Crime alert FAQ
1. Is the monitoring center U.L. listed and for what categories, i.e., burglar and protective signaling (fire)? Your Monitoring Center, Inc. (YMCI) is a U.L. listed central station for fire & burglary signaling.
2. What type of back-up/redundancy does the central station have? CAMC has a back-up generator and back-up battery UPS in case of power disruption.
3. What are the procedures for redundancy if the central station goes down or if there is a blackout? How are signals transferred and to where? In addition to having back-up generation, back-up UPS and redundant receivers, Your Monitoring Center is putting into place a disaster recovery plan that is second to none. This plan would re-route our signals to a partner station using XO Communications' backbone.
4. How does the dealer access customer subscriber information? The dealer will access subscriber information via the Internet using the latest web-enabled software (MASweb). Also, the dealer can call in for information. Both of these procedures can be accomplished 24/7, 365 days-per-year. By moving toward a paperless system, the cost savings will be considerable for both our company and our dealers.
5. What software does the central station use and what is available to the dealer for not only account management, but marketing and sales support? Your Monitoring Center is now using cutting-edge GE MasterMind software for account management and signals. Your Monitoring Center, working as a partner with the dealer, will address the dealer's marketing needs on an individualized basis.
6. How are remote video signals delivered to the central station and how is video automated and integrated with alarms? Does the central station offer remote video programming? Typically, video signals will be transmitted via the Internet on our T-1 lines. The video is automated through our GE MasterMind software and we offer remote video programming (call for pricing).
7. How are dispatchers trained and what is the ratio of dispatchers to accounts during peak times, such as openings and closings? Dispatcher training is precise in all aspects of dispatch, alarms, maintenance signals, data entry, report creation, monitoring & maintenance of in-house systems and customer service. Training is intense, carefully supervised and on-going. There are normally three dispatchers on the midnight shift, five on days and five on swing; please refer to question #15 for peak signal times. Our central station team averages twelve years of dispatching experience.
8. When one of my customers calls, how would your operators answer the phone? Generally speaking, our dispatchers answer the phone with the greeting, "Thank you for calling Your Monitoring Center. This is (operator's name), may I help you?" However, if you own your own abort line and/or have us provide an answering service for you, we would obviously answer the phone in your company's name.
9. Can your operators assist my subscribers with basic alarm questions/issues? Dealers have asked for a service which would involve our 24-hour monitoring center staff troubleshooting questions that they (the dealer) need not be bothered with after hours or on weekends. Your Monitoring Center is putting into place a value-added service that is designed to alleviate any preventable phone calls to the dealer which our operators could handle instead, which we call our "First Line of Customer Care Program." Your Monitoring Center operators will assist the subscriber with basic alarm questions/issues (e.g., system arming/disarming) for which the solutions have been provided by the dealer. We will ask our dealers for Frequently Asked Questions on their security panels they have installed. These FAQ's would be agreed upon by the dealer and our transition team beforehand, and would be put into an electronic folder on their account to be easily accessed by our operators. There should only be about 10-15 total FAQ's in this folder. This service would work in conjunction with our answering service program. So not only will you get FAQ's answered, but also a state-of-the-art answering service with a voicemail box from which you may retrieve your messages
10. Is there an open communication between the monitoring center and a point of contact 24/7? Yes, our monitoring center operators have access to a member of our management team 24/7.
11. Can I physically visit the monitoring center? Absolutely. We would be happy to arrange a tour of our facility at your convenience during our standard work week.
12. How does the monitoring center track activity and patterns and how do they manage these numbers? We can customize any report for you. Activity can be tracked in a variety of ways. Each account obviously has its own history, but depending upon the dealer's needs, "event history totals" can be run monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, etc. These totals would specify total alarms, commercial vs. residential, dispatches, verified false alarms, confirmed burglaries, etc. Note: This can also be achieved real-time with MASweb software.
13. What is the response time, i.e., how long does it take signals to be answered and how long does it take to dispatch? For a signal to be answered, we like to say that the response time is no more than 30 seconds. From the time it is received to the actual response, there are many variables (e.g., call prem before dispatch, call prem + RP's before dispatch, wait 3 minutes for cancel and/or call prem, etc.).
14. How far back does the company keep data on computer on alarm activation? Instant access to information is currently 12 months (approximately). With our new MASweb software, account history can be accessed and saved at your site.
15. What can you do to help me run my business, beyond monitoring? With technology changing constantly in our industry, we have developed value added services to help dealers increase their revenue. Video monitoring, answering service and retrieval reports via email to send to your customers are just some examples.
16. Will I own the phone lines or is it a lease and how does this figure into the formula as far as the cost per month? Your Monitoring Center would prefer when you come aboard as a new dealer, that you indeed have your own 800 phone line. In the event that you feel we are not doing our job, you can swing your line over to another monitoring center with little or no technical hassles. Other advantages of owning your own line include unlimited testing and no excess signal charges.