Dealing with Objections to Your Contract Provisions
April 26, 2013
I had two great questions on this topic, prepared a great response, and lost the article before saving it. So here's what I remember.
There are basically two categories of objections that you will face. Legal and business. You should be able to handle the business end - just be careful to know what you're agreeing to. Legal objections however should be referred to me, or another attorney familiar with alarm contracts, at least until you become adept at knowing what you can and can't change in the contract.
Business issues are easily identifiable. Hours of service calls come to mind. The Standard Form Contracts provide for service within 36 hours of request, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Your subscriber demands service within 3 hours 24/7 and you want to agree to that, no problem. The amount you're charging, the equipment you're providing and installing and the services you're rendering are all business issues.
What are the typical objections to the Standard Form Contract provisions, and how can you handle them?
There are a number of provisions that I like to refer to as "protective provisions". These should be changed only with care, and usually after consulting me until you feel comfortable knowing what to change. These come to mind:
indemnity clause - you can omit it, provided your E&O policy doesn't require you to have a specific contract to trigger coverage for a claim.
exculpatory clause - you can add that you'll be responsible for damage caused by your employees while working on the premises.
limitation of liability clause - you can raise the limit and you can also exclude damage caused by your employees while working on the premises.
insurance procurement clause - you can omit the paragraph
security interest - you can omit the paragraph
non-solicitation and employment paragraph - you can omit it
If in doubt, contact me. There is usually no charge for a quick consult and even if I have to review a contract marked up by your subscriber or its attorney and have to negotiate changes the charges are nominal [certainly nominal to the charges you may face if you make changes that later expose you to liability]
Another question asked of me was what contracts were needed. Start at the top. if you do commercial fire the Fire All in One is the best contract. For other alarms, the Residential All in One of the Commercial All in One. With both of these be sure to use the Disclaimer Notice. The second part of this question, as I recall, was pricing and where to get the contracts. I think of the old Mad Magazines. The price was 24 cents Cheap. Well the Standard Form Contract are $$$$ Cheap. You get them at www.alarmcontracts.com.
TO SUBMIT QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS REPLY TO THIS EMAIL OR EMAIL Ken@Kirschenbaumesq.com. Most comments and questions get circulated.