Removing the "middleman" from my alarm system


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Old 12-17-16, 07:49 AM
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Removing the "middleman" from my alarm system

Hi, We have a home security system that is tied to a monitoring company that will call the police/fire for us. Each year, we pay "Company A" who had installed the system for us and they pay the monitoring company. I want to get rid of "Company A" and pay directly to the monitoring company. Is this possible?

Also, is it legal for Company A to withhold the master code from us? There are a few things I want to change, but, I can't do it without the master code. Company A said they use the same code for every system they install so can't give me the code. Can they do that? I don't want a house call for things I can do myself.

The system was installed about 18 years ago.

Thank you!
 
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Old 12-17-16, 10:33 AM
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What you want to do may be possible.

We'd need to know at the least the brand of the system.
Some of the systems I install are proprietary and the code is mine.

If the alarm system is your property.... you should be able to pay them to unlock the panel.
 
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Old 12-17-16, 11:50 AM
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The system is FBII. The whole unit is in my house. So, this is a normal process to hold the master code? Thanks!
 
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Old 12-17-16, 12:09 PM
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Yes, if you did one of those deals where the alarm company provides the alarm system and installs it for "free". It is basically their system. It cost prohibitive for them to come a remove or take back their hardware so they just don't provide the master code so you can't reprogram it to work without them.
 
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Old 12-17-16, 12:28 PM
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I don't know if I can find the records, but, I am sure we paid for the system and it wasn't cheap. But, we didn't know what we were doing and that company put the system in for several people in the neighborhood. I didn't know we didn't have the master code until I tried to changed something and the manual said to put in the master code and realized my code wasn't the master.
 
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Old 12-17-16, 01:07 PM
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If we assume the equipment is yours the next step would be to see if you can open the alarm panel and post the part or model # of the alarm control board.

There's a good chance the system can be defaulted.
 
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Old 12-17-16, 02:36 PM
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There's another possibility; you might not own all the panel programming.

My contracts stated that certain parts of the programming were proprietary and remained the property of my company. These were the Central Station Phone numbers and Central Station Account numbers; I paid for the accounts to be monitored.

If you wanted someone else to monitor your system, that was fine, but the phone numbers and account numbers had to be removed and paperwork signed before we "opened the system" by furnishing programming codes. There was a charge for this; customer wanted work done outside the scope of any contracts, he paid for it. The prices were fair, reasonable and far from punitive.

The paperwork stated very explicitly that once we turned over the programming code, system programming was no longer under our sole control and we were no longer responsible for the operation, mis-operation or non-operation of the system.

I had panels "get away" and float around who knows where, sending "ghost" signals occasionally causing me aggravation and costing me money. I also had companys in another part of the country program the wrong phone number or account number and drive my customer nuts and it all came down on me.

There is more to it than you might think.



 
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Old 12-17-16, 10:06 PM
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If the installing company is cooperative; for the cost of a service call, they can change the installer/master code back to the factory default; and delete any of their phone and account numbers without altering the basic functionality. After that it's up to you.

That said; if it's an 18 year old system, I would strongly recommend you consider installing a new, current generation, system in the place of the one you have. The hardwired zones, sirens, and such are standard items. As long as you know what your current zone configuration is, it's not hard to set up a new system with your existing zones.

The reason for this, is that all of the DIY monitoring options simply will not work with a system of the type you currently have. They require monitoring protocols that you simply don't have in your current hardware.
 
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Old 12-18-16, 09:06 PM
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Thanks everyone for responding. Looks like I need to think about the next step a bit more...but definitely a call to the installer is needed.
 
 

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