CPI Security provides professionally installed monitored home security to more than 100,000 customers in Georgia, North and South Carolina. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company manufactures, installs and monitors its own security equipment, charging homeowners zero upfront for installation and equipment, though it does throw in a $99 “package fee.” CPI claims its regional status creates a close working relationship with local fire and police personnel than the big, national companies can’t establish. It also touts its Real Time Response with Audio and Video Verification that lets monitoring operators see and talk to customers over the control panel after an intruder triggers an alarm.
CPI Website: cpisecurity.com
CPI Sales: (800) 656-1553
CPI Customer Care: (800) 948-7133
CPI Security Standout Features:
- One-Stop Shop: CPI makes, installs and monitors its own security equipment.
- See/Hear: Real Time Response with Audio and Video Verification lets monitoring personnel talk to customers and intruders during an emergency or break-in.
- Regional Might: CPI is the largest, privately held security company in the Southeast.
- Remote Control: CPI’s inTouch app lets customers control their security, lights, cameras and other home systems from any web-enabled device.
What Customer Reviews Say About CPI Security
CPI Security looks great on paper. The Better Business Bureau gives it an A+ rating, and the company’s attrition rate is only 6%, half the industry average. Satisfied CPI customers mention its same day installation, intuitive control panel and minimal upfront fees in their reviews. On the other hand, CPI detractors point to frequent false alarms, murky and long contracts, poor customer service, and a moving policy that seems generous, unless you leave the Southeast for a place CPI doesn’t serve, which is most other places.
Are y’all a CPI customer? Read or leave a CPI Security Review.
What Employees Say About CPI Security
Some employees rave about working for CPI Security. One online reviewer said, “They treated their employees with love and care.” Love? You don’t read that often about a security company. Other happy campers say management is helpful and encouraging, co-workers are tight, and annual company-sponsored family outings are a great perk.
The biggest online gripes revolve around unpredictable pay and 16-hour workdays.
What Glassdoor Says about CPI
- 3 stars (out of 5).
- 55 percent would recommend CPI to a friend.
- 75 percent approve of the CEO.
- Top Kudos: Good job perks/benefits and flexible schedules.
- Top Complaints: Sales pay problems and micromanagement.
What Indeed Says about CPI
- 3.5 stars (out of 5).
- Top Kudos: Work environment and benefits.
- Top Complaints: Work/life balance and pay doesn’t match tenure.
What Everyone Else Says About CPI Security
CPI is UL-listed, IQ-certified, FM-approved and CSAA Five Diamond certified. It’s most proud of being named CSAA Central Station of the Year in 2013.
The company, however, has been party to more lawsuits than you’d imagine of a regional security company. Here are highlights.
- February, 2012: CPI technicians sue the company claiming they were unlawfully denied overtime pay in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
- October, 2013: CPI filed a lawsuit against the Alarm Security Group claiming ASG raided CPI sales reps and misappropriated confidential/proprietary information.
- April, 2014: Olivistar sued CPI for patent infringement.
- September, 2014: Eyetalk365 filed complaints against CPI and three other companies alleging patent infringement.
Who Is CPI Security?
CPI Security, one of the country’s largest regional security companies, was established in 1976 and is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company claims more than 100,000 customers in Georgia, North and South Carolina. In 2003, CPI spent $9 million to build its own alarm monitoring station in Charlotte, which was awarded the coveted CSAA Central Station of the Year in 2013.
CPI designs, builds, sells, installs, monitors and services its own security equipment. Its inTouch app lets customers control the system remotely; and its Real Time Response with Audio and Video Verification lets monitoring station operators see and talk to customers over the control panel during emergencies. A CPI sales rep claims it alerts emergency personnel within 17 seconds of a confirmed alarm, and it offers a No False Alarm Guarantee to Real Time Response System customers, where CPI promises to pay fines if a false alarm is caused by a system malfunction.
What Does CPI Offer?
CPI offers cellular-based, monitored home security systems with equipment the company designs, manufactures, sells and services. Company installers set up systems, and customers sign a 39 month- or five-year monitoring agreement, which currently ranges from $39.99 to $64.99 per month.
CPI wraps equipment and installation fees into its monthly monitoring contract, so homeowners pay only a $99 “package fee” upfront; renters pay a $299 install fee upfront. Equipment comes with a lifetime warranty dubbed Service Plus, zero service fees (during normal business hours), and a three-day risk-free trial. If you move to a CPI-covered area in the Southeast, the company will give you new equipment and continue your contract. If you move to other areas, or want to terminate early for other reasons, you’ll pay 75 percent of whatever remains on your contract.
- Touchscreen Keypad: Control panel with two-way voice that manages the system.
- inTouch App: Remotely monitors home activity and integrates key devices and systems through any web-enabled device.
- Key Remote: Key fob that arms/disarms system; also has panic button.
- Door/Window Sensors: Triggers alarms, and chimes when doors and windows are opened.
- Glass Break Detector: Detects broken glass from door and window intrusion.
- Motion Detector: Detects movement and triggers alarm.
- HD Interior Video Camera: Communicates in real time with audio and video during a verified emergency.
- Outdoor Infrared Camera: Watches home exterior day and night.
- Exterior HD Wireless IR Bullet Camera: Weather resistant camera watches home exterior day and night.
- Fire Communicator: Detects, monitors and sends emergency personnel during home fires.
- Medical Pendant: Signals monitoring staff during an emergency.
- Carbon Monoxide Detector: Detects dangerous CO levels and sends alerts.
- Heat Rise Indicator: Detects rapid temperatures changes.
- Touchscreen Door Lock: Motorized deadbolt that locks and unlocks remotely and sends alerts.
- Garage Control: Views, opens and closes garage door remotely.
- Light Control: Powers and schedules lamps and appliances remotely.
- Remote Thermostat: Controls and schedules thermostat remotely.
What You Get With CPI’s “Security Package”
- Touchscreen keypad control panel with two-way voice
- 7 window/door sensors
- 1 motion detector
- 1 key fob
- inTouch app
Monitoring prices, which are not divulged on CPI’s website, are determined by the number of “swap” items you pick over and above the standard security package. Swaps items listed below.
- Indoor camera
- Outdoor camera
- Lamp module
- Remote door lock
Standard Package ($39.99/month): Touchscreen keypad control panel with two-way voice, 7 window/door sensors, 1 motion detector, 1 key fob, inTouch app.
- $49.99/month: Standard package with 2 swaps.
- $54.99/month: Standard package with 3 swaps.
- $64.99/month: Standard package with 4 to 8 swaps.
- Warranty: Lifetime warranty.
- Risk-Free Trial: Three-day free trial.
What To Expect from CPI Security
Your first CPI call connects you with a security consultant, who will explain system options and help you design a security system. Next, CPI schedules an installation time. During our secret shopper call, the soonest CPI could promise installation was eight days away, but online reviewers say they’ve gotten same day or next day install.
A certified technician will arrive in a CPI truck, because all installers are employees, not subcontractors. The tech will set up your hardwired, wireless or combo system and teach you how to use it. Occasionally a field inspector arrives to make sure you’re happy with the system; it’s the same inspector who will show up after an alarm emergency to make sure the still works properly.
All equipment comes with a lifetime warranty. If something breaks, a technician will arrive with a replacement part within a day or two.
We spoke with Kelly during our secret shopper call, who played a little fast and loose with the truth while he tried to sell us a CPI system. “CPI is the only company to give you a lifetime warranty,” he said: Not true. “We’re the only company that has a two-way system:” Not true, either.
Typically, Kelly took a shot at ADT, but he did it with panache. “ADT is all about seeing their customer as an ATM,” he said.
What the Future Looks like for CPI Security
- Where CPI is Headed: CPI is hot on its inTouch app that controls the system’s automation services remotely through any web-enabled device.
- Cool Stuff on the Horizon: The sales rep we contacted said nothing cool is coming down the pike.
CPI Security Customer Reviews
CPI has numerous negative customer reviews we recommend consumers consider our highest customer rated provider Frontpoint Security instead.
You can learn more about Frontpoint by reading our Frontpoint Security Review.