KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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More on carriers settling claims / More on Alarmnet
August 10, 2019
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More on carriers settling claims
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Ken,
            I have a situation whereby a customer refused to test or maintain their home alarm system that we monitored but did NOT install. They ignored my letters of updating their system, testing their system every 30 days, installing smoke detectors in the basement and installing a cell radio rather than a modem line. I send out a newsletter every 6 months addressing these issues. Our central station stated they had not received any tests or activations for over 3 years
            Long story short, the customer had a fire in the house by the electrical panel and the alarm did not call out. I received a law suit stating that I was responsible. I sent this matter to our insurance company along with a copy of your signed Central Office Monitoring Contract.
            It’s in the hands of the insurance company. My insurance company also raised my premium by $21,000 even though they did not pay out on that claim.
Larry S
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Response
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            Sounds like you should be out of that lawsuit before the file has time to accumulate dust.  Also before the defense attorneys have time to run up a bill, and that’s not going to happen.  The legal fee the carrier incurs is charged against your loss run.  You should have insisted that I be engaged to handle the claim or consult with the defense attorneys. 
            Your scenario is not that unique, unfortunately.  I’m guessing that despite all the notices you sent that the system needed repair, you continued to invoice the customer and the customer continued to make payment.  Also, the central station let you know there was no activity for 3 years, yet it too continued to charge and receive payment.  Technically both you and the central station complied with your contract with the subscriber, but it may be a hard sell to a judge.  Your letters to the subscriber regarding the need for the system to be repaired probably should have been reviewed, if not written, by me.  The letters may have eventually been rather blunt:  “Your system is not working; contractually it’s your obligation to request and pay for repair, and you owe all money coming due under the contract whether the system is working or not”.  
            I think alarm companies forget that their carriers are their vendors; you’re the customer.  You don’t have to sit passively by while the defense of your case goes sideways.  Hard to believe, but claims representatives at the carrier are sensitive to customer inquiries and demands, especially when the customer is correct in complaining.
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More on Alarmnet
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Ken,
    In response to Anonymous that was concerned about AlarmNet not allowing activation of existing 3G/4G radios and did not receive any notification, we did receive this notification from Alarmnet that they would no longer allow re-activation of these devices after June 26th.  This announcement from Alarmnet is below. The announced sunset date of the GSM 3G/4G service is expected to be February of 2022.  At that time, it is expected that the GSM 3G/4G communicators will no longer work. This means the industry has less than 2 1/2 years to visit every customer location with a GSM radio and replace with an LTE upgrade. While not formally announced, it is expected that the CDMA version of this old technology will also sunset 8 to 10 months later in December of 2022. Our company stopped reactivating any 3G/4G radios when the replacement LTE units were made available.  
    ​While I understand Anonymous concerns that, not long ago,  they purchased equipment that will still function until the sunset, we did not want to keep digging that hole with units that will have to be replaced in the near term.  If this goes anything like the original 2G sunset, our customers began experiencing radio failures long before the announced sunset date, as the carriers did not make repairs or upgrades necessary to keep the old technology working, so the timeline is likely even less than the announced dates for some service areas.  
     â€‹Considering there are hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of radios that will need to be replaced with the new technology, I anticipate there to be a lot of movement on the part of the manufacturers to compete for not only the equipment sale, but the monthly transport fee.  So we may see significant reductions in cost for both, as manufacturers battle for this share of the market.  Availability of labor, on the other hand, may prove difficult for many customers, as each upgrade will require a visit to the customer site.  I would think that this will also start to affect the selling price of companies that have a large standing of 3G/4G technology deployed in the field that would need to be upgraded at significant cost.
Vince Raia, President
EMC Security
Suwanee, GA 
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Ken
            It’s Not just Honeywell, If you order from ADI they will tell you their stock is low on old radios If you call any tech support they will tell you once you turn the radio off  you have to use LTE, all radios will go out by 2021 and this why the lower their price of radios to get you to change. I use IP Data-Tel UP Link, and Honeywell, Its not right but guess what you will see it all over again in 2025  
CC
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Ken,
            I should have also said that this only applies to the AT&T network, the Verizon network can still be activated.
Thanks,
Terry C
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Ken,
            I am having the same issues.  My customers don’t want to hear that they have to be charged to change the unit. We were told the 4G would be around for some time and now I am faced to replace the radios.
 Just wanted to let you know.
Paul G 
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Ken,
            In reference to ” Anyone having trouble with Honeywell cellular radio communicators / Comment on notice of claim” I can’t speak for anonymous, but I have been notified several time by Honeywell/resideo of the pending 4G sunset and the fact that AT&T will no longer allow 4G registrations.
Ron
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Ken
            Alarm companies have been put on notice by Honeywell and AlarmNet as to the end-of-life date for GSM radios and also as to when AlarmNet will no longer accept registering GSM radios.  This topic has been a current topic in the alarm industry for a long time and I can’t imagine any alarm company not being aware of it.  In addition Honeywell is offering a $20 rebate for the rest of this year for anyone who replaces a 3G/4G GSM radio with a new LTE radio.
Bruce from Florida
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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
ken@kirschenbaumesq.com
www.KirschenbaumEsq.com