First, thank you for this forum.  I’ve been using many of your contracts for years and following your advice thru this forum.   I wanted to send this to your readers to provide a lesson I learned in going with a central station that is not on The Alarm Exchange. 
    Last year I was looking to change central stations because I didn’t like certain aspects of how my then current station handled certain calls.  I decided to go with a large central station in NJ.  I didn’t go because of price, even though they gave me great pricing (roughly half what I was spending).  One reason I went with them is because I knew and trusted the sales person whom I’ve known for probably 20 years.  The facilities are exceptional, they claim to have all the proper training, I saw they had the receivers, the number of operators on duty, separate client versus dealer operators, etc.  I spent a lot of time considering many different central stations and thought I did my due diligence in choosing the right central station.  Boy was I WRONG!
    Everyone was nice enough in the beginning but unfortunately things started bad and got worse as time went on.  In my opinion, the sales side was not on the same page as the technical side and all of a sudden ALL of my SIA and DMP format accounts were in communication failure.  I was using the same phone numbers for Contact ID, SIA and DMP (since that is how I was set up in the previous central station).  The technical side was not ready for my accounts to all go on their receiver even though we spent almost 6 months preparing.  Long story short, I had to reprogram all of my DMP accounts in short order to another phone line going to their DMP receiver and reset all the SIA accounts with their receiver.  Needless to say, a lot of time wasted during a very busy time.
    It goes further, I believe the billing was almost always incorrect as more time was wasted going back and forth with that.  Customers complaining to me that dispatch instructions were not followed properly, it goes on and on.
    I finally stopped by their booth where I saw the salesman I knew working at a local trade show.  I let him know that I just couldn’t take it anymore and was searching for a new central station.  10 minutes later I received a call from the son of the owner of the central station to yell at me that I informed this salesman of my intentions at the show and to tell me to move my accounts out as fast as possible.  He didn’t take the time to ask what the problems are nor did I even get the feeling that he cared.  Obviously things run a bit deeper but it does go to show that problems start from the top which is why I have so many problems as well as lost some long time clients because of them.
    I am now in the process of switching to another central station, one that is listed in The Alarm Exchange.  Bottom line is if you want good service stay away from the low price central station.  It will definitely cost you.
From the School of Hard Knocks,
A long time reader and client from PA
    A fair question to be asking yourself is what difference would it have made if the central station was listed on The Alarm Exchange?  Perhaps not much, here is what would have happened if the dealer contacted me about the issue he was having with the central station.  I would have contacted the central and let the owner know that I expect dealers to be treated fairly and if they are not then the central loses the listing on The Alarm Exchange.  Not every central station is on The Alarm Exchange and the reason for that can be that they don't want to be, haven't asked to be or they know I would not allow the listing because I didn't think that central [or other vendor] was someone I wanted to support.  
    I take no position on the dispute described above and the dealer was anon and didn't identify the central station.  Lesson to be learned is you do have choices; choose wisely.
    Perhaps VIDEO MONITORING of a POT CHURCH would be taxable as entertainment.
Just a thought from the heat disturbed mind....
    One of my clients is a realtor and uses Docusign. A lot of realtors use it. Make contact with a realtor in your area they may be able to help.
Cincinnati, Ohio

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