QUESTIONS ON RESIDENTIAL AGREEMENT
Our company just received the Residential All-In-One Contract and are pleased with its thoroughness. We do have a couple questions:
First, is it permissable for us to generate a checklist that highlights some key features of the contract, such as the length of the contract and not being liable for obsolete communication paths. The intent of the checklist would be to inform customers of key provisions that would most likely affect them. The checklist would clearly state the it is not a contract and is subservient to the contract.
Second, why is the contact list needed? We contract with a central station and they have their own form for this information.
Third, we do not provide runner or guard service. Should we remove those sections or should we strike them out with a pen.
Finally, the contract states that we are not an Internet and Phone Provider, which is not the case for us. Should the wording in the contract be changed?
Thank you for your help. Your contracts and newsletters are a great asset to our business.
I would prefer to remain
Though you can prepare and offer a checklist I don't think it's a great idea, which is why I don't include it or incorporate it with the All in One Agreement. The checklist is not likely to aid in sealing the deal, and in fact may cause more issues for your sales force. So from a marketing standpoint I don't think it's a good idea. A more legal consideration is how are you going to determine which "key features" you're going to include in your checklist? Are those terms that you leave out less important or significant to the subscriber? You mention including in the checklist the term of the agreement and that you're not responsible for obsolete communication pathways; two important issues. Will you also include that you're not responsible for any losses suffered by the subscriber if the alarm doesn't work, even if you're negligent, your subcontractors are negligent or you fail to perform pursuant to the agreement? How about that the subscriber has to procure insurance, naming you an additional insured, and indemnify you against claims? Or that in the event of breach by the subscriber you can accelerate the term and collect 80% without performing further services?
A checklist isn't necessary with the Standard Form Agreements because unlike other forms in use in the industry, these forms are written in clear, concise and easily understood language and prepared in the proper legal font size and include all the consumer law requirements. While there are sure to be provisions the subscriber won't like, at least they will know what the provision means; your explanation could complicate the enforcement of the provision and a checklist is superfluous.
We provide a contact list or call list but we recognize that some central stations will want to use their own form. That's fine.
You would think that if you don't ever offer a particular service then references or options for that service should be removed from the contract form. I suppose that makes sense and it is acceptable to remove those particulars. Runner service and guard service are two such examples. It may be that you will not install cameras, or audio, or any fire components, wireless or hard wired components, etc. While you can remove these items from the Standard Form Agreement be mindful that in more than one document you do offer to provide additional equipment and services. That offer is found in the Standard Form All in One Agreement for residential or commercial, and it's also found in the Disclaimer Notice. Leaving in these services that you don't normally provide emphasizes that the services are indeed available. Keep in mind that even though you don't typically offer the service if the subscriber is willing to pay for the service you most likely can arrange it through a subcontractor. Leaving the options in adds credence to your willingness to provide more and better protection if the subscriber wants to pay for these services.
If you are really an Internet or telephone communication provider then the contract terms should be changed, though the modification is a minor change. Obviously using these communication pathways does not make you a Provider. We made a change in the contracts to accommodate those of you who own the radios and repeater stations, but not for Internet or phone providers.