I was at a friend’s house who has a contract from another dealer who uses one of your contracts and I noticed the lease term is 7 years.  Is that valid in New York state? 
    I know my All in One Residential Sales Agreement is for 5 years.
    The All in One Residential Agreements are for 5 years.  The All in One Commercial Agreements are for 10 years.  Older forms had 7 years for commercial.  In New York, and most if not all other jurisdictions, there is no specific term limit.  However, if you exceed a term that makes sense you will have trouble enforcing it, especially on the consumer contracts.  
    Looking at providing company owned systems to my customers, both residential and commercial.  On fire as well.  I have all three of those All in Ones.  Not specifically doing a leased system, in that there is no buyout and I always own the system.  Do my contracts that I’ve purchased cover me, or do I need to purchase something additional?
    The residential, commercial and commercial fire All in One Agreements come in Sale and Lease format.  On sale you are obviously selling the equipment.  In the lease you are placing your equipment on the subscriber's location, leasing that equipment.  There is no buy out option in my forms because I am concerned with the transaction being construed as a "conditional sale" which may invoke other legal issues not addressed in the forms.  No buy out option means that there is no $1 payment, or any other payment, the subscriber can make at the end of the term.  The alarm company can always agree to abandon the equipment at the end of the lease term, and I suppose the subscriber could always agree to buy the equipment, but that purchase decision should not be part of the original lease.
    Regarding the MA AG and Comcast, the ME Electrician’s examining board (EEB) (it never went to court) made a similar decision a few years ago when Time Warner and Comcast first introduced their security and home automation products.  The installing technicians are frequently subcontractors who have been hired to troubleshoot and repair cable, internet and telephone products but in some instances they are actual employees.  They have no formal security training, are low paid, and unlicensed.  Some of us took the time to present to the EEB arguments that they should be held to the same standards that established security companies are and that the EEB has not only offered a competitive edge to the cable companies, but they have also lowered the standards in the industry as the installers for Comcast and Time Warner do not have any experience and what they call a security system offers a false promise to the consumer if improperly designed and installed.  Based on what I have seen from the installations they have done, I think most consumers who actually need their security system and the value proposition delivered by their security company will realize eventually that a cable company might not be the best choice for them.  Maybe they will also step up their game.  Time will tell.
    As one example of a cable company installed system, I walk tested a system installed by one of them for a customer who had called me as she was unhappy with her system.  Her two doors and one motion left her vulnerable to the extent that I walked from her unprotected main entry into the house ( mudroom door in from her garage) and directly into her bedroom where the controller was located on her night stand.  She called the company seeking to cancel her contract and they held her accountable for the balance of the three year contract.  I counseled her as to how to demand the proper number of detection devices from them as a viable option to preserving her credit and getting the security that she deserved.  Worse than that is this second issue.  I have a retirement community in which I have about 450 systems and as a cost cutting measure, many of the residents wanted to switch to digital phones.  Because Comcast had previously been unable to convert any of my accounts to their security offerings, every time they switched a client over to digital phones, they intentionally did not reconnect the new phone service to the alarm panel.  Every system they touched came up late to test.  As these systems have medical buttons, sprinkler water flow, smoke detection, CO detection and low temp sensors in the riser rooms, I feel they put every resident directly in harm’s way.  They refused to remedy the issues so we had to go out and tie the phones back into every panel. 
    In terms of DIY, there are some ticking time bombs on that front as well.  The DIY companies are great at putting product into the hands of consumers.  The price points are hard to beat and I’ve heard the telephone support is really good.  However, when a truck needs to roll, they have limited options.  Yes, there are some subs around who will work on DIY systems but if parts are needed there are not many options.  I took a call a few weeks ago from DIY consumer whose control panel had failed.  The solution provided by the DIY seller was to ship the controller back so they could troubleshoot and repair or replace it.  They told him it would take a week or more.  That was not the right answer for him so we ended up removing the system and replacing it for him so that he could get the kind of service he was looking for after the sale. 
Michael Major
    The COMNCAST system as sold is a complete PLUG AND PLAY with no wiring required. The Ac transformer goes into a wall outlet. and the customer plugs in a wireless GATEWAY at their Comcast router. The panel then talks to the router through the gateway. All other devices talk to the panel over Z wave or WiFi. The door contacts are stick on.  (((For a while)))
    The big rub comes in if COMCAST installs a gateway module to the customers legacy system by moving the wires from the old panel to the new module.  Using tools and doing wiring now requires a license in CT as electrical work.  (If it is not out yet, HOLD ON. Its coming.)
    In Mass they have a SECURITY LICENSE (S) which requires an electrical license AND a background check. The company maintains the S License and each employee must carry a "certificate of clearance" card.
SO COMCAST is providing SECURITY SYSTEMS but since they agreed to not CALL THEM SECURITY SYSTEMS they are allowed to circumvent the law?  Sounds fishy.....
    Also COMCAST in CT  when using company EMPLOYEES are exempt from licensing as a "REGULATED UTILITY"  Their subcontractors however are NOT covered and MUST BE LICENSED. Therefore the company that SUBS to Comcast MUST be E1 , L5 or C5 licensed and each EMPLOYEE of the subcontractor must be E2, L6, or C6 licensed.  (To be a SUB CONTRACTOR you must FIRST be a CONTRACTOR.)
    Sounds like someone in the AGs office does not know how to interpret the license requirements enacted by the legislature in 1990.  This is not uncommon as you have seen in other areas of the alarm trade..I am sure you know of insurance companies that do not understand the requirements of the trades they insure and are quick to pay claims rather than litigate the winners.
    From under my desk where it is safe.
 Joel Kent