Most companies charge you for your equipment, but you NEVER actually own it. The agreement states that the company retains ownership EVEN AFTER the contract is up.
It would seem to me that a lot of salespeople do not divulge this information. I personally have no problem telling my prospects because sooner or later, someone is going to tell them anyway. I have had many people confused by this, and I set them straight.
IN MOST CASES, like with ADT and Hell South From Protection One, YOU DON'T OWN your own equipment, ever. It is considered leased.
Most of the regular posters here are tech minded alarm system veterans, most of whom own or work for small, independent companies. You might think you are giving all of us some sort of "revelation", but that's not the case. Most of us are well aware of the National's tactics.
Here's a revelation for you- you're yet another know-it-all holier-than-thou sales kid whose blowhard style is going to doom his success in this industry. Buy some tools, go on some installs and service calls for a few weeks with folks who know what the hell they are talking about. After you've been in the industry for 8-10 years, then you can come in here and share your "wisdom" with us. Til then, go peddle yours wares to little old ladies who think you're a 'nice boy'.
een in the industry for 8-10 years, then you can come in here and share your "wisdom" with us. Til then, go peddle yours wares to little old ladies who think you're a 'nice boy'.
If it wasn't for littleold ladies liking me, many installers would be sitting home watching Oprah. You wouldn't be where you are, without salesmen. You need us worse than we need you. I could teach a chimp to install. A chimp would have trouble convincing someone to buy a security system, or anything.
The contract or agreements state that they are owned by the company, only leased by you. Do I need to list the ADT agreement's small writing on the back? I can also list the Bell South from Protection One's agreement too. They BOTH say the same thing.
Sir, alarm system installation is just like any other trade. It is relatively simple to do in a basic fashion. However, where the difference lies is learning the skills and techniques that provide for a worry free installation over the longer term. There are no textbooks that teach these skills; they are learned only through the school of "hard knocks", and usually only after years or professional installations. I have personally installed well over 1000 alarms myself, and I am still finding new situations that require new innovations and techniques. Your statement about teaching a chimp to install is not only insulting but totally inaccurate. With this distain of those who install the systems you sell (or sold), I am not surprised by what has happened to you....
Anyone can hammer a nail in a board, but it takes a carpenter to know how to put those boards together to make a home. I suspect you might well be in the wrong line of work.....
R.H.Campbell Home Security Metal Products Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I've been an installer, svc tech, svc manager, saleman, and an alarm company owner. I've got nearly 20 years in this business. Yes, chimps can install- especially if you're not very particular with the result. On the other hand, REAL professionals know it takes a MINIMUM of 4 years to become proficient at the installation of security systems, with ongoing training to stay on top of new equipment and specs. Someday, if you're lucky, you will see how a PROFESSIONAL company does things. Until then, you keep selling those trunk-slammer systems that your felon meth-head pimply faced installers slap in.
You, my young cocky friend, don't even know something as simple as how a timer test works. Care to tell me the top 3 causes of PIR false alarms? How about the things that make the microwave portion of a dual-tech false? Do you even know what a dual-tech is? What's the minimum guage fire rated wire for a proper fire detection circuit following NFPA specs? Do you know what NFPA is? What is NEC? How does it apply to alarm system design by a salesperson? What does NICET stand for? What is your level of NICET certification? How much classroom training do you have in electronics? What is Ohm's law? Do you know resistor color codes? Do you know what a resistor is, and how it works? What is vital to place at the last device on a 4-wire Fire loop? Why? Which entrance to people's homes is most likely to be broken into, according to the FBI? What 3 hints can you give a homeowner to increase their security that don't involve an alarm system? What type of heat detector is appropriate in a home's attic? How about a kitchen? What is a "duct detector"? Can you demonstrate total DC current calculations for the devices you sell? How many cocky little prick salesmen does it take to royally fuck up a system's design? How many talented installers does it take to fix said salesmen's bullshit? (hint- it's less than 2)
Go back to school, kid- you're out of your league here.
Most companies use and 'industrywide standard' contract which is of course a bad idea but most do it anyway and it is always spelled out very clearly on the front of the contract if each piece of equipment is being leased or sold.
For more than 40 years I have leased systems and the second paragraph plainly says the 'subscriber agrees to lease the said system'. In the equipment list getailed on the front of the contract the word 'leased' appears beside every item we install. Further down the front of the contract it clearly says we will remove all of our leased property at the end of the term of this agreement.
If you are buying a system it says in large bold letters CONDITIONAL SALES AGREEMENT.
On the other hand, sales people with national firms almost always mis-represent everything in their presentation from start to finish meanwhile you very seldom see these tactics from local companies. This may vary in other areas but over the years it has remained pretty much the same here. Local companies have much more control over their operations is the only answer I have for this - local companies usually have local owners who tell employees what is or isn't acceptable. The national firms bring in trained sleasebags to train their sales force and they concentrate on quantity and dollar volume instead of quality and customer satisfaction.
Every week I hear from some poor misguided soul who has been scammed by one of the national firms.
It usually goes as follows...
DDT or BROKES or WE'RENO CABLE says they have the same thing for $19.95 per month that I currently charge $59.95 for and they want to cancel. You say fine we'll be right out to take all of our equipment out and the customer says fine. You go out and pull everything out and wish him well.
The next day or later the same day the customer calls and is all upset because his new company cannot do anything because I came and took everything out. Now they want several hundred dollars to install his free system and $75. per month when they get done. And he is mad at me and blames me for his total stupidity.
Reading the fine print is good advice but the fine print does not explain most people's scams.
I'm going to ditch ADT this month. What are they going to do when I call and cancel my contract? I've had the system for 8 years. Is an ADT service tech going to show up at my door the next day, and ask to come remove my equipment? What if I refuse to let them in the house? Will they sue me?
They may send you a final bill that includes the rest of the monitoring period covered by the automatically renewing contract- most contracts automatically renew for 1 year at the end of the contract period, unless you give them 30 days notice. Whether you pay it or not is up to you. I wouldn't pay for service that I hadn't received, but that's me. Give them their cancellation letter via certified mail- make sure you SIGN it using your proper signature and reference your address and account number.
I seriously doubt they will come get their equipment. Even so, in your letter, let them know that they have 2 weeks (some places may have a shorter or longer notification requirement, but 2 wks should suffice) to come get their equipment. Mention that you expect them to be extremely careful around your priceless antiques. The chances that they will come get 8 yr old equipment is very slim.
Yes, if they come to remove the equipment, and you don't provide access to tehm, they have legal grounds to sue, BUT, for what? The remaining value of
8 yr old depreciated equipment? I doubt it's worth much after they've been depreciating it for 8 yrs. It certainly wouldn't be cost-effective to sue over it.
A word of advice- don't hire a National company- you will be over paying for monitoring and service. Hire a local company with a good reputation and loyal customers. Make sure they have (or contract with) a UL Listed Central Station. Make sure they don't have any salespeople named "sonic duck". Check the BBB website in your area.
OWNERSHIP. If the system is ADT Owned, we have the right upon termination of this Contract, to remove, disable or abandon all or any portion of the ADT Owned system. You are required to provide us access to the system for removal and we have no obligation to repair or redecorate your premises after any such removal. We do not waive our right to collect any unpaid charges by such removal, disablement or abandonment of the ADT Owned system. If the "Customer-Owned" box is checked, the equipment will become the property of the Customer upon payment of the Total Installation Charge including Sales Tax in full. ADT yard signs and window stickers shall remain the property of and may be removed by ADT, even if the "Customer -Owned" box is checked. Your right to display them on your property during the term of this Contract is not transferable
home watching Oprah. You wouldn't be where you are, without salesmen. You need us worse than we need you. I could teach a chimp to install. A chimp would have trouble convincing someone to buy a security system, or anything.
While I don't disagree with you about primates, you're wrong about not needing installers. If the technicians don't do a good job you'll get far fewer referrals and repeat customers. No matter how good a salesman you might be, you won't get paid until someone installs the systems you sell.
I can't agree with your other comments regarding leasing either. There are certainly lots of companies that only lease their systems and a number of them are less than candid about the nature of the "purchase" when making the sale. However, these are not in the majority. Most systems are customer-owned either at from the start or at the end of a contract term.
1)- Pointed at a window, or at a mirror causing it to look at a window, whereupon sunshine, lightning, or headlights "fool" the PIR into seeing a sudden change in the background Infrared energy pattern.
2)- Pointed at or being mounted too close to a forced air duct (or very close to an air return) , ceiling fan, or near an open window, causing the background Infrared energy pattern to change suddenly.
3)- Insects, rodents, or birds, pets, etc.- Insects crawling accross the lens (or inside the detector), animals moving within the detector's field of view, etc., can all cause a detector to false. Pet proof or quad PIR's can help eliminate some of these causes, even when no "pets" are present. (continued) 4)- Power draw from the control at or above capacity- can cause a PIR to "drop out" long enough to trigger the relay, especially if the control is already in an alarm or trouble condition.
5)- PIR not mounted securely, and vibration of the detector itself causes alarm. (truck drives by, wind blows very hard, etc)
6)- Pointed at drapes or curtains that are near forced air ducts or an open window, mylar helium-filled baloons, things hanging from the wall or ceiling that move.
Fans, open windows, water in pipes (drain) in the wall or under the floor, water coolers, refrigerators, things outside (including a stiff breeze) if the detector is set too "hot", causing it's microwave detection "bubble" to become too large for the area being protected.
A combination Passive Infrared and Microwave detector, which uses both technologies simultaneously to determine if an alarm condition is present. Great for environment where PIR might tend to false, such as basements, garages, storage areas, sheds, and many commercial and industrial applications.
Usually 18 guage. Might need to be larger guage depending upon length, application, and current draw calculations.
National Fire Protection Association- A consortium of Fire and Safety industry professionals who determine how to keep people safe from fires and other building safety concerns. A non-profit standards organization. "Established in 1896, NFPA serves as the world's leading advocate of fire prevention and is an authoritative source on public safety. In fact, NFPA's
300 codes and standards influence every building, process, service, design, and installation in the United States, as well as many of those used in other countries."
National Electrical Code- The "bible" for electricians and low-voltage system engineers and installers. Salespeople are usually surprised to learn how much stuff they sell that would violate NEC if installed as requested. Is often overlooked entirely by Residential installers who don't know, or don't care, what they are doing. Electrical Inspectors use NEC either verbatim or as a guide for their own local wiring codes.
Gotta follow NEC, or yer gonna get sued if someone gets hurt in a fire or other hazard caused by an installation that doesn't meet code. May also be heavily fined for not applying for proper electrical permits, or ignoring the local AHJ's (Authority Having Jurisdiction) direction in the design and installation of low-voltage systems.
National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies- Becoming the status quo for a professional alarm company. Everyone in an alarm company who sells, designs, installs, or services customer equipment should have NICET certification commensurate with his/her job responsibilities and experience level. "Requires testing (written, multiple choice) and documentation including a work history, recommendations, and, for most programs, supervisor verification of specific experience. At more advanced levels, requires a 4-year engineering technology degree (no testing required), documentation including a work history and endorsements."
Mine is Level 2. Could be Level 3 easily if I would get my ass signed up for a couple more training sessions.
Being an Aerospace Engineering major in college, (attended 2 years, no degree, but have worked in the industry almost 20 yrs.) I have about 24 credit hours of electronics-related coursework under my belt. I've learned a lot more by "on-the-job" training than I ever learned in school.
I = V / R Current equals Voltage divided by Resistance. The most fundamental of electrical formulas. Can also be expressed as V = R x I or R = V / I to find the value of any of the 3 properties if the other 2 are known.
Yes, but I only really needed to know them because I serviced dozens of different systems for several years. Another very basic thing from Electronics 101. (The colored stripes on a resistor indicate it's capacity and value)
A device which restricts the flow of electrical current by a specified degree.
2 things, actually- an "EOL" (End-Of-Line) resistor, and a Power Supervision relay (unless the detector has one built in) to alert when a 4-wire device has lost power. In a separately powered "N/O" (Normally Open) circuit device, such as a 4-wire smoke detector, if power is lost, the device cannot show that it will not function after a power loss, unless a Power Supervision relay is installed. VERY important.
'Cause if you don't use one, someone could die, and it would be your dumbass fault.
1)- Make the home more visible to passers-by- trim hedges and trees, don't use a tall privacy fence, etc.
2)- Use exterior automatic lighting at night, and indoor lights to make the home look "lived in" all the time.
3)- Make the home difficult to break into- "pinning" windows, securing sliding doors, skylights, getting quality deadbolt locks and using them.
190 to 200 degree fixed temp heat sensor, in most cases.
135 degree rate-of-rise heat sensor, placed adjacent to, but not close to, heat producing appliances.
Detects Smoke in a force-air HVAC system's ductwork, by either photo-electric or Ionization detection means, depending upon the application. In addition to providing indication of a Fire Alarm condition for a control panel, can provide auxiliary relay for functions such as shutting down an "air handler" in an HVAC system.
Add the total current of all devices, leaving a margin for increased load if several devices "trigger" or are otherwise activated to a higher current draw state simultaneously, such as in an alarm condition where keypad backlighting, smoke detectors, motion sensors, sirens, strobes, digital communicator might be activated simutaneously causing CPU failure of overloaded. A life safety concern in a Fire Alarm system, and very important in any case.
Usually just one, though they have been known to conspire to fuck it up in
2's and 3's.
One. Usually while hanging upside down on a ladder, swimming in insulation in a broiling attic, or fighting spider webs in a dank basement. Cursing is optional if the customer is not present.
There are about 10,000 other important things to know, some obscure and seldom needed, and others vital to every install, but this is a sample of some basic items that every new installer or salesperson should know.