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Monitronics Supports Local Women’s Shelter and Assistance Program on North Texas Giving Day

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At Monitronics, we make it our business to help make people safer, whether it’s in their homes or in crisis situations. We’re proud to call the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex our home, and that’s why we partner with Agape Resource and Assistance Center, based in Plano, Texas. The program’s mission is to provide critical housing and life skills that empower single women and their children to transform from homelessness, crisis and poverty to self-sustaining, fulfilling lives.

As a corporate sponsor, Monitronics has dedicated time, money and resources to the program’s shelter, helping women in dire need of safety and security to get the peace of mind they deserve. Our commitment continues on Thursday, Sept. 22 in conjunction with this year’s North Texas Giving Day.

North Texas Giving Day is the nation’s largest online donation day, organized by the Communities Foundation, a Dallas-based philanthropic organization.  In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has raised $119 million for the North Texas community.

For those interested in learning more or contributing to Agape, other businesses and residents can donate online at hope4agape.com/online-donation/.

“Security is a vital part of these women’s recovery and their abilities to overcome their violent experiences of the past,” said Stacy Young, Monitronics Director of Human Resources, who is leading the effort on Monitronics’ behalf. “Many of the affected women are victims of abuse and human trafficking, and we are determined to help them move forward. It is a shame these crimes happen in our own backyard, and I am proud of our community for coming together to help our fellow residents in need.”

Recently, Young spearheaded a donation by Monitronics, Alarm.com and Nortek of $20,000 in security hardware and monitoring to the Agape Resource and Assistance Center, including new professionally-installed, monitored security systems throughout the shelter and its three residences.

The upcoming campaign is focused on the importance of security in keeping out the “Big Bad Wolf” and fostering the recovery of the women while rebuilding their lives and the lives of their children.

“We are humbled to help the women of Agape, and to make a difference in the lives of our fellow Dallas-area residents,” said Bruce Mungiguerra, Monitronics Senior Vice President of Operations. “These women often face unimaginable struggles on a daily basis. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring safety and security back to their lives.”

Learn More About Neighborhood Crime with our Interactive Report

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It’s understood that buying a home is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. That’s why smart buyers consider a lengthy list of factors – everything from the age and condition of the home to the quality of the school district – before making an offer.

Buyers who want to dig deeper will learn more about the neighborhood, and not just what it looks like while they’re driving through it. Appearances can sometimes be deceiving, and that’s where we can help.

Monitronics offers a useful tool that looks below the surface by examining neighborhood crime reports. It’s our way of showing that we care about your safety and security, even when you’re beyond the reach of your home security system.

Using data from CrimeReports.com, we put together an up-to-date interactive map showing crimes that relate to the neighborhood around any given address, or in a particular ZIP code. Even if you’re already living in an area, it’s wise to understand any potential threats not just to homes, but to your kids who hang out with their friends down the street.

It’s a comprehensive list that shows not just residential and commercial property crimes such as burglary, or breaking and entering, but also:

  • Assaults (with or without a deadly weapon).
  • Weapons and drug offenses.
  • Robberies and theft, including vehicles that are stolen or broken into.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Sexual assault, as well as the location of registered sex offenders.

The list also includes the enforcement side of the equation, mapping out instances of proactive policing such as pedestrian stops and vehicle stops.

Understanding crime in your neighborhood isn’t just a great way to learn more about the home you want to move into, or the one you already live in. It’s not just about home security either. It’s figuring out how to protect yourself and your loved ones once you step out the front door.

Use the Five “Be’s” to Avoid Sales Scams

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The next few months are an extremely active time for home security companies and salespeople. Sad to say, a few unscrupulous companies use it as a time to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. But everyone can play a role in fighting back against unethical tactics that some salespersons or technicians might use to try to gain your business, even if you already have a home security system.

At Monitronics, we do our part by urging the companies in our authorized dealer network to train sales reps to do the right thing. We gain absolutely nothing by misleading a new customer, trying to steal customers away from competitors, or engaging in other unethical tactics. Our dealers become successful by providing great products and services along with an honest, outstanding customer experience. They understand that any other approach is unacceptable – and can often result in fines or legal action.

It helps to be an informed consumer as well. Here are five easy “be’s” that you can remember to help protect yourself against summertime sales scammers. And if you encounter anyone engaging in dishonest practices, please let us know by calling 877.779.2973, or emailing stopdeceptivesales@monitronics.com.

Be informed

Know who your security provider is, whether you are under contract, and how long you’ll remain under contract. When a dishonest sales rep or technician looks at your yard sign and sees who your security provider is, they can use any number of underhanded tactics, such as:

  • Telling you that the company has gone out of business, and that they want to become your new provider.
  • Representing themselves as being from your provider, and offering a “free” upgrade that actually ends up costing you money for equipment that you don’t need – and that doesn’t even come from your actual security company.
  • Coaxing you to leave your current provider. If you have time left on your existing contract, however, the buyout process can be expensive and unpleasant, leaving you paying two companies at the same time.

If you know the facts about your system, your contract and your provider, it’s easy to shut a scammer down before they get rolling.

Be cautious

Always check the credentials of a sales rep or technician. For example, our customers know that if there’s ever any doubt about whether someone is actually from Monitronics, all it takes is a phone call to 877.779.2973 to verify their claim. If you’re a Monitronics customer, you know that we won’t send a technician to your house to make any equipment installations or updates without letting you know in advance. A sales rep may knock on your door as he goes through your neighborhood. But if a technician shows up without an appointment, call us to verify before he starts any work.

Be curious

Sales reps and technicians from our dealer network will provide valuable information about our systems and services, but they understand that you’re going to have questions. They know that purchasing home security or home automation is a major decision that you shouldn’t take lightly. Ask your questions, no matter how long it takes. If a sales rep isn’t patient, thorough and knowledgeable, that’s a red flag.

Be firm

A good salesperson will present you with options and patiently explain why they might work for you. But if you absolutely do not want a particular feature or service, let the salesperson know. Also, don’t be bullied by an overbearing salesperson or technician who doesn’t understand your comfort level. Remember that it’s your house, and you control the conversation.

Be proactive

Remember that you can always start the conversation about home security or home automation by contacting us through monitronics.com.  We can set up an in-home appointment with an authorized dealer in your area who can visit your home when it’s convenient and comfortable for you.

Assisted vs. Independent Living: What are the Costs?

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As life expectancy increases and a larger percentage of the population become senior citizens, many families are discovering that long-term care costs can be financially challenging. Assisted living costs are significantly less than the cost of a nursing home, but no matter how you crunch the numbers, long-term care costs are high. What variables affect the bottom line? And is there an alternative to placing your loved one in a long-term care facility?

First, let’s look at some quick definitions. “Assisted living” is generally defined as a facility in which seniors are no longer able to live safely on their own, but do not require a high level of care provided in a nursing home. They live in private apartments; assistance with daily personal activities is provided; and meals are served in a communal dining room. A “nursing home” provides around the clock, high-level medical care and trained assistance. Residents generally share a room, and meals are provided in a communal dining area unless a resident is too ill to participate.

Neither solution is inexpensive. Long-term care costs vary from state to state, ranging from approximately $3,000 to $6,000 per month for assisted living and $4,000 to $8,000 for a nursing home. There are other factors, including social interaction provided by living in a community of seniors, the level of support nearby, and expenses like utilities and meals included in the total long-term care costs.

That’s why many seniors – and their caregivers – opt for a “stay at home” approach for as long as possible. For someone who doesn’t need medical attention and is relatively independent, this may be a good solution.

If you’re looking for an alternative solution that allows seniors to maintain their independence while staying safe, Monitronics can help. Through home security systems and medical monitoring, we help provide seniors with the safety and security they need to remain independent. It’s just one more way that Monitronics offers home security systems that fit virtually every family’s needs.

For more information on how to keep your family safe, join our social communities on Facebook and Twitter, or check out our website.

Celebrating African American History Month

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African American History Month, which is celebrated in February each year, gives us a chance to appreciate the impact that African Americans have had on U.S. history. While it’s easy to spot famous African American artists, musicians, athletes, and other luminaries, we thought that for this year’s African American History Month, we’d look at some lesser-known figures who made a big difference in our country’s history.

  • Benjamin Banneker contributed to our nation’s rich history in many ways, not least in the urban planning of Washington D.C. Born in 1731, he descended from enslaved Africans, an indentured servant, and free men and women of color. His brilliant mind led him to become an author, scientist, mathematician, farmer, astronomer, publisher and urban planner. Having had only one year of formal schooling, he still taught himself to make clocks, became a surveyor and astronomer of note, publish almanacs, and conduct a correspondence with Thomas Jefferson, challenging his ideas about the inferiority of blacks. What he may be best known for, though, is his appointment by President George Washington to serve on the District of Columbia Commission, working on the survey that established the original boundaries of our nation’s capital.
  • You’ve heard of Amelia Earhart; what about Bessie Coleman? In 1922, Bessie Coleman became the first black woman in the world to earn a pilot’s license. This was quite a feat, not only because it broke both racial and gender barriers, but also because of the lengths she had to go to achieve it. Born in 1892 in Atlanta, Texas, her native country would not allow her to attend flight school, so she taught herself French and attended flight school in France. In 1922, she completed the first public flight by an African American woman in America, and after that she earned a living through barnstorming, stunt flying, parachuting and doing other aerial tricks.
  • Thurgood Marshall earned his law degree from Howard University in 1933, joining the legal staff of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1936. As chief counsel for the NAACP, he was instrumental in challenging racial segregation, particularly in higher education. He was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1961, but was not confirmed in 1962 due to opposition from some Southern senators. In 1964, he became the first African American appointed to the Supreme Court. Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, he supported those who challenged all kinds of discrimination and remained on the court during the administrations of five more presidents until retiring in 1991.
  • Barbara Jordan wasn’t the first African American woman elected to Congress, but she was the first one from the Deep South. In fact, she was the first woman ever elected to the Texas Senate! The daughter of a Baptist minister, Barbara grew up in Houston and received a degree from Texas Southern University in 1956 before continuing her studies at Boston University Law School. After setting up her own law practice, she became interested in politics, campaigning for John F. Kennedy and fellow Texan, Lyndon B. Johnson, before deciding to run herself in 1962. In 1966 she finally won her seat and served in Congress until 1979, later becoming the Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair of Public Policy, a role she assumed in 1982.

What does African American History Month have to do with home security? Nothing, really, but it’s important that we take a moment and recognize the leadership and contributions by these visionary Americans, and others who have played a role in our nation’s greatness. The next generation of leaders and contributors have already been born. We can’t wait to see how they will change our world.

A leader in home security, Monitronics offers home security systems to meet the needs of every home and family. To learn more about home security, or find valuable information on a variety of topics, including African American History Month, visit the Monitronics website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.