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On-line terms and conditions as a contract / Free Webinar
September 17, 2018
Special Notice
Date changed to 9/20.  Free Webinar on September 20, 2018 for New York businesses - sexual harassment training seminar 
    For those who haven't heard, prior to January 1, 2019  ALL NY EMPLOYERS must train all employees on Sexual Harassment.  New York DOL has put out a simple overview available here, which also contains simple sample policies -  
    The draft policies provided by the state are template and do not contain the legally required complaint form.   
    What's involved: disseminating somewhat specific paperwork, setting up reporting procedures and actually holding a training.  
    If you prefer the customized policies or for us to help with training, contact Taryn at (516) 747-6700 x. 310 or by email at  
    Join Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum's Employment Law Department today, September 18, 2018 at 12 to 1 PM  for a Webinar on how to train.  We also will discuss how K&K is available to train by webinar or in person on this topic.  
Register here -   

Free Webinar:  September 27, 2018. 12 to 1 PM EST.    Round table discussion on preparing your company for sale [we may get to buying considerations too].  Business brokers and consultants will join the discussion.  Mitch Reitman, Robert Shoremount, Barry Epstein and Rory Russell are our Round Table Experts.  Join us by reserving your spot:  Click here:
On-line terms and conditions as a contract
    I enjoy your daily emails shared by nearly all of us here in the office. The question arose as to the viability and legality of so many pers and alarm companies selling on-line using the "Must agree to terms and conditions" check box. While the terms and conditions I have reviewed appear to be alarm or pers sales or rental and monitoring contracts, can the simple check box agreeing to terms and conditions stand up in court and protect the company? 
    Also, some of these folks are doing national accounts, but the terms and conditions claim the contract or agreement is pursuant to Pennsylvania or any other state law. Can this hold up when there may be varying auto renewal laws as well as right to rescind terms in various states?  I look forward to your expert opinion on these questions. 
Christopher C. Yanic, Sales Manager
Better Security
Billings Montana
    Your question arrived the same day I decided to check on-line searches for alarm contracts.  I was surprised to find so many "forms" on line.  Many were forms posted by alarm companies, not sure why.  Others were forms offered by companies that market generic forms, not particularly suited for the alarm industry, and at least one site looked remarkably like my website, with a listing of many of the forms that I offer, at least similar names.  That's the one that bothered me.  The lawyer didn't even try to change the format.  But here's why this is relevant to your question.
    You can call a document anything you want, just like you can call an apple a pear.  But that doesn't make it so.  Do you really think every "Alarm Monitoring Contract" or "Alarm Contract" reads the same?  Even a lawyer with no originality or shame imitating another would not copy another lawyer's contract verbatim.  [at least I don't think so, especially when the contract is copywrited, as mine are].  
    Alarm contracts, and I use the term loosely because there are many different contract forms that need to be used in the industry because there are so many different types of customers and services, require customization.  Residential contracts in particular need to meet consumer laws applicable in each state.  When you get a form from anywhere else besides WWW.ALARMCONTRACTS.COM do you think you are getting a form that is compliant with your state and local laws?  So you think whoever is selling those forms has the staffing to ensure up to date contracts for all the services that you offer; for all the new technology that keeps being developed?  My office is engaged in contract review and changes on a daily basis.  That's right, daily.  So, go ahead and get a form off the Internet from a "form business" or a lawyer who markets forms.  When you find out it doesn't work for you, that you didn't get the protection or value you hoped for, you're still welcome to get what you need at  Please don't bother to ask me to read what you bought elsewhere; I'm not impressed and not interested; and I'm not giving you a credit for the money you wasted.
    You are correct that PA law can't apply in all instances.  Consumer laws require that the state where the consumer resides govern many if not most consumer issues, such as warranty periods, indemnity provisions, exculpatory issues.  In other words, all of the provisions that are essential and you require in a properly drafted alarm contract.  The Standard Form Agreements are checked regularly for each state law for compliance.  You can't have one contract that fits all states, and you can't have one contract that fits all services and customers.  
    Alarm companies that engage in multi-states or nationwide need to comply with the laws in each state.  If you think you can rely on the state where your office is located, you can't.  So when you get a "form" that's not a Kirschenbaum 
TM contract, be sure to ask if the law in every state and jurisdiction was checked just before the form was sent to you. That's how we do it, and that's why more alarm companies in the United States use our Standard Form Agreements than any other forms that are out there on the Internet.  
    Sorry if I didn't answer you directly.  Sometimes I have to vent.  OK, I'll calm down and answer at least this.  You can have a check box contract, if done correctly.  Courts have ruled on the issue.  However, I do want to caution you.  The contract provisions that were at issue were not "protective" clauses that courts would prefer to render unenforceable.  Check box signatures may be construed as not calling enough attention to the protective provisions, leading to refusal to enforce the provision.  So if you use a check box for signature I've recommended more rather than less check boxes.  

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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
516 747 6700