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New Webinars / Grace period suggested / tongue in cheek comment on webinars and service contracts  
April 10, 2020
Free Webinars:  register today for the upcoming webinars:
Webinar:  Monday April 13 at 12:30 ET:  Employment issues during COVID-19
Topic: Employee Management - Sick Leave, PTO generally, FMLA, Disability during COVID-19.  How to field Sick Leave, PTO generally, FMLA, Disability requests under the new FEDERAL LAW.   Can you terminate an employee now and how do you do it?  For state specific questions you must send your question in advance and we will try and address the issue; email Jennifer at to ensure we cover it during the webinar. 
When:  Monday, April 13, 2020 at 12:30PM-1:30PM EST
Presented by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq., Kieran Bastible, Esq. and Jesse Kirschenbaum, Esq
Who should attend:  owners, HR, CFO, managers
Register Here:
Webinar:  Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 12 noon ET:  Billing Software
Topic:  The best affordable designed software that does alarm industry recurring billing,  processes your ACH and CC and integrates with Quickbooks.  Sends invoices, sends overdue invoices, works with any cc processing company.   
When:  April 14, 2020  noon ET
Presented by:  Tom Aronica, CEO of Biller Genie
Who should attend:  bookkeepers, office managers, owners
Register Here:

Grace period suggested
          Back in October of 1989, the Phillips Petroleum Plant in Houston, TX exploded killing 23 people and injuring 314 more. After the explosion, hundreds of people lost their jobs because there was no plant to go back to; it was utterly and completely destroyed. At the time, I was working for an alarm company in Houston and I had no idea that we had so many customers that worked for Phillips Petroleum. We started getting cancellation calls from their employees. At that time, the owner and I agreed that we would extend grace to anyone from Phillips who called to cancel. When they called in to cancel, we told them, "Look, don't cancel just yet. We're going to give you a 90 day window with no payments due so that you can get back on your feet and we will not terminate your monitoring in that window. If you get a job and get back on your feet during this 90 days, you can resume payments on the monitoring at that time". I talked to folks that almost broke down crying on the phone. Even if the customer didn't get a job, it only cost me my monthly fee to the central station times 3.  
          But you know what...Virtually all of them did find a job in the 90 day window and most of them found jobs in the first 30 days which costs us very little. These were customers for life and if it were in the modern day, our Google reviews would have been off the charts!  I say all this because it is apropos to the current day. I encourage alarm dealers, if you can, extend grace to people who are out of work and who are calling to cancel. Try the 90 day grace period. It won't cost you much and it will mean the world to them. You will feel good about yourself and you'll have customers for life. 
Mark Matlock
          These are indeed stressful times and if you can extend courtesies that would be nice.  However, be mindful that this disaster will eventually pass and we will be back to business as usual.  It won’t take long to figure out who took advantage of this situation to avoid paying bills and those genuinely adversely economically affected.  Of course those who took advantage of the PPP program should have some relief [as I write this the loan applications are just starting to be processed, but I hope those loans will be funded], and that relief should enable people to pay their bills.  Dealers will expect payment from their subscribers and central stations will expect payment from their dealers.  Of course the central stations and the third party vendors have their own expenses to pay.  
          So, yes be considerate, but don’t put yourself into a financial hole from which you can’t escape.
tongue in cheek comment on webinars and service contracts  
          Here is some input from one of your recent Webinars:
          Life Time Guarantee
This should be the wording for the Kirschenbaum Life Time Guarantee from the alarm company to a customer that you can provide for free, yes for free to any fool that offers this:
         This Life Time Guarantee will provide the follow:
We guarantee that:
1.       Your alarm system will break several times while you own it.
2.       It will have to be fixed.
3.       Parts and labor will be necessary.
4.       The system will need to be replaced, updated and or altered at some time.
5.       You will not want to pay for anything.
6.       You will not have any loyalty to us and always go to whoever is the cheapest.
7.       You will sue us if you get the opportunity whether the system worked as it should or did not.
8.       You will move, sell the property or die at some point.
This is the wording for those who provided such a guarantee:
If you as the alarm company provide this to a customer you are guaranteed to:
1.       Always have a problem charging for anything with this customer.
2.       Never to be able to charge for batteries, any repairs, updates alterations or additional as need.
3.       Never to be able to sell this account to any other alarm firm that has a brain.
4.       Go out of business honoring these guarantees.
5.       Need the help of a head doctor as to why you do this.
6.       Constantly be criticized by Ken Kirschenbaum for providing this.
7.       Be laughed at by others in the industry just as they are now doing.   
   Please define what wear and tear is as it applies to parts and components in a service agreement.  
 Does it include:
1.       Smoke detectors that after constantly being in service false alarm for no apparent reason and must now be replaced.
2.       Key pads that have problems after constant use.
3.       Door and window sensors on openings that are used all the time.
4.       Batteries that ware out and get old after some time.
5.       Fire sprinkler water flow switches that after constant operation in many years need to be replaced.
6.       Sounders both burglar and fire alarm that no longer work well because they are worn out after many years of use.
7.       Pull stations that are worn out from use like those operated for fire drills such as in a school.
8.       A main fire, burglar, or access control in  full or just modules that are parts of a control that have stopped functioning after many years of operation.
9.       A VCR that has much use from recording and being played back and no longer works as it should because of that.
10.   A camera or cameras that no long provide a clear images.
          There is much more that can be listed here but I just named a few things.   No service agreement should ever cover all parts and labor let alone provide unlimited service time but be defined with a limited number of hours of which each service call plus traveling time would be deducted from until all the time is used up and thereafter charged for service at a set rate.   Yes it could be a discounted rate as opposed to the standard rate as an incentive.   Any of the defined set time limit that is not used/left over would not transfer over to the next year as well (does not add up and cannot be banked over the years).  
          Yours and the other current service agreements out there are way too broad and are exploited by most customers because the industry allows it.   Look at a heating and cooling service agreement and the list of parts and services are clearly defined not like the alarm industry.   If you charged for anything as they are defined as “wear and tear “ or anything else not defined as such you are guaranteed to lose that customer.   They think that everything is covered with an unlimited amount of service time and that is why they are buying it.   Most firms sell service agreement that way as well despite the so called “wear and tear” statement.   Just ask anyone who provides service agreements and they will agree that here are very few limits.   Who would want to buy customers with these service agreements if you were selling your accounts?   It is a pure liability designed to fail almost in all cases 
Yours truly,
 The Skeptic
          Thanks for the comic relief, though I suggest you sick with your day job, if you have one.  Your advice is better than your sense of humor though.  The repair service part of the contract needs to be clear on what it covers.  The Standard Form Agreements cover wear and tear only and it’s very clear to the subscriber.  The All in One Agreements provide the tools that every alarm company needs, but you still have to use them properly.
          You obviously don't agree with Victor Harding's comment on life time guarantees in the April 7, 2020 article.

Reaching K&K during the lockdown
     During this crisis the most efficient way to reach our attorneys is via email.  You can also call and if not picked up, leave a message and your call will be returned promptly.
    Here are a few departments to contact directly:
alarm / security / pers / fire department:  Ken - or call and leave a message with return number at 516 747 6700 x 301
health care professionals:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum,Esq 516 747 6700 x 302;
alarm licensing:  Alison Gallub,Esq 516 747 6700 x 317; or Eileen Wagda, Licensing Administrator, 516 747 6700 x 312
Employment issues:  Kieran Bastible 516 747 6700 x 315; or Jennifer Kirschenbaum,Esq
Concierge Alarm Clients have full access through our Concierge Program Coordinator, Stacy Spector, Esq  516 747 6700 x 304 or 
Collections:  [courts are shut down at this time, so don't expect much progress.  We will however continue to prepare papers on our end so that we will be ready when the courts normalize]  Kathleen Lampert  516 747 6700 x 319
Pending litigation:  Caroline Wallet,Esq  516 747 6700 x 305 and Maureen Biel,Esq 516 747 6700 x 303  MBeil@Kirschenbaumesq,com
Bankruptcy and debt collection issues:  Steve Sheinwald,Esq  516 747 6700 x 309 or Scott Dillon,Esq  516 747 6700 x 318

To order up to date Standard Form Alarm /  Security / Fire and related Agreements, click here:
You can check out the program and sign up here: or contact our Program Coordinator Stacy Spector, Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304.
NOTICE:  You can always read our Articles on our website at
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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