I had a false alarm yesterday and didn't receive a cal from the central station to check in. When I asked them about it, they claimed they had received a cancel signal along with the alarm and therefore didn't call. Fine. But I always cancel false alarms immediately and they have ALWAYS called in the past, at which point I've given them the password and that was the end of it. I prefer to receive the call, and don't know if they've recently changed their policies regarding cancel signals, but can I turn off the cancel signal in the panel? It's an Ademco 20-PS.
What you speak of is very common. I would not, however, reprogram the system to remove the cancel signal. When your panel was communicating with the central station (cancel signal), it sent an electronic cancel, when the central station called your site, they propably got a ring back from your telephone line due to the fact that you probably have call waiting, and your panel was communicating.
No matter what happened, I would leave the cancel signal programmed in your Vista 20 PS and notify the monitoring station that you want to be contacted on all alarms. Some central stations require that a cancel signal should be called on, but if they get no answer, they will not dispatch. Your alarm company tells the central station how to handle each type of signal.
Either call the central station or your alarm company to get your concern corrected to your liking.
Unfortunately, customers are not as aware of the all the workings nor do they ask the question until there is a problem. Is that the customers fault, the alarm company's fault, who knows. Bottom line is that the alarm company should do what ever possible to make their customer base aware of any changes in procedure and the technicians should pay more heed to the little things when explaining the system. However, give a guy a new computer and a handbook for dummies and within a month he is hacking the pentagon, so he should be able minded enough to give some time and consideration to his security program. Now that I have stated what is ideal, reality is that I have tried several different things over the years to get customers to remember what happens when and alarm occurs and what to expect. Waste of time, money, and energy. Most people cannot remember yesterday. It is easier to deal with the few that call in and hold their hand.
I use refrigerator magnets with our number on it...and I used to have their account number on it too but that just confused them...so it's just a little refrig magnet with the three steps to cancel dispatch. Disarm System with your code, If you don't hear from us in 60 secs call this number xxxxxxx , give your name and password.
Yup, you got that right....here's a common scenario:
Customer: My alarm system is beeping, what should I do ?
Me: Ok, first tell me what make of alarm panel you have.
Customer: (...dead silence....) followed by.."How can I tell?"
Me: Ok, is it a white or beige keypad that opens to the side or a black and white one that opens up and down ?
Customer: Ugh...well....I can't tell really
Me: Ok, can you give me your system number?
Customer: Where do I find that ?
Me: On the blue folder I gave you when we first put the alarm in, or look on one of your passcards
Customer: Oh, my wife packed the folder away and I haven't seen it in years. Passcards ? What are those ?
Then I have to describe the keypad in detail to try to determine the type of alarm so I can show them how to locate the trouble. I suppose if I asked if they have read the manual, they'd ask me what that is (if they could even find it..!!!!)
I do have a database by customer name, system number, address and phone number, so I can always work things out....but GOLLY.... sometimes I really have to wonder.....
Now that I have stated what is ideal, reality is that I
Yah Ademco and DMP same exit error process. DMP does it only on delay zones...cant remember if Ademco is all zones or just delayed ones.
In an effort to catch them before they get too far away from home we do try to call them except I'm really hesistant to dispatch knowing it's an exit error. I'm still in a quandry abt this due to our really expensive false alarm fines.
I've also been thinking of accepting a abort/cancel as just that...abort dispatch...dont bother calling premise. Accept of course so many clients are used to that call when the siren goes off, it will cause confusion.
An ABORT is one thing, the user entered the code and canceled the alarm.
But, I agree, An Alarm within 2 minutes of arming is scary to ignore but borderline silly to dispatch on.
I find 2 minutes to be a lot of time. Someone camped out back could watch me leave the front way and break in before anyone would think anything real could happen. Of course I get SMS messages on alarms so I would know, so I'm not worried about it, anymore.
By Default, we stopped dispatching when the Abort is received, due to possible false-alarm charges (and they were ALWAYS false alarms). Not a single dealer or customer had a problem with that change, if they noticed at all. We still call, but if we can't get through we won't dispatch either (figure if they can Abort the alarm they could also press a Panic button or Duress code if they need someone, assuming they remember how to do a Duress while under duress). On exit-fault we call the prem, if the abort is received we will call the call list before the police, then police, then the call list.
On the DMP you'd only get the exit error on the delay door, if they walked into the pir or another trap we'd get a regular dispatchable burg...so it's not tooooo scary. Not sure with Ademco if it works the same.
The DMP will also sound the siren for 15 seconds to try to catch them before they leave the driveway.
Well, I received another response from my alarm company that was very apologetic and honest. Essentially they're saying my central station is supposed to call on every alarm even when they receive the cancel signal and after further looking into my incident the other day, it was simply human error:
"You are absolutely correct in your statement the Central Station has always contacted you in the event you disarm the system and transmit a "cancel" signal immediately upon activation.
It was in error that we stated that your activations would be disregarded when a cancel signal is transmitted along with the alarm activation. We utilize 2 UL Central Stations and even though it is not a UL requirement, the facility you are reporting to will place a call on all residential "cancel" signals to attempt to make contact with someone, however, if no contact is made, the signal is logged with no Police response due to the fact the "cancel" indicates an authorized user had shut off the alarm system correctly. Please, except our apologies for the misstatement, as it does not apply to your system.
It is our policy to be up front and as candid as possible, yes, you should have received a call, as you stated you always have, we researched the incident and unfortunately it was human error on the operator's part. We do not know exactly why the operator that handled your alarm placed no call; they entered the standard entry that would apply to alarms that are flagged to be logged with cancel signals.
We have in place internal procedures to deal with such occurrences and ask that you accept our apologies for 1st, the issue that you were not called as you have been used to, and 2nd, the miscommunications on responding to you initial email inquiry, and lastly, allow us to handle internally the issue further as we are very concerned about you and your family's trust and confidence in our services and will take appropriate steps to ensure this does not occur again."
I'm surprised. I have all kinds of stuff on my installs. A quick search on the address pulls it all up. I can tell most clients what breaker their panel is on. And ya gotta have a location history. I give the customers operator's manuals and copies if they ask for them, most don't. Ha ha, Like he said, It's our problem, R.H.
Good records are one thing; I definately have those. However, I fail to see how total ignorance of the type of alarm or how it works in even the simplest fashion is "our problem". Ultimately, it becomes our problem, since we have to deal with their total lack of knowledge on their system. And there is only so much training you can do if the client simply doesn't care (try to keep commercial users especially up to date on their alarm system's operation....)
I don't hold my car manufacturer, or his salesman, responsible because I didn't read the owners manual and don't know how things work. And since their alarm system is connected ultimately into the cities support system (fire and police), they ought to take things a bit more seriously. A lot of the time, RTFM really should apply !!
Nope ! I'm starting to believe there are people who really shouldn't have alarm systems....
What's the matter Mike; you get out of bed on the wrong side this morning ? If you didn't, you'd know better than to make those kinds of accusations.
I get fully paid up front for everything I do. I just don't believe it's in any customer's interest to sign a long term contract if 1- they pay me full and fair market value for the alarm system up front, or...2- they already own the system free and clear. If they want to buy a system at less than fair market value, I'm not their dealer - period ! Then monitoring is at a reasonable price, and includes a totally worry free service plan. I like it; customers like it, the only ones I ever hear complain are other dealers. All I have to do is sit and wait for the phone to ring !!
No offence to you, but if other dealers don't like it, that's tough shit !! And if that's "giving away alarms", then so be it.
Just 'cause it's different doesn't make it free. And frankly, I'm tired of explaining it over and over !
Yeah, it's called a holiday ! Obviously both Mike and I both need one ! If the weather improves, I'm heading off tomorrow on my motorcycle up into the northern part of the province to enjoy Thanksgiving with some of my family. If it doesn't stop raining, I'll be sitting here listening to clients whine about their alarm systems...$#%$%^^$
Had one this morning keep telling me her new wireless motions were making a high pitched whine. Went over there and it was her hearing aid making the whine. Had another one the other day....the glassbreak was whining and squealing....replaced it, but it beats me why it was doing that.......
Gotta love this business sometimes; always something new coming along.....