AT&T Digital Life

Short Summary

As a relative newcomer in the field of home security, AT&T Digital Life Security enables customers to bundle their phone and wireless bills with their home security costs, making life a little easier.

  • The security program through AT&T was released in 2012 in Dallas and Atlanta, and is now available in several major cities around the country.
  • With two packages (attractively labeled “Smart” and “Simple”), AT&T has wisely kept their service plans streamlined and uncomplicated.
  • The Better Business Bureau currently gives AT&T Digital Life a rating of A+.
  • Home automation is a strongly stressed service that any ATT Digital Life commercial suggests for its prospective customers.
  • Free consultation in your home is a unique option offered by AT&T, and having a consultant in your home might be an easier way to get questions answered than enduring the wait times of calling the AT&T customer service lines.
  • Mobile apps enable home owners to control and monitor their own homes from a smart phone or tablet.

Review

Pros at a glance:

  • The security system uses the existing and extensive AT&T wireless network.
  • Batteries provide backup in case of a power outage (including a deliberately induced outage by an intruder attempting to disable security.
  • AT&T is a long standing communications company with a solid history and a bright future. It can be assumed that their security offerings will grow to match their phone and wireless services as the company works to expand the security side of its business.
  • Available plans are straightforward and simple, and enrollment is a snap.
  • Free professional installation.
  • Text and email alerts are available with both service packages.
  • Equipment and service are entirely wireless, and can use any provider’s high speed internet. Clients are not required to get their wireless services from AT&T (though it might be cost effective to do so). Because the service is wireless, there is no land line or home phone required.
  • Home automation is also an optional add-on, enabling clients to remotely lock or open doors, adjust lights and temperature, and check on their home from a smart phone

Possible Con:

  • Given its new status, AT&T Digital Life is not yet available in every city in the country.

About

AT&T itself has been in business for more than one hundred and thirty years, successfully changing and evolving with the times and technology. Although their home security offerings are new, they certainly have the track record to back up their offered services.

Security Equipment

The equipment that comes with an Digital Life AT&T Simple security package includes the following:

  • Three sensors that can be installed as recessed detectors within the frame of a window or door, hidden from casual view.
  • One indoor siren to alert the household if an alarm is tripped
  • One control key pad
  • One remote access key fob

Clients who choose the Smart Plan can also add optional additional packages, each of which has an up front equipment cost as well as adding to the monthly fee for the selected plan.

The add-on packages include:

  • Video Camera Package: For an extra ten dollars per month (and an additional one hundred dollar equipment cost), customers can add AT&T security cameras. The digital cameras enable homeowners to look at recorded or live footage on their mobile devices.
  • Door Package: For an extra five dollars per month (and an additional equipment cost of one hundred and fifty) you can add the ability to remotely unlock or lock your garage door or front door. You can let someone into your house remotely, or set up text alerts to let you know when doors open while you are away.
  • Energy Package: For an extra five dollars per month (and an additional equipment cost of two hundred dollars) you can add the ability to control your home’s lights, appliances, and thermostat remotely.
  • Water Detection: For an extra five dollars per month (and an additional equipment cost of fifty dollars) you can add flood alerts with water sensors and temperature sensors. You can also step up this service (for ten dollars monthly and a two hundred and fifty dollar equipment cost) to include a water controller that enables you remote access to turn off your home’s water.

This security system also has the advantage of being compatible with some existing security equipment, so a customer can easily switch from a previous provider to AT&T Digital Life, without having to start over with a whole new set of equipment (and associated installation and costs).

Alarm Monitoring

Customer alarms are monitored around the clock from a UL certified center. Any alarm will result in quick contact from the monitoring center to the homeowner to assess the situation.

Customer Service

Enrolling in the AT&T Digital Life security service is a simple and streamlined process. Prospective clients can complete a form online, detailing their perceived security needs, and the company will suggest a customized package to serve those needs.

AT&T Security customer service reviews do indicate that lengthy wait times can be a problem when customers call for assistance. Clients also complain of being transferred multiple times to different customer service representatives before getting questions answered or issues addressed.

Unlike dedicated security companies, AT&T security system is sharing its phone support with AT&T’s other services, so a calling customer may be placed in a waiting line behind all the people calling for help with their phone plans.

Some clients also found themselves caught off-guard by costs they had not anticipated, so it is important to read the contract (and prices) carefully before enrolling.

Most of these issues can be chalked up to “growing pains” in a relatively new branch of an existing business, and it can be hoped that the customer service will improve even as the areas of service expand in the near future.

All in all, AT&T Digital Life customer reviews show growth in the company’s services as well as customer satisfaction.

Installation

Some of the user reviews of this service indicate a chronic problem with AT&T Digital Life failed communication regarding installation. When a new client has to call service technicians back to the home to repair equipment that has just been installed, frustration can understandably mount quickly.

The AT&T Digital Life security system does require installation by a professional technician, so a new customer should plan to set aside a four hour block of time for that service call. Update: For certain ZIP codes there is also a DIY installation available.

If you purchase additional equipment afterward, you are permitted to install it yourself. The good news here is that the installation itself is free!

Pricing

Compared to the multiple tiers and packaging options offered by many security companies, the simplicity of ATT Digital Life is refreshing. Clients can choose one of two plans, adjusting equipment to suit their individual needs with the higher level package.

  • Simple Security Plan: For thirty dollars per month, this plan provides around the clock monitoring by a UL certified center, professional installation, and remote access through smart phone apps.
  • Smart Security Plan: For forty dollars per month, the Smart Security plan offers all the elements of the Simple plan, in addition to options like home automation, smoke and fire detection, motion sensors, glass break sensors, and carbon monoxide detectors.

If you plan on expanding or customizing, you should go with the Smart plan, because the Simple plan does not include options for expansion. With the Smart plan, the forty dollar monthly fee is only the base-fee, and additional services will add to the monthly bill.

As you calculate total costs, don’t forget to consider the up-front costs of equipment and installation. The Simple Security package costs around one hundred and fifty dollars for the equipment, and the Smart Security equipment costs as much as three hundred dollars (or even more if you add on multiple optional services).

Clients also have the option of adding a Complete Protection warranty on all the equipment, for as long as you continue the service. There is no monthly charge for this coverage, but a home visit from a technician will cost fifty dollars.

Conclusion

AT&T Digital Life offers most of the basic services and equipment options that consumers have come to expect from home security companies. They do require two year contracts, and enforce collection of the full balance on that contract if a client chooses to cancel before the term is up.

The exception to this practice is when a customer is cancelling the service because they are moving to a new location where the service is not currently available.

AT&T Digital Life home security reviews show that customers are satisfied overall, even though they are hoping AT&T will soon iron out the kinks caused by growing pains of a new service.

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