Just a comment on contracts that are unsigned, or signed by salespersons.  While legal enforceability is, of course, the most important aspect of the agreement, the marketability of that contract is also important.  A monitoring agreement can be complete, and legally sound, but not as “saleable” as another contract.  Company signatures are a good example.  
    Each year our due diligence people look at tens of thousands of monitoring agreements that are being sold.  They know that unsigned, or non-management signed, agreements are an issue for several reasons.  The first thing that comes to our minds is “the company is installing 15 – 20 systems a month, why isn’t the management or the owner taking the time to look at the agreements?”  This is often an indicator of lax or detached management.   We have also noted thousands of instances in which salesmen knew that no one was looking at the agreement and made changes to make it easier to land the sale.  
    One transaction was held up for months because the salesperson changed a three year initial term to a one year by striking the automatic renewal provision and writing “After one year this contract is void” on hundreds of monitoring agreements.  Of course a “void” agreement is most probably no agreement, and the Seller had to get these contracts re-signed.  This delayed the close and cost the owner over $100,000 in sales price.  Remember, even if your attorney tells you that the agreement is enforceable, the only opinion that matters in a transaction is the Buyer’s opinion. 
    Your monitoring agreements are your most valuable asset.  Get them signed, review each and every one, keep them in a safe place, make sure that you have a contract  for every customer (and service provided), and update them often. 
Mitch Reitman
    Mitch, as always, makes a great point.  Being able to sell your agreements for the highest price may very well be your primary motivating factor in using proper alarm agreements.  Of course the underlying reason is that a proper contract is going to be enforceable and protect your company from claims and will also be enforced should you decide to pursue defaulting subscribers in collection matters.  Having a proper contract can mean more than 5 times the RMR in sales price.  As Mitch mentions, not having that contract signed properly can mean the difference of a delayed closing or having that otherwise proper contract omitted from your sale or severely discounted. 
    What Mitch forgot to mention is that you get your proper contracts at www.alarmcontracts.com.  If in doubt how to use the contracts or get them signed or any other legal issues, give me a call or try out our new video conferencing option on oovoo.com.  You can contact our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda by friending Eileen; you can friend me at kenkirschenbaum.
    Of course I knew that circulating Det Robinson's comments on Oct 28 2015 would generate some interest and I hope fun.  And it did.  Taking cheap shots at by stander Bart is another favorite on this forum sure to "sell papers".  So remember, just because I through a little national inquirer  articles in once in a while, don't miss the serious stuff we discuss in this forum - not to suggest that Det Robinson and John from NJ [disguished even though every one who knows him knows it's him] comments don't have important information. [Det Robinson's original comment is below for those who missed it].  KK
    Am I the only one who would buy tickets to watch John from NJ meet face to face with Detective Robinson?  Talk about entertainment!  
Brandt Phillips
Commercial Fire and Security Director of Sales
Napco Security Technologies
    `While I usually like reading your emails over breakfast, today's edition seems like a Jerry Springer episode, with Robbie from Phoenix swiping at John from NJ.  To Robbie (if Ken cares to publish this), this isn't a dick swinging contest, and quite frankly nobody cares about what you do in Phoenix.  Your rant about wanting to go after John's installs with a fine tooth comb shows your true character.
Dan from Chicago. 
     As you well know, I have been reading (and responding) to your email blogs for quite some time.  And as much as I become glib with some of my missives, I feel compelled to maybe respond now, using some movie quotes from some of my favorite movies.  This is in no way a threat of any violence, and I'm not having any children baptized today, but I'll attempt to clear the air in a similar fashion as Michael Corleone in the Godfather trilogy.  Plus, I don't need any witnesses as an alibi.
When I first read Robbie Robinson's response, I thought of Flounder in Animal House, saying to myself "Oh boy, this is going to be great."  Then I pictured Robbie laying on his desk (hard at work) quoting Bluto saying "Seven years of college down the drain." 
     I'll start with Black Bart Didden first.  Unlike Mr Didden, I won't attack him and accuse him of being more concerned with sitting in his office counting his money, rather than taking actions to make this industry better.  (Or did I just do that?)  Maybe Mr Didden didden know that when it comes to Carbon Monoxide Detector monitoring, this has been an evolving effort by the federal government, the central stations and the alarm companies to make people safer in their homes and the work place.  If you go back a number of years, there were no clear directives for handling a CO alarm,  and a response to a Carbon Monoxide detector was not even on the CID list. An alarm company would not want it to report as a "Fire Zone" or even a "Fire Trouble," so frequently, it was labelled as a "24 hour Auxillary" zone, with explanation.  Then I'm sure that someone's CO detector was activated and when the central station operator called the homeowner, he gave his passcode and said "everything is OK."  The guy likely went to bed that night and woke up dead the next morning.  (That is an old Irish expression)  So in reaction to that, the feds decreed that central stations MUST dispatch for ALL Carbon Monoxide signals.  Not wanting to violate a federal mandate, that is what central station operators did.  And this is likely the case with my customer, who by the way was given clear instructions of what to do and what not to do.  The fact that she forgot the procedure and called me after already paying the fine is irrelevant.  Fast forward to 2015.  Central station protocols now would more likely just call the premise on a tamper signal, even from a CO detector.  So Black Bart, before you berate an alarm company or another central station, learn your history.  I install all devices according to code and my central station is rated as one of the top in the industry.  So! please, let's not make this an infomercial for USA Central.  There are many internal codes that the central stations use, that mean little to the alarm installing company.  I have complete faith in the central station that I use, and if they ever have a question about any systems that I put online, I get a phone call immediately, followed up by an email.  (That doesn't sound like sub-par service to me.)
     Dear Robbie, and to quote "Flounder" "This is going to be great,"  sadly, the McCulloch loops went out long before I got into the business.  But I will say this:  I got into this business while little Robbie was likely still suckling at his mother's breast.  I said in an earlier post, that some people like to read code books, but most installers do not.  We have to read the code because we have to, not because we like it.  That is factual.  I can only speculate why someone NOT in the alarm industry would want to sit through some of those courses, other than to say they did.  I became NTS certified likely before little Robbie was a lowly police recruit.  So let me "School" you on some facts.  People do stupid things.  If you tell a kid "Don't touch this," as soon as you turn your back, they will.  If you knew anything about wireless security systems, you would know that batteries generally last over 5 years.  So the fact that my customer forgot what she was instructed to not do is my fault how?  I won't cast an aspersion, but I would guess that a person would only go through all that training for one of two reasons.  Either he is a true egghead, or he has aspirations of getting into the alarm industry after retirement from his or her current assignment. So which is it?  If it is the latter, there is just something that is so unethical about doing that.  In almost all of those courses, the instruction is explained in theory or hypotheticals.  Unless of course you were just there to write down all of the code designations so you could throw them around and try to impress people.  Sorry Robbie, I'm not impressed.  Since Black Bart is in NY, and I obviously am in NJ, why don't you come out East, and we can have a meeting of the "Three" families.  
     So in closing, I will quote dean Wormer as he spoke to the members of Delta House about their mid-term grades.  To Black Bart Didden (much like Kroeger) 3 C's and an F  a 1.2 Grade Average.  That places you at the top of the Delta pledge class.  To Little Robbie Robinson (much like Flounder Dorfman)  "0.2 grade average. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son."  I gave little Robbie low grades for poor reading comprehension.  If he read my post thoroughly, he would not have come to such a wrong conclusion.  Now let's see if he can "man up."  And much of his response only further proves my initial assessment.  He is good at reading code, but doesn't know jack about installation or the running of an alarm business.  Like what is printed on the front of a claymore mine "Front toward enemy" I wonder if they had to print "Point this end toward the bad guys on his sidearm."  On the front of the barrel of my gun it reads "Smile, wait for flash."
John from NJ 
    To John in NJ.  Thanks for the honest explanation of how you handle trouble signals on your accounts, I can see that you are very concerned and take great care of your customers.  So please tell me, did you man-up and pay the $300.00 fine that you caused for your subscriber or just blast away at the AHJ while you hide behind the curtain with the wizard??
    I can assure you of this, if your subscriber was here in Phoenix I would personally walk them thru the false alarm appeal hearing process to help them present their case in order to have YOU charged for the illegal dispatching of the AHJ on non-critical supervisory signals and make sure that YOU pay the $300.00 in false alarm fees.  Not sure about the AHJ in NJ, but that’s how we take care of our citizens out here in the West when they are getting stroked by someone like you. 
    `So John, were you in Scottsdale for the Honeywell Dealers CONNECT 15 conference last week to learn about the newest happenings with Honeywell products, you should have been there; I was.  I even got to have lunch with Bart Didden and discuss the finer aspects of life!  Are you coming to Phoenix for the CSAA Fall Operations Management Seminar next month or the ESA Leadership Summit in Chandler Az next January??  I will be at these events if you’re coming and I would love to meet with you to discuss my ability to dissect the installation of an alarm system according to the manufacturer specifications, industry standards or best practices.  I am sure I could learn something from you, although, I have been thru NTS training, NSCA’s EST, attend ESA/NTS CEU classes, manufacturer product training and have clearance from the manufacturers to access the same technical support desks that you do on a regular basis.  You seem to think I do not know my way around a professional alarm installation, well, maybe I don’t need to have a litany of three letter acronyms after my name to spot stupid.  Please come to Phoenix and open up an alarm business because I would really like to meet you and have a chance to inspect one of your accounts!! 
    I suppose, based on your description of what happened to your customer that you would argue that an alarm company or their central station is supposed to dispatch PD on the SIA Standard ADEMCO CID event code 383.  I know at least one other alarm company and CMS that would have agreed with you because they dispatched PD on the “trouble” caused by the customer who was changing out his own wireless batteries on Honeywell 5816 transmitters.  The alarm company/CMS did however, sing a different tune after we had a conference call during the inspection to go over the alarm event history and I showed the customer how much his alarm company/CMS cost them in false alarm fees for dispatching on the event code 383 and also because they still dispatched PD on several BA events after event code 406 came in to the CMS before PD was called.  I then suggested that the customer take the Phoenix PD alarm inspection report to the Az Registrar of Contractors (ROC) and file a complaint against their ROC license if his alarm company does not make him financially happy with some $$$ credit on his next monthly bill.  On the post inspection follow up visit he let me know that they made him an offer with some free equipment and $$$ reimbursement so they could avoid the ROC complaint.  As far as the CMS goes, the CMS manager promised me that they are changing their policy.  One down and a few more to go!
    So I cheer… Go Bart Go!!  I am with you 100% on this issue of dispatching the AHJ on trouble signals and other non-critical system or babysitting events.  This is a classic example where the central station operators needs to stand up and be the gatekeeper in the industry against the stupid things that the dealers do/sell/install. 
    So does anybody else besides John in NJ want to try to explain what does the alarm company think that the responding PD or fire is going to do for the customer with a trouble signal, fix it for free or charge them for a false alarm dispatch???  I’ll ask a rhetorical question; what’s the purpose of reporting a “trouble” signal that is different from an “alarm” signal if the CMS decides to dispatch the AHJ on both??  Maybe we should go back to the dark ages to find and old dinosaur (*respected elder) to give us an answer of how it used to be back in the day.  This makes me wonder; John, are you still installing McCulloh loop transmitters back in NJ??
Detective H.W."Robbie" Robinson #5002
Phoenix Police Code Enforcement Unit,  Alarm Inspections
Phoenix, Az.
Your next legal consult can be from across your desk.  I am now available on oovoo so that a consultation can include real time video.  We can each be looking at the same documents at the same time as the video consult.  What do you need?  Any cheap camera plugged into your computer will suffice.  Then you sign into oovoo.com and "friend" kenkirschenbaum.  While the video service is free, not all consults are, so check with our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda 5167747 6700 x 312 if you want to set up an appointment.  She also is available on oovoo for video conferencing to discuss your contract needs.  Why video?  You'll feel like you're sitting in my office, from wherever you are.  Only difference, no travel or waiting time.  Try it.