What are the advantages to using a Licensed company?

Question********************* Ken, What are the negative ramifications for a customer that uses a non-licensed alarm installer in the state of New York. I was on an estimate the other day and I got into a conversation with a prospective client about the importance of using a licensed alarm company such as mine. She said that she had done some Internet research on the topic of licensed alarm installers in the State of New York and decided to call only licensed companies as she would assume that they are more qualified to do the job but nowhere could she find what the negative ramifications for the client would be that used a non-licensed installer. She saw the penalties for the alarm company but again nothing about the client. Honestly after all of these years in the business I couldn't definitively answer her question other then speculation about insurance coverage, etc. So I ask you - What are the negative ramifications for a customer that uses a non-licensed alarm installer in the State of New York. Thank you for all you do for our industry. Steve ************************ Answer ************************ The issue isn't limited to New York; it's a great question for all licensed jurisdictions, which is most states. Considering all of the requirements for getting an Alarm Installer License in New York I'm surprised you couldn't come up with a few quick responses. So why would a customer care if the alarm dealer was licensed? Maybe price is all the customer should care about, or a suave sales pitch, or immediate installation, a fancy advertisement, or reputation or just a recommendation from a friend. Well I can think of a few responses, and I'm sure there are many more.

Licensing laws generally include some level of competency requirements; education and testing; maybe continued education or certification levels. The license insures at least some level of competence. criminal background check for all employees who will have any contact with the customer. Customers don't do their own background checks and this may be the single most important response you could offer. Some jurisdictions require licensed dealers to maintain certain minimum standards of operation, such as contracts, insurance and standards. Most jurisdictions will receive and act upon complaints made against licensed contracts, a remedy that may not be available if the customer chooses to deal with an unlicensed contractor. A licensed dealer has demonstrated that at a minimum he is willing to abide and conform to the licensing laws. That choose to disobey the licensing law may be ignoring lots of other laws that are designed to protect consumers.

You may want to ask a few questions of your own when confronted with a customer who is making you bid against a non licensed contractor. [and let's face it, you may have some difficulty competing with an unlicensed contractor - why? because the unlicensed contractor doesn't have your expenses for license compliance, insurance, employee wages; might even get his equipment at Midnight Alarm Supplies or off a truck]. So ask, would the customer allow his or her kids to be picked up by a school bus employing driver's without driver's licenses or vehicle insurance? No? Then why would they allow someone unlicensed into their home and trust them with their security and safety? ******************

I served on as the Chairman of the DOPL Alarm Licensing board for several years and this question came up many times. When people use non licensed companies they have less recourse when they file a complaint. When a licensed company does something they should not then they could lose their license or be fined. When a non licensed company does the same it is harder to deal with. Larry@PeakAlarm.com 801 428 1384 www.PeakAlarm.com


Also it is prudent to check your security companies BBB report (Better Business Bureau www.bbb.org )

Peak Alarm has an A+ rating unlike many of our competitors who have F ratings and over 3000 complaints on two of our larger competitors compared to our 4 complaints in the last 3 years.