Lying Competition

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Anyone here ever have issues with other alarm companies - door knockers or real
companies - trying to steal your clients by telling them you're out of business,
etc.

Anything that should or shouldn't be done about them?

- Chris

Re: Lying Competition
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Yeah, I am dealing with some of that lately.  Jack is back in Arizona.  


Re: Lying Competition
On Monday, March 25, 2013 10:22:21 PM UTC-4, Chris wrote:
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r real companies - trying to steal your clients by telling them you're out  
of business, etc.
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Still going thru it after the cancer diagnosis lots of fools tried stealing
 my accounts and I sent registered letters to each and everyone of them inf
orming them that I would take legal action if there sales peoples  actions  
did not stop because I had customers ready to testify  against them.  

Re: Lying Competition
On Monday, March 25, 2013 10:22:21 PM UTC-4, Chris wrote:
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r real companies - trying to steal your clients by telling them you're out  
of business, etc. Anything that should or shouldn't be done about them? - C
hris

Hi Chris,

I've mentioned this before in ASA but it's been a long time and maybe bears
 repeating.

After a number of years installing, one day I got a call from an irate cust
omer that I hadn't seen nor heard from for over 5 years. Her message on my  
answering machine said something about how nasty my employee was to her ove
r the telephone. Well, at that particular time, I was the only "employee" s
o I hadn't any idea what she was talking about. I called her and she relate
d how she had set the alarm off and had gotten into an argument with the CS
 operator who ..... she thought was    "my employee"  and she was cancellin
g her monitoring. There was nothing I could offer her nor convince her of t
he fact that the operator was not my employee. It was then that I realized  
that a few years after I would do any installation, my customers would forg
et all about the "nice guy" who installed their alarm system and that the C
S operators would become their alarm company in their minds. That's when I  
started to send out a quarterly newsletter. Even though I complained to the
 CS about how the operator had treated my customer, I never wanted to lose  
another customer because of their perception that the central station was t
heir alarm company. From that  point forward to this day (about 32 years) I
 have sent a quarterly news letter to my clients. It's just a simple black  
and white, 8 1/2 by 11, one sided, black and white, four column note. I alw
ays mention something or make a comment about some community or media event
, offer suggestions about testing their alarms. Tell them about a vacation  
I may have just taken and so on. Mention that there are companies that may  
try contacting them via telephone or door to door trying to steal accounts  
from other alarm companies. I tell them how to test their alarm systems, ma
ke their homes look occupied when they're not home, to be careful during th
e holiday season. I tell them about the other services I offer and maybe a  
little bit about a special job that I've done, home theater, computer netwo
rking and inviting them to call me, with no obligations, if they have any q
uestions about new technology that they're interested in or looking to buy,
 TV's, IPhones, computers, etc, etc, etc. As I read the alarm trade and hom
e theater magazines, I'll cut out articles and post some of the statistics  
about burglaries and fires and other odd bits of information about technolo
gy that I think end users might be interested in.  And I always somehow wor
k into the letter that if they should ever have any problems with their cen
tral station company that monitors their system, to let me know and I will  
be happy to take care of it for them. Sometimes I will slip a month in gett
ing the newsletter out. I actually get calls from people asking for another
 copy because they think it may have gotten lost in the mail. I've got two  
clients who send a copy to their kids who have grown up, gone to collage an
d now live in another state.  

It's worked for me for decades now. Never lost another customer for that or
iginal reason and it keeps my clients reminded of who I am through the year
s, even if they don't get to see me.  

Ya gotta keep "you" in their memory or the central station becomes their al
arm company and you are just a faint memory ...... if that. And when that s
leezey company comes a-knockin, there's no "connection" to the guy who inst
alled their system. You've become just the voice of the CS operator so ther
e's no loyalty remainging for you and therefore no reason to not believe wh
at they are hearing from ScuzBucket Alarm Company.  

I know that writing a newsletter is a dauting task for many people but if y
ou start writing one one day, you'll find out that once you get going, that
 a single page fills up pretty fast. Most times I have trouble keeping it t
o one page. You could even send one out every 6 months.  

Any way, that's my suggestion.  

Re: Lying Competition
On Monday, March 25, 2013 8:45:35 PM UTC-7, Jim wrote:
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rs repeating.
stomer that I hadn't seen nor heard from for over 5 years. Her message on m
y answering machine said something about how nasty my employee was to her o
ver the telephone. Well, at that particular time, I was the only "employee"
 so I hadn't any idea what she was talking about. I called her and she rela
ted how she had set the alarm off and had gotten into an argument with the  
CS operator who ..... she thought was    "my employee"  and she was cancell
ing her monitoring. There was nothing I could offer her nor convince her of
 the fact that the operator was not my employee. It was then that I realize
d that a few years after I would do any installation, my customers would fo
rget all about the "nice guy" who installed their alarm system and that the
 CS operators would become their alarm company in their minds. That's when  
I started to send out a quarterly newsletter. Even though I complained to t
he CS about how the operator had treated my customer, I never wanted to los
e another customer because of their perception that the central station was
 their alarm company. From that  point forward to this day (about 32 years)
 I have sent a quarterly news letter to my clients. It's just a simple blac
k and white, 8 1/2 by 11, one sided, black and white, four column note. I a
lways mention something or make a comment about some community or media eve
nt, offer suggestions about testing their alarms. Tell them about a vacatio
n I may have just taken and so on. Mention that there are companies that ma
y try contacting them via telephone or door to door trying to steal account
s from other alarm companies. I tell them how to test their alarm systems,  
make their homes look occupied when they're not home, to be careful during  
the holiday season. I tell them about the other services I offer and maybe  
a little bit about a special job that I've done, home theater, computer net
working and inviting them to call me, with no obligations, if they have any
 questions about new technology that they're interested in or looking to bu
y, TV's, IPhones, computers, etc, etc, etc. As I read the alarm trade and h
ome theater magazines, I'll cut out articles and post some of the statistic
s about burglaries and fires and other odd bits of information about techno
logy that I think end users might be interested in.  And I always somehow w
ork into the letter that if they should ever have any problems with their c
entral station company that monitors their system, to let me know and I wil
l be happy to take care of it for them. Sometimes I will slip a month in ge
tting the newsletter out. I actually get calls from people asking for anoth
er copy because they think it may have gotten lost in the mail. I've got tw
o clients who send a copy to their kids who have grown up, gone to collage  
and now live in another state.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
original reason and it keeps my clients reminded of who I am through the ye
ars, even if they don't get to see me.  
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alarm company and you are just a faint memory ...... if that. And when that
 sleezey company comes a-knockin, there's no "connection" to the guy who in
stalled their system. You've become just the voice of the CS operator so th
ere's no loyalty remainging for you and therefore no reason to not believe  
what they are hearing from ScuzBucket Alarm Company.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
 you start writing one one day, you'll find out that once you get going, th
at a single page fills up pretty fast. Most times I have trouble keeping it
 to one page. You could even send one out every 6 months.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Jim,

That's a good newsletter in itself, and good advice if I ever take over the
 company.

It turns out that it wasn't so much the local company's fault, it was the l
arge global company that treats everyone like a number sending out a work o
rder to make updates for a customer that hadn't been with them for over a d
ecade.

If I ever need a telegraph, I'll be sure to give them a call.

- Chris

Re: Lying Competition
On Thursday, March 28, 2013 7:29:43 AM UTC-4, Chris wrote:
 That's a good newsletter in itself, and good advice if I ever take over th
e company. It turns out that it wasn't so much the local company's fault, i
t was the large global company that treats everyone like a number sending o
ut a work order to make updates for a customer that hadn't been with them f
or over a decade. If I ever need a telegraph, I'll be sure to give them a c
all. - Chris

I don't know if you feel you'd want to ..... but maybe if you typed up a ne
wsletter and submitted it to management as a "suggestion" ..... just sayin  
... it might be the suggestion of the year and win you some brownie points.
  

Of course it could also come back and bite  you when they tell you that now
 you can do a newsletter for them every month.   :-)

Re: Lying Competition

On Monday, March 25, 2013 10:22:21 PM UTC-4, Chris wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Hi Chris,

I've mentioned this before in ASA but it's been a long time and maybe bears  
repeating.

After a number of years installing, one day I got a call from an irate  
customer that I hadn't seen nor heard from for over 5 years. Her message on  
my answering machine said something about how nasty my employee was to her  
over the telephone. Well, at that particular time, I was the only "employee"  
so I hadn't any idea what she was talking about. I called her and she  
related how she had set the alarm off and had gotten into an argument with  
the CS operator who ..... she thought was    "my employee"  and she was  
cancelling her monitoring. There was nothing I could offer her nor convince  
her of the fact that the operator was not my employee. It was then that I  
realized that a few years after I would do any installation, my customers  
would forget all about the "nice guy" who installed their alarm system and  
that the CS operators would become their alarm company in their minds.  
That's when I started to send out a quarterly newsletter. Even though I  
complained to the CS about how the operator had treated my customer, I never  
wanted to lose another customer because of their perception that the central  
station was their alarm company. From that  point forward to this day (about  
32 years) I have sent a quarterly news letter to my clients. It's just a  
simple black and white, 8 1/2 by 11, one sided, black and white, four column  
note. I always mention something or make a comment about some community or  
media event, offer suggestions about testing their alarms. Tell them about a  
vacation I may have just taken and so on. Mention that there are companies  
that may try contacting them via telephone or door to door trying to steal  
accounts from other alarm companies. I tell them how to test their alarm  
systems, make their homes look occupied when they're not home, to be careful  
during the holiday season. I tell them about the other services I offer and  
maybe a little bit about a special job that I've done, home theater,  
computer networking and inviting them to call me, with no obligations, if  
they have any questions about new technology that they're interested in or  
looking to buy, TV's, IPhones, computers, etc, etc, etc. As I read the alarm  
trade and home theater magazines, I'll cut out articles and post some of the  
statistics about burglaries and fires and other odd bits of information  
about technology that I think end users might be interested in.  And I  
always somehow work into the letter that if they should ever have any  
problems with their central station company that monitors their system, to  
let me know and I will be happy to take care of it for them. Sometimes I  
will slip a month in getting the newsletter out. I actually get calls from  
people asking for another copy because they think it may have gotten lost in  
the mail. I've got two clients who send a copy to their kids who have grown  
up, gone to collage and now live in another state.

It's worked for me for decades now. Never lost another customer for that  
original reason and it keeps my clients reminded of who I am through the  
years, even if they don't get to see me.

Ya gotta keep "you" in their memory or the central station becomes their  
alarm company and you are just a faint memory ...... if that. And when that  
sleezey company comes a-knockin, there's no "connection" to the guy who  
installed their system. You've become just the voice of the CS operator so  
there's no loyalty remainging for you and therefore no reason to not believe  
what they are hearing from ScuzBucket Alarm Company.

I know that writing a newsletter is a dauting task for many people but if  
you start writing one one day, you'll find out that once you get going, that  
a single page fills up pretty fast. Most times I have trouble keeping it to  
one page. You could even send one out every 6 months.

Any way, that's my suggestion.

It also helps if you have a great Central Station.... After I joined the  
Monitoring America alarm co-op, I never looked at one of the Large Central  
Stations again :)  



Re: Lying Competition
On Tuesday, March 26, 2013 6:17:48 PM UTC-4, Russell Brill wrote:
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 Monitoring America alarm co-op, I never looked at one of the Large Central
 Stations again :)

As it turned later, listening to the recorded conversation, the customer wa
s being totally unreasonable. The system was sending in a low battery signa
l and for some reason the customer didn't remember that she even had a stan
dby battery and was telling the CS operator that she was wrong, that her al
arm system didn't run on batteries. She didn't understand what was going on
 and took it out on the operator and obviously didn't want the alarm monito
ring service anymore .... anyway.

Over the past 30 or so years I've had no major problems and very few minor  
.... what usually turns out to be "mis"understadings with my centrals.

Re: Lying Competition
On Monday, March 25, 2013 8:22:21 PM UTC-6, Chris wrote:
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r real companies - trying to steal your clients by telling them you're out  
of business, etc.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

As (almost) always, Jim has the ?right? idea.  Door knockers, bogus cal
ls, loss-leader advertising and many other take-over techniques are part of
 this business. I probably haven't posted here in ten years, but some thing
s never change. The alarm business is chock full of people that deserve to  
be in jail.
Stealing accounts through high means and low is rampant.  
Years back I worked for a localized alarm company. The owner was without a  
doubt the most unprincipled  business person I have ever known )except for  
lawyers.) A guy named Robert Bass used to hog this forum, he had zero scrup
les when it came to money. Yet, even he had policies relating to customer s
ervice that far outshone some of the companies doing business.
Large nationals seem to attract a fair number of thieves.  Don't believe th
ey are any worse than many ?mom and pops.?

Jake~
ps. hi guys :)

Re: Lying Competition
On Tuesday, April 2, 2013 8:11:59 PM UTC-4, ashbur...@gmail.com wrote:
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er have issues with other alarm companies - door knockers or real companies
 - trying to steal your clients by telling them you're out of business, etc
. > > > > Anything that should or shouldn't be done about them? > > > > - C
hris As (almost) always, Jim has the ?right? idea. Door knockers, bogus
 calls, loss-leader advertising and many other take-over techniques are par
t of this business. I probably haven't posted here in ten years, but some t
hings never change. The alarm business is chock full of people that deserve
 to be in jail. Stealing accounts through high means and low is rampant. Ye
ars back I worked for a localized alarm company. The owner was without a do
ubt the most unprincipled business person I have ever known )except for law
yers.)  

A guy named Robert Bass used to hog this forum, he had zero scruples when i
t came to money. Yet, even he had policies relating to customer service tha
t far outshone some of the companies doing business. Large nationals seem t
o attract a fair number of thieves. Don't believe they are any worse than m
any ?mom and pops.?  
Jake~ ps. hi guys :)

Hello Jake,

Not too many left here anymore. Just like  you .... some pop in every once  
in a while.  

It's a lot nicer here now but not too many newbies come here. I believe tha
t when people look at the history posts of the group they may think it's st
ill the same way now as it was back then and just move on. Also, seems as i
f every mfg, trade mag or anybody who can type with one finger has a websit
e with a "forum" of some sort.  

Whatever. There seems to be just enough going on to keep what few of us are
 left interested. And, for some .... like me .... since I've been here sinc
e the mid/late 90's ..... it's just a habit to check in to see what's going
 on at least every few days.  


Re: Lying Competition
Hey Jake.  

Always good to see one of the old farts drop in.  

Bob  

Re: Lying Competition
On Monday, March 25, 2013 10:22:21 PM UTC-4, Chris wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
r real companies - trying to steal your clients by telling them you're out  
of business, etc.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

You are quite right ! Sometimes it seems as if some of the alarm companies  
are worse than the low life we are trying to protect our customers against.
 Thank goodness they are in the minority; however there are enough of them  
that they can do quite some damage.  

Up here in Ottawa, I like many companies, do our fair share of takeovers. O
ne of the larger firms up here in Ottawa (Kodiak Alarms for one)with about  
10,000 customers, seems to be getting away with disreputable practices. ALL
 their alarm boards are locked regardless of who owns them; ALL of their bo
ards don't have any kind of auto test programmed in, so they never know or  
care whether their client's systems are working or not.With so many custome
rs going VoIP today, this is an invitation to disaster !! I know this throu
gh multiple takeovers,as well as talking directly to their installers.  

There are so many others that I have comprised a list of installer codes fo
r local companies that lock their boards, and I willingly give it out to an
yone who asks. I figure that's the only ways to beat these lowlife companie
s at their own game. If they don't lock boards, they're not on my list !!

Then we have companies like DSC that deliberately encrypt their newest line
 of boards so they can't be unlocked...!!

Door knockers and others of their ilk will always be with us. For many, mon
ey is always put before ethics in the way they operate. As long as customer
s are stupid enough to believe you can get something for nothing in this bu
siness, these guys will continue to flourish. It's been the same for the 20
 or so years I've been in the business. I doubt anything will change any ti
me soon....

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