As part of my continuing series exploring ADT’s new Pulse technology
platform, I looked at the way Pulse is marketed to the public – and it’s hard to do so without considering the ADT Authorized Dealer
- Can the ADT Dealers sell the new Pulse product?
- If so, are they all selling it?
- Can they sell all three levels of Pulse?
I have some answers – and it appears there has been as much confusion for the ADT Dealers as for consumers looking for the Pulse price online.
Who are the ADT Authorized Dealers?
First, a reminder on the Dealer program: ADT "buys" roughly half its new residential accounts from these Authorized Dealers – meaning several hundred thousand new home alarm systems every year. ADT allows these Dealers to market, sell, and install the accounts using the ADT brand, then purchases the monitoring contracts for a “multiple” of the monthly charge. That’s how the Dealers make their money. ADT then takes over the accounts (here’s a link to a more detailed description).
Are the ADT Dealers Selling Pulse?
You may also remember from my prior post on Pulse that the program has three levels: “Select,” “Advantage,” and “Premier.” Select is a fairly straightforward cellular-based service, with limited interactive features, but at least it relies on safer cellular monitoring. Since FrontPoint is the only 100% cellular monitoring alarm company in the US, we like that aspect of the Select level. It turns out that certain ADT Dealers are allowed to sell the Select level. What is surprising is that the largest ADT Dealer is NOT selling Pulse at all – and this particular Dealer accounts for roughly half of all new ADT Dealer accounts, or 25% of ADT’s total new residential accounts. Ouch.
It Gets Better
As I dug a bit deeper, here’s what I learned. If a consumer contacts an ADT Dealer and wants to sign up immediately for the higher Advantage or Premier levels, it’s thumbs down: the Dealer is instructed to refer the dealer to ADT “corporate” – and gets nothing for the referral. If a consumer starts out with interest in Select, and decides to upgrade to one of the higher levels mid-sale, same story. And to top it off, the commission the Dealer earns by selling the account to ADT is discounted from what is earned when creating a “traditional,” non-Pulse account. In other words, the Authorized Dealers have little or no incentive to market Pulse – which is why many Dealers are not even signed up to do so.
Not Going Well
By all accounts, the Pulse program has received little support at the ADT Dealer level, for all the reasons given above. To make matters worse, some details of the Pulse program for Dealers have been in flux, resulting in ongoing confusion. All this is occurring at a time when ADT has bet hugely on Pulse propelling them into the “hot” arenas of next-generation home security and automation.
As we’ve said before, FrontPoint appreciates the advertising dollars that ADT is now allocating to promote Pulse - the same advanced services FrontPoint has been offering since 2007. America's homeowners want more than “old school” alarm systems - they are looking for these attributes:
In other words, people want FrontPoint – the only nationwide 100% cellular alarm company, and the leader in interactive, wireless home security.