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comment on requiring employees to use company iphones / fire loss procedure
October 3, 2018
link for our Sexual Harassment training webinar presented on September 20, 2018:
comment on requiring employees to use company iphones from September 22, 2018 article
    I read the email from “name withheld” about the salesperson who objects to using a company I Phone because the tracking is an “invasion of his privacy”.  You were correct in telling him that this behavior is dangerous and should be corrected.   The email also states "This is a sales person who also refuses to use the company phone he only carries it with him and has all our customers call him on his personal cell".    This is a very dangerous situation for several reasons:
  *  Customers are communicating directly with the salesperson, they may not even know how to reach the company.  
  *  This is dangerous because the salesperson may falsely believe that the customers are his/her property and that he/she is free to solicit them after a job change.
  *  The salesperson may be “brokering” these leads to other companies and selling new installs to the highest bidder.
  *  Customers are not communicating directly with the company or its service and operations people.
  *  If you fire the salesperson he/she still has a direct relationship with your valuable accounts.
  *  If you sell, the Buyer has no way to establish a relationship with a customer and I will be you lunch that quite a few of these customers will follow the salesperson to a new company.
    I have seen several situations in which a company sold, a customer called an employee’s cell phone for service, no one responded, and the customer cancelled.  In one situation it was the owner of the selling company, and the customer was a dry cleaner with 20 locations, $1,200 of RMR.  The Seller was on a post closing celebratory cruise and didn’t answer.  The customer cancelled and the Buyer and Seller got into a protracted fight about who was responsible for the cancellation and the $48,000 hold-back hit. 
    Most Buyers will want to take control of all phone numbers, including cell phones.  Many lenders are making this a requirement.  If you don’t control all of your phone numbers you may not be able to comply. 
Mitch Reitman
Reitman Consulting Group

    When you permit your employee to use his personal cell phone you lose more control than you think.  A customer communicating directly with an employee would have every reason and right to believe the employee has full authority to speak for the company.  What concessions and deals are your employees making or capable of making outside of the parameters of your company guidelines?
    Mitch makes another good point about selling issues.  A buyer is going to ask for a representation of all phone numbers used for the business and an assignment of those numbers.  Good luck getting an employee's personal cell phone number.

fire loss procedure
    We are the owners of a security company in South Jersey.  We have been in business a long time.  
We have customer who recently had a house fire while he was away.  The house has a Monitored Burg  / Fire system.  No signal was sent out to report the fire.  We don’t know why. There could be a variety of reasons (lightning ?).
    I was contacted by a Fire Investigator yesterday asking detailed questions.  I did not give him answers to all his questions as I did not have all the information available.  I told him I would get back to him after I had an opportunity to compile information for him.  We have not had an experience like this and are extremely uncomfortable.
    I am not sure what I should or should not do or say and am very hesitant to proceed without advisement.
name withheld

    If your subscriber suffers a loss the first thing you need to do is report the incident as a possible claim to your insurance carrier.  If you have a decent carrier you can ask that it assign counsel to assist and guide you at the very start of the claim inquiry.  You can ask that the carrier assign me or engage me as consultant, but not all carriers will do that.  I wish I could say that most insurance carriers will be able to give you the guidance you need, but that's simply not the case.  If the carrier assigns counsel you will probably find out fast that if the attorney has any idea how to handle an alarm defense claim or lawsuit.  Odds are against you.  
    Of course you have every reason to want to head off a claim, and you will need guidance how to do that in the particular situation you find yourself in.  There can't be one way to respond to inquires because subscribers are different and claim circumstances are different and those making the inquiry are different.  
    But if you let your insurance carrier botch the claim inquiry at least you won't be criticized for having screwed it up yourself; making the claim or the defense of the claim more that it could have been.  
    You will likely find that most carriers, in fact all of them besides SARPG, listed on The Alarm Exchange  in the 
Insurance Category [you can call Crystal Jacobs at 866 315 3838] don't really care about anything other than minimizing the monetary exposure on that claim.  Never mind that it might encourage more lawsuits against the alarm industry or, if in litigation already, set bad precedent with a court decision that will adversely affect a good chunk of the alarm industry.
    So I can't tell you whether you should provide or withhold information, or how you can best present it, without getting paid.  You should try and get your carrier to pay me; that's why you bought the insurance.  If you get a response, "there's no claim or lawsuit yet, so you're on your own", or the claims rep decides to advise you, or refers you to some attorney who has less idea than you how to handle the situation, your next call should be to a new broker or carrier [or maybe to me for a recommendation], because your current claim is not likely going to be your only or last.

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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
516 747 6700