Why “FREE” Means You End Up Paying Ten Times As Much

I was thinking about the testimonial my friend and client Michael sent me the other day, and one line really got me: “Do not be mislead by those ‘free’ alarm systems ads. Believe me – there really is no free lunch! You get what you pay for.”

That’s so true. Nothing bothers me more than knowing people who sign up for these so-called ‘free’ systems are going to end up paying through the nose. “Free security system”? Read the fine print.

Sure, the system or the installation may be free. But to get it, you have to agree to at least three years of monitoring service — at a price that’s often more than twice as much as we at DTN normally charge ($17.95 a month) for standard monthly monitoring.

One of our big name competitors offers a “free” system that costs between forty and fifty dollars a month in monitoring costs — and locks you in for a three-year commitment. Your “free” system just cost you fifteen hundred dollars! Plus another five hundred-plus annually for every year after that!

Another name competitor offers “free” systems — but guess what? The systems aren’t legally yours till after you’ve paid $600 in related fees. So if you change your mind or want to switch to another service, your “free” system goes straight back to the company. They give it to you ‘for nothing’, and they leave you with nothing.

It’s like getting a ‘free’ cell phone — provided you sign up for three years’ service. And if you miss a payment? Prices shoot up even further, and you could even find yourself responsible for paying the full amount without getting any service in return.

And what are you really getting? You may hear that the security system a competitor offers is “valued” at nine hundred dollars or more. “Valued” by whom? Usually just by the competitor’s marketing department. We’ve replaced such systems, and in many cases the “value” isn’t a tenth of that.

DTN systems and services are highly valued too — by clients like the United States Marines, the U. S. Navy, Xerox, Pizza Hut, the George Eastman House, RIT, the Ginna nuclear plant, schools, churches, police — and even ADT and Simplex security systems! Clients like that should be the ones you should look to to judge value.

Don’t get me wrong. Good deals are out there. In fact, good deals are right here, at DTN! But you need to look close, and really know what you’re getting.

Why They Charge More

You may ask, “Why do they charge as high as this? Don’t big companies have economies of scale, and shouldn’t they be able to offer lower prices?”

You’d think so, but it takes a lot of money to run a big company, and pay a big staff, and especially to cover the costs of big marketing.

Do you know one of the biggest alarm system companies in the U.S. charges eighty million dollars for marketing alone? That’s right: $80,000,000. Their next closest competitor charges $60,000,000. That’s $140,000,000 annually — just for the marketing!

Who pays for that overhead? Customers like you.

At DTN we provide affordable prices for a simple reason: we’re local. Unlike the big multinational companies, we don’t even have a marketing department or a sales force! Our business survives 100% thanks to positive word-of-mouth from satisfied customers here in Rochester.

We live in the Rochester region. If our customers’ homes are entered, or they need medical help, the call isn’t forwarded internationally through a big expensive network to an anonymous corporate employee in some foreign nation. It goes to us — a next-door neighbor who responds at once. If our customers aren’t happy, they knock on our front door!

We don’t do high-pressure sales tactics either. If you need more than a home security system, for instance a medical alert services or a fire alarm, we can do that. But we won’t call you up and nag you to buy one. We can’t. There’s no pushy sales force at DTN nudging you to buy extras you don’t need. We don’t have a sales force.

So we don’t need to charge you more to pay their salaries.

Price Flexibility

Can you negotiate a better deal at DTN? Sure.

Think you can get a better offer elsewhere? Bring it in. We’ll match it and give you extra.

Are you a member of Rochester’s Alliance Barter group? Call us. We’ll barter.

Do you want to try to install it personally? We’ll sell you the equipment and let you do it yourself, or stand by to help.

Are you a family with a family member protecting our nation in Iraq or Afghanistan? DTN is owned and operated by a veteran, and we’ll give you security monitoring free — and we mean really, completely and absolutely, free, until that person is back home safe and sound.

How can we do things like that? Because: we’re a local, family-owned business. We don’t have a huge overhead, international offices, a big sales force, massive marketing costs, or rigid rules. We do it ourselves, and we can provide better and more affordable service than a distant foreign-owned franchise, because we’re right here. It’s that simple.

How Much Is Your Safety Worth?

People want a good price, sure. But we understand that when it’s your home, your loved ones, maybe even your life that’s at stake, you don’t want to take risks just to save a few pennies.

Well, you don’t have to. You can save cents in a way that makes sense. Really.

Call me at my private line at home at 585-342-4480 sometimes. I’ll show you how and why.

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