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Proposed laws for false alarm fines to alarm co and automatic renewal in New York
February 16, 2023
Proposed laws for false alarm fines to alarm co and automatic renewal in New York
          Here are two proposed laws introduced in New York.  Not yet law but worth watching.
Paul R
          False Alarms:  Alarm companies to be fined and required to pay fines
Amd §69-l, add §69-vvv, Gen Bus L
 Relates to fines for false alarms by an alarm system; allows a municipality to enact, adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or regulation requiring any alarm system company to pay for or be responsible for any fines, fees or other penalties relative to false alarms only when the false alarm is attributed to a deficiency in the alarm system or an error of the alarm system company or central station.
          Automatic renewal:
 Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
 69-xx to read as follows:
   § 69-xx. automatic renewal or continuous service offer for  electronic
 and  life  safety  alarm services contracts unenforceable; mechanism for  cancellation;  terms;  applicability  of  requirements. 
  1.  automatic  renewal of a contract for installing, servicing, monitoring or maintaining  security  or  fire  alarm systems under this article shall be unenforceable unless:
   (a) the automatic renewal offer  terms  or  continuous  service  offer
 terms are presented to the consumer in a clear and conspicuous manner;
   (b)  the  business or person furnishing the electronic and life safety
 alarm service obtains the consumer's affirmative consent to  the  agreement  containing the automatic renewal offer terms or continuous service offer terms prior to charging the consumer's credit or debit card or the consumer's account with a  third  party  for  an  automatic  renewal  or
 continuous  service.  any  form of payment for services initiated by the
 consumer shall be considered affirmative consent under the provisions of  this article; and
   (c) such renewal or continuous service offer provides  an  acknowledgment  of the contract cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel in a manner that is capable of being retained by the consumer.
   2. a business making automatic renewal or  continuous  service  offers shall  provide  a toll-free telephone number, electronic mail address, a postal address only when the seller  directly  bills  the  consumer,  or another cost-effective, timely, and easy-to-use mechanism for cancellation
          It’s wise to keep an eye on proposed legislation.  Luckily only about 10% of proposed laws actually become law. 
          The first proposed law is nothing new to the alarm industry:  alarm companies should pay false alarm fines but “only when the false alarm is attributed to a deficiency in the alarm system or an error of the alarm system company or central station”. 
          Really, why is that?  What if the alarm company has no repair obligation for the system?  How about if the cs isn’t sure if it’s a false alarm.  This issue has been beaten to death.  The Standard Form Agreement requires the customer to indemnify and reimburse the alarm company for any false alarm fines.  I suggest you don’t delete that provision, especially in New York.
          The second proposal is regarding the automatic renewal law.  There is already an automatic renewal law in New York and I don’t know a single alarm company [or any company for that matter] who complies with the law.  Notice of renewal needs to be provided in writing within a 15 day period, 30 to 15 days prior to renewal; it must be delivered by certified mail or personally.  As I said, no one complies.
          So here is some elected guy who has had a battle with his alarm company or knows someone who did and decided that only “electronic and  life  safety  alarm services contracts for installing, servicing, monitoring or maintaining  security  or  fire  alarm systems” need to have its own automatic renewal law.  Where did the people who elected this guy find him?  By the way, this same stupid bill has been introduced yearly since 2015. Too many of these proposals have no idea how it will impact not only the affected industry [in this case the alarm industry] but the public who the legislation is trying to protect.
          I use to keep my eye on proposed legislation but found I was wasting too much time on idiotic proposals that never saw the light of day, let alone became law.  Good way to confuse you when you’re trying to remember what the law actually is.
          Send me laws once they become law.  Then we need to address them.

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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