Home security systems often come with long-term contracts. Before you commit, it’s important to know exactly what you’re signing up for.
We lay out the cancellation policies and penalties for our best home security systems.
Find out which companies sneak things into the fine print and which ones give you freedom. Specifically, we dive into how to cancel, when to cancel, and whether or not there are cancellation fees and penalties.
*Most customers are under contract, but there are no-contract options if you buy equipment outright. †No contract for monthly monitoring, but there is a contract if you finance equipment costs. Info current as of 08/06/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
ADT cancellation policies
ADThas been around for more than a century, and it has old-school business practices in tow. Here are the ins and outs of ADT’s contract and cancellation policies.
How to cancel your ADT contract
To cancel your service with ADT, you need to call the company. There’s no way to cancel online. You can call the company’s toll-free customer service line (below) or contact the dealer who sold you your ADT security system.
ADT customer service: 1-800-238-2727
ADT’s 6-month service guarantee
ADT offers a money-back guarantee during the first six months of your contract if you’re unhappy with the service. But the guarantee only kicks in if ADT attempted to solve your problem and wasn’t able to.
When to cancel your ADT contract
Technically, you can cancel your contract at any time—but you won’t be able to get out of the contract entirely. That means you’ll have to pay a termination fee to end your service.
The best time to cancel your contract with ADT is during the first six months. That’s the only time the company offers a money-back guarantee.
Penalties and fees if you cancel your ADT contract
ADT charges 75% of the remainder of your contract as of the day you cancel service. The contract is for 36 months (24 months in California), so the earlier into your contract, the more you’ll have to pay to get out of it.
Estimated ADT cancellation fees
Estimate of what that 75% termination fee could look like if you’re paying $45 a month (the base price for ADT’s most affordable cellular monitoring plan). Months remaining start after the 6-month service guarantee time period is over.
What this means for you
Because you’ll have to pay for at least a portion of your full ADT contract, you need to consider why you want to cancel and if getting out of the service is worth the fee.
The best thing to do is decide up front if you think you’ll want your ADT system and professional monitoring for at least three years.
If that type of commitment feels overwhelming—or if you may be moving in that timeframe—it might be better to consider a home security system that comes with month-to-month monitoring.
Vivint customers are usually in a contract for 42 to 60 months. You can get Vivint Smart Home security on a month-to-month basis if you can pay for your equipment outright.
If you do end up in a contract, here’s what you need to know.
How to cancel your Vivint contract
Vivint used to require a 30-day written notice to cancel your agreement, but now all you have to do is call.
Depending on why you want to cancel, and whether or not there are extenuating circumstances, some documentation may be required to process your cancellation.
Vivint customer service: 1-800-216-5232, extension 5020
You can apply to Vivint’s Exceptions Review Team to see if you can end your contract due to extenuating circumstances. Circumstances that may qualify include death, bankruptcy, active military duty, or a move to an assisted living facility.
When to cancel your Vivint contract
You have the right to cancel your Vivint contract at any time, but depending on why you want to cancel, timing could make a difference.
The best time to cancel a Vivint contract is if you experience something that could be considered an extenuating circumstance.
If your current situation warrants an exception from Vivint’s review team, you could get out of your contract with minimal penalties. All extenuating circumstance reviews are considered on a case-by-case basis.
You also have the option of transferring your Vivint contract to another person. This is a good option if you’re selling your home and want to leave the Vivint system for the new owners.
Penalties and fees if you cancel your Vivint contract
Vivint requires you to pay 100% of the remaining time in your contract if you choose to cancel. That can be hefty, especially because Vivint’s contracts are longer than most.
Vivint’s average customer is tied to their contract for 60 months (that’s five years!).
But the company offers you the chance to try for a smaller penalty if you can qualify for an extenuating circumstances exception.
Estimated Vivint cancellation fees
Estimate of what the 100% termination fee could look like if you’re paying $40 a month (the base price for Vivint’s middle-tier monitoring plan). Months remaining start 6 months into a 60-month contract.
What this means for you
Chances are you’re going to have to pay something if you want to terminate your contract with Vivint. And Vivint contracts are the longest in the industry, so you need to make sure you’re comfortable with the commitment before you buy.
Vivint has been responsive to customer feedback, and has made it easier to end your agreement. The options to apply for an exception based on extenuating circumstances or transfer the contract to someone else give everyone a possible way out. A few years ago, you were just stuck.
If something drastically changes your situation, be sure to collect documentation and be prepared to submit it to Vivint.
Typically, you’ll have a 36-month contract with Link Interactive. But the company does offer shorter contracts and month-to-month monitoring services depending on how much of the equipment cost you decide to pay up front.
No matter how long your Link Interactive contract is, here’s what it takes to cancel it.
How to cancel your Link Interactive contract
To cancel your contract with Link Interactive, you need to contact customer support. You can call or send an email to get the ball rolling.
Link Interactive gives you 30 days from the day you receive your home security system to decide if you want to keep it.
When to cancel your Link Interactive contract
Thanks to the money-back guarantee, the first 30 days is the best time to cancel your contract with Link Interactive.
If you choose to return the system during the first month, you get a full refund of all equipment and monitoring fees.
Once the trial period ends, you’ll be required to pay a portion of your remaining contract if you cancel.
Penalties and fees if you cancel your Brinks contract
Link Interactive requires customers to pay 75% of their remaining contract when they cancel.
Estimated Link Interactive cancellation fees
Estimate of what the 75% termination fee could look like if you’re paying $40 a month (the base price for Link Interactive’s Gold monitoring plan). Months remaining start after the 30-day trial period.
What this means for you
The best thing you can do is take advantage of Link Interactive’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
Set a reminder when you receive your security system, and make sure you decide whether or not to cancel before that 30-day period is over.
Learn more about Link Interactive on our FAQ page.
Frontpoint cancellation policies
Frontpoint did away with mandatory contracts in November 2019.
If you are in a Frontpoint contract that started before then, here’s what you need to know if you want to cancel.
How to cancel your Frontpoint contract
During the first 30 days of your service with Frontpoint, you can call to cancel your contract. Account specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (EST).
If you’ve had your Frontpoint security system longer than 30 days, Frontpoint requires a 30-day written notice to terminate your service. Written notice can be submitted via email.
You can monitor your Nest system with or without a contract. If you want to pay for your Nest equipment over time, you can get a contract with Brinks that includes both your monthly monitoring fee and the cost of your equipment.
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more