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Are you in the alarm monitoring business? You should be 

October 18, 2021
Are you in the alarm monitoring business? You should be
          I get a lot of inquiry asking which Standard Form Agreement should be used for particular systems and services.  I’m often informed that “we don’t do monitoring”.  I have a 100% consistent response rate when I ask, “wait a minute, do you contract for monitoring and then have a professional central station do the monitoring?”  The answer is always “yes”. 
          Most of you don’t operate a central station.  Signals from systems you install go either to:
  *  the customer’s smart phone
  *  a professional central station
  *  both customer smart phone and central station
  *  no-where because it’s monitored by customer internally, or it’s not monitored at all
          When systems communicate you are usually charging for monitoring, professional monitoring or self-monitoring.  I know  there are services that offer some monitoring through the internet where there is no monthly charge, but I assume most of you don’t favor that system since there is no RMR opportunity.  Even if it’s self-monitoring and going through a service, such as, there is a monthly charge.  Presumably you are coming up with a RMR rate that provides some profit.  That puts you in the monitoring business,
          In fact if you are providing any monitoring and charging the customer for monitoring, you are in the monitoring business.  In fact you are in the monitoring business lock stock and barrel.  Why do I say that?  Because not only are you
  *  contracting for the monitoring service
  *  charging and invoicing the customer for the monitoring service
  *  in many cases the “face” of the monitoring service since you’re the only alarm co the customer knows
  *  the one taking the heat for customer complaints about the monitoring services
  *  the one who has to fix any problem regarding alarm operation, including the communication of signals
  *  and here’s the one that made me say “lock stock and barrel”, you’ve agreed to indemnify the central station who is actually doing the monitoring service in the event there is a loss and the central station is sued [along with you in just about every case].
          So, you’re contracting for monitoring, charging and getting paid for it, installing it, fixing it, handling complaints about it and responsible to the customer if customer can recover damages for monitoring failure.  That puts you in the monitoring business.  Be thankful that someone else actually has the headache of opening, running, staffing and keeping the central station facility up to date with technology.
          By the way, I may as well remind you about contracts.  The All in One does cover monitoring; be sure you are using a Standard Form Agreement – almost always the All in One.  It protects you and the central station.  You have already or will sign a central station Dealer Agreement.  Be sure to get our Rider for the Dealer Agreement.  It addresses the issues that should be important to you, though getting some of the issues resolved the way you want them is your responsibility during negotiations, but at least you’ll see the issues.

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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