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careful negotiating with central station / comment on false alarms / comment on Ring December 30, 2017

KEN KIRSCHENBAUMESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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careful negotiating with central station / comment on false alarms / comment on Ring
December 30, 2017
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careful negotiating with central station 
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    You need to be careful when negotiating and entering into an agreement with your central station.  If you are about to automatically renew, now is a good time to check your agreement and re-negotiate if necessary.  
    I am not addressing the obvious issues:
  • pricing
  • minimum number of accounts
  • term of agreement
  • response policies
  • end user agreements

    What I want to focus on is an issue that has come up a few times in just the last few weeks.  Control of the lines.  Who owns the lines, and has the central station agreed to release the lines, turn them over to you, if you are leaving the central station.  
    Re-programming all your monitoring accounts is usually not a very good option.  But that's exactly what you will  have to do if you don't have an agreement with your central station that either permits you to own the lines coming into the central or requires the central station to transfer its lines if you want to move the accounts.
    If you don't own the lines then you have to be sure that the central station doesn't co-mingle your accounts with other alarm company accounts.  If it does, expect to have to re-program your accounts.  Even if the central has agreed to transfer you the lines, be certain that the central will also provide you with the subscriber data electronically; otherwise set-up at the new central station could be cumbersome.  
    Check the fine print in the termination provisions.  Getting involved with the central station may be a lot easier than getting out and going to another central station [which may be because you have sold your accounts, not just that you prefer leaving for whatever reason].  There is a tendency not to focus on the default provisions or the early or expiration provisions when you're entering the relationship, but you should.  
    Central stations have a Dealer Agreement for you to sign.  It was written for the central station and it protects the central station.  You should not be signing an agreement with a central station unless you have it reviewed by an attorney, and one who knows the difference between a Central Station Dealer Agreement and a ham sandwich.  Central stations are willing to negotiate terms of their Dealer Agreement and your bargaining strength will depend on the number of accounts you are committing to the central.  
    Review and consultation of the central station agreement generally takes 1 to 2 hours.  Ask for the agreement in Word if you want me to review it, so I can make suggestions on the form.  Also, which makes it even easier, if the central is using our Standard Dealer Agreement all of the important issues are on the face of the contract, with check boxes, so you will quickly see your deal, including all the fine print.
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comment on false alarms from December 27, 2017 article
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Ken
    Gene is using a slightly skewed logic on his simplification of the solution to False alarms.
By that logic if I get into an accident with my 1956 Corvette 6 Cyl and strike another car because I was doing in excess of the posted speed limit  the ticket should go to the Chevrolet Division of GM who in turn passes it to my Chevy dealer for negligently selling me a car I could not handle?
    The FALSE ALARM problem is a multi faceted issue that has no clear cut lines except that each party to the problem AFTER THE SALE has a duty to work diligently to PREVENT FALSE DISPATCHES.
                                 TRAINING
 1-    Technicians SHOULD BE TRAINED AND LICENSED. If your state has no license requirement, the employer has a DUTY to see to it that the technicians they send out to install and service alarms are TRAINED PROPERLY TO INSTALL, SERVICE, REPAIR the equipment.
                                  EQUIPMENT
2-    Installations should comply with LOCAL STATE and NATIONAL codes. They were written for a reason.  Standards for installation evolved because someone found that what was done did not work. Hence the standard to do it " THIS WAY".
3-    CP-01 equipment was designed and listed to eliminate the most common causes of FALSE DISPATCHES caused by END USERS.  SIA and SIAC determined those types of activities that caused the alarm and created logic patterns to compensate.  We have actually implemented Artificially Intelligent panels to FORSEE a problem and PREVENT IT in spite of the end user.
                                 END USER TRAINING.
4-    Train the end user in the operation care and maintenance of their system. You do not have to make TECHNICIANS out of your customers but just TEACH THEM how to recognize there may be a problem and to call for SERVICE if needed.
5-    Review the operators manual with them and encourage questions.  Write the question and appropriate page number on the FRONT OF THE MANUAL.  How do they call for service?  Explain the error messages. CHECK, FAULT, COMMFAIL. Clear the system and reset. etc etc.
6-    Have them operate all the features of the panel. ARM AWAY, STAY, BYPASS, DURESS.
                             TELL THEM-----SHOW THEM-------MAKE THEM. ( OK Let them).......
    If your technician says  I AM NO TEACHER you better have someone on the staff that is.  POOR TRAINING OF THE END USER can account for a huge portion of the false dispatch issue.
    Professionals know how, HACKS don't care. Which one are you.
My last two cents for 2017.  
Happy safe and healthy 2018 to all........
Joel Kent 
FBN Security Co LLC
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comment on Ring from Dec 27, 2017 article
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Ken 
    How about the Ring doorbell in New York is there a issue about audio recording here?
And while on the ring subject I have used ring doorbell and it can be flaky.
Thank you,
John Papaleo
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Response
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    New York is one party state so you can record your own conversation.  So you're good to go with Ring in NY.  [probably everywhere else also if you are recording because someone rang your bell or walked into your motion detector, as long as it's not positioned in public place.
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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