I am not surprised that my front door lock exploded when Mike, the handyman, touched it. On the very day we found out the burglar alarms doesn’t work. I am not surprised that Paula had to cancel the dog’s acupuncture so she could stay home and guard the door. While Mike drove around Santa Monica trying to find the only person in town who could repair the lock (who was out to lunch). I am only surprised this didn’t happen at 4:30PM, on Friday, before a long weekend. Perhaps my luck is changing.
Paula got on the phone to our friends at Edison Security. This time she was not put on hold. Technically, this was an emergency. Because the alarm was going off when she got here and nobody from Edison called or showed up. The crack team at Edison determined that the signal wasn’t getting to them. Even though we test it every month. They said that they’ve had this problem with other people, too.
Paula asked why we hadn’t heard about this problem. They said because they have no way of knowing whose signal isn’t getting through. Unless you set off the alarm on purpose. Which is illegal.
Now this is sheer brilliance on Edison’s part. First they made their customer service number unlisted (as far as we can tell). If you should get through, you get put on hold. Our record so far is a little over four hours. If you never answer your customer service line, the savings in support staff are considerable. But if you also never have to answer actual alarms, that frees up the guys in the cars with guns to drive around randomly, listening for alarms, rather than responding to pesky actual burglaries. Can’t need much of a workforce for that job.
When the service guy got here (yes, I have to pay for a service call to make my expensive security system actually provide security), he discovered the problem. Some previous service guy had programmed the system so that burglary signals are not sent to Edison. Fire, medical, emergency calls, yes. Burglary (the ones where you aren’t home and would probably like someone with a gun to show up), no. There’s no record of who did this. Or how long ago. Probably it happened the last time the system was worked on, in 1996.
We’re about to accidentally set off the alarm on purpose, and legal consequences be damned, since that is apparently the only way to know if your burglar alarm works. At least I have a front door lock now. Told you my luck is changing.
Copyright 2000 by Janine Smith. Not to be reproduced or distributed without permission