Here's another aspect on the subject of hiding commercial accounts under residential contracts.
I am often requested by my residential customers to bill their business for their monitoring and installation fees.  I'm wondering if, in the event of future litigation, whether billing their businesses for these services would be of concern to me? That is, if the contract and bill of sale .... all paperwork is made out to the resident, at his residential address but the installation and monitoring bills go to and are paid by the company.
Reliable Alarm
    You need to use a Residential All in One, not commercial, if the installation is at the residence, even if the business is paying you.
    There is another reason why central stations don't give their name,. I believe it probably stems from way back when only large companies had and offered central station monitoring. (I'm talking WAY back) But, with the advent of the digital dialer which really ramped up the 3rd party monitoring business ...... now small alarm companies could promote themselves as larger more prominent alarm companies so that.... when the end user called or was called by the  central station ...... the central operators were instructed to only say "alarm company"  so as to imply to the end user that the small alarm company had it's own central station. Smaller companies didn't want their customers to know that their systems were actually being monitored by someone else. The reason for this is that back then, it was usually another alarm installation company with a central station that was doing the 3rd party monitoring and the small dealer didn't want his customer to hear the name of a competitor when the central operators answered the phone. And I wouldn't be surprised if some alarm companies still let their clients think that they are being monitored by the company that installed their alarm system.
    Now days, it's known and accepted by the vast majority of end users that not every alarm company has their own central station ..... yet ....still  ....   occasionally I  have to inform a potential client how third party central station monitoring works. Some are surprised that I don't have my own central station. I guess they actually believe that every alarm company had their own central. I guess this misconception could also be due to the proliferation of advertising by the National companies too.
Reliable Alarm
    In response to your comment;
    "I stand by my original comment that most central stations will identify themselves by operator number and central station name, not the dealer's name unless PD specifically asks who installed the account.  I'm not even sure if the cs operator will know the dealer name on the screen that pops up the signal [we'd like to hear from the central stations on this issue and other issues raised by Phoenix PD]."
    Years ago I worked for a several 3rd party monitoring centers here in the St Louis area and when calling the PD, FD or EMS for an alarm event, we always identified ourselves as dispatcher or operator (name or number) with (name of the alarm company that owned the monitoring account), and in many instances, we gave a call back number that would be answered for that company.
    We had the caller id set up so that all outgoing calls would show a generic name such as central monitoring or central dispatch. For the companies that we did not have a phone answering service set up for, we would provide a call back number that would be answered as ‘central monitoring’,  ‘central dispatch’ or something generic.
    The alarm events were set up in that data entry so that when any alarm signal was received that required an operator action, the name of the alarm company was always identified, so for each specific event we acted as if we were that company.
    It has been a number of years since I worked at a 3rd party central station, but I can only assume that things haven’t changed, that most would still try to personalize the service so that it would reflect as the service of the dealer and not the central station.
    Thank you for a great forum,
Rick Drake
Emergency Response Center Manager
American Burglary & Fire, Inc.
Fenton, Missouri  
    I feel there is some confusion that needs to be resolved.  Here is how most wholesale or third party monitoring works today.
For outbound calls to Agencies and Subscribers 99% of the calls  are made in the dealers name, a call to an agency would sound like this” This is Operator 1234 with (insert dealer name) and I am calling to report a residential burglary alarm at (insert name and address) Everything is done in the dealers name and despite Robbie’s description of hiding behind it that’s what the independent dealers want and expect.  They are the local presence and normally want to manage problems or service, they are also contractually responsible for fines and fees associated with false alarms not the contract central stations which only makes sense since central stations don’t have any ability to service systems.
There are some exceptions to this where because of licensing and billing regulations we have to call under the central station names but these are few and far between.
For inbound calls to the central stations this will vary a little bit, some centers only use one call back number, this is answered generically like Central Station or Operations, others will offer customized vanity numbers where each dealer can have a separate call back number that’s answered in the dealers name,  most have a combination of both.
It’s very easy today to vary the outbound caller ID from modern phone switches and it can be controlled on a call by call basis, there are many times where outbound caller ID is varied when calling agencies and subscribers.  There are several reasons it is changed but primarily its so that calls back to the central station can be routed effectively to the correct group or facility, the second reason why is that most calls from central stations to subscribers are made to cell phones, cell phones don’t display caller names only caller numbers so by changing the caller ID to a local area code that rings in the central station the subscribers pick up the calls better.
I think it’s important for agencies to understand that varying the Caller ID is not to hide behind or some other subversive act it’s to help fulfill the mission of protecting life and property and getting the right people connected as quickly as possible.
There are a lot of different business cases and uses for separate phone numbers, for dial-up alarms, central station call back numbers, panel downloading,  answering services etc. It’s important to partner with a central station that can meet those business needs.  In all cases the dealers need to make sure that they are on their own toll free numbers for all of this that way they can be moved when needed or the business is sold.
It should also be noted that the majority of central stations are using virtual receivers for dial up so there is no more number of accounts to a phone number and line card ratio or relationship, each pair of phone numbers will be able to support the maximum number of account available in the range, 9999 for 4 digit, 999999 for 6 digit and 65000 for DMP and 9999999999 for 10 digit CID. As long as the central station has the required capacity the range or number of accounts on a phone number is irrelevant now.
Hopefully this clears up the confusion for most contract centers , if not let me know.
All the best.
Morgan Hertel, VP of Operations
Rapid Response Monitoring
    I stand corrected.  Thanks to all who contributed and especially Morgan from Rapid Response who sort of gave us the heads up from the horse's mouth.