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CS assist with contract negotiations
June 17 2020
CS assist with contract negotiations
            You know that I routinely negotiate not only my USA contract, but the dealer agreements for my dealers with property management companies.  Many of these requests come out of our St. Paul (twin cities) office.
            Based on the uncertainly of government operations, what the police department will look like and the inability of the fire department to keep up with the fire load, we have decided to tighten our goals of having an unaltered contract.
            This is what risk management is and could be a topic for a future webinar.
Bart A. Didden, President
U.S.A. Central Station Alarm Corp.
Port Chester, NY
Milford, CT
St. Paul, MN
            I think it’s laudable for central stations to assist their dealers.  The central station is a focal point for many dealers since central stations are in a good position to hear about and deal with many different issues confronting dealers.  So you should be commended for your effort.  But I am sure you don’t expect me to stop there…..
            What do you mean you help negotiate contracts?  That’s almost like me setting up a receiver in my office and monitoring accounts for dealers caught in a pinch.  I have enough competition from attorneys who don’t know what they are doing; we don’t need you practicing law without a license [I almost said without a clue, but that would be unfair because you do have a clue].  
            Alarm contracts should be written with precision in order to maximize the protection afforded by contract to alarm companies.  It would be foolish to think that subscribers aren’t going to question and challenge various contract provisions.  In fact, I deal with contract challenges on a daily basis.  While it is certainly true that any change is likely to diminish the effectiveness of the contract, that’s not to suggest that the contract can’t be negotiated and still retain sufficient protection is make the risk acceptable.  
            Alarm companies need to be flexible when it comes to contract negotiations, but smart enough to know when they need assistance of counsel.  To encourage getting attorney review the K&K Concierge Program offers as one of its most popular features a Monthly Credit of $250 for contract review and negotiation.  That’s a good deal considering the Concierge Program only costs $145 a month.   
            Another thought occurs to me that you may want to consider before you continue your unlicensed law career.  You are negotiating contract for your dealers, all of whom have a contractual relationship with your company, USA Central Station.  USA is monitoring the accounts.  Many, if not most, claims against alarm companies involve monitoring.  If it turns out that you negotiated a contract that left the dealer exposed to liability or damages that dealer may want to look to you.  Taking the position that no contract changes can be made is likely unworkable for must alarm companies.  If your business model is mass installations for low or no cost then an inflexible policy of no contract changes may work.  But if your model is custom designed alarm systems for moderate to high end consumers and commercial subscribers there is going to be some push back on contract provisions; negotiations are warranted, and more importantly, permitted.  Many changes can be made without compromising the overall protective provisions of the alarm contract.  These changes are best made or approved by an attorney, specifically me, and the Concierge Program is perfect for this legal service.

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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