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Author Topic: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code  (Read 19688 times)

Modesto06

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Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« on: July 03, 2006, 08:55:57 AM »
I have a Radionics D2212 Alarm System installed by a pro company in my town.  I want to change monitoring companies to save money on monthly charges.  My current alarm company says they will not give me the lock code so that I can have my panel reprogrammed to another monitoring company.  I've been told that "it's my leagal right to have access to my own panel" but no one can tell me what statute or law is being violated by the alarm company who refuses to comply.  Can anyone tell me what to do in order to force the alarm comapny to allow me to switch monitoring companies?  There is no contract involved and nothing that locks me into this company only.  Help 

Thanks 

Don
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 11:30:38 AM by norco1 »

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2006, 04:15:25 PM »
I know of no law, statute, ordinance or legal rulings that states youíre entitled to the lockout codes.  What you're thinking of is the concept that this is your property that you purchased and you have the right to use it as you like.  Where the breakdown comes in is that both the consumer and alarm company are often incorrect in their application of what's reasonable.

So, from my experience, this is what has worked every time it's been applied.  I'll add my running commentary as I go.

If the alarm company has no financial interest in your alarm, and you owe them no money, and the system belongs to you, and there is nothing in any contract that says you can not have the code, the alarm company should give it to you.  Now, this is where it gets confusing.  The alarm company has the right to refuse to give you the installer code. You are never entitled to know what codes they use. BUT, that doesnít mean they can't change the code to one of your choosing or to the one originally part of the factory default.

So they don't have to give you their codes, but they should be changing it to something else.  However, consumers rarely ask for that option, instead demanding the alarm companies code.  The alarm company exercises their right to refuse, while never offering to change the code to the factory default.  So, it becomes a game of words base on a misunderstanding.  Further complicating this is that the consumer probably never had anything included in their agreement to provide this service in the event the relationship is terminated.  So, the company should be offering to make the changes but they probably can request a service call charge for doing it.

Now that the background is taken care of, here's what you need to do.  Contact the alarm coma0pny and ask them to change the installerís code to the factory default, and disable the lockout feature.  If they agree for a fee, that's just the breaks without any prior agreement for this service call.  If they refuse, contact a local alarm company and ask them what would the cost be to (1) default the system and program it to your needs, (2) if they can't default, the cost to replace the control panel, hook everything back up, program it, and give you the codes.  With that in hand, send a certified letter to the alarm company asking that they either arrange for the reprogramming or you will have it done by a competent "LICENSED" alarm company and expect them to reimburse you.  If they blow you off, take them to small claims court. Everyone who has done this that I know of has been awarded the cost of the service.

Now all this may seem a bit bothersome and probably not worth the trouble, but I bet you're not the only person in this situation with that alarm company.  I also bet that had someone taken the time to take these steps awhile back, you wouldn't be in the situation you're in now. ;)

PbnB9Tps

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2006, 06:16:13 PM »
Try guessing the password.

If you can find out the name or ph num of the installer, they may have used something obvious like the last 4 digits of their phone num, or their name (spelled on a phone keypad), etc.

It just worked for me today!

Good luck.

Virtual Monitoring

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2006, 12:24:40 AM »
You've had a great answer from Security Monitor already, but if you don't want to go that route, it might be easier to purchase an alarm diverted from NextAlarm. Not 100% sure how it works, but it dials your new central station telephone number instead of the old one - so you don't need the panel code.

My company also produce an Alarm Panel Adapter that overcomes exactly this problem, but unfortunately it's not available for another couple of months.

Security Monitor

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2006, 09:37:46 AM »
The call director works by intercepting the number dialed by the panel and substituting the pre-programmed number for their monitoring operation.  The draw back is it only calls their preprogrammed CS number and you must use them for it to work.

To me, unless the call diverter is programmable for another CS, you're stuck using the person who provides it.  Since it's designed for those who don't have the ability to change their CS number (no access to programming) you're also stuck with the exact same configuration as it currently is set up for.  You still don't have access to programming.  :-\
 

Virtual Monitoring

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2006, 02:09:50 AM »
Ah? - I didn't know that. ???

That kind of defeats the object of a diverter. The end user should be able to program any number they want into the thing for it to be useful.

Magnum Alert

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2006, 02:14:34 PM »
just to let you know, you have a radionics panel.† good luck with programming.† personally, I like the features of the D2000 series radionics systems, but they aren't end-user friendly at all.† they weren't meant for DIYs to program.†

I know the default code for the D2000 series that might (MIGHT) allow you into programming.† if you want to try it, PM me and I'll walk you through getting into programming mode.† you have to be able to open the panel.

the company could have dialed into your panel with radionics RAM-II (like ademco's compass) and enabled the keypad programming lockout or the system disable options.† in either case, there isn't a thing you can do from the keypad.† there isn't a back door to get into programming like the ademco * and # trick.† if they disabled keypad programming, that's it.† if they disabled the system, that's it.† can you still use the system?

the only way around it is with a radionics D5200 programmer tool for the older omegalarm systems.† there are some companies that will loan you the tool for a period of time, or that can unlock and default the panel for you if you mail it to them (try tech-man.com) for a small fee.† then you can reprogram the unit yourself for however you like it.

I wouldn't waste time trying to contact the manufacturer.† Bosch bought rad-x a few years back.† unless you're a licensed distributor, they don't want to know about you.

I have a D2112 I bought new that sat in my basement until I found the programming documentation online.† now the system works.† my most recent project is trying to program a D2012 from the keypad.

I love radionics!†
« Last Edit: July 09, 2006, 04:36:58 PM by norco1 »
Specializing in Ademco, DSC, DMP, Moose, Napco, and GE Concord and NetworX.
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VESDA certified designer/installer.

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2006, 02:25:37 PM »
That kind of defeats the object of a diverter. The end user should be able to program any number they want into the thing for it to be useful.

But if they had access to programming, they wouldn't need the diverter.   I noticed that many of the captive diverters are no longer being provided at a cost, but are now loaned free of charge.  I guess people started to realize that the cost of the diverter higher than the cost of a brand new board.

Magnum Alert

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2006, 04:06:12 PM »
have you tried getting into programming for the radionics system yet? 
Specializing in Ademco, DSC, DMP, Moose, Napco, and GE Concord and NetworX.
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Voip

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2006, 11:39:54 AM »
Warning to alarm owners that threaten to take alarm companies to court for failure to disclose the installer programming code. Most intelligent alarm companies either mark the panel with Copyright (date) (name of CO) or include it in the literature somewhere.
Since they are the author of the programming code, they are protected by copyright laws.
Just by filing in small claims court you will be opening your self to an unpleasent experience in a higher court, paying for the CO's legal fees ++++. Please think before you leap.
Just my advice.† ;)


Realize that requesting the installer code is telling the CO that you will no longer be paying for their services.
Most CO's will sell the code or reprogram it for a fee. Expect it to be around the wholesale price for a replacement control panel + an hour at a standard rate.
Most alarm CO's can upgrade the control for about the same price. The main Battery must also be replaced at this time.
Almost any alarm panel can be defaulted at the premises by a knowledgeable service tech, but if you are going to spend the money, why not get an upgrade?

Call Diverters
Most call diverters simply block the panel when it attempts to dial the pre existing CS# and dials the new one then reconnects the phone line so that the panel will communicate to the new CS. This may work fine for outgoing calls from the panel, but there is a good reason why they are no longer popular. Most inexpensive call diverters can't block the old alarm CO from calling the panel and reprogramming it.
Imagine them changing all of your access codes to arm only codes† ???, or programming the panel to send a silent panic alarm when ever the panel is armed in the away mode.... Nasty!† >:(
The one thing that they probably will change is the ability to dial out during an alarm or trouble. While not knowing that a call deverter is in use, this protects them from paying for 800 charges on their lines.† ;)

So, my best advice;
Since you will be no longer using the old CO's services, leave them out of the picture.
Find a reputable CO that suits your needs. If they don't normally work on the brand that you have; consider replacing it. If they are good then the price shouldn't be much higher than at cost. The profit from the 1st years monitoring should compensate them enough. If they try to push you into a multi year contract, show them the door.

Best of luck.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2006, 12:53:04 PM by Voip »

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2006, 09:05:30 PM »
Warning to alarm owners that threaten to take alarm companies to court for failure to disclose the installer programming code. Most intelligent alarm companies either mark the panel with Copyright (date) (name of CO) or include it in the literature somewhere.
Since they are the author of the programming code, they are protected by copyright laws.
Just by filing in small claims court you will be opening your self to an unpleasent experience in a higher court, paying for the CO's legal fees ++++. Please think before you leap.
Just my advice.  ;)

That is true.   The program information installed in an alarm panel is considered intellectual property of the copyright holder. As such, they never have to give you any information that they don't want.

But that protection ends at the field programming. So if the default code is 1234, technically, that's copyrighted material.  But if an alarm company changes that information to something else, copyright laws don't protect that information.  Let's say you bought a copyrighted book on baby care.  In that book it had blank spots for you to place the baby's name, birth date, weight, etc.  The book is copyrighted, but not the information placed in the book.

So the programming is copyrighted but not the information placed in the data fields.  That means the installerís code isn't protected if changed from default.

Voip

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2006, 08:09:11 AM »
Security Monitor, you are right and you are wrong. Been there - Done that.
Thanks to Billy at Microsoft; the intellectual copyright laws are strong.
Simply by posting copyright/date allows the author legal rights. A copyright does not have to be registered to provide protection over ownership. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see this in use. The webmaster isn't making claims on the software used to write this page, only to the ownership of what the webmaster authored.

If the home owner, owns the alarm panel then: they probably have the right to change the code. However, if the code is copyright protected, then they may find that filing a lawsuit in small claims court against the alarm CO for not disclosing the copyrighted code, simply lands them in a higher court with the forms filled out by them for the small claims action being used against them. The alarm CO doesn't have to ask for anything more than legal fees to financially break the home owner in the court action.
This is why I'm a little weary of the earlier post recommending threatening a small claims action without knowing all the facts. Simply seeking legal advice is probably going to cost the home owner more money than a simply upgrade????
I see a couple of choices for the home owner:
1. Replace the panel/battery and maybe the touchpads.
2. Deal with the original installer.
3. Find another dealer that can get the system operational.
4. Figure out how or find a source to default the panel, then change the default code ASAP.

One warning! Never have anyone leave the installer code as the default while the system is connected to a phone line.† :o

Security Monitor

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2006, 09:04:51 PM »
Security Monitor, you are right and you are wrong. Been there - Done that.
Thanks to Billy at Microsoft; the intellectual copyright laws are strong.
Simply by posting copyright/date allows the author legal rights.

Had a meeting today to discuss open records laws and how it pertains to outside entities copyrighted material.  Used that to bring up this subject.  Here's what all the legal suits agreed upon.
As it effects alarms, the systems, manuals, and programming information are protected under copyright or patents.  No holder has to disclose anything if they don't want.  But there's a broad line between what is protected and what's not.  They used the example of Microsoft.  They own many patents and copyrights of software.  What they don't own and where protection ends is any information entered into that software.  So they may have protection for Word or Excel, but copyright protection does not extend to your information entered to get a program to operate as intended. So if you produce a document or spreadsheet using their software, they own the program but not the document and information.  If this were the case, every author of any word document would be assigning copyright protection to Microsoft. As for alarms, the manufacture may own the rights to everything but that does not extend to individual information to operate the alarm.  Installer's codes is information not part of the protection because that information is intended to be entered into a system to make it functional. They say this is well tested through case law.

Now, an alarm company can claim Trade Secrets so they can protect their installerís code. But thatís the individual alarm company's issue not the manufacture and not part of copyright or patent protection.  At best, the alarm company can bar disclosure using trade secrets if that code is standardized and used by them for multiple systems. If it were some random code generated specifically for that system, they would be hard pressed to claim even Trade Secret. :)

rahnie

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2009, 07:33:24 AM »
so from that one can assume that the default codes are not protected by copyright as they are intended to be entered to operate the system?.......cheers
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wrldtlvr

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Re: Alarm Company locked out my panel and won't give out code
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2009, 01:47:52 PM »
so from that one can assume that the default codes are not protected by copyright as they are intended to be entered to operate the system?.......cheers

IANAL, but I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. Data cannot be copyrighted, there has to be a creative aspect to the work on which copyright is claimed. Phone companies discovered this when they attempted to claim copyright on phonebooks to prevent online websites from scanning and OCRing the listings.

So any security company that attempted to claim their installer code was copyrighted doesn't know what they rae talking about. They could attempt to claim a trade secret. I suspect that most local judges would rule that you are entitled to a working panel if that's what you purchased and no agreement exists that you waived the right to that panel.

That said, you are going to spend far more time and money fighting the company than it's worth. I'd be surprised if there wasn't some way to reset the panel to factory defaults. If it's a panel that you can get a programming manual for, or your new service can program it for you, great. if not, spend a few hundred bucks on a new panel and chalk it up to percussion university.

 

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