CenterPoint Technologies tackles false dispatch by adding two-call

Thursday, April 6, 2006

ST. LOUIS--CenterPoint Technologies reduced false dispatches 30 percent by applying two-call verification last summer to roughly 3,500 accounts after the city instituted an alarm ordinance requiring the service.
After seeing the false-dispatch decrease in city accounts thanks to two-call, CenterPoint Technologies opened two-call verification to all of its accounts in March.
Now, "we can place the second call either at the customer's home or cell phone." And for example, "they can inform us that the cleaning crew is there and don't dispatch," said Chris Burnes, vice president of sales.
On average, Burnes said the city has experienced a 25 percent decrease in false dispatches. "We were told the police department was very pleased with the false alarm rate over all," he said.
However, the central did not just get involved after the ordinance was established to meet regulations. Members of the central worked with the city and the local alarm associations during its development to ensure a feasible plan.
"We wanted to be involved so it was written with the best language to support the constituents of the city, and the commercial and residential dealers involved," Burnes said.
It was easy for dealers to start offering the service, which complements the central station's line up, said Mary Jo Vance, central station manager. "We assisted the dealers by offering tools, such as a sample letter describing the added service."
Customers are also beginning to understand what this service does to curb false dispatches, Vance added.
"They are more than happy to give us an additional number and sometimes even more than one number," Vance said.
Not only has the central reduced false dispatches by installing this service, it is investigating video servers in accordance with where alarm-monitoring technology is going.
"Video monitoring is something we are looking at very closely," Burnes added, saying he expects in the near future the central will add this service.
Earlier this year, CenterPoint Technologies added disaster recovery through its automation provider, DICE.
"This is just another one of our methods of adhering to best practices," he said. "I think you might be surprised how much our dealers really respect and appreciate the job we do for them."