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can alarm company cancel contract at will and then what
April 9,  2022
can alarm company cancel contract at will and then what
     We are using the Residential All in One contract form. Can the Alarm Company legally cancel the contract, at will?
     Here is a summary of a scenario we are having. We installed a burglar alarm system for a subscriber’s vacation home. Recently a family member moved in and requested three cameras to the system. The subscriber has not paid for the cameras and the Supplemental Rider has not been signed yet.
The family member calls in constantly because of paranoia about people hacking into his internet and security system. He is very rude and unreasonable to our staff. The subscriber wants us to transfer the contract to the family member, so that he does not have to deal with it. I am refusing to do that.
At this point I just want to wash my hands of the situation and cancel the services. Do I have the legal right to do that and remove the new cameras?
name withheld
     You cannot cancel the Standard Alarm Contracts at any time and for no reason. I suspect such a provision might render the entire contract unenforceable because it becomes illusory; both parties would have to have the right to cancel at any time. It's almost like the terminate for convenience clauses that we see, especially from municipalities.
     You should not have installed the cameras without a contract in place.  Seems like you used the Supplemental Rider, though that form is really for add-ons during initial installation or shortly thereafter. Your "add-on" [my terminology, not yours] was really an upgrade or new installation; a new All in One would have been the better option for a contract; you would have provided for a new term [5 years]. But the cameras are in and you don't have any contract for them.
     You cannot remove the cameras. You sold them to the subscriber. Once installed you cannot remove your equipment just because it wasn't paid for. You could file a UCC-1 Financing Statement and then foreclose your Security Interest, but that's much too costly and complicated for 3 cameras.
     So you can't cancel for no reason, but you can terminate the contract for the subscriber's breach of the contract. The subscriber hasn't paid for the cameras, and even though you didn't get the camera sale in writing you can likely call the All in One in default. If there isn't a monetary default it's more than likely that the subscriber has not named you as an additional insured on his liability policy, and that is a non-curable breach of the All in One, permitting you to call the contract into default.
      Since the subscriber asked that you transfer the contract to the family member it's likely that the subscriber will also permit you to terminate if you request termination. By the way, while the family member may be paranoid about hacking, he may be entirely correct to be concerned about hacking.   
     Luckily the All in One also deals with encryption and hacking issues, none of which are your responsibility unless you also provide and sell encryption security service, an option on some versions of the All in One.

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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