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Does CS need your subs contract / Comment on TN law and associations / Bank charge for bad check
June 6, 2019
Does central station need your subscriber’s contract
            We are a central station.  I have heard from Dealers that you have stated on a number of occasions that if a Dealer is using your agreements they don’t need to concern themselves with the 3-party agreement provided by the Central Station.  Am I correct in that statement? 
            If so, as a Central Station how do we ensure that the Dealers are actually obtaining signed agreements with their subscribers?  Are we protected with your Dealer Contract? 
            Do you suggest that they send the original agreements to the Central Station? How else do we, as Central Stations, verify there is a signed agreement that protects us?
Name withheld
            You have heard correctly.  I have advised Dealers that it is essential that they get their own contract signed, preferably an Standard Form All in One Kirschenbaum Contract ®.  Why?  Because the All in One is going to be far superior to any “monitoring contract” a central station offers to its Dealers.  In fact, I have suggested that if a central station offers its dealers a form agreement, the dealer should find another central station.  Central stations should not be giving out contract forms, especially when they are designed solely for the benefit of the central station and do not contain most, if not all, of the provisions a dealer needs in its agreement with its subscriber.
            A dealer using the All in One agreement is not only protecting itself, but also the central station [and all other subcontractors] with the same protective provisions.  Therefore the central station is best protected when the dealer uses the All in One; there is no need for the Three Party Contract or any form provided by the central station for monitoring.
            Not all central stations require their dealers to use contracts; not all central stations require the dealer to provide the subscriber contract to the central station before an account is put on line.  Central stations would be wise to require the dealer to produce the subscriber contract before putting the system on line.  Otherwise how does the central station know that there is a contract in place to protect against claims?  The dealer indemnity is not enough.  Most dealers don’t carry enough insurance and a central station doesn’t want to have to go after a dealer once the insurance is exhausted, and no central station wants to be left holding the bag.  That would be the bad with the money.
            So as unpopular as this opinion may be, I strongly recommend that the dealer get a contract with every subscriber, that the central station require a copy of the agreement before putting the subscriber on line.  While I am at it, here’s another unpopular position:  the central station should insist that the dealer identify and test every zone on the system when putting the system on line.
Comment on TN law and associations
    Could this (TN legislation - Tennessee new law prohibits alarm company fines from May 31, 2019]) be a silent strategy of the big guys like Amazon and Google, to mute the legislative restrictions that now are barriers-to-entry?? Currently, the legislated restrictions may be the only thing keeping them out of your business!!! Dilute the restrictions and you lower the barriers-of-entry. SIAC and other Alarm Associations could be, unknowingly, the biggest supporters of the competitive threats to RMR market value, by lowering the bar. Some of us believe it is critical to keep the bar (standards) high. 
    Suggestion: Quickly reinforce several of the strongest barriers that are the least disruptive to assimilate by the traditional alarm industry, but highly disruptive to the new guys.   Consider adopting the existing trend and templates for private monitoring firms taking responsibility for “UPR-Unnecessary Police Response” (not the same as responsibility for “False Alarms”), and related responsibility for subsidy fines and fees.     Seattle is a good example that has been time tested for over a decade, and court tested. It is called SR-Subsidy Recovery wherein the City has a relationship with the Alarm Companies, not the citizen alarm subscribers. Dozens of other templates upon request. When supported by law enforcement, it also strengthens market value of RMR.
    Observations by 
Lee Jones
Support Services Group
            I think Tennessee is right to prohibit fines against alarm companies for false alarms.  It’s questionable if fines should be imposed against end users.  I think the fine structure is much too harsh and clearly intended as revenue raising.  The worst offenders are not likely deterred.  No point beating a donkey with a stick; it won’t move any faster.
Bank charge for bad check
         We have a school that bounced a check for an invoice, first time in 6 years, I originally said there was a $50 fee to cover the bank charge and our time for bookkeeping, etc.  Well, it has been three months, several emails back and forth, about an hour of my time, they are now asking for an invoice for the $50, I replied that more time has been expended and the cost is now going to be higher.  Before sending an invoice for $260 (fees plus an hour of my time), do you see a problem with this?  (we have a K&K 2014 All in One alarm agreement with them).   
   Thank you
            Forget about the bank charge.  You could have added it to their next invoice, but only the actual charge.  Your bank shouldn't be charging for that.  Let it go or send them the actual bank charge with your next invoice.  You can't get the "time" back.  If you really want to get tough insist on wires or default the subscriber and demand payment in full on the contract.  You can get 80% of the balance and stop all services.

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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