you want to cancel the contract.
To cancel your contract, home security companies may require you to send a written letter, email them, fill out an online form, call them, or use the proprietary app that controls your home security system.
Different companies will have different processes, and the best way is to follow them.
- You cannot cancel your contract with ADT online; you have to call them.
- Brinks requires you to call them before sending you an online cancellation form to be signed.
- Abode will ask you to fill an online cancellation form.
- Vivint requires you to call them and may also need you to send them a written termination letter and email.
- To cancel your Ring contract, you can use their dedicated app.
If you are required to cancel in writing or by filling an online form, explain clearly that if you do not receive any written response from them by the end of your contract, you would consider the contract closed and the cancellation letter accepted by them.
Also, explain that you would require a detailed written explanation if they believe you cannot cancel the contract.
This is useful as it will not allow them to ignore your letter and avoid giving you a direct answer. If they receive your letter and then continue charging you as a customer after the end of the contract, then they can get into some legal trouble because the letter can be used as proof.
Document and Save Your Correspondence
This is often one of the steps where most people tend to make mistakes because some companies can try to upsell you or use shady and sneaky methods to keep you as a customer.
So be extra careful about everything you do, say, and sign and try to stay one step ahead. Even vague statements and questions can lead to you being locked into another contract.
Do not sign anything or agree to anything before you are 100% sure that you understand what it is and the possible consequences.
Document and keep copies of everything.
- When sending the letter, make sure it is a certified letter. In other words, arrange for a signature confirmation so that you will have proof they have received it. Some companies may try to “lose” it, so it is a good precautionary step.
- Keep a copy of letters, emails, or chat history.
- Keep logs of call dates, names, and times.
- Ideally, have the calls recorded. But keep in mind that you may have to inform the person on the other end of the line that you are recording them, depending on your local laws.
- Make sure to confirm the cancelation f your contract.
You want everything written on paper or in an email because you want to keep a paper trail as evidence of your correspondence.
Even if they tell you that they keep detailed logs and history, do not let your guard down and always ensure that you also have everything documented.
Can You Cancel a Home Security Contract Early?
Early cancelations are possible but can be particularly tricky because companies make it difficult to get out of the contract without paying steep termination fees.
However, there are several things to consider when canceling your home security contract early, depending on your specific circumstances.
When the Equipment Is Not Installed
If you have just made an oral agreement and have not signed a home security contract or anything at all and no equipment has been installed in your home, then you can cancel by informing your dealer.
Even if you have signed a contract, you can try calling your dealer before the installer comes to install the equipment. Often this can work, and you might be able to get out of the contract.
The Cooling-Off Rule
Some states have laws and clauses known as “Buyer’s Remorse” or the “Cooling-Off Rule” that can apply and allow you to cancel your home security contract within the first three days of signing the contract—especially if the sale happened in your home or workplace.
However, there are limitations, and not all sales are covered.
Additionally, some home security companies offer a trial period during which if you are not happy for whatever reason, you can cancel your contract.
Depending on the company, the trial period can vary anywhere between a few days and 60 days.
Some home security companies may be willing to pay your cancellation fee if you are going to sign with them.
However, this practice is not very common, and it depends on the amount of the cancellation fee.
Breach of Contract
If the home security company cannot provide the services they have agreed to in the contract, there usually are clauses in the contract allowing you to terminate it.
Early Termination Contract Consequences
Contracts with home security companies that are signed for a particular period of time are legally binding, and canceling them early can be difficult and almost impossible without incurring hefty fees and expenses.
Some companies have cancellation fees that require you to pay between 75% to 100% of the remaining monthly fees until the end of the contract.
Can You Cancel Your Home Security Contract if You Are Moving?
There can be some exceptions to people that are moving.
- Depending on what is stated in your contract, if your security provider does not offer their services to the area you are moving to, you may be able to cancel the contract.
- There are military cancellation clauses in most contracts that allow people in the military who are moving to cancel their contract early? However, these clauses can vary, so make sure to review them.
- Lastly, you may be able to simply transfer your contract and security system to the new owner of the house or another owner.
Canceling Subscription-Based Home Security Services
Canceling service contracts with subscription-based home security providers is often a lot easier and straightforward. Customers are either paying on a month-by-month basis or yearly. This allows you to cancel your home security monitoring easily at any time.
If you have paid for a whole year and canceled your service before the year has passed, some companies may offer a prorated refund.
What to Do After You Cancel Your Home Security Contract
Unfortunately, some home security companies are well known for continuing to charge people who no longer are their customers.
keep all documents and recordings
After you cancel your home security contract, do not throw away any documented and recorded correspondence with the company, including proofs of previous payments or agreements, and keep track of what you are being charged each month.
Some companies may try to see if they can find a loophole to keep you as a customer, even after everything has been settled, and you have to be prepared for that.
Do not forget to disconnect the home security system, disconnect any phone lines or cellular modules it may have. Disconnect it from the Wi-Fi. Power it off, and remove any backup batteries and AC power. Remove any branded signs or stickers you may be using. You do not want it to appear as if you are still using their security system while claiming you want to cancel.
If you get charged unfairly, you may have to talk to your bank to cancel any future charges from that company and issue a chargeback.
On the other hand, keep in mind that some home security companies may have a certain processing time during which you may end up being charged until your account is fully closed.
What to Do if the Home Security Company Refuses to Cancel the Contract
There are several things that you can do if your home security company is adamant about canceling your contract and using unfair and deceptive practices.
If the home security company is using unfair or deceptive practices, you can file a complaint with your local consumer protection office, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and the US Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Generally, after filing a complaint, most owners report success with getting out of the contract.
It is not recommended to take legal action, but this may be necessary in certain cases.
At this point, it is worth looking for factors that may vitiate your home security contract. These factors usually fall into several categories:
- Undue influence
Some owners say that if the home security company is unwilling to terminate the contract and uses unfair or deceptive practices, they will stop paying their bills and wait for the account to be transferred to a third-party collection company.
Then they will see if the collection company can actually validate the debt.
If the third-party company cannot validate the debt, you are not liable for it. And if the third-party company can validate the debt, the termination letter you have sent is used as proof that you have terminated your home security service. Often this means they can arrange to pay a significantly smaller fee.
And while these anecdotal practices have been shown to work, according to some people, it is important to understand that you need to speak with an attorney before taking any such action because it is possible to get into more trouble than necessary.