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collections / comment on more BS from SimpliSafe
April 17, 2019
    I am writing to ask about getting assistance with a collection. My customer paid one year on a 5 year agreement and has not paid anything further. They were due for their next annual payment on 10/1/18. Notice was sent out that service was cancelled on 3/31/19. Invoice was sent for 80% of (4) years remaining as well as 80% of software programming amount.     Monthly amount was raised to $21.00/month for second year. Invoice was based on that $21.00 amount.
    What are your rates for collection and how would the process work? This is the 1st time I have tried to collect the remaining contract term. I have attached a copy of the contract signed by the customer.
    Thank you for your time and please keep the newsletters coming. You provide a great service to the industry. Thank you!
    Because you use the Kirschenbaum 
TM contracts we will support you in collection cases through the arbitration process, which hopefully will result in recovery. To get started contact our head paralegal Kathleen Lampert at or 516 747 6700 x 319.
    It's a close call whether your invoice should have had the increase rate. While the contract permits a 9% annual increase I don't think you can exercise the increase once the subscriber is in default.
    Your final invoice should have included a statement that the subscriber will be responsible for legal fees and collection costs.     You invoiced your subscriber in October and didn't cut off service until end of March. That's too long to wait. 
comment on more BS fromSimpliSafe from April 1, 2019 article
    Do these alarm companies who are complaining about Simplesafe and Ring and all the other DIY come latelys in your forum really believe that the people who buy these DIY systems would ever be customers who would afford a professionally installed alarm system? The DIY market has been here for decades but just now is it being exploited by Internet enabled entities who have at their disposal the means to advertise minimal alarm systems designed by people who are not following the traditional industry standards. And who is buying all of this hype?     It seems as if it's the DIY'ers and the people in this forum. 
We, in the trade, have known forever that the typical end user has very little idea of what good alarm system standards are or what they should expect from an alarm system and an alarm installation company. The end users who ARE aware are the one's with experience (good and bad) or are just a little bit smarter (maybe I should say more educated) than the typical DIY'er. Less than ethical alarm companies from the beginning of time have used this fact to get away with misleading end users into all kinds of fraudulent and misrepresented agreements and sub standard alarm installations. I am sure that if we were to go back in time, we might even be able to find the Edwin Holmes may have played the same game. 
    Why ---- take a look at (in my opinion) one of the most successful perpetrators of this technique in our trade today. Vivint, who started out as APX Alarm Security Solutions in 1997and quickly developed it's door to door selling technique of transporting salespeople to various parts of the country swamping an area, taking over existing alarm systems. Some using misleading sales techniques and some actually lying to end users and getting them bound by two monitoring contracts. Unlicenced sales people stealing subscribers from legitimate licensed alarm installation companies. They were caught at it dozens of times over the years ( Excerpt from Wikapedeia :------Vivint faced issues in recent years due to deceptive marketing practices, including in Wyoming and Pennsylvania in 2017.[69][70] From 2009 through 2014 the company settled with the states of Arkansas, Oregon, Ohio and Nebraska.[71][72][73][74][75][76][77] In 2014 Vivint settled two federal class-action lawsuits for alleged violations of the TCPA.[78][79] [Telephone Communication Protection Act.) and just recently (from and article in Security Sales magazine ), Vivint paid $1.4M for California Alarm Company Act Violation. They also lost a lawsuit brought by ADT for deceptive sales practices by misleading ADT customers into signing long term contracts. In 2017 they paid $100,000.00 to the State of Wyoming for violating the Consumer Protection Act. And Wikipedia doesn't cite the incidents in the early years that got the company off to it's astounding rise in the trade.. And, of course, there’s no counting the unreported events.
    So why isn't anyone complaining about THAT?! Now those end users are NOT DIY'er's, but actual alarm installations performed by alarm installation companies. But no one in this forum or in this industry is complaining about THAT? Why, if you were to ask anyone from the National Fire and Burglar Alarm Association (     Who in my opinion changed their name to obscure their shabby history, now under their new alias of ESA ) who one of the best and foremost alarm installation companies in the nation was, you can be sure Vivint is at or near the top of the list. How is it that SimpleSafe and Ring, who sell to people who are not customers of alarm installation companies are in question and companies like Vivint are not?
    Isn't this DIY thing just Deja Vue all over again? Didn't this same thing happen when the so called "Free" alarm thingy occurred? OH HENEY PENNY THE SKY IS FALLING! Get over it. If you think you can compete with these DIY companies ---- try it.     Some alarm installation companies were successful at getting into the "Free" alarm installation business. But I'll bet more than that many tried and failed and went out of business before they realized that they didn't have the deep pockets necessary to wait for the return on their "investment". And those that didn't get sucked in what did you do? You just continued to sell to your base and to people who want your services and expertise.
    Get out there and sell what you do best to those who are willing to pay for it. Established alarm installation companies have the definite advantage of having a built in referral source of business. Cultivate that. Send out newsletters and flyers. Get on the phone and call your customers. Find out what the weak points are about Simple Safe and Ring and all the other toys out there. Go to web sites and look at the bad reviews of these products to find out what their weak points are so that when someone asks you about them, you've got the information that they don't have. You’re the expert, aren’t you? Offer incentives for upgrades and referrals.      And don't just do it once and proclaim it a failure. Keep at it. Send that same flyer over and over again. Eventually they expect it to be there in that bill that you send them every month. And when the occasion comes up and someone asks them about a new service or technology THAT's when what you've told them about Simple Safe and Ring kicks in. That's when the flyer you send them every month comes back to them. How about this. --- Send your accounts a $100.00 gift card to be applied to any upgrade or to be given to a friend to be used towards a new installation. Who knows? You might make some money and survive this "horrendous plague" of Do It Yourselfitis
    I don't see the multiples for alarm accounts coming down any so there's got to be some value to someone somewhere in what we do. Work at it and stop complaining.
    You all sound like a bunch of old washer women gossiping about the latest stranger in town. Jeeeez
Reliable Alarm
    Gene's been in the alarm business a long long time. Thanks for the good advice.
another comment
    With regards to Simplisafe's statement "not one is locked in a contract", that is not the same as saying 'no contract', right?
    Simplisafe is emphasizing the 'locked' aspect and it is a qualifier to the claims about the contract. Even in their website page titled 'No Contract', it is immediately qualified by "We'll never make you sign a long-term service contract.
    SimpliSafe advertises "no contract" as a way to distinguish it from other alarm companies.  It's false and deceptive advertising because SimpliSafe does required a contract; it requires its Terms and Conditions to be accepted and approved by its customers.  What SimpliSafe really should say is that it has a month to month agreement.  That, however, would not be so unique.

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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