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DIY support

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by RH.Campbell, Aug 24, 2003.

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  1. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    Awhile back, I mentioned that I had started a page on my website to sell to
    and support DIY alarm system sales. I also stated that I had not made up my
    mind whether this was a viable option or not and whether I would continue
    this side of the business. Well, after only about six DIY sales, I have
    decided not to support this type of business any longer, and have closed
    things off for additional business.

    My reasons (if anybody cares) are as follows. The level of support that is
    needed is significant. Most buyers had no idea how to program, and the
    several that did, messed it up. No problem ! Since the panels were simple
    ones, I walked them the programming over the phone. Most of the buyers had
    no problem with the actual installation side once I gave them some simple
    tips (all homes were pre-wired, and it might have been different
    otherwise...) Although they didn't always do it the way I would do it , it
    was adequate for its intended purpose. And since all of them did not wish
    their system to be monitored, it was little cause for concern since no one
    is going to be bothered in any fashion by false alarms anyway (interestingly
    enough, every buyer was European, an immigrant coming from one of the Slavic
    countries, where I guess they don't have monitoring services such as we do
    in North America)

    The margin of profit is quite good. In fact, several of the DIY sales (even
    at my prices) produced as much profit as some of my full installations, and
    without the physical work involved. I can see why this side of the business
    is popular with merchants. But it does take significant time to do it
    correctly, and give the client full support...time which I do not have with
    my current schedule (booked fully into the last week of September....).
    Plus, over the years, I have come to realize that a non monitored alarm
    system is mostly a toy...a waste of the customer's money and my time. So in
    good conscience, I can't be promoting something I don't believe in even
    though I know it is fully the client's decision. As well, during site
    visits, I spent more time teaching the client how to properly secure his
    home physically, such that the alarm sale became more of an
    afterthought.....not really conducive to selling DIY equipment....:))

    So, by having to concentrate fully on my "core business" due to diminishing
    time available, it leaves me no time to do DIY properly.

    End of story (for now).....but it was an interesting experiment while it
    lasted.

    R.H.Campbell
    Home Security Metal Products
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    www.homemetal.com
     
  2. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    And since all of them did not wish their system to be
    monitored...

    That is very different from what I get in the USA, Bob. A fair percentage
    ask for monitoring. Most of those go with my CS but a few have used the
    alarm company that did their previous job for them. On several occasions
    I've worked with technicians from other alarm companies to make sure they
    understood Napco programming. A couple have asked me to program DIY
    systems
    to their station for them. As always, I do that at no charge. Competitors
    are usually surprised at the level of co-operation which, if one were to
    judge from the noise in ASA is apparently lacking with many companies.

    RHC: Perhaps my sample size (6 customers) is simply not sufficient to make a
    judgment in this regard....

    The margin of profit is quite good. In fact, several of the
    DIY sales (even at my prices) produced as much profit as
    some of my full installations, and without the physical
    work involved...

    Shhhhh!!!! :^)

    RHC: Hehehe......

    Plus, over the years, I have come to realize that a non
    monitored alarm system is mostly a toy...a waste of the
    customer's money and my time...

    RLB: I disagree, Bob. If the siren scares off one thief (most of the time
    it
    does if the client is in a populated area) the alarm has just paid for
    itself many fold. Obviously, a monitored system is much better protection
    as long as the central station is a good, reliable operation. But don't
    fall into the trap of thinking there's only one solution that's worth
    having.

    RHC: Perhaps we'll simply have to agree to disagree on this point. Or
    perhaps my judgment has been clouded by the RMR issue involved with
    monitored systems. But I have a difficult time understanding why a simple
    siren is sufficient. I have had three breakins with my 600 clients, and to
    the best of my knowledge, the siren did nothing to scare them away. They sim
    ply did their business and left. When the police arrived, at least the home
    was locked up properly. In fact, the three breakins that happened left me
    wondering more what good the alarm really did at all.

    RLB: Give them my URL and I'll treat them the way you would, Bob.

    RHC: For the few inquiries I get, I usually give them Allan's name and site
    at Intelligent Interiors. He's close, his prices are reasonable, and clients
    can buy in Canadian dollars without worrying about the hassle and extra
    expense at Customs...
    I would refer them to you if they were Stateside....
     
  3. David Kratz

    David Kratz Guest

    Date: 1998/11/23

    Hello:
    Robert L Bass is wrong again! David Rassent wrote "ITI Caretaker+ is the
    only
    trouble free way to go."
    I am neither promoting or discouraging the use of this or any other ITI
    product.
    Robert L Bass's statement " I beg to differ, David. ITI Caretaker is a
    wireless system." is clearly false and misleading to consumers. "Use a
    reliable, hard-wired system or at worst, go hybrid using only the
    absolute minimum of RF based hardware." Robert L Bass.

    Since Robert L Bass has a cash interest in promoting products that he sells
    from his web store and ITI is not one of his product lines he benefits from
    directing consumers away from ITI and towards a so called hybrid system. In
    fact NAPCO the alarm system that Robert L Bass regularly hypes to the do it
    yourself types in this news group actually uses the word "HYBRID" in bold
    and
    capital letters on the top of their sales promotional literature.

    Now for the truth:
    The ITI CareTaker+ (Plus) has been in use by the professional alarm trade
    for
    at least 4 or 5 (maybe even almost 6) years now. Since this product's
    introduction it has been a HARDWIRE system with a wireless optional
    capability. But the control and status via telephone keypad on site and
    remote
    was always a standard feature. Companies like NAPCO did not even have an
    options for this feature then. And today you still need an add-on device to
    get this feature from most companies including NAPCO.

    Copied form the ITI CareTaker Plus installation manual, printed February
    1993:
    The CareTaker Plus design allows for maximum flexibility in customer
    configuration. It is a wireless and a hardwire security system. ...
    The Hardwire system has 6 built-in hardwire zones and can be expanded in
    groups
    of 8 with Hardwire Input Modules (HIMs) for a total of 32 zones. ...
    With the addition of the optional Wireless Receiver Module, the CareTaker
    Plus
    can utilize ITI's vast array of learn mode wireless sensors. Remember, you
    have the capability of mixing hardwire and wireless sensors in the same
    system. The total of 32 zones can be applied any way you need to meet your
    installation requirements.
    Your customer's touch tone telephones become controlling devices, both from
    in-home and off premises. Arming, disarming, status messages, light
    control,
    energy saver control and panic alarms are all available from each telephone
    ....

    The CareTaker Plus can communicate (interactively) with ITI's CS-4000
    central
    station receiver. Standard 4/2 Format is also available for applications
    where
    CareTaker Plus will report to receivers of a different vendor.
    ____

    Best Regards,
    Nick
     
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