You can read all of our articles on our website. Having trouble getting our emails?   Change your spam controls and whitelist 

Switching central stations
September 2,  2023
Switching central stations
          I’ve never switched central stations before and I’ve never had to sign a contract with a central station. 
          I’m strongly considering moving to a new central station. I’ve had very good experiences with them and I’m very disappointed with where I’m at now. My current central station has over-charged me tens of thousands of dollars over the last three years and has done an extremely poor job handling our accounts. I also have a small number of accounts at another central station, which does an acceptable job, but I’d like to get away from them as well and consolidate to one central station. 
          How do I go about engaging with you to make sure the contract I sign with the new central station isn’t awful. I presume I’ll need to purchase your Rider to Central Station Dealer Agreement but I don’t want to DIY this deal. Should I start by buying the central station Rider from you and then send you the contract the new central station wants me to sign? 
Name withheld
          I was going to circulate the original email, not one I redacted by removing the central station this dealer is leaving, but thought it not warranted, yet.
          If you are a dealer then the central station you choose is certainly one of the most important decisions you have to make as an alarm dealer.  It’s a marriage of sorts and your central station becomes, hopefully, a reliable “partner” assisting you in more ways than simply adequately monitoring your accounts.  Most good central stations treat their dealers like family, maintain frequent contact, develop and offer advice and programs to enhance dealer operations and experience in the monitoring operation.  Some central stations offer conventions, others seminars and webinars, perhaps facilitate or host manufacturer presentations.  Some central stations assist with billing or other dealer operational issues.  At the very least I think central stations can be useful by insisting that dealers engage in best practices including using proper contracts and carrying proper E&O coverage.
          Every reputable central station requires their dealers to sign a Dealer Agreement.  These agreements are sometimes a K&K Dealer Agreement, in which event I think you will at least be able to read and understand it; other central stations have Dealer Agreements drafted in-house of by their attorneys and these Dealer Agreements are less “readable”.  However, every Dealer Agreement is going to be written for the primary benefit and protection of the central station, not the dealer.  While the relationship starts all warm and fuzzy like a new marriage, rest assured this Dealer Agreement can be more appropriately viewed as a Prenuptial Agreement, and you’re the one getting the short end of the stick.
          I get calls regularly to review the central station Dealer Agreement for new alarm companies and those seeking a new central station relationship.  I’ve boiled the important, essential, issues down to 12 or so points and address them in a Rider to Central Station agreement.  You should, as you surmised, start with this Rider.  The Rider will open your eyes to what I assure you is addressed in the Dealer Agreement, even if you haven’t noticed it or understood it.  Some items may not apply to you.  For example, if you’re getting consideration to come to the new central station then it  may be appropriate to commit to exclusivity or extended term, but most of the items in the Rider are going to apply and you may consider some [and you should] absolutely essential.
          Your approach is to get the Rider and then, after making sure the items pertain to you, present the Rider to the central station telling them “do not change or modify your Dealer Agreement”.  What you want is for the Rider to be attached, added and supersedes the Dealer Agreement.  Of course the Rider can be modified to suit your deal with the central station, but if you use the Rider you will be going into the contractual relationship with the central station with your eyes wide open.
          One final thought.  If you really have found a central station that doesn’t use or require you to sign a Dealer Agreement, run don’t walk; you are dealing with an stupid and irresponsible central station.  It isn’t doing itself or you a favor by working on a handshake. If it can’t follow best practices for itself it sure isn’t going to be helping you with your best practices. 

STANDARD FORM AGREEMENTS: To order up to date Standard Form Alarm /  Security / Fire and related Agreements click here:
CONCIERGE LAWYER SERVICE PROGRAM FOR THE ALARM INDUSTRY You can check out the program and sign up here: or contact our Program Coordinator Stacy Spector, Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304.
ALARM ARTICLES:  You can always read our Articles on our website at  updated daily        *************************
THE ALARM EXCHANGE - the alarm industries leading classified and business exchange - updated daily.
Wondering how much your alarm company is worth?  
Click here:
Getting on our email list / Articles archived:
    Many of you are forwarding these emails to friends or asking that others be added to the list.  Sign up for our daily newsletter here: Sign Up.

Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301