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Why should you really care how stupid your competitors are?
October 31, 2017
Why should you really care how stupid your competitors are?
    Why should you really care how stupid your competitors are?  Doesn't their stupidity help your business rather than cause you problems?  That's what you'd think.  
    What's got me so ryled up today?  I am consulting on a very large defense case where the fire alarm company didn't notice during their inspections that a sprinkler pipe was in an unheated area.  Of course there was a freeze up and water flowed for a day before discovered.  The fire alarm company also didn't get emergency contact information, so the central station was unable to reach the subscriber when the fire alarm signal came in.  The fire alarm zone wasn't specific, so the central station wasn't able to let the fire department know that there was running water that caused the alarm.  OK, so these are common mistakes.      So why's this so interesting?
    Well, this fire alarm company also didn't use a proper contract; it bearly used any contract.  A one page letter agreement that said the fire alarm company would do this and the subscriber would pay that.  not one "protective provision".  It's 2017 folks.  I've written several thousand articles on this.  What rock has this fire alarm compay been hiding under?  This is just plain stupid; the owners of this company are idiots.
    Why should you care?  Well there is a serious lawsuit pending and there is going to be serious money paid out, yes I am sure by the idiot's insurance company, though the damages exceed the 5 million policy.  Again, why should you care?  
    The real plaintiff is the insurance carrier who paid the loss to the subscriber [whose share of blame is yet to be factored in, but will likely significantly reduce the damage].  There should be no recovery here because a proper contract would have provided all the defense needed to win the case; probably enough to deter the case having been brought in the first place.  Now you have an insurance carrier [it's subrogation department] that's going to score big time; so is it's subrogation lawyers, who by the way work on contingency.  You think this won't affect you?  You're wrong.
    Cases like this encourage lawsuits against alarm companies.  It encourages challenges to the contracts and the laws that protect alarm companies.  It makes insurance carrier leery about insuring the alarm industry, and it causes increases in premuims and tighening of underwriting considerations.  It gives the alarm industry a bad name.
    So, let me conclude today by simply reminding you that if you do ANY fire alarm work, you need to use a proper contract, and my bet is that doesn't include the one you're using.  Unless you have the Standard Fire All in One [for commercial fire] and the Residential All in Onewith copyrights after 2016, you should update.  And, if you don't  have the Standard Form Agreementor it's older than 2013, then my 3 year old grandson has a word to describe you.  It's "stupid".  
    Show him how smart you are and update your contract today at  
Call our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda for assistance or to find out if your contract needs updating.  Her number is 516 747 6700 x 312.  By the way, if you're not using our standard form agreements and you want to find out if your form is OK, call my grandson, he will let you know what he thinks [and so will I]


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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