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MORE ON AUDIO AND SIGNS
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Ken:
    We are located in Kansas City Missouri and are not aware of any requirement of sign postings.  I do get questions about recording the audio and I caution the individual to consult with legal counsel due to those complexities – such as multi-lingual and is a sign enough notification?
With regards,
Joseph (Joe) Pfefer, President
Jade Alarm Co
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RESPONSE

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    All the legislation I am aware of regarding audio - the mechanical interception for listening or recording audio - requires consent - consent form either one party or all parties to the conversation.  I am not aware of any law or court cases where the issue of "implied" consent was considered [that doesn't mean there aren't any such cases - anyone know of one?].  I think posting signs falls within the "implied consent" category, the argument being that "hey, there is a posted sign for audio recording and they kept talking".  
    I think there is good reason why you're not going to see sign posting as an acceptable "consent" criteria.  Simply, not everyone can read the language the sign is posted in, or read at all for that matter.  How do we know the person saw the sign or can see at all; or understand what the sign means?  Signs would not be meaningful consent.  Consent can be in writing or part of the recording.  
    I am curious almost daily when I hear on the phone "this call will be recorded for quality assurance".  If I stay on the phone does that constitute consent?  I don't think so.  The recorded announcement doesn't continue with "if you don't want be recorded call this number or write us at, etc and  hang up at this time".  More recently I've noticed that once a live person comes to the phone they start with "this call is recorded; do you consent to the recording?"  That I suggest constitutes consent.
    Next question might be consent for what purpose?  Consent to hear my complaint or request or take my order?  How about consent to use the recording in a commercial or advertisement?  How about on social media for commercial exploitation?  Could I complain, or sue, if the recording is used for a purpose I hadn't considered?  Maybe I would just ordering something I'd rather not be advertising [I'm tempted to mention a few examples but I'll leave it to your imagination, or personal experiences].  
    I think it comes down to what happens after the recording.  If not one hears it then probably won't matter if the law was broken and the recording or listening was illegal [yes illegal, because audio laws come with criminal penalties].  Sort of like did the fallen tree that no one heard actually make any noise?  What you as an alarm professional needs to know is that

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CAN YOUR EMPLOYEE SIGN THE CONTRACT
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Ken
    For the standard customer contracts (we purchased a bunch from you), do I always need to sign where it says “Alert Protective Services Representative” or can we have our sales guys sign as a rep of the company?
    Obviously we’ll want to screen contracts before they go out, but in terms of me signing each and every one….just wanted to see if you have a recommendation vs. whether others in the market allow sales reps to sign as the company rep.
Thank you
Best,
David
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RESPONSE
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    Anyone you authorize can sign the contract on the Company's behalf.  In fact, if a subscriber gets a contract back signed by someone at the Company the subscriber can rely on that signature, even if the person signing didn't have authority, unless the subscriber knows the person had no authority.  So yes, your salesman out in the field can sign the contract.
    You will notice that the Standard Form Agreements do not have a provision to the effect that "this contract is not valid unless signed by an officer of the Company".  I don't provide for two signature on behalf of the Company.
    Why?  My office does a lot of collection work for the alarm industry so we see a lot of contracts when the alarm company decides to sue the subscriber.  We also do a lot of defense work for the alarm industry and we see the alarm contract when the alarm company is sued and we need to rely on that contract.  We see contracts that are not signed by the alarm company, by anyone.  [sometimes the subscriber hasn't signed either].  Some of our clients have added "this contract must be signed by an officer of the Company to be valid" and the contract comes to us without having been counter-signed.  The subscriber will argue that the contract is not valid or enforceable.  
    Unfortunately courts do not always treat the omission as a two way street.  The court may decide that the alarm company can't enforce the contract against the subscriber, but that the subscriber can enforce the contract against the alarm company.  Crazy, but the alarm company caused its own problem by including the provision and then not complying with it.  On the other hand, once the alarm company has performed under the contract, installed or started installing, the subscriber can assume that the alarm company has approved the contract; after all, it began or perhaps completed performance.  
    This, in my view, is an unnecessary problem which can be better addressed by properly training the sales person or even requiring the sales person to call in the deal  before the sales person is permitted to sign the contract for the Company.  If a company has only a handful of new contracts each month then the owner is must likely involved in the sales transaction anyway.  If the Company is signing up hundreds of subscriber each month then the added oversight is probably a waste of resources and added expense; train the sales help better or give sale term guidelines that can't be changed.
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