Cheap monitoring services, are not so cheerful!

Hello again,

In April's edition of PSI on page 17 there was an article entitled "Cheap and Cheerful?" where several contributors highlighted the pitfalls of buying cheap and paying twice.

The article was well balanced and I suspect every installer who read the article concluded with the writers' comments and just wished the consumer would take heed of the warnings of buying "cheap and cheerful".

It struck me as being ironic that on the one hand so much criticism is aim at the consumer, when on the other, much of our own industry is as guilty of the exact same practices with regard monitoring services.  Maybe it's because ARC's are perceived as all being the same, governed by strict standards and therefore, so why not buy cheap and cheerful, if they fail to perform - sue them!

ARC's and RVRC's do not have a product per se, but they do have a service.  A security product may be feature rich and cheaper than another, but a service based organisation needs a constant stream of revenue to provide the services it delivers and to reinvest in its service delivery platform.

In short, cheap and cheerful ARC's and RVRC's do not last very long and certainly not the 30 years we've been trading, we've seen them come and we've seen them go and I suspect will continue to do so in the years to come.

Although ARC's and RVRC's are heavily regulated, the services they provide and the quality thereof can vary drastically.  In today's non PSTN network infrastructure it ever more important to recognise that the single centre location is insufficient to deliver a guaranteed, quality signalling network.  It is essential that there is High Integrity Certification by NSI or SSAIB of the ARC/RVRC's operational platform thereby guaranteeing no interruption to service, not some 28 day contingency plan.

Now, if it's a deal that is needed, don't pay your monitoring fees to a single centre operation, buy into SMS & NMS - two centre's for the price of one. Spend your money wisely with an ARC/RVRC who reinvests and provides the best of breed service at very competitive rates, with no interruption to service to its ARC or RVRC monitoring services.

Bye for now,

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