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alarm owner frustrated with subscriber(s) / more on false alarms November 16, 2017

KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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alarm owner frustrated with subscriber(s) / more on false alarms
November 16, 2017
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alarm owner frustrated with subscriber(s)
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Ken,
        Most of our subscribers are good people; they listen;  they follow what we say, answer what we ask.
But!  Then there are those that do not listen, do not read the emails, have a college education yet refuse to apply any form of intelligence, do not apply common sense, etc.
    I write back:  "read what I wrote, you did not answer the question, etc."    I sometimes get frustrated and want to say, get your head out of your ass and read or listen, and many more things that are worse.   
    I presume saying, "are you just fuc.... stupid or what" is not an acceptable comment?
    I do get to a point that I don't care about loosing a subscriber when we have someone who just won't listen.  Sometimes it is their employees who we are forced to deal with and there is no real choice.
    So, lets say I decide to not care about loosing the subscriber, just how far can I go, what can I say, without getting myself into trouble?
    And I find it interesting, the ones I have the most trouble with are educators who own and operate schools or their employees.
Thank you,
Jeff
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another frustrated alarm owner
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Ken
    I just got a call from an irate subscriber wanting to know why a smoke detector was not installed in an office.  It was there; now it's not.  And it's my fault and the sub doesn't want to pay for it to be re-installed.      It's a large customer of ours, so I bit my tongue and said we would handle it.  It's frustrating dealing with some of these subscribers.  Just wanted to get that off my chest.
anon
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Response
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    Welcome to customer service, where the customer is always right.  Most of the time, anyway.  
Jeff, you sound like you're burning out.  Take a breath.  Remember how hard you worked at getting the subscriber; you could lose the subscriber in a matter of seconds.  You may not care, but then again, when all settles down, you might regret acting impulsively.  
    If you really have reached the end of the line with a subscriber then you have to consider the contract terms.  You can't terminate the contract just because you don't like the subscriber, just like the subscriber can't terminate without consequences if the subscriber doesn't like you.  If the subscriber is in breach of the contract you can terminate.  The Standard Form Agreements do not provide for any notice or cure period.  If the subscriber is in breach, such as not paying timely, or failing to provide the required insurance, then you can terminate.  Make sure you specify why you are terminating, and be sure that the reason is contractually based, not personal.
    On renewal of course you can terminate, and you can be forthcoming if you like.  
    The alarm industry isn't much different that other customer - consumer based businesses.  Sometimes customer demands can be heated because they may feel insecure without the alarm protection, but other than that it probably comes down to being annoyed that work isn't completed, equipment isn't working as hoped or it's costing more [or anything].  But, if you've reached the end of the line for a particular subscriber find a contractual basis to terminate the contract; and be professional about it.  If you've reached the end of the line with all your subscribers, remain cool and contact one of the brokers on The Alarm Exchange and sell your accounts before you dump them.  Why not pass them on to one of your competitors who you also don't like.
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more on false alarms from November 15, 2017 article
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Ken
    Re: more comments on excessive alarms - false and otherwise November 15, 2017
    In your response about false alarms and smoke detector placement, if we truly behave like and ARE the professionals that we hold ourselves out to be, the fire marshals and AHJs would respect and listen to our concerns with regard to smoke detector placement and making necessary accommodations if we SEE A POTENTIAL FOR FALSE ALARMS and bring it to their attention.
    For example;
    A utility closet with a slop sink:
    Hot water run into a bucket will produce water vapor that will appear to a photo electric smoke detector as smoke. FALSE ALARM Because the detector did not detect PRODUCTS OF COMBUSTION but did detect the scattering of light due to steam in the sensing chamber.
    Same closet:
         Ionization detector. Now exposed to the various cleaning chemicals   and sprays found in maintenance closets.
    The hairdresser that went overboard with the hair spray should be anticipated in this application. In most cases heat detection technologies may be allowed. Discussion with AHJ to accommodate the need for detection. offsetting the potential for false alarms. 
(If dropped ceiling, smoke detection ABOVE the dropped ceiling to detect unobserved smoke in a concealed space.)
    As EDUCATED PROFESSIONALS we apply the code and look to potential problems and seek a remedy. We should not charge ahead with blinders on and follow the plans, but look for conflict and RESOLVE before there is a crisis. ( IE 2 days before CO and find you need 23 more manual pull stations....)
From outside the box of reality....
Joel Kent FBN
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Ken,
    Rather than fines, why not structure the contract to require and agree to service calls for false alarms, or an option for excessive false alarms being cause for breach of contract? If the cause of the false alarm is an employee training issue, a service call would allow for employee training. If it’s due to faulty equipment, the service call would repair it. If it’s due to a system design flaw, the service call would remedy it. False alarms caused by indifference or neglect- rodent infestations, cleaning crews repeatedly neglecting to disarm systems, employees who simply refuse to properly set and secure systems- would constitute a breach of contract. As an industry professional I would not want to participate in the demise of our industry by allowing false alarms to continue unchecked.
Arthur S. Dunn
Art Dunn Alarm Company
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
ken@kirschenbaumesq.com
516 747 6700
www.KirschenbaumEsq.com