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Comments on What you can do about unlicensed competitors
July 24, 2023
Comments on What you can do about unlicensed competitors from article on July 14, 2023
          This is slightly out of my realm, but I don’t seem to recall that IT employees cost that much less than alarm technicians.  I think that I would go back to that job from 4 or 5 years ago and look to see how they undercut your pricing? Did they use crap equipment, did they install the job with all surface wiring and double stick tape? Etc
Bart A. Didden, President
U.S.A. Central Station Alarm Corp.
Port Chester, NY
Milford, CT
St. Paul, MN
Pasco, WA
another comment
          Not that I'm so smart... I am pretty sure that the competitive IT company is not properly insured for this kind of work (security) outside their IT work (even if they are using networked cameras and networked access). If there is a problem or incident with the CCTV or ACCESS CONTROL and the installer and/or the customer gets sued??? Is the insurance company going to pay a claim for unlicensed work? Who are they going to call, GHOSTBUSTERS?
          Part two, is the unlicensed IT company (security company) properly trained on the installation standards and local laws (especially for life safety regarding the access control system)?
Are the employees fingerprinted and vetted by NYS DOS DLS or just anybody off the street is working security in the customer's place of business?
          I'd let the customer know and let the customer worry a little bit and reconsider.
Alan Glasser, Executive Director
PO Box 54, Brooklyn, New York 11204-0054
(718) 894-6712 w eFax (718) 228-7940
     We have considered filing suit against unlicensed contractors who directly impact our business for torturous interference. What are your thoughts on that strategy? That is what they are doing in fact because they are not licensed to compete at all yet they are effectively stealing potential revenues and definitely interfering with the properly licensed business. What if several licensed contractors banded together to sue an unlicensed contractor operating in their area? What if the local alarm association took action against the company in a similar manner? Do you think any of these options are a good idea?
      Thank you in advance for your thoughts.
Best Regards,
David Botknecht, CEO 
HW Automation, Inc
another comment for those in New York
          I’m responding to an article on July 14th, 2023, from Joe, concerning “What you can do about unlicensed competitors”.
          The New York Electronic & Life Safety Association has published many articles concerning the complaint process on a licensed or unlicensed Alarm Installer conducting business in NYS.
          The first step would be to confirm the company or individual does or does not have a license in NYS. Follow the link or copy and paste . You can search by the individuals Name, Business Name, or NYS ID Number. After you determine their license status, you can then proceed to the following NYSDOS link to file the actual electronic complaint.
          If any of your readers need assistance, they can feel free to call me at 716/693-4597.
John A. Sperrazza,  President
Advanced Alarm, Inc

           An essential element or criteria for a tortious interferrance action is damages, so unless you've lost the account you have no damages.  A group of companies or an alarm association would lack standing because they haven't lost the account.  
         Here's an idea for those not faint of heard, start an Article 78 proceeding [that's what it's called in NY] in court to compel a public employee to do his job [simply put].  Not sure if it would work, but if you have money to burn some lawyer will happily take it and give it a try.
          It’s frustrating when you go to the trouble of complying with the law, license laws, and others don’t.  I can’t believe that an IT company could confuse its permitted services with inspecting a fire alarm. 
          I frequently am asked if the Fire All in One and the Fire Protection All in One are necessary; why not just one contract?  I am baffled, maybe because I know what those two All in One contracts look like and the provisions they contain.  They don’t look alike, and why should they?  What does an alarm technician know about installing a sprinkler system; an ansul system; testing fire extinguishers?  I would think the same amount a fire protection technician knows about installing and programming a fire alarm; nothing.  And, even if the tech is knowledgeable the tech should be smart enough to know he’s not licensed or his company isn’t licensed to do the work he is doing.  I don’t think you need to be that smart to know if you have a driver’s license; if you’re authorized to practice medicine or law, or work on fire alarm systems.
          We don’t live in a society where just anyone is authorized to issue tickets to enforce the law.  Frustrating as that might seem, that’s the way it is.  While the best answer is probably not “just mind your own business and keep your head down” the reality is that’s all you can do sometimes.  You may think that extreme, but just watch what happens when a store employee or paying patron tries to stop a shop lifter in NYC [and a few other places] or worse injures or kills the shop lifter defending themselves.  Intervene on the subway to prevent someone from being injured and guess who gets arrested and charged?
          Maybe not everywhere, but some of us are surely living in “bizarre” world where everything you think is right is wrong and there is no normal.

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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