Hello Everyone. Mark McLeroy for Patriot Electronic
Security Systems here. This week’s topic is a little difficult for me to talk about because
it’s a black eye on an industry that I am very proud to be a part of. The Topic is “Unethical
Behavior In The Security Alarm Industry”. Now before we dive into this topic, I’d like
to say a word about my local competitors here in Westchester county, NY. I know many of
these folks. I met them at trade shows, I see them at the counter at the local wholesalers,
heck, I even partner and collaborate with some of them on large projects I get. The
vast majority of security alarm dealers in the industry are good, hard working people,
who care about the quality of work they do, who care about the quality of the systems
they supply, and who genuinely care about the security of their clients.
Now, with that said, the unfortunate truth is there are some dealers out there who’s
only concern is getting you on a long term monitoring contract. Now don’t get me wrong,
monitoring contacts are a necessary part of the business. But it’s the way that these
unscrupulous dealers obtain the contract with the customer that I have issues with. Let
me give you an example of an actual scam. There’s a knock on the door, the homeowner
answers it and there a nice, well dressed gentleman standing on their doorstep. He explains
to the homeowner that the company he works for just bought out the company who installed
their alarm system and currently monitors it. He then goes on to say that his company
needs to update their current alarm system with a newer and better system at no cost
to them. All they need to do is update their contract with the new company.
So the unsuspecting homeowner signs away, and is now contracted with two alarm companies
because the guy’s story was a complete lie and the homeowners original alarm company
is still very much alive and kicking. Furthermore, there are actually two victims
of this scam. One being the homeowner, and the other being the original alarm company.
Because now the owner of the original alarm company must make an uncomfortable decision.
Does he stick to his guns and stand on the contract he has with the homeowner or does
he let the homeowner off the hook regarding his contract. Remember, it might not be such
an easy decision for him. The profitability of the original alarm system might have depended
on the terms of the contract he had with the homeowner. He might stand to lose a considerable
amount of money if he decides to do the nice thing for the homeowner, and let him out of
the contract. And I assure you that if the homeowner tries cancel the contract he signed
with the unscrupulous dealer it will be like pulling teeth.
Now there is one layer of protection you have in scams similar to the one I just described.
If you are a residential customer, and if the alarm company solicited you and not the
other way around, and they came to your door, there is what is called a three day cooling
off period. And that means that three days from the day you sign that contact you have
the right to cancel that contract without penalty, even if the new alarm systems has
already been installed. Now the new alarm company does have the right to remove any
new equipment they might have installed. But as I’m presenting you with this information, I’m asking myself
a question. Does the new alarm company have an obligation to return and reinstall any
old system they might have removed? And even if they do, I can see all kinds of legal liability
issues here. Liability issues that go way beyond the scope of this video, but trust
me this is a messy situation for all parties involved.
So I ask myself, what can be done about this problem. Well sure I can make this video and
maybe someone will see it before they fall victim to a scam such as this, but let’s face
it, that won’t even scratch the surface. So I started to reanalyze the problem and then
it hit me. Perhaps the solution should be left more on the dealer’s end. The ethical
dealers who have legitimate contractual agreements with the homeowners. It occurred
to me that when security alarm dealers enter into Three, Four or sometimes even Five year monitoring
contracts with their clients, their clients very rarely hear from them after the system
is put into service, and yet the service that they provide goes on for years.
Therefore, starting immediately. in an effort to stay better in touch with our clients,
Patriot Electronic Security Systems will be sending out a quarterly newsletter to all
our clients. This newsletter will have interesting articles related to the security industry,
tips on how to keep your home and business safe and secure, maybe an editorial for yours
truly, and current promotions our company might be running at the time. There will also
be recipes and games such as Crossword or Sudoku puzzles just to make it a well rounded
engaging periodical. But one of the main reason for this newsletter will be to let our clients
know that we are still here, ready to help them with their security needs.
And as for all you security dealers out there who may be watching this video, dealers who
work hard for your clients and truly care about their security needs and don’t engage
in deceitful business practices, I encourage you to find a way to stay in touch with all
your clients and remind them that you are there if they need service on the systems
you provided them. And that if anyone approaches them on an unscheduled visit and the person
claims to be from your company or a company that purchased their alarm company, to call
you and verify the story before even letting them in the house. If all us legitimate dealers
band together, we can eliminate this problem that has infiltrated our industry.
Patriot Electronic Security Systems is a electronic security solutions provider based in Westchester
county New York. For more information on who we are and what we do, please visit our website
at www.PatriotSecuritySystems.com. Stay safe.