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work at home cs operators pose an unacceptable threat to dealers and their subscribers
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October 17, 2023
work at home cs operators pose an unacceptable threat to dealers and their subscribers
                Please share with your readers the critical risks of dealers having to indemnify Central Stations (and the forms that they can buy from you) in the event that one of the Central Stations Work from Home (WFH) Operators fails to perform their services and litigation is commenced, whereby, there are allegations that the Work from Home (WFH) Operators was a proximate cause of the damages sustained.
                Against the foregoing backdrop, in response to the comments by Jordan Brown, my debate offer on the disastrous Work from Home Monitoring Idea this time around, and prior to this time was always open to any Central Station which includes, any of the Standard Technical Committee Panel Members who served on the UL-827 (STP). As discussed, I was the only one on this Standard Technical Panel (STP) who voted NO.
                It does not matter that UL-827 Standards adopted Work from Home (WFH) Monitoring; what matters is what was represented to each and every subscriber about how their systems were going to be monitored inside a central station, and does the agreement between the parties allow the alarm company/central station to make this type of change, without the knowledge, consent, and authority of the consumer.
                I do not know of any agreement that provides such language nor have I found one single advertisement where the operators monitoring alarm systems are shown to be working from the inside of their homes and/or apartments. Instead, in all of the marketing materials that I have looked at, the operators are still in the Central Station.
               Clearly, each and every subscriber had/has a right to rely on the original representations that they received from the alarm company.
              To the extent that a Central Station changes the way their accounts are being monitored, which in this instance is material, because its changing operators from working within the four walls of the central station, to operators working from inside their homes or apartments. Given that, this is not a choice that an alarm company and/or central station can make in a vacuum, and subscribers have a right to know so that they can make informed choices.
               Besides the egregious practice of certain Alarm Companies and Central Stations taking measures to repeatedly conceal this change of services, many alarm dealers still do not know that this has happened to their accounts that are being monitored by a Third-Party and/or other Central Stations as it relates to using the Work from Home (WFH) Monitoring Practice.
               It is an undisputed material fact, that Work from Home (WFH) Monitoring increases the profits of Central Stations, and in doing so, this act disregards the increased risks that subscribers are subject to with Work from Home (WFH) Monitoring Operators because it can never be as reliable, nor can it even come remotely close to duplicating what reliably happens when operators work within the four walls of the Central Station. In just one example, the foreseeable distractions that happen outside the Central Station, in today’s world, with a Work from Operator (WFH) become another needless increase in the risks to subscribers, due to the Operator becoming distracted. To the extent that a Central Station wants to argue that they can control this, is erroneous.
                Anytime a company increases their profits at the expense and to the detriment of unsuspecting consumers, and then conceals it, creates conduct that smacks of intentional wrongdoing.
                Be warned, failure to disclose and/or actions of concealment of the change in monitoring services being provided to consumers is deceptive and subjects the alarm company and/or central station to their contract provisions being found unenforceable by a judge.  Work from Home (WFH) Monitoring foreseeably creates needless and untenable risks, that can be eliminated by simply keeping Central Station Operators where they belong at all times, within a fortified, generator backup, fully computerized, distraction free, redundant, and electrically/electronically protected UL Listed State of The Art Central Station.
               The foregoing opinions are held to a reasonable degree of scientific and technical certainty. 
Jeffrey D. Zwirn, CPP, CFPS, CFE, SET, FASI&T, CHPA-IV, MBAT, NFPA 3000(PS), President,
IDS Research and Development, Inc.
                 I agree that dealers, and their customers, have a right to know what procedure central stations have in place; work from home is something that dealers, at the vey least, should be told.  In the All in One agreements subscribers do have the right to ask for the central station procedures; in this way subscribers will know how particular signals will be handled.  No alarm agreement should guarantee guaranty or dictate central station operating procedure which may be beyond or foreign to a central station’s customary practices.  Operators are trained and varying from that training is only looking for trouble. 
                Subscribers are rarely told details of the central station and likely don’t know, and may not care, whether operators work from home.  The problem at the moment is that I am not aware of any incident involving a missed or miss-handled signal by a work at home operator.  It seems logical that the home environment is not likely as secure or free of distraction as the central station facility, but that’s hardly a scientific fact.  Anyone knows of incidents should let us know.
                 Because I agree that it’s likely that home operators increase risk of mistakes, and because I know that every reputable central station uses a Dealer Agreement that requires the dealer to indemnify the central station, I think every dealer has a right to know about work from home policy because it increases the dealer’s risk, the dealer’s financial risk, reputation and customer relations.  A horrendous break in or fire traced back to a central station or dealer is bad publicity; bad business. 
                  The point is that every dealer needs to know the policy of its central station.  Every dealer needs to limit its indemnity to its insurance coverage, and this is more vital when the central station has taken cost saving methods that likely increases the risk of error.
                   Attend the central station webinars; listen carefully.  If you miss the webinar you can watch it on the K&K website.  Your central station is an essential partner in your alarm operation and you’re entitled to honesty and full disclosure on all aspects of the central station operation that directly impacts your business and your subscribers’ property and safety.

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Central Stations series: Why You Should Be Monitored By Our CS
Hear from the leading central stations and “Why you should be monitored by” that central station.  The topic of remote operator monitoring from outside the central station facility and the dynamics that issue presents is sure to come up. 

October 17, 2023 noon ET, Emergency 24
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October 18, 2023 noon ET, Statewide Monitoring Corp
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October 19, 2023 noon ET, Legacy Security Services
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October 24, 2023 noon ET
National Monitoring Center
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October 25, 2023 noon ET, Dynamark Monitoring
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October 26, 2023 noon ET,  COPS Monitoring    Registration Link:

October 31, 2023 noon ET, Rapid Response Monitoring Center
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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