Alarvac Systems Inc.

Alarm Systems
3868 Chesswood Drive Toronto ON M3J 2W6
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Reviews for Alarvac Systems Inc.

Average customer rating:
8 10 (8 reviews)

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Private User
Private User
Private User reviews Toronto, ON
0/10

There's a summary, but read it all if you dare

Disclaimer: I almost never write bad reviews (rarely write reviews in general). I can probably count on one hand how many bad reviews I’ve written. I didn’t even write a bad review on a company that caused my water pipes to burst.

Summary: Improper communication (misunderstandings, potentially contributed by both sides), zero transparency, and a clearly egotistic company.
- You can think I’m crazy to write so much (I really don’t care), but this is a reflection of how terrible the entire exchange was for me. You can read this if you want to be prepared, or not, it’s up to you.

What happened (facts only, no opinions, I’ll get to those later):
1. I call them for just to do a check-up, maintenance only, because the house is new and the central vacuum system came with the house.
2. I was told, it would be $150 for the service call and that they would check the system to make sure nothing is wrong and that they will leave extra bags.
3. During the actual appointment. The technician went around doing his thing, no problems. I was not there with him during the entire stay, only checking in every so often.
4. There was a brief period where I did go around with him (specifically to the basement where the actual vacuum handle/pipe thing is) and during this time, a couple things happened/were discussed:
a. Technician mentioned that he heard a sound, that the motor sounded off, but there were no error signs on the actual computer screen. He said he called his management to see what to do.
b. I brought up the fact that one of the buttons doesn’t do anything (the on/off switch button on the vacuum handle)
i. His comments were that that’s weird and we should look into that
5. Afterwards, he left and went around the house to check that all the holes worked
6. Finally, near the end, he said he would “LEAVE” <-(exact word used) two bags (to hold the things being vacuumed)
a. Did not mention it costed extra
b. Did not mention price
7. When he was finished, I asked how do I pay him he replied I could pay him now or call the number to pay
a. I told him I’d call the number to pay and he leaves
8. 5 minutes (give or take) later, the technician comes back and tells me that the office got back to him and told him to just take the motor to make sure if it’s working or not.
a. Says that it’s under warranty so it’s better to make sure anyways
b. Does not mention any extra costs
c. Does not mention any price
d. I didn’t think much of it at the time, so I tell him he can take the motor, and since he’s taking that, I decided to give him the vacuum handle too (the entire thing, including the pipes, the handle, the extension pole, and the brush)
9. They call back to schedule another service call a couple days later to put the motor back and to make sure everything is working (it was scheduled to be 9 to 10)
a. I waited until 9:30, the technician wasn’t there when I left the house
10. I get a call from my mum (Jul 25) in the afternoon telling me that the price is now $240 AND that the brush to the vacuum is missing so I call back to inquire the reason for the price change and this is what happened:
a. They’re telling me that the second service call is the reason for the difference in price
b. I explain that, I wasn’t made aware that fixing something that’s broken and under warranty would cost extra
c. They tell me only the motor is under warranty, the parts were switched, but the service call would cost extra
d. None of these points were communicated to me before anything happened
e. In regards to the missing brush, they insist that it’s in my house, and that I didn’t give it to the technician and that I should look for it in my house
i. I tell them, I gave the technician everything regarding the vacuum
f. Because I was in meetings the entire day, I told them to call me back another time to properly discuss this
11. I get a call the next day (Jul 26):
a. They did indeed have my brush and pole
b. They tell me the price is 390ish dollars (different from the initial $240)
i. Now I’m told bags are $25 each
ii. My mum bought the car cleaning kit from them ($70)
c. They tell me that they would offer me a free bag or to pay less for one of the bags for the misunderstanding of charging for the second service call
d. I tell them I don’t need the bags anymore because I thought they were part of the service and that no one told me they costed money before surprising me and charging me for it
12. End result of that call
a. I agreed to pay for the first and second service call ($240) and the car kit my mum wanted ($70), returning the 2 bags (but keeping one free bag, resulting in a net of 1 bag)
b. They would have a private carrier come on Friday to drop off my extension pole and brush and pick up the bag and check
13. Friday (Jul 27) - supposed carrier drop-off and pick-up
a. Check was written
b. Bag was prepared
c. Carrier did not show up
d. No calls from the company
e. Spent the entire day at home to wait for no one to come
f. I check the handle and realize that the switch button problem I brought up initially is still there, it wasn’t fixed, nor addressed
14. Monday (Jul 30), I call them back (the same day I’m writing this review)
a. I ask them what happened on Friday
i. They tell me they missed the time frame
ii. That the carrier will come today
iii. I tell them I’m not home today and so I can’t give them the check
b. They want me to mail the check, because it’s too costly to have someone pick it up as they previously agreed to do, I say ok but I wanted to talk about the handle first
i. I try to explain that the handle wasn’t fixed
ii. Someone else comes and talks to me about it
iii. The person says that the handle isn’t broken that the switch doesn’t work because it’s for an extension equipment, so without that it won’t do anything
iv. I explain that the only reason I gave it to the technician in the first place was because I thought it was broken and when I explained the problem to the technician they did not say what the person on the phone was telling me
v. The person then tells me that the reason the technician took the vacuum handle was because of the delayed timing
c. I find out the person I’m currently talking to is the owner of the company and because of that I decided to talk about the issues I’ve been having with this person
i. I explain that at every step of the process, there was a lack of transparency in costs (see the previous points)
ii. I ask if he understands why I was a little frustrated
iii. He replies saying that he doesn’t understand and that the only thing he understands is that I do not want to pay for the bags
iv. At this point in time, I was quite offended
v. After a brief back and forth, he told me that there were two options
1. Do not pay them anything and never call them to service the vacuum again, because they don’t want to work with a customer like me and that they’ve spent a lot of time on the phone regarding my service
a. He says that these service calls are not where they make the money and that they’ve wasted so much time on me
2. Pay the amount owing and next time they will make special note to make sure any charges will be brought to my attention as soon as possible
vi. At that point in time I decided to give him a piece of my mind, I do agree I may have been too angry to listen to him talk anymore, so I gave him two options of my own
1. Send someone to pick up the check I had already written the week before intending to pay for the services of which the price was never discussed to me until it was too late and apologize for being so rude and presumptuous
2. I do not pay for the service, but do not think it’s because I’m trying to get out of paying and trust me, I was never going to call you guys to service the system regardless of whether I paid or not because your company feels it is perfectly normal to charge people for things they do not know they are being charged for and to tell people the price of things after they have taken it, leaving the false impression that it should not be paid; not to mention, being so rude to presume that someone bring up their frustrations with you to mean they wish to get out of paying for their service
vii. At the end of this, he responded that he would send someone to pick up the check
d. I hanged up

UPDATE: roughly 1.5 weeks later (Aug 9)
- I get a call from the company telling me that they have a driver nearby and if they can pick up the check then

How I feel and my thoughts on the entire matter:
- The technician seemed nice and really wanted to help, however:
o When a customer brings up a problem, you shouldn’t ignore that point and say that there’s a problem and but the problem is actually not what the customer initially brought up, you should (1) explain that the problem they’re thinking of isn’t actually a problem and (2) tell them the actual problem and why you’re bringing it to get fixed
 To me that’s common decency
o To forget about the brush and extension pole is one thing, but to insist that it didn’t happen and then to blame the customer and say they must have lost it or left it somewhere without checking to see if you have it is very rude and quite frankly super egotistic. Do you take your clients to be dumb? Even if they are, you shouldn’t make such a wrong assumption and act on it.
o Not telling people the price of things you’re leaving behind, gives the appearance that it’s free. Especially since it was a maintenance call, it is a likely assumption that the bags were left as part of the maintenance package.
- The owner of the company
o I can’t understand how “not mentioning something is free” means it costs money. That’s just illogical, not mentioning something is black doesn’t make it white. It’s not because you didn’t mention it that something else is true. When someone charges me $5 for a drink, I know I’m paying $5 for that drink. If someone leaves me a drink and doesn’t tell me it’s free but also doesn’t tell me how much it is. Why would I be ok with paying $5 later on. Of course, I need to agree on the price before agreeing to purchase something.
o Also, just because, miraculously for some odd reason, no other customer had this problem, doesn’t give you the right to demean me as a client. I’m certain not everyone would have the same problems. Maybe other people don’t care about where their money is going, or they didn’t notice, or any other number of reasons. Also, what the first person on the call told me was that the technician is usually very good at giving people the price. So maybe a simpler answer is that you’ve never had this problem before because you’ve never messed it up.
- Also, it was only near the end of the back-and-forth that I heard even one apology regarding losing my brush and extension pole.
o Even when they messed that up and accused me of forgetting where it is, I did not lash out at them and focus on that. I didn’t even ask for an apology, because I figured, people can make mistakes, since they’re returning it, then I’m ok with that.
o I didn’t blame them for not coming on Friday to pick up the check either. I politely called them back on Monday to see how things were going and to inquire about the hand vacuum bottom. The first person on the phone sounded very annoyed at me for even asking the question at which point I was passed off the owner of the company.
- When I tried to patiently explain the problems I had throughout the experience, the only response I got back was, I don’t understand your problems, you just don’t want to pay
o What right do you have to say that? I fully had the check written out and was ready to give that to the person dropping off my extension and brush. You, who didn’t come to pick it up, is accusing me of trying to not pay? Does not try to hear my out, and then tells me that I don’t have to pay but to never call them to ask for service? How egotistic do you need to be to think I’d ever try contacting your company do to anything? I would rather buy a new central vacuum system than to have to contact your company for anything, even if you offered it to me for free.
o I do agree, my emotions got the better of me near the end of that phone call, but after all the things I had to put up with on their end, I’m surprised I didn’t implode earlier.
- The cost of a second service call
o To begin with the only reason the second service call happened was because something under warranty needed to be fixed/replaced
o While I’m not disagreeing with the business practice of charging for any service call, if you do not disclose it would cost money, it would be the only assumption that the service call was covered under the same warranty as the part you replaced
o I have never had a service call due to warranty be charged and since no one mentioned any form of charge initially, it only seemed reasonable to think there was none
o When you ask a customer to purchase something they need to agree to the price before the agree to the purchase (as previously mentioned), forcing me to pay for something just because the service was rendered even though I had no knowledge of the price is very sketchy and to be honest, simply unreasonable
 Despite that, I agreed to pay for it because I didn’t want to argue too much for something like that and didn’t want to waste everyone’s time
 And then they accuse me of wanting to not pay them, I feel my reaction was quite mild compared to what I should have done

Overall, I had a horrible experience. I felt the people who I’ve communicated within the company was extremely disrespectful and honestly seemed like entitled ___holes, which is very funny since, stereotypically, that’s how customers would usually act. I would honestly give time negative stars if I could.

Posting anonymously, not to hide from the company...you know who I am..., but simply to avoid random people looking on this site.

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Andrew Feldstein from Markham
Andrew Feldstein from Markham
6 reviews Toronto, ON
10/10

Central Vac

My central vac was not working correctly and they squeezed me for an urgent appointment. The technician Charlie was fantastic as he wanted to make sure that it was operating at 100 percent efficiency.

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10/10

Alarm repair

I needed my alarm systems repaired. I called a couple of places and they all wanted me to sign a contract for monitoring prior to repairing my system. I called Alaravac and talked to Doris who was very knowledgeable and helpful. She offered me a flat rate service call for $145.00. Booked it the next day. A nice tech guy Kerry came on time, fixed the problem in less than an hour. I have been recommending Alarvac since then.

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Charlie from Thornhill
Charlie from Thornhill
1 review Thornhill, ON
10/10

Central-Vac

Meticulus. I've been in the vac biz for more than 30 years and have worked with the biggest companies in and around the GTA. Honestly, I can say that Sam is the most meticulous retailer about care and service to his customers. Sam is a man of conscience and is always looking to provide the right equipment for the customers. The parts he sold me were of the best quality not the cheap stuff made that cracks and goes brittle with age. He is very dedicated to service, Sam often stays well past closing time to help out his customers.
Charlie Miller (master installer)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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lee steinberg in Thornhill
lee steinberg in Thornhill
5 reviews THORNHILL, ON
10/10

complete home rough in and installation of central vac, and sound surround

I am a builder and have worked with Sam of many projects. He and his staff are very professional. Whether it is the rough in or finishing stages they are always on time. Sam is great in central vacs, home automation, sound surrounds with multiple switches and locations or alarms and 2 way voice.
Thanks,

Lee from Gen X Fine Homes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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AJ in Toronto
AJ in Toronto
12 reviews Markham, ON
8/10

Carpet Cleaning

Our carpet on the stairs was in desperate need of a cleaning. Got a quote from Sam to do a complete cleaning job and was pleased that he was professional, courteous and overall very friendly. No problems at all, would definitely recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Marilyn in Richmond Hill
Marilyn in Richmond Hill
4 reviews RICHMOND HILL, ON
6/10

bought accessories for vacuum and alarm systems

Sam is very professional. He is a man of his word,he provided good service and a good price for the service as well. When i make an appointment, he is on time and never disappoint me. He will do the job until you are satisfied with the result and he is a very honest person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Adam from East York
Adam from East York
11 reviews Toronto, ON

First Review

10/10

Central Vacuum Installation

We had Sam in to do a quote on our Central Vac rough in as we had just moved and the new house that did not have this completed. Sam provided great direction on multiple options and locations for the installation and was very through on selecting the best location that would limit any damage as our basement was completely finished. His quote was very acceptable and installation timeframe was within the week of the initial quote. The installation was seamless and all work was completed as promised and on time. The work area was cleaned up and additional suggestions were made to optimize the power unit we had. Sam also indicated our power unit was still under warranty and to call him if we had any issues at all. We are very happy to have our vacuum back up and running thanks to Sam and his installation. I would highly recommend Sam from Alar-Vac if your looking at a Central VAC installation.

Thanks!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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The reviews on this page are the subjective opinion of the Author and not of HomeStars Inc.

More about Alarvac Systems Inc.

AlarVac Systems Inc. is a full service built-in systems provider who specializes in: *Security Alarm Systems with 24/ 7 monitoring *Security Cameras *Central Vacuums *Audio Video *Home Theater *Telephone & Intercom Video Entry / Intercom *TV, Data Network Cabling *Smart Home Automation including LED lighting, lighting controls, structured wiring and ...
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