Comment on CS competing - can smaller companies drive the big player out of business from June 4 2014 article


     I think Dave Currie of Damar Security presents an invalid argument.  He mentioned Tyco owning ADT, but for the longest time, most of their dealers were using Honeywell control panels (at least in this area.)  The bottom line is this:  We all use equipment made by someone.  I suspect at some point in the near future, ADT dealers will be using Tyco (DSC) alarm panels.  And if Tyco is the parent company for both, why shouldn't they?  I use some DSC equipment.  If it came to light that Tyco was supplying their dealers with a superior product or more specifically they started to deliberately distribute an inferior DSC product to not ADT dealers, that would be a serious problem.  Also, I would take umbrage with Tyco if they offered their DSC equipment to ADT dealers at a substantially lower price point to give them an unfair advantage in the market.  
     Rather than cutting each other's throats, I would rather there be an effort on the part of the alarm industry to drive the bigger companies that offer "free" or "$99 special" alarms out of the market.  There is no free lunch.  I've seen their estimates given to customers.  They use an absolute bottom shelf panel and the free part only covers two doors and one motion detector.  Their installers are paid by the job, not by the hour, so they make the same money whether they are in a person's home for three hours or three days.  You tell me: Do they go for speed or accuracy?  I've seen their work, and I'll be kind here.  It never winds up looking like a professional installation.  That obviously isn't the case 100% of the time, but it is more often than not.  Also, and this is a big ALSO:  When a customer needs additional doors or windows covered, they are charged an exorbitant rate to cover those openings.  Many times I have had customers tell me that my estimate came in lower than the one from the "big boys" who started them with a "free" system.  But it gets worse, much worse.  The customer is still stuck with that bottom shelf alarm panel, and they are charged way above what I would consider the industry standard for monitoring.    Don't get me wrong, I don't condemn anyone in the business who is just out there trying to make a buck.  But I do have a problem with some of the underhanded "come on" deals offered by the "big boys."  In the past year, I have lost two customers to an ABC big boy company (I won't mention them by name, but it is the same amount of letters) they came went to the business and offered them what would be a "loss leader" price for a new panel, and the first year's monitoring was less than I pay.  Both of these customers were in the middle of a five year contract with me.  Call me dumb, but I released them from the contract.  Unlike the big boys, I can't afford to have even one ex-customer badmouthing my company.  In both instances, I asked the ex-customer to tell me what the second year and subsequent years rate for monitoring was going to be.  Both didn't know and had to read the contract.  The second and subsequent years they were being charged substantially more than what they were paying with me.  Were these ABC salesmen snake oil salesmen in a previous career?  Maybe they sold used cars and got caught turning back the odometers.  
    As always,
John from NJ

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