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May 3, 2019
Free Webinar - starts today.  Register now
Topic: Negotiating terms in Dealer Agreement with your central station 
When: May 7, 2019
Time: 12 PM to 1 PM New York time 
Presented by: Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq 
Who should attend: dealers and central stations 
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comments on SimpliSafe and DIY
    I read the responses on April 24th to your comment that Simpli Safe advertise “no contract” when they do in fact require one, albeit short term. There are a few companies out there that actually do not require their customers to sign a contract… nothing at all. One of the companies is a “lowball” company that does a free basic install and charges $180 per year in advance on a credit card. I spoke with him and his rationale is that the customer is paying for a year in advance so he in effect has a “long term agreement” at $15 a month, and never has to worry about suing a customer because they have already paid “to the end of the term”. 
    What he is missing is that enforcing payment is only one reason for a contract. The principal business reason for a contract is to achieve a “meeting of the minds” as to what the services are, expectations of the Buyer and the Seller, and, (extremely critical) what the services are not. 
    Ken’s contracts are very clear as to what services the Alarm Company provides, and are clear about putting the world on notice that other services are not being provided. Insurance companies like to spread risk (share misery) and love to bring in any related party (and their insurance carriers) to accomplish this goal. 
    Mr. Lowball has built a large base of customers paying $15 a month for an undefined service. When he gets sued (by a customer, insurance company, unrelated visitor, passerby, or anyone else who may decide that they are a party to a contract that doesn’t exist) he is going to learn that a contract is a bilateral document and doesn’t simply serve to assist a business in collecting. He is also going to learn that memory is a fickle thing and that customers’ recollections of what the services, payment terms, limitations, etc.. are going to up to 12 people who may know nothing about anything to decide.
    Get a contract, get a good contract, and get it signed.
Mitch Reitman
Reitman Consulting Group
Fort Worth, TX 
    I'm pretty sure that Simply Safe's website indicates the no contract "term" part. I'll bet the day to day advertising leads consumers to believe there is no contract, but scumbags operating within the industry is as old as prostitution.
Al D
    I not a fan of Simply Safe, mainly because I've lost several jobs to DIY and $15 monitoring.
But to SS defense, Their not the only ones with Non reusable equipment, IF you buy Vent. ADT, Accom, They all use proprietor equipment only available to them. I cant tel you how many Seniors or stuck with Vent security and an pay out of $800. Because they didn't know better.
    Here is an article I wrote for SSI in 2016.{%22page%22:44,%22issue_id%22:349695}
Please feel free to put this on your site it’s a deep dive into the serious defects and irregularities of the SimpliSafe production line.
Jeffrey D. Zwirn,
more on issues with ESA and associations
    RE: Response from Tom Donaldson. 
    Why not take a poll among your readers? How many feel that they have directly benefited from the NBFAA (alias ESA)? 
How many alarm companies and alarm associations have been helped, advised, or even contacted when local authorities impose fines, no response, and outlandish rules and regulations? Where do all the dues that are collected from alarm associations go if not to help the alarm companies and association that participate in their respective alarm associations? I was a participant in my alarm association since we voted for state licensing, for over 20 years, and not once do I remember ever get any assistance from the NBFAA (alias ESA) 
    What is being done about the Police department down South that is fining alarm companies for false alarms? What's being done about the other event in the Midwest someplace that's dealing with the police taking over the monitoring of alarms? I don't remember reading anything about how the NBFAA is assisting in any of these events. Have you helped them in any way? Only the "upper crust" and the Nationals have any say or benefit from everyone one else's dues.. Our association has since disbanded, which didn't even cause a ripple of response. I guess we'll have to wait another year for the things to get a "little better" so that our lives can be "shaped and molded" a little more. 
    I will defer to the outcome of the poll. 
Reliable Alarm
    It's easy to feel left out of association activities and politics, but for the most part there is usually a place for everyone and plenty to do; volunteers are welcome. Feeling left out may be because not enough effort has been made to participate, though some blame is attributable to the upper echelon you are not always as welcoming as they should be. ESA, the nationwide or national association, may be harder to get involved with because it doesn't have local meetings, though you could work your way up the ranks through the state chapters.
    One thing that ESA has done for the industry is create SARPG, the risk retention insurance group that offers E&O coverage. If your coverage is 5 million or less you should be contacting SARPG [it is listed in The Alarm Exchange.]
I know that ESA has a bunch of webinars and conventions or meetings, though I haven't been asked to participate and I don't, so I really can't take a position on the association's effectiveness.  Apparently some alarm company owners feel disenfranchised.
    Anyone wishing to comment, should.

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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