Canadian company is consumers' choice

United Alarm emphasizes customer service
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Friday, November 18, 2011

CALGARY, Alberta—Servicing the same day or within 48 hours, and real people answering phones are two reasons United Alarm, Alberta’s largest independent security company, won a Readers’ Choice award from the Calgary Herald newspaper, according to Dave Hains, United Alarm’s sales and projects director.

The Calgary company, founded in 1990, serves about 40,000 homes and businesses and has about 20 employees, Hains said.

Although its commercial side is growing, the company's residential side is very strong, he said. “That’s kind of how we started. Just one customer at a time and word of mouth,” Hains told Security Systems News. Referrals still are mainly how United Alarm grows its customer base, he said.

And it’s one of the oldest security companies in the province. For example, he said, “Maybe I signed you and now we’ve got your daughter that’s coming with us. We’ve got the next generation coming along.”

The Calgary Herald announced in October that United Alarm was the 2011 Calgary Herald Readers' Choice award winner in the Home Security Company category.

Hains said, “As a company we’re really based on trying to innovate and keep our standards high.”

One of the customer service features that makes United Alarm stand out is that anyone calling is connected to a live person immediately, he said. “Always,” Hains said. “You call the office and within one or two rings somebody answers, and that is all day long. I think people really appreciate that.”

Also, Hains said, all requests for service are answered within 24 to 48 hours, many on the same day.

Also, he said, “it helps that we try to stay innovative in our equipment.” He said also United Alarm installs products from companies such as 2GIG and Honeywell.

And while the company is expanding its customer base, Hains said, “we don’t do acquisitions … A lot of times, what we find is that if someone is a dealer, they don’t necessarily care as much as we do … and it ends up being harder on us because we have to service somebody that’s not happy, that doesn’t necessarily have the same quality equipment and didn’t get the same quality install.”