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Cox Phone Upgrade Incompatible with Home Security System

Like Pauldv who posted earlier this month on this same forum, I recently received repeated notifications from Cox to perform a “required” phone upgrade at no charge to an advanced modem system. Since the information provided advised that “ALL Cox digital Telephone customers will need to transition,” I made arrangements in late July to have this update accomplished. For information, I reside in Phoenix, AZ.

In this regard, it took four separate visits from Cox technicians over a two week period to successfully set up the new phone system in my home, as, unfortunately, the first three Cisco DPQ3212 modems placed into service were inoperative in battery backup mode.

But the misadventures encountered with faulty phone modems were only a minor annoyance. The major problem experienced so far has to do with the fact that the changeover from POTS landline to "more advanced" VoIP phone service has essentially “ruined” my home alarm/security system.  Unbeknownst to me—since this issue was never addressed or communicated in any of the phone update materials furnished me by Cox or on their website—is that the Cox’s updated, “more advanced” phone system no longer enables my home security system to communicate with the alarm monitoring system. So, in essence, we’re now unprotected in case of unauthorized intrusion into our home.

I only became aware of this situation late last week when I tested our alarm system by triggering one of the sensors and learned that our monitoring station never received any notification signals. Further tests confirmed this situation. Apparently our new, updated home phone system no longer is able to take control of the phone line and dial-out immediately to the monitoring station when an emergency occurs and sensors are triggered. In fact, the monitoring station receives no signal(s) whatsoever.  

I called Cox phone technical support twice (late last week and earlier today) to advise of this issue, but was told, “it’s not our problem—call your security system company.”

I did call my alarm security company. They sent out a technician late this afternoon (billed, of course, to my account, with a service charge of $99 plus a $50 trip charge). After thoroughly examining my alarm system equipment/configuration and performing various tests, his diagnosis was that there was no quick “fix” because the alarm equipment in my home was incompatible with the newly installed Cox phone upgrade. He further told me that I would have to convert to a cellular security system or have my alarm control panel (the “brains” of the system) replaced. The cost of accomplishing this is currently unknown (I have yet to receive an estimate from the security company providing my alarm services). My guess is that these required changes will be substantial—plus I’ve already incurred $150 in charges from my alarm company for today’s service call.

I’m very upset with Cox as they should have at least forewarned customers with old-style landline alarm monitoring systems of the hazards associated the required phone update. If I had known this beforehand, I would never have let Cox “update” my phone system. And if Cox had insisted, I would’ve taken my business elsewhere (e.g., CenturyLink).

I’ve been a loyal Cox customer for 24 years. Cox currently provides all my TV, internet, and phone services.  I’ve trusted them over the years, but they’ve certainly disappointed me with this so-called phone upgrade which is going to cost me lots of aggravation and dollars and is jeopardizing my family’s security until I can restore my alarm system to working order. Certainly not a positive outcome! And, as mentioned above, my initial contacts with lower level Cox phone technical customer support representatives about the situation described above have not elicited any corrective response. 

  • Look at the "Don't upgrade phone service if you have a security system" thread that is four threads before yours. Pauldv got some rewiring help.

  • Hi UncleSugar,

    I think you have every right to be upset with us at this point. I'm sorry that the upgrade has caused so much aggravation! From what I understand, the VOIP phone platform is compatible with most home alarm systems—if wired correctly. It sounds like we need to take another look at how we set up the wiring outside your home. Email my team at Cox.help@cox.com along with your name, address, and a link to this post. We’ll engage our field leadership team to ensure we get this resolved for you.

  • I had the same problem.  See the forum link below.  I thought it was fix, now I am not sure.  It was working for about 4 days after Cox rewired the modem but yesterday my phone line was dead.  Said line in use.  Could not get a line out.  Called COx and they said it was a faulty modem.  Upset again because I have to wait 1 whole day to get a new modem.  Line down you would think they would be right out.  Not sure if they totally fixed the problem.

  • Hello, if you are still needing assistance with this issue.  We would love to help.  We can definitely be able to assist you with this.  Please reach us on Twitter at @CoxHelp, visit us on Facebook, or email by at cox.help@cox.com. Provide us the name on the account with the full service address with a link to this thread so we can get started.

  • Ok tech just left.  He found a short in one of the jacks.  Ok now.  Will know in the morning if the security system got a test call.

    PS.  My security system does a test call during the early morning.  If they don't get the test call, they call me after 8:00 a.m to tell me so you will know if something is wrong.  You should call your security company to set that up for you.