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Comment on electronic contracts / Subscriber MIA / Notice to customers upon acquisition
December 26, 2020
Comment on electronic contracts from December 15, 2020 article
            In response to “Anonymous” sending out electronic contracts on the 12/15/20 newsletter, I once had an unscrupulous customer (hard to believe, I know) change the term of the agreement, sign, scan and email it back.  A little birdie told me to go over it and I caught the alteration.  Customer was then required to send someone with authority to sign over to my office before I had a chance to call the fire marshal (takeover).  I guess I could have password protected the doc but failed to even think about it.  There are other services that everyone can use.
            If the change was made after you signed the contract the change would not have been effective.  Be careful executing contracts
Subscriber MIA
            I have a subscriber who is under contract for two more years. His communicator went off the grid about a month ago. I’ve attempted to contact him numerous times via phone, email, text, and US mail. He has yet to reach out to me and his communicator and still offline. 
            I still get his monthly monitoring payment every month through his credit card without fail.
            What should I do it’s been two months?
Thank you,
            Keep taking the money.  Send subscriber a letter by regular mail, keeping a copy in your file, that the system is not communicating and requires service.  If you have a service plan offer a suggested date and time for service, though require confirmation.  If you don't hear anything, keep taking the money until the contract expires and then discontinue service.
Notice to customers upon acquisition
            During an acquisition, in most cases, the alarm customer must be notified of the new ownership.
Is there info available indicating which states require notification and what type of notification is required?
            I think you are misinformed; no states that I know of require a customer to be notified of change in ownership of the alarm company.
            You are however correct that in almost every acquisition the seller wants to notify the customers of the change in ownership and it's common for the seller to join in a letter to the customers explaining the change, adding why it's beneficial to the customers.  Both buyer and seller hope for smooth transition after the sale; the buyer because buying and retaining the accounts was the point of the transaction, and the seller because invariably there is a guarantee that accounts will not be lost during the guarantee period.
            The only time notice to the customer is required is when the contract is not assignable without consent of the customer, or otherwise requires notice; that however is a contractual requirement, not statutory.  If anyone knows of a statutory requirement please let us know.

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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