Ackerman Security Review – Good Security Company or Not?
Ackerman Security, a super-regional firm based in Atlanta, operates in only a few markets in the Eastern United States, but has made itself a dominant force in each of them. Ackerman offers custom-designed systems at price points intended to be affordable for any customer.
Ackerman has a long history in its service areas, and has recently been acquired by an investment firm which will capitalize acquisitions and expansions into new markets. They were one of the first security companies to offer automated services and customized systems, and their award-winning monitoring centers are the equal of any in the industry.
Price: $19.99 (basic service)
Installation: $99 – $149
Ackerman Security Equipment
Ackerman relies primarily on Honeywell equipment, as well as First Alert and Panasonic. Equipment in basic home security packages generally includes:
- Smart control panel
- Wireless cameras
- Smart door locks
- Smart thermostat control
- Glass break sensors
- Remote light control
Ackerman offers a basic, but limited range of automation options. Customers can remotely access and control most of the basic features, but not much more than the bare minimum.
- Remotely arm and disarm system
- Instant even notifications by text or e-mail
- Limited live video monitoring
- Remote control lights and thermostat
- Remote door lock
Ackerman Company History
The company was founded in 1992 by Bruce Turry and his friend, successful Atlanta real estate developer Charles Ackerman. The two had been partners in a security company they founded in 1976, after Turry survived being shot in a home robbery, but sold that firm in 1990. In 1992 the two saw an opportunity to buy back into the industry when another Atlanta security company, Guardian of Georgia, came up for sale.
The new company made its mark by implementing a top-tier monitoring and communications center, and a combination of aggressive marketing and creative innovations quickly powered the small local company to the 20th largest security firm in the United States. Ackerman is a dominant force in Atlanta and northern Georgia, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Baltimore, and suburban areas of Maryland and Northern Virginia.
In 2015, Ackerman was acquired by Imperial Capital Group, a Canadian investment firm.
- Extensive home automation capability
- Low Prices
- Broadband monitoring
- Custom-built systems
- State-of-the-art monitoring center
- 5-Diamond certification
Ackerman has been around in one incarnation or another for 40 years, and this version of the company has been a strong player in their service areas for over a quarter century. The new president and CEO, James Callahan, allowed the firm to be acquired by a Canadian investment group last year, with an eye toward expanding into newer markets and acquiring smaller firms. Ackerman is a steady and reliable company, and their service will probably become available in even more markets soon.
Building custom, automated systems to suit the individual client is a strong selling point even for higher-priced firms, and with some of the lowest prices in their markets, Ackerman is an appealing and affordable choice for any consumer.
Unlike most of their competitors, Ackerman offers the option of monitoring through your broadband internet service rather than your telephone line or wireless provider. And, their monitoring centers are sophisticated and reliable – they are certified as a 5-Diamond security provider by the Central Security Alarm Association, the industry’s international trade association.
- Poor customer service
- Poor transparency
- Frequent technical issues
- Poor communication
- Hidden costs
- Limited service area
As many options as Ackerman offers for prospective customers, it’s almost impossible for any of those consumers to find out any information about the company until they’re sitting across the table from a salesman. Ackerman has no useful information on their website, and they won’t tell you anything on the telephone either. Customers can’t get detailed information about the service package until they’re being pressured to make a purchasing decision.
Once they’ve signed up, they often find that their monthly bill has mysterious fees and charges that the salesman never mentioned. Customer service is problematic – clients report that service reps tend to be vague about the details of the bill, or make promises that never materialize. Ackerman’s contract renewal policy is confusing, and details are hard to find – many clients get stuck with an extension because they didn’t understand how to end the agreement.
The poor customer service might not be so bad if customers didn’t need to call very often, but unfortunately many of them do. Ackerman is plagued by technical problems ranging from poor installation to unreliable equipment, and many clients say that once they’re committed to a contract, the company can’t be counted on to fix the problems.
Consumers considering Ackerman need to take into consideration the difficulty in ending the contract – the company’s limited service range makes it difficult to stay with them if you relocate.
The Bottom Line
With some of the lowest prices in their markets, and an impressive range of features and service packages, Ackerman has to be a tempting option for anyone in their service area.
Customers need to pay very close attention to what they’re signing up for, though – because once they’re signed up it’s very difficult to end the contract. And as difficult as it is to end the agreement, it’s even more difficult to find out what’s actually in it before you begin the agreement. Anyone considering Ackerman needs to thoroughly read everything before they sign, and not be shy about asking detailed questions.
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Ackerman Contact Information
- Web site: http://www.ackermansecurity.com
- Phone: (800) 552-1111
- Address: 1346 Oakbook Dr #175Norcross, GA 30093
- Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/AckermanSecuritySystems
- Twitter – http://twitter.com/AckermanSecure
- Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/user/AckermanSecurity1
- Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+ackermansecurity