Question - should you identify what you're monitoring



How important is it to identify the monitoring conditions (what we are going to monitor for the customer, i.e., intrusion, fire, CO, PERS) in the contract?  If it is omitted in the agreement by accident and have to go to court, what kind of risk did we open ourselves up to?

Any help in this matter would be helpful.

Thank you.





Very important.  See response to question below


central stations and more on Monitronics


Hi Ken,

    Thanks for the webinar today.  I may finally have a commercial burg.  Hotel customer with a leasing option so i will be contacting Eileen soon hopefully to do the combo regular commercial  contract  with the  lease combo.

    I saw this article and I would assume Monitronics did not have your contract nor your defense, but it may open pandora's box,  with other  state's ruling in similar fashion.

There were many issues here to learn from.  I have 2 questions on  this



1) Where does the Central Station's responsibility end?  Going  through the contact numbers once, leaving messages or do they actually have to  keep calling until then get in touch with the subscriber?


2) What can you do to protect yourself from the Central Station's representative's talking too about much where they should just stick to  Central Station responsibilities. Now in my case i have Rapid so I should be  ok since they have your contract.


3) This makes for a very compelling argument for Video Verification or at the very least Video Monitoring in the home.


4) Since this account was a take over account- what should we be careful of when taking over an account?  I try not to use existing equipment  because I cannot vouch for it but there is one home that I have so I am  covered now with your residential contract on this issue?  I know you  just updated it

but I have the version from last year. Thanks for doing these webinars. You really are great for the industry!





    It's the dealer - installer that's suppose to enter into the contract with the subscriber - and that includes monitoring.      Even though it's the wholesale central station doing the monitoring, it's the dealer who has the contract.  Many central stations want their own contract signed, and that's sound policy (though my dealer contracts cover the central station too).  The subscriber's contract should identify the system and the services.  It should specify the type of alarm services, such as intrusion or fire, and the contract should clearly explain the alarm company's monitoring obligations.  The dealer should make sure that its central station has a written policy on how to respond to alarm signals - and the dealer needs to know that policy and make sure that the dealer's contract is not inconsistent with that policy and procedure.  For example, you can't put in your dealer monitoring contract that alarm operators will remain on the line until police arrive if the central station's procedure do not call for or even permit that service.  Subscribers may need to know that a fire signal results in immediate dispatch; no call confirmation until after dispatch.  Spelling out the procedure can avoid a lot of confusion and complaints later on.

    Central stations make mistakes; their operators make mistake.  That's one great reason for properly written alarm contracts and carrying E&O insurance.  Selecting the right central station is your responsibility.  You're with Rapid, and thus less likely to have operator error.  They know they have to answer to Jeff Atkins, and he's no push over.  You've made a great choice.  The other central stations on The Alarm Exchange are also reputable solid central stations and I recommend them all.  If you're central station isn't on The Alarm Exchange then you should be wondering why - and switch.

    Video Verification is today's best verification.  The webinar presentation by Keith Jentoff - president of Videofied was terrific; a clear demonstration why you should be offering and installing Videofied's video verification.  Keith also let us know that Videofied cameras can be accessed for viewing by the subscriber, making it truly interactive.

    As far as take overs, remember that once you take over the account it's yours and you are the responsible alarm company.  Get those systems into compliance and be certain to document any deficiencies that the subscriber insists on living with.  If the system is a mandatory fire alarm system then walk away if the subscriber refuses to pay for a compliant system.  

    Oh, and regarding your other observation - no I wasn't on the Monitronics defense team and I my contract was not in use.  Maybe next time.