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2015 Northeast Security Systems Contractors Expo roundup

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Yesterday, May 21, I headed down to this year’s Northeast Security Systems Contractors Expo, in Marlborough, Mass. It was great to catch up with some of the companies I met at ISC West, and meet some new ones. In central stations, the biggest theme I heard about was that regional shows help monitoring centers get to know their dealers, in person and face-to-face.

Just as I was starting my first lap of the show floor, I briefly met Russ Ryan, organizer for the show.

After that, I ran into Jessica DaCosta, director of sales for ESA, and chatted about the upcoming ESX show.

I also met with Worthington Distribution’s Nolan Male, director of training. Worthington is a security disitributor based in Tafton, Penn., in the northeast part of the state.  

I met with a few members of the Affiliated Monitoring team out in Vegas last month, but at this show I got to meet Jesse Rivest, company territory manager. He mentioned that the Northeast Security Systems Contractors Expo is a good way to stay in touch with current dealers, and get to know prospective ones.

At Alarm Central’s booth, I got to meet the company’s vice president, Kerry-Anne McStravick. She told me about the benefits of being a smaller central station—Alarm Central monitors around 40,000 accounts, she said—like getting to know dealers on a more personal basis. Alarm Central is based in Quincy, Mass.

When I spoke with All American Monitoring at ISC West, I heard about its new offering: cameras under the company’s MeyeView brand. Lisa French and Laura Hutchinson, they told me that there had been a great response to the cameras since their announcement last month at ISC West and during demos at this expo.

Rapid Response is another company I got to meet at ISC West, but it was great to see Danial Gelinas, Bryan Bardenett, company senior account manager, and Ron Crotty, in charge of new business development/corporate training. Bryan told me that a big benefit to regional shows is getting to know dealers in their area, and hearing about the issues and concerns affecting that area.

I got the chance to briefly catch up with COPS Monitoring. Bart Weiner, COPS’ senior account executive, also mentioned the benefit of regional shows to connect on a more personal level with dealers and “put names to faces.”

I stopped by Centra-Larm’s booth. Scott Mailhot, company VP of operations, and I talked about the eye-catching booth design, which I could recognize from the sidewalk—before even entering the show. This booth design is the same one that made its premier at ISC West last month.

Daniel Shaw is the assistant central station manager for NEXgeneration Central, based in Providence, R.I. He told me a bit more about the company, defining the footprint for its 35,000 accounts as predominantly on the east coast.

Keith Jentoft, president of RSI Video Technologies, walked me through the company’s various camera models and the variety of places they can be applied.

Tom Camarda, national sales executive for U.S.A. Central Station Alarm Corp., gave me a demo of the monitoring center’s recent integration with SmartTek, putting a GPS tracking and monitoring service into an app.

My day in Marlborough ended by talking with Keith Jentoft again. This time we spoke a bit about PPVAR, and the importance of finding common definitions—like the Texas Police Chiefs Association did in early April.

Back at it: School security technology ‘main priority’

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04/09/2015

WASHINGTON—They’re not giving up. Advocates for federal funding for school security technology have taken their case to Congress for the past two years to no avail; a measure last year got caught up in the gun control debate and fell victim to politics. Now, the fight begins anew.

ESA launches career-based website

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04/02/2015

IRVING, Texas—The Electronic Security Association has launched GetIntoSecurity.com, a website for careers in the security industry—the first site of its kind, it says.

ESA’s Chwat rates the regulation and legislation of interest in 2015

Broadband initiative is front of mind for ESA’s lobbyist
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01/30/2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—From changes in the way broadband will be expanded to federal funding for school security technology to nursing home surveillance, there is plenty of legislation of interest to security installers on Capitol Hill, according to John Chwat, ESA’s director of government relations.

Access control now a basic need at schools, but a ‘culture of security’ tops lists

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12/29/2014

YARMOUTH, Maine—Two years after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. brought renewed awareness to security needs in public school buildings, experts in the field say the most important measure of progress is not new technology or even new applications of existing technologies.

ESA pushes forward during lame-duck session

A number of important issues still on table will, at least, be picked up next year
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11/04/2014

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Electronic Security Association doesn’t expect much to happen to benefit the industry in the waning days of the lame-duck Congressional session, but that doesn’t mean it’s not pursuing its goals to the fullest.

SIA questions GSA pricing policy

Anecdotal evidence shows companies are being unfairly rejected
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10/08/2014

WASHINGTON—Uncertainties surrounding the General Service Administration’s new schedule pricing policies for products and services need to be further examined, according to Jake Parker, government relations director at the Security Industry Association.

'Net neutrality' necessary for alarm signals

Industry takes action to ensure ISPs do not interfere with alarm data; ESA, AICC petition FCC
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09/10/2014

WASHINGTON—Concerned about fair, reliable and accurate transmission of alarm data, the ESA and the Alarm Industry Communications Committee are urging the FCC to support net neutrality.

Talking panels and keypads with Marshall Marinace

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09/08/2014

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y.—Marshall Marinace, owner of Marshal Alarm Systems, based here, was installed at ESX 2014 as the new president of the Electronic Security Association. Here's how he handles security at home.

Idaho AG: Door-knocking company must reform sales tactics

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I’ve written before about how ADT filed not just one, but two lawsuits against Orem, Utah-based Vision Security, accusing the door-knocking company of scamming customers. And I’ve also written about how Vision Security contends it is being unfairly targeted.

Now, a new settlement Vision has reached with the Idaho Office of the Attorney General paints a picture of Vision sales reps engaging in unfair sales practices in that state.

I reached out earlier this week to Vision attorney Sean Brown for that company’s comments on the settlement but I haven’t yet gotten a response.

However, according to the office of Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Vision reached a settlement with that state after being accused of violating Idaho's Consumer Protection Act.

The settlement requires Vision “to implement significant changes to the way its sales representatives interact with Idaho consumers,” according to a July 18 news release from the AG’s office. Also, consumers who paid extra fees because they were scammed may be entitled to a refund from Vision if they submit a complaint form to the AG’s office by Sept. 8, the release said.

Here’s more of what the AG had to say in the release:

"The purchase of a home-security system is a significant investment and consumers should feel safe knowing that the people selling them are providing truthful and honest information, without hidden fees or misrepresentation," Attorney General Wasden said.

Consumers reported to the Attorney General that Vision Security's door-to-door sales representatives misrepresented the terms the company's security system contracts, and that representatives failed to fulfill their promises to "buy-out" consumers' current security system contracts.

Consumers often ended up paying monthly monitoring fees to two companies or paid large termination fees to cancel one of their monitoring agreements. Additionally, Vision Security's door-to-door sales contracts failed to provide consumers with accurate information about the time allowed to cancel contracts.

The settlement requires Vision Security to make several changes to how it does business in Idaho. For example, the company's sales representatives:

*Must wear identification that includes the sales person's name and affiliation with Vision Security.
*Must inform the consumer of his or her three-day right to cancel the agreement.*Must not tell consumers that their current alarm monitoring company went out of business or is affiliated with Vision Security.
*Must not misrepresent the number of security systems Vision Security has installed in the consumer's neighborhood or misrepresent that a consumer's home is located in a high-crime area
 *Must not misrepresent the condition or operability of the consumer's current security system.
 *Must not promise to "buy-out" a consumer's current monitoring agreement.
 

Hmmm…this list reads a lot like some new revisions the Electronic Security Association made to its code of ethics this summer in response to some new sales scams that ADT and other companies have complained door-knocking companies are using.

 

 

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