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Comment on Should you join Concierge Program   
July 8, 2023
Comment on Should you join Concierge Program from article on June 19, 2023
          We all need help convincing our clients to sign your contracts. I’ve had clients refuse and todays comments reminded me.  We’re sending out a newsletter that includes a brief paragraph about the contracts mentioning the benefits to our clients.              Any help would be appreciated. 
          As the Captain told Cool Hand Luke, “What we got here is a failure to communicate.”
          You should not be sending out a newsletter explaining the alarm contracts.  You should refrain from explaining the alarm contracts to your customers unless you are asked a specific question that does not call for a conclusion of law or legal advice.  So if asked how long the contract commitment is for you can answer 1,3 or 5 years or just say that is in paragraph X.  If you’re asked why is the limitation of liability $250 you can simply confirm that yes, it’s $250.  You’re not a lawyer [unless you are and left the practice and went into the alarm business] and you can go on and on with explanation but the longer you talk the more likely you’re going to say something that your customer will later recall as contradicting the contract term. 
          I like my analogy that people don’t expect to negotiate the car rental agreement at the airport, the terms of airline travel, even what you agree to when going to the movies.  What makes them think that your carefully drafted contract form is up for grabs and discussion; it’s not a beginning negotiating document.  One good point is that every legitimate alarm company is going to be using the same [exact] contract, a contract that is a remarkably similar contract, or a contract that if they bother reading they would consider more onerous and less transparent.  What, you can inquire, is the point of doing business with someone who runs his alarm business out of truck or garage and doesn’t use contracts?  Could they possibly be more comfortable with “that guy”? 
          Unless your business model is mass marketing, door to door, “here’s the contract, sign or I moving on to your neighbor and can’t hold the price or schedule”, you are going to have contract challenges from all kinds of customers, but large commercial accounts with law firms come to mind.  They won’t be asking the dumb question, “why”.  They won’t be basing their argument on “I don’t understand this provision”.  What they will claim is that their legal department won’t let them sign agreements with these provisions [the only ones who really mean that are the municipalities, where laws apply].  That’s when you need the Concierge Program.  If I can save one account a year the program pays for itself, I am likely [statistically 95%] going to make the deal and save the account.  As matter of fact, if we don’t make the deal it’s going to be because you decided not to take the risk, not me; my job is only to explain the risks to you.
          I happen to believe in the contract terms and the contract presentation [the way it clearly conveys the alarm company’s very limited liability for losses].  I am confident that the contract terms are supported overwhelmingly by the law and cases repeatedly and consistently decided in all courts in all states [and if not at lower level then on appeal].  The law is clearly on your side, so why are you so hesitant, even embarrassed, by the contract terms?  That hesitancy is being conveyed to your customer at time of sale and at time of contract discussion.  It’s the same hesitancy that you would convey if talking to the customer’s contract negotiator, lawyer or not; a blank stare might describe you better.  Your job does not include being the company lawyer and keeping up with all the legal stuff that your business has to consider and face daily, from contract language, consumer rights, employment issues, warranty issues, license issues, taxes [I’m making myself sick].  Guess what, I can’t keep up with all that, especially without the help of my knowledgeable staff and without the input and feedback from all of you.  Of course Mitch, when it comes to taxes.  The Concierge Program brings all of that to you and it’s a lot cheaper than employing your own house counsel or private law firm.
          So that’s why you should join.  I just saved you the expense of your legal newsletter.

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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