Panic Buttons - Ring's Response Plan change was for the worse

So Ring changed the response plan to the Panic button so that it now operates like a standard alarm signal. Previously the cops were immediately dispatched - makes sense for the Panic feature. Now, they actually call you to confirm that you meant to push the button.

Ring probably has their reasons for changing (likely saving money somehow) but it was a really bad decision for safety since the whole point behind a panic button is to have cops there as fast as possible. If people were pushing them incorrectly, tough. Let the police fine them. Let Ring fine them. Whatever. But for those that use it correctly, you’ve removed an important feature. Really disappointed in Ring for making this unexplicable change and effectively reducing the Panic button to a standard Alarm button. If you agree that this was a bad change, please let them know.

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Hey there, @TexasBaker. We greatly appreciate your feedback, and I will make sure to pass this onto the appropriate team. Just to clarify, here is an overview of the intended Panic button operation:

Panic is triggered by pressing and holding X and ✓ on the Keypad, or the Panic Button* when Ring Alarm is Armed Home, Away, or Disarmed. There is also an SOS feature in the Ring app.

When a panic alarm signal is received, the monitoring center will call your first emergency contact:

  • If the first contact answers the call and confirms the emergency or asks for help, police dispatch is requested.
  • If any emergency contact answers the call and gives the wrong verbal password, police dispatch is requested.
  • If no one answers the call, police dispatch is requested.
    Canceling the Panic alarm: If the first emergency contact answers the phone and says the correct verbal password, you can attempt to cancel the Panic alarm.

In addition, this change does not affect the Alarm Duress feature. To learn more about Duress, please visit ourhelp article here.

Thank you for posting the new recently changed response plan … as you can see it was changed for the worse. Here’s your original plan (from Ring Customer Support):

  • “Panic Button Alarm: Police are dispatched first, then the list of emergency contacts are called until someone answers. If any contacts can be reached, they are notified of the emergency and may be able to cancel if it’s a false alarm. If none can be reached, the monitoring center may leave automated voicemails.”

Panic functionality should not include a call to check if you’re really in a panic situation prior to requesting the police. The police should be dispatched first, then a call to check in. The new method just seems like a really odd change and poor decision by your team.

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This is a terrible change. Please put my vote in for changing it back, Ring!

Sorry, but I agree with Ring on this one - especially since there is now a Duress code now.

Duress code and panic button are for two completely different situations.

Having a duress code is no help when you’re at home with the alarm unarmed and someone breaks in. That’s when the panic button is needed and should result in immediate police dispatch like it did up until now.

Hey there, @sixstringbuzz! Just to clear up any confusion, you can enter the duress code and press disarm even if your Ring Alarm is already in Disarmed Mode. It will still signal the monitoring center to request help without calling your contacts or sounding the siren. Rest assured, I will still pass on your feedback and everyone else’s to our team so they are aware. Thank you to all!

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Thanks for bringing up the duress code, I like the feature but let’s not confuse others with conflating the purposes of each. Duress code is silent. Panic mode is not. If someone is breaking into your home (or about to), you want the alarm sounding and the cops dispatched immediately. Duress code is for when you need silence, such as an abusive spouse or other bad actor who is already in control of the interior’s situation.

Calling to check if you meant to press the combo keypad buttons or panic button for 3 seconds is nonsensical.

It’d be better to charge people for each use of the panic feature than it would be to put an unecessary delay between the cops being dispatched and your safety.

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Thank you for that clarification @Chelsea_Ring; I didn’t realize that the duress code could be used while the system was disarmed. It still seems strange to me. With other alarm systems I have had, the duress code was intended to be able to silence an alarm when under duress while sending a silent signal to emergency authorities (so that if there was someone forcing me to disarm the alarm, that person would think I had done so and authorities would be notified that I entered a duress code), whereas a Panic button was intended to be a quick one button press to get authorities on their way.

Another HUGE difference between these two features is that a duress code can only be entered via the keypad, according to the documentation. So if I want to have a way to alert authorities right away without a call from a location other than where my keypad is, I have to purchase another keypad. Panics can be intiated by a panic button or, more importantly, the app. So if I’m in my basement and hear someone break in upstairs, the duress code is useless to me. This is another reason to go back to the behavior of a Panic signal not requiring phone calls from the monitoring system.

I appreciate the clarification, but I still think both instances should send authorities without a phone call so I thank you for passing that request along!

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I agree, doesn’t sound like a think you want to change. If you need some kind of emergency help the last think want or need to do is answer the phone

Yep, can’t think of a single actual “Panic” situation where I’d want to have to answer the phone or helplessly hear it ringing while intruders are breaking in. It’s absolutely nonsensical.

I’m going to deliberately hold the button/keypad for 3 seconds. Now if Ring is just going to call me, and I have to wait on the phone to ring, and then answer or ignore it, I’d just call 911 myself … right? Of course if I was in an actual Panic situation, I wouldn’t be able to necessarily so I’ll just sit and wait helplessly while the phone is ringing in the background … hopefully my ringer is set to silent if someone’s breaking in. LOL.

I’ve got to believe this was a Ring Profits over Customer Safety choice. If profit is the reason I wish they’d just charge people for excess use of the Panic button - like if you exceed x panic pushes in a month/quarter/year or whatever you owe Ring a nominal fee. I’d much prefer that then the delayed response.