(WHTM) — These days many of us want a home security system. But a word of caution: If you sign up for one, make sure you know the penalties if you ever want to get out.

Mike Barker has a new high-tech alarm system. At his condo, a salesman convinces him to sign up

“I was approached by a door-to-door guy, said he was with ADT. He wanted to know if I would be interested in an alarm,” Barker said. He trusted the ADT name. “So I signed up for it.”

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But two months later he needed to trim expenses, so he decided to cancel.

“I called them up and asked them if we could cancel. Then, I found out ADT didn’t sell this to us, it was a local agent,” Barker said.

The second surprise: it would cost over $1,000 to cancel!”

“The cancelation charge was 75% of any unused months, Yeah, I’m gonna owe $1,295 to get out of it,” Barker said.

He does not recall the salesman explaining there would be a 75% fee to terminate early.

ADT, the grandfather of alarm companies, has a very good reputation and lengths of contracts can vary. We contacted the vendor, who told us: “The salesman reviewed each section of the contract with the customer in person. The contract term of 36 months is one of the sections that require a signature.”

An ADT corporate spokesman, meantime, told us early termination fees are standard in the industry, which is how it keeps installation costs so low.

Mike, however, thinks a 75% fee to cancel is crazy in 2021.

“I was just flabbergasted,” Barker said.

If you are offered an alarm system, find out who you are really buying it from Also, ask about cancelation policies so you don’t waste your money.