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Comment on does DIY mean doom and gloom for residential market
September 24, 2019
Comment on does DIY mean doom and gloom for residential market from September 14, 2019 article 
            Many good points in the September 14, 2019 Newsletter about DIY Doom &  Gloom.
            Your readers’ comments, and your reply, provided a really good summary.  We add another perspective.
            While most traditional alarm suppliers were narrowly focused on RMR, it created a big void in a massive market… the opportunity for the DIY and MIY providers.  All households and business do not need the same three Ds, or RMR contracts.  Maybe it’s the time to focus again on the three “Ds” that determine the RMR market and RMR market value.  
            This was one of the topics that got reader response when I had the SDM Column, known as Marketing Incites/ Tips & Tactics, during the mid-80s to mid-90s.  We said alarm security customers, residential and commercial, will demand each of the three Ds… Deterrent, Detection, Defense, to justify long term RMR contracts.  
            The same customer expectations apply today for RMR contracts. However, after all these decades, we now know the third “D”-Defense, aka emergency police response to the alarm site, is now outside our control and we are losing on-demand access to it.  
            Which is compromising the RMR market and market value.
            For example the key component of a remote-monitored “security“ system is on-demand emergency response to the alarm site.  Most of the major RMR suppliers, like ADT, Monitronics, and nationwide Monitoring Centers, have lost credibility with law enforcement due to the near total error/false alarms (up to 18% of police resources).   The trend now is toward slow or no emergency response to private property deterrent alarms.  Several States have already legislated against calling the cops first.  Which can dilute and downgrade millions of RMR contracts for early attrition, price reduction, or worse.  The traditional RMR fees cannot always be justified.  Fortunately private resources can provide an alternative for site response.
            Most of the DIY and MIY products and services are for Deterrent and Detection, without meaningful Defense, and priced accordingly.  The market is big enough to support the old guys and new guys, when done right.  We believe market value of traditional RMR contracts will hereafter be measured by meaningful customer site “Defense”.  The new players in DIY and MIY should not be a threat, unless they deliver each of the three “Ds”. 
            Ken, do the K&K contracts offer the same protection with or without meaningful public or private site response?
Lee Jones
Support Services Group
            Private guard response to alarm signals would certainly be another lucrative avenue of RMR for security companies, but the cost makes it beyond the budget of most traditional alarm customers, and even more so for the DIY crowd.  The good news is that alarm monitoring, traditional through reputable Monitoring Centers, or even calls made by end users who self-monitor, is still accepted as a meaningful level of deterrence and protection.  
            Most of the public is not attuned to complaints by police departments about the cost of false alarm.  Sure, customers don’t like getting fined for false alarms, and First Responders don’t like false alarms.  But there is no cost effective alternative.
            What choice does the homeowner have?  No alarm or an alarm that may act as a deterrent and maybe cause police response in time to help?  All alarm companies can thank the “big guys” for their advertising about the efficacy of alarm systems.  The ads tout saving life and property, just install $300 worth of devices and pay $10 a month for monitoring.  That message reaches a lot more customers than the false alarm problem.  
            Alarm verification has helped the false alarm problem.  Better verification, something beyond telephone, perhaps video, should further alleviate the false alarm problem.  No police response to alarm signals is not the norm in this country.  Police have responsibilities and should know that alarms, intrusion and fire, have significant cost savings that more than likely outweigh the cost of false alarms.  
            I foresee growth in the alarm industry, both traditional and DIY.  There are few alternatives that match the cost effectiveness of alarm systems.
            To specifically address your question, the All in One Agreements will provide the same contractual protection with or without First Responder's response.  In fact, the alarm company is not responsible for First Responder response or lack of response.  Customers who don't like the way the First Responders respond to alarm signals can take that up with their governmental representatives, not the alarm company who does it's job by reporting the signal.​

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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