Ken - 
    Here are a few ways to combat DIY systems: 

  • Verified Response is feared by DIY. DIY systems rely on a police response. I doubt they will continue to charge $15 per month, on a month to month contract, when they are getting bills from a private guard company. 
  • DIY can't compete with a professional install. Everyone can paint a house, but there are millions of professional painting companies out there. Consumers will pay extra for professionalism. (No ugly transmitters stuck on clients doors and ugly wires ran across walls. Also, CLEAN UP YOUR MESSES!)
  • Provide fast service response. Make sure your clients are dependent upon you. Never tell your client, "You can do it yourself." 
  • Customer appreciation saves customers. Throwing in a key fob, extra opening, or just an extra yard sign, shows your clients that you appreciate them. 

Roger D. Score, President
Arizona Alarm Dealers Association
    I am not sure your perception of the issue is on target.  I have to ask.  Why combat DIY?  Surely that can't be the only game plan.  Those that write on this topic have most likely done far more research and investigation than I have [I haven't done any], but I do talk to a few alarm people a week.  So here's my two bits.
    I think DIY is going to target residential markets.  In the US about 15% of so of homes have professionally installed alarm systems.  [some even work].  Traditional alarm companies, those selling within a geographical market in close proximity to their place(s) of business, often compete for the same customers within this 15% marketplace, some of whom are new homes and some switching alarm companies.  That leaves 85% of the residential market without alarms.  My guess is that a good part of this 85% is lower end housing where professionally installed alarm systems or $39 a month for monitoring is a financial drain, perhaps costly enough to be considered a non affordable luxury.  But DIY offers the allure of a more affordable alarm service.  Certainly if the DIY company can figure out a way to sell and ship the equipment at cost then the monitoring service is all gravy.  Calculate the spread between the sub's monitoring charge and the central station charge, plus cost of invoicing the sub, and you have your gross profit.
    If the DIY system is a bunch of stick up devices communicating to a panel that plugs into the computer or phone line, the average subscriber may just be able to install it and monitoring is being done by the same central stations that monitor professionally installed systems.  The same ECV and other verification processes are available.  Some of these DIY systems may also employ auto text messaging, email or communication to sub's cell phone for MIY [monitor it yourself] service.  
    So I think you are correct to be concerned about DIY impinging upon traditional alarm company's business model, but we may in fact be talking about a different customer base and different business model.  DIY systems will impact traditionally installed systems on a monitoring level because police and fire departments are not going to differentiate between self or professionally installed when the same central station is calling in the alarm.  
    I see this as the industry evolving.  I think the customer base will grow.  I think alarm companies will make more money.  So get on the band wagon and figure out new ways to grow your business too.  For those who want to be in the DIY business, it's a nationwide target and you'll need license compliance and alarm contracts that protect you nationwide.  Contact our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312 for assistance.