SafeHomeCentral anyone?

ano

Senior Member
So I have a 3G cellular communicator with Alarm Relay, but unfortunately, AT&T will be sunsetting 3G in February 2022.  Unfortunately mine stopped working 2 weeks ago.  I can pay them $140 for a new communicator and continue paying them $21 month for service.  I can get a Internet communicator for $189 plus $60 and save $5 a month.  All pretty expensive.  Especially considering that I don't leave home much anymore. 
 
So I came across SafeHomeCentral and they have responded to my questions fast.  https://safehomecentral.com/
 
Cellular monitoring is $16.95/month no contract.  The Alula BAT-CONNECT you need is around $160 and it has both Internet & Cellular.  There are Verizon and AT&T versions.
 
Anyone else use them?  Alarm Relay has been fine, BUT I never heard a peep from them when my communicator stopped communicating for weeks. When I called them they ran a test and said, "yeah its not connected."  Duh!!
 
SafeHomeCentral says they have 1000+ people with this communicator.  
 

pete_c

Guru
A bit of TMI as I ramble this morning....(you know me Allen)
 
Here switched over from copper to the Ooma box VOIP and fine with it now for a few years. 
 
My XFinity account is a grandfathered no contract account from over 20 years ago.  
 
Backup here is an LTE Modem ($99) (network / wireless / Voice) that I am using with a T-Mobile SIM card for $25 per month. (got a no contract 5 SIM card deal from them after being slammed on my AT&T grandfathered accounts (5) a few years ago).
 
The backup LTE modem works fine with Internet (VOIP boxes) failover and adds a 3rd cellular RJ11 connection to the house phones similar to my old Ericsson 3G W25 modem.
 
Day before yesterday my PFSense box went down while wife was connected VPN to a bank in Chicago.  Switched her over to the LTE modem and it worked fine for her all day while I went over to the back up PFSense box repairing primary box.  (the up and down for T-Mobile are symmetrical and the up is faster than Xfinity here).
 
Still utilizing the no frills basic plan here from Alarm Relay. 

I liked Next Alarm better (used it for multiple homes for many many years and never had an issue with it).  Next Alarm was more money paid for yearly.  (liked the ability to modify, self test et al over the internet).
 
That said the OmniPro 2 panel is connected to HA and Homeseer and I do get status texting messages / emails from it.
 
Been using Ring Alarm for house #2.   Ring is owned by Amazon these days.
 
I am managing it via a RING to MQTT plugin rather than my non tethered cell phone and it works great.  Price is right.  It is all wireless.  The Ring Alarm Hub is POE wired to the network and does have a fail over built in SIM card should the network connection fail.  I do not know what the built in SIM card on the Ring hub is using and I do get disconnect messages from Ring if the XFinity account goes down.  Price is almost the same as the no frills Alarm Relay price.  Wireless devices are all ZWave from what I can tell (door contact switches and PIRs).  I have wired the keypads to 5VDC  rather than use the batteries on them.
 
Lately been creating MQTT triggers / events using the Ring wireless zone devices that TTS to the Alexa devices in house #2; works great. 
 

ano

Senior Member
I'm all up-and-running, and was pretty painless.  I'm using a BAT-CONNECT-V which is the Verizon version, but they have AT&T as well.  It was about $110 on-line, and I didn't buy it from SafeHomeCentral because it was more money there.  Hookup to the Omni Pro II requires two phone line wires, 12V power, and ethernet. That is it, and it has WiFi as well.  
 
I have the Internet/cellular plan.  Internet is primary, and cellular only connects if Internet fails.  It took about 20 seconds for cellular to connect if Internet fails. (It doesn't need an actual alarm to switch to cellular, just an interruption in Internet.)
 
Its about $205/year for monitoring with Internet/Cellular. I was paying $265/year at Alarm Relay for cellular only. 
 
Only negative, I see, is the BAT-CONNECT doesn't seem to have a status wire to hook to the Omni.  My TG1 had a status if the cellular went out. It does have a green light, that's about it.
 
So, overall, I'm happy so far.
 

JimS

Active Member
Ano,  Glad it seems to be working well for you.  A quick search turned up some negative pages.  Of course there is always going to be some of that and I have no idea if the source has industry connections that might sway the information so I am not saying this is the full story.  Still it looks like some red flags.
 
https://www.thehomesecurityadvisor.com/safe-home-security-reviews/
 
BBB rates them a B with 679 complaints in the last 3 years and 260 in the last 12 months.  They also have a 1 of 5 average review with 173 reviews. 
 
By contrast Alarm Relay is rated an A+ with 1 complaint in the last 3 years and 0 in the last 12 months.  They don't have any reviews listed on BBB.
 
I will say that I think BBB is swayed by companies being a member although it's hard to know how much.  I had an issue with a company several years ago that wasn't a member and reported it.  They company quickly became a member and said they had tried to resolve it several times which was a complete lie.  BBB then proposed binding arbitration.  I said no to that and was able to resolve the dispute with the company.  I basically fired them and as I recall hadn't paid them the full payment yet so withheld some of the payment. 
 
Even with some bias I think BBB has useful info.  When I had trouble with a big car dealer here (they left the top d link motor mount they replaced on top of the engine and I found them when my wife got home and I opened the hood!) I discovered they had a D rating with the BBB so I found another dealer for the same make car for my dealer service items.  I got a feedback form from Toyota national but they just fed it back to the same dealer for resolution so it was useless. 
 
I'm thinking I will stick with Alarm Relay.
 

lanbrown

Active Member
The BBB is strongly biased to their members.  A company that has an A rating as is a member is not the same as a company with an A rating and is not a member.
 
If the BBB didn't look out for their members then why would a company willingly pay the BBB money?  If the BB holds member companies accountable, then how would the BBB pay their employees.
 
In my dealings with the BBB, if a company is a member, you pretty much have to show the BBB their guidelines to get them to actually do anything.  They rarely have actually done what they are responsible to do without pushing them to do it.
 
So in my experience, member companies are buying their grade.  I have had excellent experiences with companies that were not members of the BBB and had a B or C rating.  Companies that had an A rating and were a member of the BBB, I have had some horrible experiences.
 

pete_c

Guru
Here not having any issues with Alarm Relay ...historically never had any issues with Next Alarm (for some 20 years).
 
 
Today it is best to get an open contract that you can cancel at any time.  I am doing this today with grandfathered XFinity, DTV, T-Mobile, Blink and now with the Ring Alarm system.  I am not too happy these days with Ooma forcing me to go paperless and auto debiting my account(s) with them and getting less and less the more time passes.
 
I have not had any issues with Alarm Relay and have only called their customer support when initially configuring my panel to their stuff.  Quick and easy and CS knew what they were talking about.
 
Personally here do not utilize BBB ratings.  Look at reviews on the Internet, IE: yelp et al.  and ask right here on the Cocoontech forum.
 

ano

Senior Member
The company is Vanguard Security Corporation dba SafeHomeCentral located in Richboro, PA and do NOT have a BBB rating as far as I can see.  I believe they are a smaller company.  Beware as MANY companies have similar sounding names.  https://www.google.com/search?q=safe+home+central&newwindow=1&source=hp&ei=OMWbYd_3MJf6-gSG5a7oDw&iflsig=ALs-wAMAAAAAYZvTSDIpZHIvNt8YCtbFTukTCBBaCvlh&ved=0ahUKEwjf8_fwsaz0AhUXvZ4KHYayC_0Q4dUDCAk&uact=5&oq=safe+home+central&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAMyCwguEIAEEMcBEK8BMgUIABCABDIGCAAQFhAeOggILhCxAxCDAToOCC4QgAQQsQMQxwEQ0QM6CwguEIAEELEDEIMBOgsILhCABBDHARCjAjoLCAAQgAQQsQMQgwE6DgguEIAEELEDEMcBEKMCOgUILhCABDoICAAQgAQQsQM6CwgAEIAEELEDEMkDOgUIABCSAzoICC4QgAQQsQM6DQguEIAEEMcBEKMCEAo6BQgAELEDOggIABAWEAoQHlAAWJwxYLk0aABwAHgAgAGRAYgBiA-SAQQwLjE3mAEAoAEB&sclient=gws-wiz#lrd=0x89c6ab71ea80f247:0xe423271e73c33f22,1,,,
 
This is their Google review.  
 
I had Alarm Relay several years.  As I have stated, my cellular communicator (I only had cellular) would be unconnected AT LEAST 50% of the time for 6 weeks and I received no call.  I called them and it took them over a week before they had someone call me back to investigate. Their only solution was upgrade my communicator to 4G, even when AT&T 3G is working until at least Feb. 2022.  So to upgrade to 4G, like I have now, it was a $190 communicator, a $60 "modify" fee and a monthly charge $7.50 more than the other company.  Both are UL rated. 

 
 
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