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How long should you continue monitoring service for non-paying subscriber
March 31, 2020
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​Contact Stacy Spector,Esq at or 516 747 6700 x 304
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How long should you continue monitoring service for non-paying subscriber?
          My advice on this has changed based on current economic conditions and prospects.  As I write this article the effect of the stimulus package [not yet passed as I write this article, but most certainly will be law by the time this article is circulated] is unknown.  Hopefully the wisdom of the lawmakers will be enough the save the businesses and individuals from financial ruin; ultimately unable to pay their bills and bankruptcy.  Certainly not all will be saved.
          But for other customers, there are going to be some who ask to delay payment, for good reason; some who won’t bother to ask, for no real good reason; and some who despite good intentions, simply won’t be able to pay you.
          My old advice was you can afford to carry these customers for monitoring charges for 3, 6 or more months, and even if sending to K&K for collection, I suggested you continue the monitoring if you knew the customer was continuing to use the system, at least until we commenced the lawsuit or arbitration.
          But your business has been affected, and not for the good.  Every alarm company has experienced disruption.  Your sales are off; your service is off.  Most likely you were able to perform only necessary repairs during the national and state by state lockdown.  Most likely your accounts receivables were paid late or not at all.  The shut-down of the economy had to affect you, probably in ways you haven’t noticed yet.  But one prediction is likely to be correct, you are going to lose customers.  They need to be identified as soon as possible and their monitoring terminated.  
          You can control most costs internally.  You don’t have to send a repair technician to an account that is in default.  You don’t have to perform an installation if the customer has defaulted.  You can cancel the inspection.  All of these services have direct cost factors; so does the monitoring charges, but they continue automatically.  You don’t get to decide about the monitoring charges, they just keep going.  That’s the RMR business of the central station.  To stop the charge you need to notify the central station to stop monitoring.
          You may have other things you need to take care of when stopping the monitoring.  You may have to stop the signals from reaching the central station.  The central station doesn’t want unnecessary signals coming in, even though you have instructed them to ignore the signals.  In fact, that may be contrary to the central station’s procedural guide and policy.
          How do you terminate the monitoring?
          The Standard Form Agreement does not require prior notice of termination of monitoring, but it’s a good idea anyway.  Failure to pay may be inadvertent and a final warning may get you paid.  If you’ve reached the end of the line with a customer then notify the customer by any communication you believe will be received:  text, email, regular mail.  Don’t waste your time and money on certified or overnight mail.  Your communication should set the exact date and time when monitoring will terminate.  When that date arrives, terminate the monitoring.  
          Do not completely disable the alarm system if it’s owned by the customer.  Just disable monitoring.  If you can change the keypad readout then you can make it state:  No Monitoring or Monitoring Disabled for nonpayment.
          You need to try and actually disable the communication.  For many customers that’s not going to be possible without a visit to the premises, and you probably won’t get in.  Check with your central station if signals can be blocked or their policy on ignoring the signals.  Also check on their policy on charging you once you notify them that they should ignore the signals.  You need to know your financial obligation.
          If you need K&K we are a call away.

Webinars Series 2020 - Register now
            We are pleased to offer the below FREE Webinars. Originally scheduled as Roundtable discussions at the ISC we are now opening up attendance in webinar format. Please sign up for one or more webinars and we hope you’ll participate in the discussion.  Other webinars TBA
            For those of you who had a Free private meetings scheduled with Ken Kirschenbaum at the ISC show, please call Stacy Spector,Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304 to re-schedule the meeting via Skype
When: April 7, 2020 at 12 PM  ET
Topic:  discussion on the current state of the Financial/Capital Market Stability in the Security Industry and necessary agreements needed for security companies
Presented by:  Troy Iverson, VP of Sales, Brian Davis, CFO of AvantGuard Monitoring Centers
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq
Who should attend: owners, CFO, managers, 
Register here:  

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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