You've heard the phrase: 'You get what you pay for.' Don't just 'check the box.' When it comes to selecting a mobile surveillance solution for your security needs, transparency, reliability, and quality are paramount. Poorly made security solutions, susceptible to hacking and with short shelf-lives, may seem like a short-term win, but they only provide a false sense of security.

Not all providers may be forthright about their practices, so it's important to ask the right questions and do your own research to avoid potentially leaving you vulnerable to security risks and hidden fees down the line.

Here are five red flags to be aware of during your search, along with possible questions to ask prospective providers for each:

 

1. Lack of Transparency

Failure to disclose camera specifications may indicate the use of cheap, FCC-banned cameras, posing potential security risks in the interest of maximizing profit margins at the expense of the customer. Be sure to confirm that the cameras to be used are NDAA compliant. Many times, companies will default to banned cameras but will only 'upgrade' to approved cameras if asked.

QUESTIONS TO ASK

  • Can you provide detailed specifications of the cameras you use in your mobile surveillance solutions?
  • Are the cameras NDAA compliant? Can you confirm their compliance with NDAA regulations?
  • Have you ever used FCC-banned cameras in your solutions, and if so, what measures do you take to ensure compliance and security?
  • How often do the cameras go down (from power or cellular)?

2. Hidden Partnerships & Fees

Failure to disclose partnerships with VMS (Video Management System) or monitoring stations could signal potential issues with the quality and transparency of the surveillance service. It's crucial to ask about the accreditation of the monitoring station and whether it operates within the United States. When companies outsource their monitoring, the key metric they value is VOLUME, as they try and move through hundreds or thousands of alerts a day using cheap labor. Additionally, be vigilant about undisclosed upcharges for these monitoring services as you livestream, as these could significantly impact your budget and the overall value of the solution.

QUESTIONS TO ASK

  • Can you disclose the partnerships your company has with VMS or monitoring stations?
  • Are your monitoring stations accredited, and are they based in the United States?
  • How do you handle the volume of alerts received at your monitoring stations, and what measures are in place to ensure quality monitoring despite high volumes?
  • Can you provide a breakdown of all potential upcharges for monitoring services, especially during livestreaming?
  • Are there additional charges for tech support or is that included? Who would handle that?
  • How much does it cost to have a unit relocated?
  • How many users are allowed on the VMS platform? Is it unlimited? Is there a fee associated with adding users?

3. Absence of Manufacturing Disclosure

The absence of an emphasis on 'Made in the USA' for trailers may indicate potential quality and durability issues compared to domestically manufactured alternatives. Many trailers are 'white-labeled' and purchased overseas, then branded with a company sticker, leading to concerns about their reliability in emergency situations. Since they didn't manufacture the trailer themselves, how can you be sure they have the ability to properly diagnose and solve every possible emergency that comes your way? To ensure optimal performance and assistance during emergencies, opt for a provider that manufactures its own trailers and possesses in-depth knowledge of their intricacies.

QUESTIONS TO ASK

  • Do you manufacture your own trailers, or do you outsource production?
  • Are your trailers "Made in the USA," and if not, where are they manufactured?
  • Can you provide information on the materials and construction methods used in manufacturing your trailers?
  • How do you ensure the reliability and durability of your trailers in emergency situations?
  • What is the lead time to receive a trailer on site?

 

4. Lack of Customer Support

A mobile surveillance solution is only as effective as the support provided by the provider. Be wary of providers that offer limited or inadequate customer support, as this could leave you stranded during critical situations. Prioritize providers that offer comprehensive support services and are readily available to address your concerns and queries.

QUESTIONS TO ASK

  • How often do you schedule service visits for maintenance, and what is included in each visit?
  • What warranty do you offer for your surveillance equipment and services?
  • Who is responsible for maintaining and managing the units?
  • In case of equipment failure, what are your protocols for troubleshooting and repair?
  • Can you remotely restore it? Do you have a time frame to be on-site to fix it?
  • Can you provide details about your customer service point of contact and their availability?
  • Is customer training provided?

5. Inconsistent Track Record

Before finalizing your decision, thoroughly research the provider's track record and customer reviews. Pay attention to any patterns of inconsistent service, unresolved complaints, or negative feedback from previous clients. Does that provider have a history of poor customer service? Ask them over the phone what they plan to do differently with your account. A provider with a solid track record of reliability and customer satisfaction is more likely to deliver a dependable mobile surveillance solution.

QUESTIONS TO ASK

  • Can you provide references or customer testimonials regarding your track record of service reliability and customer satisfaction?
  • How do you address complaints or negative feedback from previous clients?
  • Have there been any major incidents or issues in the past that have affected your service quality, and if so, how were they resolved?
  • What improvements or changes have you implemented based on feedback from previous clients?

 

row of red flags on white background

In conclusion, choosing the right mobile surveillance solution requires careful consideration of various factors, including transparency, reliability, and manufacturing quality. By remaining vigilant and attentive to these red flags, you can make an informed decision that prioritizes the security and safety of your premises.

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About Deploy Surveillance

Deploy Surveillance offers self-sufficient, solar-powered hybrid mobile surveillance units for cloud-based monitoring, uniquely tailored to meet the security needs of any setting. All trailers and camera units are proudly made in the U.S.A. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, the company serves clients nationwide. For more information or to request a custom quote, visit https://www.deploysurveillance.com.

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