We contacted a few companies to get quotes on installating an alarm system. The owner was helpful, courteous and responsive to our needs. The installation was the issue. The gentleman that came to our home did not clean up after he was finished. He made a hole in the wall and then changed his mind and moved the panel up higher. There was dust and wall fibres from his drilling that he simply left as is and those were left as a present to us - he did not mention that any clean-up was required.
Our home is now being monitored in a satisfactory manner.
All in all, the system was free, but you are contractually obligated to participate in the monitoring as a result and that is for a duration of three years.
Update ------ August 2013
Apparently, we were misled. Once we completed the three year of monitoring we were contractually obligated to comply with, I called to terminate the monitoring and was told we were misled. That if we did not continue, we would either have to pay an additional 250 dollars to own the system, or continue for another three years, at which point, we would be able to terminate, or they could come and remove the unit. As for the repairs to my wall - we would need to fix the damage created by the installation of the unit.
Would I go with this company again? No. The cost is not the issue. The constant back and forth is. We will buy the unit outright and that will be the end of that.