My monitored house alarm

My monitored house alarm

I have this monitored house alarm. It’s called Eircom Phonewatch. It was installed in 2003.

I would use the alarm if ever we all left the house, me, my wife and my autistic son together. As far as I can recall, the last time that happened was in 1991. It is not practicable to use the alarm with my son in residence, as he comes and goes at all hours of the day and night, following his own mysterious agenda. So the alarm is idle all of the time and we don’t use (or pay for) the monitoring service.

Today it started beeping. I rang Eircom Phonewatch customer service and spoke to a young woman. She asked me to press the System Status button and the alarm informed us that the battery in the downstairs motion sensor was low.

The young woman offered to send out an engineer to replace the battery.

Incredulous, I said, “An engineer! To replace a battery? How much would that cost?”

She said the call-out charge was €110. She explained that I would be charged because I was “not a customer”.

“Excuse me,” I said. “I am a customer. I bought and paid for this alarm system.”

“Your system is not being monitored,” she said. “You’re not paying the monthly charge for monitoring, which means you are not a customer.”

I blew a gasket, insisting that I was a customer. “I may not use your monitoring service, but as soon as I bought your alarm system, I became a customer.”

We disappeared down a rat-hole on that one for a while.

I asked her how to get the cover off the motion sensor in order to replace the battery. She refused to tell me. She could not advise me about that over the phone. She could send out an engineer…

“At a charge of €110! To replace a battery!” (That was me)

“That’s the call-out charge,” she said. “There would be materials on top of that.”

“The cost of the battery. How much is that?”

“Seven euro.”

“So you want to charge €117 to replace a €7 battery.”

I asked what sort of battery it was.

“I can’t tell you that, sir. When you remove the cover you’ll see the battery.”

“And how do I remove the cover?”

“I’m sorry, sir, I cannot advise you…”

The conversation continued in that vein for quite a while.

Then she said I could get my own electrical engineer to do the job, or, if I wasn’t using the alarm system, why not have it disconnected by one of their engineers at a call-out charge of €110.

“And what if I wanted to use it in the future?” said I.

“You’d have to get an engineer to reconnect it.”

“At a cost of another €110?”

“Plus materials.”

Mercifully, the beeping has stopped for the moment, and I’m waiting for my electrician to ring me back.

23 thoughts on “My monitored house alarm

  1. Dwayne o'cornor says:

    Since a wireless home burglar alarm is without the need of cords, these are simple to install. If you know that you need a alarm system after finishing all the building of your home, setting up cordless systems is a good option. For more alarm system options you could visit iasalarms today! or simply visit their website
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  2. Jeanine Spence says:

    Only want to say your article is awesome. The clearness in your post is simply impressive and i can assume you are an expert on this field. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.
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  3. Odessa Hanton says:

    It’s been almost a year now, so how’s your monitored house alarm doing? Home alarm systems have irrevocable benefits for a homeowner. One of these is having the peace of mind that your home is secured and monitored even if you’re away.

    Odessa Hanton

  4. rasel20t says:

    Since a wireless home burglar alarm is without the need of cords, these are simple to install. If you know that you need a alarm system after finishing all the building of your home, setting up cordless systems is a good option. For more alarm system options you could visit iasalarms today! or simply visit their website
    Alarm Monitoring

  5. rasel20t says:

    That was very rational. When deciding to put up security cameras, determine first the areas you’d like monitored. This gadget could be quite expensive if you’d put up one unit in every corner of the house. The key to such problem is proper angling. Home safety is paramount, that’s why it is really good news that home security cams are more affordable now. Having a secure home wouldn’t then be at all impossible for some people.
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  6. Md apel islam says:

    Home security alarms are available on the market with different types of different means. Common home security cameras include motion sensors, digital alarms and wireless security alarms. Each type has different functions. Among those three, wireless security cameras are the most popular choice of homeowners. It totally depends on the homeowner which type to choose. They just have to make sure that they purchase it from reputable providers.
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  7. sajib ahmed says:

    Alarm monitoring is the need of an hour whether or not you go out quite often. We might move out of our home for a weekend picnic or friends gathering and to make your home safe alarm monitoring security system Raleigh NC is required.
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  9. shakil hossain says:

    I used to be an alarm install technician. And while I know nothing about industry lobbying, I do know that almost all consumer model alarm systems have a verification system. When the alarm goes off, the monitoring company calls your home and can listen in on the panel. They ask you your secret pass-phrase and/or verify your identity. If there is nothing or no noise, then the police are called.
    And, motion sensors are pet-friendly and can distinguish between your dog and a person pretty easily- unless your dog weighs over 100 pounds.
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  10. jack farnandeis says:

    Reliable information provided by Alarm System Report is very useful for choosing top alarm systems. The benefits and features of the top home alarm systems are explained in detail.

  11. Alexander Landrum says:

    Whoa! That encounter is very dismaying! Imagine, you have to pay that much just to replace the battery? That’s really an awful experience, dude! Anyhow, I think the rep was only trying to be fair with the other client that’s keeping their system monitored.

    Alexander Landrum

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