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comments on should you be installing banned equipment / When does contract start 

September 2,  2021
comments on should you be installing banned equipment from article on August 27,  2021
          We were told by federal agencies we work for that we can not use any camera systems manufactured outside the USA. This happened a year and a half ago.
Mike Ski
          Interesting commentary. One point of feedback on "Obviously you can’t hide what equipment you are using". Actually, lots of your clients do hide what they are using / selling. This practice is sometimes called OEMing or relabeling or white labelling but it's a common practice to hide what one is selling.
          What do you think of trying to hide? Legal? Good or bad business practice?
John H
          The National Defense Authorization Act barred Dahua and Hikvision, two of China's leading manufacturers of security cameras.  It prohibits the use of this equipment at federal facilities.  It would be legal for an alarm company to disguise banned equipment and install it surreptitiously [fraudulently may be a better word].   This of course applies to federal agencies who apparently have an unlimited budget, so you should be able to use cameras from other manufacturers, even if much more expensive. 
          You are not barred from using these cameras for other customers in other locations.
When does contract start
          If customer signs 8/1/21 and activates 8/15/21 what is the renewal date? Is it 3 years from 8/15 even though they signed on 8/1?  We are in new construction and often have customers sign 4-6 months ahead of the activation date while at the design center.  s there a date “too far out” when utilizing your agreement?  I want go get 36 months of revenue from activation date and not have a buyer try to get out at 32 months. What do you recommend?
          Interesting question and more complex that you may think, with repercussions you haven't considered.
          There are a few contractual provisions that you refer to and understanding them will be helpful.  This analysis is for the All in One standard forms.
          Date of contract:  That is the date appearing on the top, or bottom, of the contract; it likely is the date the contract is signed by the customer.
          Term:  The printed term for the contracts are 5 years for residential, 10 years for commercial customers.  Apparently you have shortened that term to 3 years, which are permitted to do. 
          Commencement date for RMR charges:  The contract provides that the RMR charges commence on the first day of the month following execution of the contract.  You want to change this so that "commencement" means "date system is installed or activated or perhaps some other criteria".  There is a reason that the contract provides that the term starts on the following first of month.  The reason is that some systems never get installed because the customer reneges, refuses to permit installation or refuses to provide electric or communication pathway needed to complete the installation and activate the system.  These customers, when sued for breach and balance of contract, offer as defense that the RMR charges never started and therefore you are not entitled to recover the 80% balance of the contract term.  To avoid having to deal with this defense the All in One agreements were changes, long time ago, to provide that the RMR charges start on the fixed date, having nothing to do with the actual installation and activation.
          I suspect that most alarm companies and their customers ignore the commencement date provision and start the RMR charges upon activation.  This comes about because the alarm company doesn't start billing until the system is activated and this works in most situations because in most situations there isn't a dispute.
          If you routinely have delayed installations it makes sense to time the term with a commencement date.  You can do this in different ways.  You could change the printed form agreement.  You could override the start of the RMR charges by providing for commencement based on whatever criteria you want, such as activation.  Whether you want to add some provision that your right to the RMR charges for the balance of the term is not subject to activation if no activation is not your fault, is up to you.  I suppose it may be appropriate if this becomes an issue with the customer when the contract is being signed. 

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
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