Clever Messaging Or Stretching the Bounds of Forthrightness in Marketing?
Whenever sellers resort to the strategy of describing the prices of their product –whatever it may be– in terms of “price per day,” you might want to proceed with caution. Some national security providers state on their web site that they can secure your home or business for “less than a dollar a day.” Hmmm…
Under a Dollar?
If something is advertised as costing under a dollar, you might presume that it’s likely to be on the higher end thereof, say 99 cents? When some national security service providers try to soften the blow to their customers of the true expense of their product, you might find that you can get a better value elsewhere.
Beware of the Asterisk
As a client of some well-know providers, you will learn the power of that funny little symbol. For example, the hype on the ADT Alarm website proclaims the ability to provide you with the outstanding price of just under a dollar a day for a complete ADT Home Security System. …Hmmm… ADT deals….Really?
If that were the case then, ADT’s agile competitors in the home and business security field would be looking for a new line of work. What is disappointing to realize is that some national security providers resort to hiding the true cost of their product behind an asterisk.
$398 to Begin Service Plus $27.99 Per Month for Three Years
Doesn’t that sound a lot more expensive than “less than a dollar a day”?
The business relationship that some of these security providers have with their customers should not begin like it does. Before a consumer may qualify for the advertised price, some require “an assessment” of $398.
To learn that important fact they must delve into an area that most consumers dread to go…into the minute details of the small print in the terms section. An area of most any website which many don’t read for lack of time or from being intimidated by the legalese.
Instead of the advertised claim of “less than a dollar a day,” try these numbers cleverly hidden in that proverbial fine print:
- $299 equipment charge
- $99 installation charge
- $27.99 per month for mandatory 3-year monitoring contracts (for more on this subject, check out “The Truth Behind Alarm Monitoring Contracts.”
- Local permit fees may be required
Moral Of This Story? Consider Your Home Security Partner Carefully
Starting out a business relationship with a home security company should not begin with double talk sandwiched between asterisks. This method of disguising prices with asterisks should be discouraged. Think about it: consumers who have just been burglarized, don’t have the time or emotional clarity, to scrutinize the minutely displayed terms hidden in many security contracts. New, clear and thoughtful regulations should be enacted to protect often wary consumers from the “fine print.”
Consumers should appreciate that clever marketing messages are often misunderstood. This is an age-old advertising tactic designed to catch potential customer attention while not purposely trying to mislead them — as evidenced in the above-noted marketing tactics. Some national security providers are skilled at this. Unfortunately, their services which are often vital to their customer’s very well being are mis-understood. Furthermore, it should be noted that alarm companies, large and small, national, regional or local, have access to the same technology and suppliers. In this industry, the difference is really in the service after the sale. For some, its more comforting to know that (when needed) help is a phone call (and neighborhood) away. For others, comfort lies in the familiar brand name. It’s really an individual choice.
If you are one of those recently victimized, weary consumers, it might be in your best interests to consider trusting your family’s safety or business’ assets to the personalized and individualized service that local, custom-installed home security installationcompanies offer. It may be the difference between your home sitting with a burglary alarm blaring for hours or a service issue that that no one noticed or an alarm event that is taken seriously and investigated immediately.