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ISC Schedule / Comments on trouble getting contracts signed
March 22, 2023
If you're attending the ISC show next week I still have a few times available for private meetings and our group meetings may also have a few spots.  Give Stacy Spector,Esq a call to schedule a time 516 747 6700 x 304 or email her at  If you don't have time to schedule I'll be stopping by Rapid Response Monitoring's booth and COPS Monitoring booth, so stop by and say hello.  
Schedule for Group Discussion Meetings at ISC [subject to dealer interest]  Meetings are limited to 6 dealers.  Contact Stacy Spector,Esq at 1 516 747 6700 x 304 or to reserve a spot.  Private meetings with Ken Kirschenbaum are still available – contact Stacy for appointment.  All meetings scheduled at Palazzo Prestige Lounge unless otherwise noted.
Group Meeting Schedule:  Note changes in schedule:
Wednesday, March 29 at 10:00am-11:00am: Finance Group Discussion with Jim Wooster, Alarm Financial Services
Wednesday, March 29 at 3:30pm-4:00pm: Meeting with Mitch Reitman, Employee Retention Credit and other tax issues

Thursday, March 30 at 9:30 - 10:30am at ESA meeting room: Bassano Suite 2705 by convention floor:  Liability, insurance, horror stories, claims and other issues from perspective of Claims Administrator [Bart] and Alarm Defense Attorney [Ken].  Ken Kirschenbaum and Bart Didden.  This promises to be entertaining and informative.  You don't want to miss this. informative.  All invited.  No reservation needed
Thursday, March 30 at 10:45 am -11:15 am: Central Station Group Meeting with COPS Monitoring at COPS booth
Thursday, March 30 2023 at 11:30 am to 12pm Central Station Group meeting at Rapid Response Monitoring at Rapid Response booth
Thursday, March 30 at 11:00am-11:45: Alarm Brokers Group meeting with Rory Russell, Acquisition & Funding Services
Thursday, March 30 at 1:00pm-1:45pm: Contracts Group Meeting with Ken Kirschenbaum   Fully Booked [call Stacy for private or meeting time]
Thursday, March 30 at 2:00pm-2:45pm: Insurance E&O Group Meeting with Shawn Iverson, The Insurance Center  Fully Booked
Thursday, March 30 at 3:00pm-3:45pm: Sale or Purchase of Business Group Meeting with Ken Kirschenbaum  Fully Booked [call Stacy for private or meeting time]
Private Meeting Schedule:  Still a few open times for private meetings.  Call Stacy 516 747 6700 x 304.  Tuesday March 28 has open time
Comments on trouble getting contracts signed from article on March 15, 2023
          I have a suggestion for Rick who lost a current customer over an upgrade and contract issue.
          My closure rate (previously stated here in this column on contract issues) is 99% and this is what my reply would be,
          Mr. Valued Customer, we are not saying we are not responsible for our work or the quality of our workmanship while we are there in your home. We offer a 1 year parts and labor warranty on our systems. We acknowledge that in our industry sometimes an installer will drill into the wall and hit a water pipe or something else; it happens, though fortunately not to us, but it happens.
          While we are in your home we take 100% responsibility for our actions, but once we are done to the specifications of the contract, we turn that responsibility over to you. As the contract states it’s your responsibility to test the system occasionally and report to us any failures so we can scheduled a service call asap to address any issue. It’s also our responsibility to return to re-train you or your family if you have any operational issues or questions. We believe that the rest of the contract speaks for itself that we are not accepting any risk, that we are not your insurer and that we did not manufacture the equipment.
          That would be my response.
          Have a great day and this is the kind of statements your readers will hear in person if they come to our seminar at ISC West, Thursday, 930 am in the ESA Bassano Suite 2705 besides your snappy comments.
Bart A. Didden, President
U.S.A. Central Station Alarm Corp.
Port Chester, NY
Milford, CT
St. Paul, MN
          I hope this comes up in our presentation on Thursday March 30 at 9:30 am at ESA Bassano Suite 2705.  Your sage advice falls in the category of “Well, Ollie, this is another fine mess you got us into”.  
          Why?  Well for one thing you are making representations of what the contract says and mean.  Worse, it’s a misrepresentation because the printed form does not provide for responsibility or liability for damage done while the alarm company’s employees are in the home or place of business. 
          Maybe it should, and by the way, it’s one of the changes I will make when negotiating a contract, but only if it’s something that is requested. 
          Your rationale also doesn’t seem to address mistakes made in connection with monitoring, something the customer can’t test or prepare for.  There are many public policy reasons for all of the protective provisions in the alarm contract and they are vital to protect the interests of the alarm company so that it is not dragged into every loss that customers suffer, and so they won’t have to pay those staggering damages that are almost always covered by the customer’s insurance company. 
          We can discuss this at the presentation, which I am looking forward to.  Everyone is invited.
another comment
          On March 15th 2023 “Rick” posted that he sent your contract to a new customer prospect but they wouldn’t sign the Agreement.  He says that “…they could not believe the terms, saying we must be liable for our work. Refused to sign”.   He goes on to say “Then a few days later they emailed saying they found someone else for their alarm.”  It sounds like they found a company that was willing to install and monitor them without a contract.  You were correct that just as it takes training to install and monitor the alarm it also takes some training to get the contract signed. 
          The other question here is “Why are there so many alarm companies that would take on an installation and monitoring customer without getting a contract?  Well, as PT Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
 Mitch Reitman 
817 698 9999 XT 101 
Reitman Consulting Group
          One of the statements I find myself saying to opposing counsel when negotiating alarm customer contract terms [which I do typically twice a day for Concierge Clients and non-Concierge Clients] is that the contract is a “standard” form used by the entire industry, either in the Kirschenbaum Contract form or another form that is substantive similar if not identical. That is a true statement and I am in a position to state it authoritatively.  The entire industry uses these forms, though, in my opinion, none are as good or as recognizable as the Kirschenbaum Contracts.  That statement goes a long way to alleviate the fear that the customer is somehow being duped into a contract that could easily be avoided by calling another alarm company.
          I also find myself say, “look, I am sure you could find someone to install the alarm; he’s working out of his truck.  Is that who you want to do business with? 
          I know there are still alarm company owners who don’t believe in or use contracts; even more who think they can use the same contract form they have been using for so many years they can’t remember where or when they got it.  And some of these guys don’t work out of their truck.  However, I do believe it’s pretty stupid not to use up to date contracts – and the Kirschenbaum Contracts- because these contracts are your most important business asset. 
          I just got off the phone with an alarm owner who has hundreds of accounts for whom he does repair service and inspection [he says he does testing and maintenance]; all on a “per call” basis.  Long time in business.  Long enough for me to comment to him that in the not too distant future he will be selling.  He was, I think, surprised when I told him his business would be worth little or nothing.  I explained that an inspection per call contract with a history of $1200 a year would be difficult to sell and it would go for a low multiple if at all.  That same customer with a $100 a month [even if paid annually] would likely sell for at least $3000.  Zero to $3000 is a big spread.
          I have a bunch of meetings scheduled and I’ll be at a few of the parties.  Stop by and say hello.
Another comment
          Please let me know when you schedule the webinars on “how to sell the contracts”.  While I’m definitely not qualified to assist in the “how to” of the process, I certainly would like to see and hear the master at work so that I and my team can learn how to be more professional with that part of the sales process.
          I am going to schedule a webinar after ISC settles down.  I may invite Bart to join in the presentation.  I’ll keep everyone posted.  This will be a great training exercise for your sales force.  It will be recorded so you can have your team watch it when convenient.

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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