KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE

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are you giving customer copy of contract
December 4, 2017
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are you giving customer copy of contract
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Ken,
    I don’t recall this topic on your daily email.  We have converted all of your agreements and associated forms to an electronic format.  Roughly 95% of our agreements with our customers are executed electronically and they receive an electronic copy of the agreement while our salespeople are still in their home.  But, sometimes a customer does not have a computer or email address, or other times they aren’t able to use the electronic form for whatever reason.  When that happens we will have the customer sign a hard copy All-In-One residential agreement, along with all of the other docs that go with it (Call List, ADC Rider, Notice of Cancellation, Schedule of Equip/Svcs, ACH).  
    Currently our sales people are not leaving them a hard copy when they sign the agreement, but our office staff emails it to them once it is uploaded into our system electronically.  We have an electronic “paper trail” of the email being sent to them, but no real way of knowing if they received it or not, unless we ask them to reply (which they rarely do).  We do place a “Read Receipt” on the email and we get a little over half of those back.  
    My question is should we be leaving a hard copy or will the way we are currently handling this issue be sufficient?  One thing that has bothered me is knowing the Notice of Cancellation requires 2 copies to be left with the customer, and that is not currently happening the way we are doing things.  
Please let me know what we should be doing.  Again, this only applies to the customers who do not have a computer or email address or something happens where the customer is not able to execute the electronic agreement.
    Please sign my name “Anonymous” on this post in case I decide to sell some day.  Don’t want a potential buyer to use this against me when that day comes.
anon
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Response
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    Residential customers are entitled to a copy of the signed contract at time of execution.  Some companies will take the original back to the office and mail it to the customer.  In that case the contract is not deemed "fully executed" until the customer gets the contract back.
    If you are getting your contracts signed electronically then you have to also use the Disclosure and Consent to Electronic Communication form [it's on our order form at www.alarmcontracts.com].  This form permits you to comply with the consumer laws via electronic delivery.  That includes emailing the contracts to the customer.  
    Doesn't sound like you are using the Disclosure and Consent to Electronic Communication form, and it also seems that you don't know if your customers are getting copies of the signed contract because you don't know if they open your email or download the attached contract.  The better practice would be for you to mail a hard copy of the fully executed agreement.  You should include the cancellation form with that contract because the 3 days starts when they get the fully executed contract.
    You are correct that you should be concerned with how you get these contracts signed because a potential buyer of the contracts and accounts is going to want to know the details.
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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