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Take Over Practices

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by J Barnes, Apr 28, 2006.

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  1. J Barnes

    J Barnes Guest

    I had one of my customers call me today to cancel service. It seems another
    company just happened to be in the neighborhood and had a promotion going
    on. The promotion was a free alarm system with keyfob's. So my customer
    decided to go with the new company and get the free system.

    They pulled out my DSC Maxis panel that had 65 zones and put in a 2 door
    and a motion lick n stick special. Im not sure how these guys can sleep at
    night when they do stuff like this.

    James B
  2. alarman

    alarman Guest

    They sleep just fine, 'cuz they don't have a conscience.
    How did the customer feel about going from full coverage to dingbat? What
  3. Mark Leuck

    Mark Leuck Guest

    I'm more amazed at the stupidity of your former customer for letting them do
  4. Matt Ion

    Matt Ion Guest

    Yeah, just think of how much more you can charge him to come put your
    system back once he clues in!

    Personally, I've always wondered how a fool and his money got together
    in the first place...

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  5. Are you sure they didn't tie in the devices previously installed, and
    did you ask the customer at what point they lost confidence in you? Was
    the monthly fee you were charging them much higher than the new
    company? Did they have a previous service issue with you? I highly
    doubt a 'satisfied' customer will discard a 65 zone system for a 3 zone
    system with fob just because the new system is "free". Something made
    them jump ship.
    Rather than worrying about the sleeping habits of the other company you
    should be taking advantage of this situation and turning into a
    learning experience. Losing this one account might be a good thing if
    you make the proper adjustments so this doesn't happen with your other
  6. Mike Sokoly

    Mike Sokoly Guest

    If you have properly executed contracts, and there is still financial
    obligation to you from the owner, you may have a Legal recourse in this
  7. R.H.Campbell

    R.H.Campbell Guest

    I think this gentleman's advice is absolutely spot on the money ! IMO, they
    didn't steal an account as much as you lost an account (no flame intended)!
    The question you should be concerned about is why ! Sure there will always
    be a few penny pinchers who will leave you for a couple of bucks savings a
    month; however, this customer chose to seriously degrade his overall level
    of security, which seems to imply (perhaps), he was reacting in an emotional
    way to the opportunity to leave you.

    This is no flame against you, but I truly believe that if you are giving
    quality service, and your pricing is not too far out of line, the chances of
    a client leaving you for an unknown factor is pretty low. Real estate has
    three rules..."location, location, location". IMO, the security business has
    three as well..."service, service,service" ! The presence or absence of a
    long term contract doesn't play too much into the scenario overall if the
    customer is unhappy with services provided. That's why I get so many
    takeover clients from ADT and the other mass market "paper flippers"......
    prices totally out of line after the end of the contract, and poor service !

    Speaking only from personal experience, a bigger risk lately is the loss of
    clients to little companies who don't give a shit about the client's overall
    security, and are willing to hook the panel up to VoIP !! I've lost quite a
    few clients to a couple of local scumbag companies who do this as a matter
    of course ! I figure if the client is so stupid that he'll jeopardize
    everything for a few bucks a month, I'm probably better off without him.
    Besides, once you reach a certain threshold, customers are coming in the
    door faster than you can handle them anyway...

    But with some customers, it certainly is... "go figure".....

  8. mikey

    mikey Guest

    civil service

    *** ***
  9. Bob La Londe

    Bob La Londe Guest

    But most times its just not worth it...

    *** ***

  10. Yeah, that's a great way to show other customer's you care about them...
    just sue.
  11. Bob Worthy

    Bob Worthy Guest

    Didn't someone once say, "It is a moral obligation to separate a sucker from
    his money". I guess that is the philosophy that some take to heart.
  12. Bob Worthy

    Bob Worthy Guest

    Not only with the customer but the company as well. It is called torturous
    interference with an existing contract. Depending on the circumstances,
    theft by conversion is another question to ask your legal counsel.
  13. Bob Worthy

    Bob Worthy Guest

    Do you let them walk? Do you let the other company continue to hit the homes
    with your signs, telling the customer that it is alright to flip because you
    won't do anything about it? If so, you will be simply replacing and not
    building. With over 400 alarm companies in my area, with some of the wildest
    marketing ideas you could dream of, over the years, I have definiately had
    my attorney write some of them nasty grams about their sales habits.
    Luckily, I have a fairly loyal account base and they call me when one of
    these jokers show up selling their snake oil. I have had to build a one on
    one relationship with ADT's attorney, and I sat on the NBFAA's Board of
    Directors with the Brinks attorney, so it is real easy to call off those
    dogs with so many of the authorized dealers running around down here with
    their "freebies".

  14. Have you sued a customer? I haven't...
  15. Mike Sokoly

    Mike Sokoly Guest

    Thanks Bob,
    Apparently Stanley doesn't seem to value his business very much.
    Let them go. Yeah, so they can do it to you or some other guy again!
    Great way to keep your business prospering!
  16. Bob Worthy

    Bob Worthy Guest

    Don't waste my time or any more money with a deadbeat by sueing them. All
    you'll get is a judgement anyway. I send them to collections and let them
    earn their money collecting mine.
  17. Bob Worthy

    Bob Worthy Guest

    I really don't care how other companies choose to operate, but when they
    start taking money away from my retirement, and for you younger guys, money
    out of your childrens college fund, I have a problem with that. If I loose a
    customer, as some have said in this post, for something I could have
    controlled, I get what I deserve. However, when someone starts targeting my
    accounts in a developement with mass blitz sales campaigns, or starts
    tempting my clients with these BS programs, then I start looking at it in a
    different light. I am fortunate enough to have enough ware-with-all, down
    here, to protect my assets, one way or another, from these run-amucks. Don't
    lay down, stand up like a man for what you have worked hard for. You will be
    far more respected. Just a little of my Dad's soapbox.
  18. I am having trouble understanding some of these replies in regards to
    it appearing as if we own the client even after they have fulfilled
    the original terms. If a client wants to jump ship after the initial
    term then let them. This is a free market society, and the belief that
    the customer is ours forever is ludicrous. Imagine if your long
    distance company or cell phone company felt the same way. You have a
    Nextel and you decide to switch to Cingular when your contract is up.
    Are you a scumbag for leaving Nextel, or is Cingular playing dirty pool
    in signing you up? A satisfied customer won't think about switching
    unless they feel they can get a better deal. What is so wrong with
    When we solicit the customer we talk about how what we offer will truly
    benefit them but we switch hats once that same customer finds someone
    else who will up the ante.
  19. J Barnes

    J Barnes Guest

    They may have tied into the existing devices but I didnt think they would
    have done it for free. They pulled out the Maxis so they would have had to
    put in all new expanders or another Maxis.

    When I talked to my custmer she insisted she was happy with the service we
    have given her over the (10) years but she liked the idea of a system that
    would use a key-fob. She did say we should have let her know that the
    system she had could have used keyfobs. I guess we could have retained her
    if we only had kept her more informed on what her system could do.

    We send out a newsletter to all of our customers about 6 times a year. It
    dont look like to many people read them. Does anyone have a better way of
    keeping their customers informed?

    We charged her 15.00 per month for monitoring so I dont think price was an
    issue. Im sure she is paying double that for her "free" system. Thanks for
    all the great responses and I appreciate the objective points of view.

    James B
  20. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    I'd chalk it up to sheer stupidity on your customer's part. We quoted
    on a system recently in which the customer was actually considering
    AlarmFarce. When it came to comparing services though it was pretty
    much a "no brainer". AlarmFarce was protecting one door and providing a
    single motion in a house that was 3500 square feet on two levels with a
    walk out basement. When the customer questioned the rep (800 number -
    no one actually came out to see them), he said it would be "easy" to
    secure the basement with another motion.

    "But what about an extra keypad?" they asked.

    "Oh," said the rep, "you don't need one. Your touchtone phones become
    your keypad."

    "But it doesn't tell me 'status' if there's an alarm at night (in fact
    the phone goes dead while the panel communicates *if* they hook it up
    properly), and your keypad (with the two way voice feature) is
    downstairs. How are we supposed to get help? And what about if we want
    to go downstairs for a glass of milk? We'd have to remember to disarm
    the system."

    "Oh, no," said the rep, "the motions automatically bypass at night".

    "But that would only leave only one door contact protecting my whole
    house. What am I supposed to do? Put up a sign that says 'Attention
    Burglars! Use this door to force entry between 10:00 pm and 8:00 am?'"

    Frank Olson
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