COMMENT ON HIDING ACCOUNTS FROM PHOENIX ARIZONA PD FROM SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 ARTICLE
I have seen Detective Robinson at many industry events and heard him speak many times. Phoenix is lucky to have an individual as engaged as Detective Robinson is working with the alarm profession instead of against it.
The issue of mislabeled accounts is not the only issue the police and fire officials face. It's everyone of our jobs to protect not only the public with our security systems but protect the responders we rely upon every day. Their safety should be paramount and we need to do what we can do to help them do their job, not hinder it. As a former firefighter and one whose son is now a firefighter I know first hand what it is to roll out at 3 am in ice and snow and have to deal with motorists not yielding right of way, or a firefighter slipping and injuring himself on ice, or rolling on a call in the middle of a hurricane.
Let's work towards helping rather than resisting their participation and informed experience
Roy Pollack, CPP SET
Director of Licensing & Training Compliance
Comcast / Xfinity Home
I liked what Detective Robinson has to say. His solution is simple. Respond to the problems accounts once. If there not set up right then inform the customer of the situation and not respond again until one gets written confirmation from the customer and alarm dealer separately, that the problem is fixed.
If after that, another response is made, and the problem still exists, don’t respond again until ANOTHER service provider is in place. You will have everything documented and any court any where will side with you.
Keep it simple stupid (KISS). The critiscism will only come from alarm dealers, lawyers and insurance companies. Documentation is the key. Judges will love you for having one page with 75 words or less describing the situation. Your own documentation doesn’t need to be more than 150 words and 20 minutes of time. Dismissed Next!
[referring to Detective Robinson]
There's a guy with balls. Lucky to have him in public service.
Peter L. Mason
Mason Alarms and Electrical, LLC
I read with interest the letter from Detective H.W."Robbie" Robinson (of the Phoenix Police Code Enforcement Unit) and have a few comments.
First of all, alarm dealers who knowingly sell and install monitored alarm systems at a commercial location but identify it as a residence (because they utilizing a residential contract in place of a commercial contract) should be yanked out of their sleep and forced to do a ride along with the affected police department. One confusing, sleepless night, chasing bad alarm addresses ought to get the message across. These ignorant, inexperienced, if not dangerous alarm salespeople obviously don't advise the customer of the potential consequences. Of course not. It'll spoil the sale.
However, the customer should have been advised that once the alarm was up and working, that it was paramount the customer notify the monitoring station directly and in writing if necessary, to add the name of the business. It could be hyphenated to the last name, or added as a DBA, or "APT#SOFT TOUCH DENTAL" or SUITE#LITTLE BLACK DRESS. Putting the business name in big red letters on the opening page would also be effective and not overlooked. Don't trust the information to be solely on the Notes Page. Notes can be overlooked. This is vital information and it needs to be on opening page of account information so there is NO MISTAKE it's a business alarm even tho it appears to be a residential account.
May I also suggest that when a law enforcement agency can't locate the correct premise, that the agency send out a form letter to that particular address advising that due to the circumstances, the police were not able to respond, and won't be responding to any more alarms there until the correct premise description is clarified and proven updated.
Receiving a letter like that should cause great concern to a business owner. Perhaps he/she will in turn, make a big stink and cause some grief for their installing dealer, saying WTF? One would think that receiving a letter like that would be cause to fire/never use that dealer again/non-renew/cancel, etc.. Hopefully they will also report them to the local authorities for questionable business practices. Especially if they suffered a loss!
I have a question and I know it's mostly going to depend on the contract, but if a business owner did suffer a huge loss, due to this situation, would they have a case against the dealer (and/or salesperson) for negligence because the police could not locate the premise as described? After all, the dealer/salesperson neglected to 1) set up the account properly to begin with. 2) the dealer/salesperson didn't advise the business owner of the potential consequences of using a residential alarm contract for installing a commercial alarm. 3) the dealer/salesperson failed to remedy the situation before it became a situation by failing to advise the customer to notify the central station directly (as described above) to avoid a situation.
Identifying a premise as a residence when it is a jewelry store (or any store) could have grave consequences if the police are confused about an address and/or stop responding to alarms there. I would think the installing dealer was negligent.
Does someone have to be killed before putting commercial businesses on residential contracts becomes an illegal business practice? Let's hope not, but I can see someone filing suit due to a loss and I think a jury would be disgusted once they learned how easy it is to add a business name or other vital information to the central station dispatch records.
Apparently this simple advise isn't given. If it were I who suffered a loss and I found out later that all I had to do was notify the central station that the account was actually a business, I would be furious! I would also be furious to learn that the sales person didn't advise the possible consequences of switching from a commercial monitoring contract to using a residential contract. (The salesperson said nothing, if he/she knew anything to being with, to avoid spoiling the deal.)
I would hold everyone up the line responsible, whoever benefited from that sale and I would demand all my money back because of what the salesperson neglected to tell me. The installer could have said something since he/she saw the paperwork. The sales manager and the owner all profited, if they are all not the same person. Ignorance is no excuse and withholding vital information such as this is unacceptable.
Cynthia Hart - retired
Hart Universal Security
The alarm company undera monitoring contract and the central station performing the monitoring and calling the AHJ does face liability for failure to properly identify the location of the alarm. This has not been an issue in the many defense cases I've handled and heard of, but certainly could become an important issue if the misclassification is shown to have contributed to delayed or failure to response.
Comments On Hiding Accounts In Phoenix AZ And From Detective Robinson - September 22, 2015