You get what you pay for.
This is the expression that has commanded the business world. If a new feature or service is made available, it comes replete with a sizable marketing campaign and matching price tag. Even if a secondary service doesn’t accrue additional cost, it is most often that complimentary features complement overpriced and underachieving primary products.
That free carrot peeler that came with the cutlery set? It’s probably because the company manufactured more than they could possibly sell, and they just want them out of the warehouse.
The second flashlight in the pack that you get for free? It’s probably because the first one will break in a month and isn’t worth the cost of the packaging.
Those premium channels you are given access to absolutely gratis? It’s because you only get them if you upgrade and extend your contract.
Free features have routinely served as either appetizers or apologies—something that says “Please keep giving us your money.” It’s rare that you’re ever given something because it is available—simply because it is a useful addition to what you’ve already purchased. Well, Alarm.com has been offering these free new features for a while now, and continue to do so. Services that complement a preexisting monitoring package are accessed by a single mouse-click. The packages aren’t simply purchased, they are customized to the user’s preference with a continually growing bank of resources and options.
One such feature through Alarm.com offers customers the ability to set power outage and restore notifications, emailed to you or sent to your mobile device. Customers can know precisely what is happening at their residence in the event of a power outage, wide-spread or localized. In fact, with Alarm.com’s location-based features, customers can also be given information about the percentage of homes in their area that have experienced the outage, giving you the magnitude of the problem immediately so you can make better decisions about your family and property.
I’ve had the opportunity to try out these customization features, and they are clever and cool to use, but it’s not until trouble comes that you realize just how important they are.
On June 29, 2012, Columbus, Ohio sat directly in the path of the most destructive complex of thunderstorms in memory. Known as a “Derecho,” the wall of storms traveled 450 miles in six hours, with 80 mph winds snapping trees in half at the trunk, downing power lines, and causing a nearly city-wide blackout.
In Ohio, over 1,000,000 people were left without electricity in the midst of an unrelenting heat wave and, despite the storms, drought conditions. Over half of those million lived in or around Columbus. The damage was so widespread and the power grid so unstable that repair efforts took more than a week. Governor John Kasich declared a state of emergency, as did President Obama.
In the aftermath of the storm, Alarm.com’s power notifications proved their worth to the residents of the Columbus area.
Amanda from Columbus wrote: “The power first went out as we were on the way out of the house. We adjusted our plans so that the whole household, including the dog, would be somewhere with electricity. It was extremely hot, and our house does not take long to get unbearably hot without air conditioning or fans. While we were out, we were notified that we were one of the lucky households in central Ohio; our power had come back after only a few hours. We knew we could all return home at that point.”
Other costumers found themselves out of the area yet were still capable of knowing what was occurring at their residence. Mark from Gahanna wrote: “I was on vacation the 2 weeks after the 6/29 storm and it was nice to know the status of the power back home.”
Others were able to ensure the safety and functionality of their property with the notifications. Phil from Lewis Center wrote: “Knowing the power was out is definitely a cool feature. It helped me make a decision quicker to come home to hook up my sump pump to a generator.”
Customers were able to leave and find relief for their family from triple-digit temperatures and maintain some level of comfort in a difficult situation, and helping them do so was a free feature that might’ve otherwise been overlooked.
When disasters occur there is nothing more important than knowing that your home and family are safe, which is why suretyCAM and Alarm.com strive to give you that power of knowledge and control, even—and especially—in the very darkest of times.Share