Q: I am renegotiating my home security system contract. I am just ending a 3-year contract at $30.99 per month.

They are offering me a new rate of $20.99 per month plus a $4.00 service agreement. If the system fails, this covers the cost of sending out a technician to repair or replace the current system. Without the service agreement, it will cost me $48 per hour for the technician to come out if there is a problem.

I feel that the 2 year agreement at $20.99 is okay, but I am uncertain about paying the additional $4 a month. Would you recommend that I keep or waive the service agreement?

A: I’d pay it. Even with the service, you’ll be saving $6 per month, and this way, if you have a problem, you’ll be covered.

At the end of two years, if you don’t think you’ll have a problem going forward, you can sign another contract without the extra $4 per month charge.

Jan. 19, 2009.