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Interactive Services covered by contract / Comment on service v maintenance
December 5, 2020
Interactive Services covered by contract
            The access control system we use allows the customer to make changes, such as adding users, setting permissions and most importantly, the ability to change the schedule for when doors lock.  Is there anything in your contract that protects me from their interaction?  I know I read somewhere that mentioned unauthorized service, but this would be considered routine maintenance.  Please advise, thank you.
            Both the Residential All in One and the Commercial All in One cover access control, and both cover subscriber interaction with the system.  Even if the Standard Form Agreements aren't clear to you, you are able to clarify your system and service in the Schedule of Equipment and Services.  In your case you would describe how the subscriber has access to administer the system DIY.  Any security service or any service you provide pursuant to the All in One will be covered by the All in One contractual protective provisions.  Be sure to be using updated contracts; no older than 2 years.  Technology changes rapidly and the contracts have to change as well to keep pace.
Comment on service v maintenance from article on November 21, 2020
            It is fairly common to have preventative maintenance contracts on higher end access and video jobs.  Projects $2M+ likely includes at least 1 year of maintenance and I usually get prices up front for 5 years of complete coverage service and maintenance.  
            Cleaning cameras quarterly, checking the focus of each, lubricating locks, testing all doors fully (every function works), changing batteries, checking systems for software updates and things like that.  I'm not sure if that is enough to get the word maintenance, but it is for me.  
            That also usually includes service inclusive of parts and labor.  
Michael Glasser
Glasser Security Group LLC
            WOW, you have a lot of credentials listed after your name, though I don't see Esq........  
            You need to be very careful, very precise, when wording your contracts, especially when you are drafting security alarm, fire alarm, fire protection and security systems, such as cameras and access control.  The underlying theme, though probably not expressed this way, is that the systems and services are not infallible, which is why they are not intended to prevent loss; also why alarm / security companies are not willing to accept liability, even for their mistakes, if the systems don't work or the subscriber suffers a loss.  
            So it may be semantics, but is there a difference between "maintenance" contracts and "preventative maintenance" contract? 
            I recently signed a "maintenance contract" for my generator.  The company gets the weekly test results and by contract has agreed to perform certain maintenance during the year.  I think most customers would expect the generator to be working when there is a power outage.  I think most customers would be pissed if they suffered a power outage, the generator didn't work and they needed to wait for the company to come and fix it, at the customer's expense.  I'd be pissed, but I understand that my maintenance contract does not guarantee continuous operation; I doubt the generator contract spells that out clearly.  
            I am not against Maintenance contracts, so there is nothing wrong with you offering that service.  However, you should understand what your maintenance obligations mean and how the customer perceives that undertaking and what the consequences are when the system doesn't work, despite your "preventative" measures.  
            Alarm companies providing alarm systems typically offer inspection service and repair service when requested or necessary.  Adding various preventative tasks to the inspection service is fine; just spell it out; make sure including those tasks can't be misinterpreted by the customer as your assurance that you are maintaining the system so that it will always work;  One time it won't. 

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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