follow up on retrieving video
Wanted to comment on retrieving video for free.
Completely understand where you are coming from. But, have you considered including the service of retrieving footage as a part of your Maintenance Agreement? That gets you your RMR. Do the calculation and it should be enough to cover one or two trips to perform the maintenance per year and a trip to retrieve footage. You can of course adjust your amounts and base it off of your service rates, but this gives you an idea on where to begin.
With some manufactures DVR and NVR’s, they have the ability to email you (and the customer ) notifications for video loss, hd failure, etc. This does not cost you anything other than the time to set it up, but you can include it with your maintenance and charge the customer for the service.
Just want to note for you to remember the cost of a man lift if one is needed. Anyway, Maintenance Agreements have worked for us and they answer your question about getting paid for video retrieval.
Take it or leave it, but I hope this helps. And remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So offer Maintenance Agreements with all your Camera and Access Installs! And Ken Kirschenbaum’s group has the Contracts to protect you and your newly found RMR.
Rich Whitlock, General Manager
Safe Side Security, Inc
Retrieving video and your response triggered a question: when we buy a contract and future updates are generated (like added standard clauses for charging video/evidence review), how can an existing customer, like myself, stay current with the latest contract additions?
- buy a new, current contract every few years?
- do we get a discount if existing customer of the same contract type?
- an annual fee to have an updated contract provided?
I have to begin by cautioning everyone that we don't use the term "maintenance" in the alarm industry, at least I don't. Only exception is some fire alarms that require maintenance. Might be semantics but maintenance means "the process of maintaining or preserving someone or something, or the state of being maintained". In the alarm business you generally perform "repair service", which is defined as "fix or mend (a thing suffering from damage or a fault)". Yes, you do perform inspection service, but that is neither maintenance or repair. Best if you delete "maintenance" from your vocabulary.
The Residential All in One and the Commercial All in One agreements do include data storage and retrieval as a specified service, and you would include that service in the RMR charges. If you are storing the data then it may be appropriate to include RMR charges for storage and retrieval. However, if the data is stored locally or on a server that the subscriber has access to for viewing or retrieving, then you probably will not be able to charge for retrieval in the RMR. In that case you either have a provision specifying the charge, or you're going to end up doing it for free. And this is when the subscriber asks for your assistance. The issue that was addressed in the original article that started this discussion dealt with a subpoena commanding the retrieval and appearance in court to testify. Who pays for that time? No one if its not in your contract.
Regarding the question of how you stay informed of updates, I suggest you read this forum. Many alarm guys [yes they were all guys] have told me they read my articles religiously each morning while performing their other daily morning ritual. Point is, read these emails daily; you will be informed and more importantly, stay regular.
We provide updates for free for the first 6 months after purchase and for half price within first year. We do make updates continuously so you should contact our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312 to stay updated.
what's in a name
I have a question for your forum that I am sure causes many confusion.
If you have a corporation like ABC Alarm Inc when you advertise on your website or in print or at trade shows do you have to keep the Inc in the name or can you just advertise as ABC Alarm ?
Does it make a difference ? Do you have to do a DBA ?
You are required to use your full and complete name. That means including Inc, Incorporated, Corp, Corporation, Ltd or Limited. If you have a corporation then you will have one of these six words included in your name, almost always as the last word in the name. If you are a limited liability company then you will have LLC or Limited Liability Company in your full name.
- Failure to use your full name can subject you to license violations.
- Failure to use your full name can cause those who deal with you that you are not in fact a corporation or LLC and therefore try to hold you personally liable.
If you have complied with any dba [doing business as] filing requirements in your state then you can use only the dba. In that case the license should be in the dba, not the full name [in most jurisdictions]. Also, if you use your dba be very careful to indicate your position or title with the business when you sign a contract or any other document. Using a dba and then signing your name without indicating your title, such as president, could result in you being held personally liable for signing a contract as an agent for an undisclosed principal or personally liable because you are signing on your own behalf.
Too many businesses, alarm companies included, do not use their full name. We see this when we get contract orders. We have to check website where you sometimes have to search to find the full name. Just today I spent time looking for the full name on a fairly well designed website; it was nowhere to be found. I finally prepared the document without the full name, just ABC Alarms. I know there had to be a corporate ending but it was not on the order form, in the email or on the website.
Leaving off the corporate or LLC full name is like calling yourself by only your first name. How dumb do you think that would make you sound? Look, if you're comfortable pointing to your belt buckle when someone with authority asks you for your identification, then I suppose you can forget this article and just keep using part of your business name.