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pricing and upgrading communication /  hired by GC; who signs contract and how
June 21,  2017
Communicator Installation vs Current Contract Pricing
    Has anyone addressed how to manage a commercial fire alarm account written for use of POTS lines and billed accordingly, versus the necessity to upgrade to a IPGSM4G Communicator, which costs us 3 to 5 times more in central station monitoring fees? This appears to be troublesome for a contract that is new or hasn't been entered into yet, having, so far, POTS lines with no troubles for a customer who is not going to install the communicator until necessary!
Bob Sanders
Norse Alarm & Electric Corp
   I think the All in One Agreements would address this.  You are not required to repair or replace obsolete equipment at your own cost.  Any change in service that may be required would have to be at the subscriber's expense.  No subscriber likes price increases, but when it's explained you should be able to retain the subscriber.  A subscriber would not be permitted to terminate a contract because of an increase in monitoring charges based on the subscriber's new mode of communication.  I hope I have this right and answered your question.  How are others handling this?
hired by GC; who signs contract and how
   When a GC is paying all of the costs for all alarm work (15000sq ft house!) does the owner have to sign a separate All in One?   Do I put an asterisk on the install cost line and add text all install cost paid by "GC company name?"
   It's not uncommon for trades, including alarm installers, to be engaged by General Contractors.  Can be for commercial or residential alarm installations.  There are a few issues to keep in mind:

  • the GC is interested only in the installation, not recurring services or revenue
  • if engaged by the GC you have agreed to look to the GC for payment.  Only under limited circumstances, which I am not getting into in this article, could you look directly to the subscriber for payment
  • certainly once installed and in use for the subscriber you will be at risk for the services you are performing, which could include monitoring, repairs and inspection.  The end user subscriber needs to be under contract for your protection.

    So who signs what contract?
    If possible get the GC to sign your contract.  If the GC wants you to sign its contract [an AIA or AIA knockoff] try and have your contract annexed.  Your risk during construction, or in your case installation stage, is delays, loss of material and equipment on the job and not getting paid when the installation is complete.  You will also most likely be required to carry specific insurance, adding the GC and owner as additional insureds.  But you should even start the job unless the end user signs the All in One.  The All in One signed by the end user will indicate that the equipment was installed under contract with the GC and paid for by the GC.  The subscriber will have to sign the contract to approve the terms of the installation in your contract, the allocation of risk provisions and other protective provisions.  
    Bottom line, the GC should sign your All in One and the subscriber has to sign the All in One.

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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
516 747 6700
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