Competing Against ADT

Published Jul 20, 2017 15:28 PM
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ADT is one of the biggest players in the security industry, with ~$4 billion revenue. In 2017, they were acquired / merged with Protection 1. 

Now, the combined entities are coming after both the residential and commercial markets.

New IPVM statistics from 100+ integrators examine how and when they compete against ADT:

Inside, we examine ADT's plans to improve and the 6 main themes competing integrators found about ADT.


Kicking You In The Teeth All Damn Day Long, Chief

Our statistics show integrators are not scared of ADT, but ADT's CEOs says they should, as he colorfully describes ADT's improvements:

Key Themes

Overall, integrators feel more confident competing with ADT because of the following factors:

  • Focus on residential
  • Low quality installations
  • Poor customer service
  • Less active since their merger

The factors making it harder to compete with ADT are:

  • Strong brand recognition
  • Competitive pricing

ADT Mainly Focuses On Residential Installations

Integrators feel that ADT is not a threat to them as they mainly go after residential accounts instead of more complex, more profitable commercial accounts. 

  • "We don't touch residential or small retail, and the ADT brand is now used just for those customers, as I understand it."
  • "They are a competitor who does a lot of residential jobs. We do commercial only."
  • "We don't sell to small business or homes so we hardly compete with them. I think ADT did a good job in the small business/residential market."
  • "ADT is more of a small to mid commercial customer type of customer. We go after a different customer set."
  • "We usually do not compete against ADT because we are not in the small business/residential market."
  • "Good for residential. Bad for commercial. Not a robust enough solution for business."
  • "They are dedicated to small business residential systems that we do not normally pursue."
  • "We don't do residential work and don't run into them as a competitor on large enterprise projects where we would compete."
  • "Our company focuses on industrial clientele with some commercial accounts, they focus on residential with some commercial accounts. Every once in a while our bases overlap."
  • "We typically do not run into ADT based on the types of solutions we deliver. We typically don't work with residential customers."

Of course, ADT has clear plans to move into commercial so ADT could pose more risk to integrators in the future.

ADT Installations Are Low Quality

Integrators perceive the typical ADT installation as being low-quality, making it easier to compete against them.

  • "The Name is a great name but the installs other than wireless are terrible."
  • "ADT is your typical trunk slammer: Install and walk away."
  • "In my opinion they lack the technical know-how to successfully bid and install high-level integrated systems. They shouldn't even be quoting integrated systems; they should stick to residential and small commercial."
  • "I have limited experience with the ADT install team, but I have heard few good things about them from customers, and little within the industry that seems to give them a good name."
  • "I think ADT does not do very quality work. I think overall there are some good people there but they have gone downhill over the last 10 or 15 years."
  • "ADT seems to focus more on sales volume and recurring revenue than on providing value and great customer service."
  • "Not a lot, but whenever we do see them for video or access systems, the design offering/documentation to the Customer is always lacking, the installation is always fast/furious/simply-poor, and the end result has been Customer displeasure."
  • "I personally believe that they have terrible installers in our market and this contributes to us winning bids against them."
  • "Their work, as much as I've seen, is hit and miss. Lots of wireless Honeywell installs, which are easy to bid against."
  • "Their techs throw the system in not dressing the cable bundles and do as little as possible to get the job done. Their turnover in this area seems high. SLOPPY WORK."

ADT Has Poor Customer Service

Integrators feel that ADT's reputation for poor service makes them easy to compete with. 

  • "We love ADT. Many of our clients move to us due to ADT's poor customer service. They hire a lot of sub contractors and have so many different dealer programs I think it's hard for them to keep everything straight. This is good for us."
  • "Customers really have bad opinions about them when it comes to service."
  • "There business model, support and reputation seem to be following in Comcast's footsteps."
  • "Most of our Retail customers have had poor experiences in the past with ADT."
  • "What we usually get is ADT's angry customers who are done with them. People hate contracts, and the service calls becomes an issue over time."
  • "My experience was long delays in servicing equipment for their clients . As for their supposed core services they seemed to move very slow . Probably the nature of their size."
  • "We don't mind ADT as they usually set us up for a successful takeover a few years down the road."

ADT Is Less Active Since Their Acquisition 

Some integrators say that ADT has been less aggressive since their acquisition, making them easier to compete against. 

  • "We have not come across ADT since they were acquired however, and I now rarely even see their trucks out on the street."
  • "After the big break up of tyco/adt there doesn't seem to be much of a presence."
  • "With ADT changing so much, you don't even know who they are today!"
  • "I honestly haven't heard anything about them since the TYCO IS Split."

ADT Has Strong Brand Recognition

Integrators admit that ADT's brand recognition and marketing makes competing with them more difficult than it would be otherwise.

  • "Those customers who are unfamiliar with shopping around and prefer to trust big name companies will gladly fork over more money to them."
  • "They do seem to get a lot of work, we just never seem to share the same customer pool."
  • "I think ADT has much more power and so much more brand awareness."
  • "They have strong branding."
  • "They are big but not any better than their competition, they rely on their name recognition."
  • "Hard to compete with their brand recognition."
  • "ADT is a necessary evil. Those who just want some brand name in their home or office may find comfort in the name."
  • "ADT has great marketing, and poor overpriced service."
  • "ADT is a great marketing company, not a good security company."

ADT Has Highly Competitive Pricing

Integrators say ADT's pricing strategy is likely to sway customers. 

  • "Sometimes we loose business on price with them however majority of the time; customer understand the importance of after sales support than price and we win over ADT."
  • "A national presence that can distract a potential customer from a proper security solution by "giving it away" for the RMR."
  • "In general, these large companies sell bare minimum systems to the lowest common denominator."
  • "We do compete with them often they are wiling to low bid a lot of the time."
  • "If I hear the customer talk about ADT in the qualification phase I typically will just bow out of the bid process. The type of customer who is interested in ADT is not the type of customer that I want to chase."
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