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  • ADT vs Starbuck's

    From Seattle Times - Sunday, June 15, 2008 - Page updated at 11:25 AM:

    Espresso machines and Wi-Fi service aren't the only things Starbucks is revamping. The Seattle-based coffee juggernaut is trying to change who monitors many of its store-alarm systems — but that's proving more difficult than retraining baristas.

    Dueling lawsuits filed this past week detail the rupture of a decadelong relationship during which ADT Security Services installed alarm systems at more than 2,400 of Starbucks' 7,257 company-owned U.S. stores.

    Starbucks tried switching some locations to another monitoring company in 2005, only to discover that many had ADT-installed security chips that won't allow anyone else to reprogram the alarms remotely.

    With a shifting roster of employees and frequent after-hours deliveries, Starbucks says it needs the flexibility to update the systems remotely. It claims that ADT and a predecessor firm consistently said they were installing alarms that were not proprietary.

    Starbucks seeks $900 apiece to replace about 2,100 alarm panels — that's approximately $1.9 million — plus triple damages. And it wants the court to force ADT to divulge the passwords Starbucks needs to remotely access the alarms.

    ADT's lawsuit argues the alarms can still be programmed by someone at the store, so the systems aren't proprietary under the companies' latest contract, signed in 2004.

    If it does have to pay for replacing alarms, ADT says, the court should peg the price at $360, rather than $900. Furthermore, ADT doesn't want to pay compensation for what Starbucks could have saved by switching to another monitoring company.

    Burglars shouldn't get any ideas — ADT says it is still monitoring the alarms.

    But its suit says the coffee company hasn't paid it for some time, and owes more than $413,000.
    Michael A. Silva
    Silva Consultants

  • #2
    Oh, snap.

    That is hilarious.

    I was with Starbucks until that last sentence.

    Let me see if I got that straight. Starbucks and ADT agreed on a system that wasn't "proprietary" but never agreed on what that meant. ADT meant that someone could change the code, which is a very smart thing for a retail shop- You don't want to have to call for service every time an employee leaves. Starbucks meant that they weren't tied to ADT for CSM, which is clearly not the case.

    $900 seems a bit steep to change a panel, I must say- $360 seems more in line, and of course resonable adults can split the difference. Also, suing for damages seemes a bit predatory to me.

    So what do you think? As a former alarm company co-owner (and Starbucks addict), I want to be against ADT, but what they did here is no different than what every alarm company does. You want my service code? I'm not giving you my service code (mostly because I use the same service code for every panel). The question is, when the customer pays to install (as opposed to leasing) the panel, do they pay for the programming information too? I think not. Programming is proprietery information, and if you buy a computer you don't sue Microsoft to tell you how to get it to work with your Linux server. It either works or it doesn't and if it doesn't then you can pay someone to hack a workaround or you can darn well buy another machine.

    Also, I don;t see why ADT has to work with a customer who won't pay their bills.

    My 2 cents.
    The CCTV Blog.

    "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

    -SecTrainer

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    • #3
      Sorry, can't agree with you, CameraMan. It's obvious what the customer was asking for, in non-proprietary. ADT just finally ran up against someone with enough money and size to fight them and get publicity. I don't particularly care for Starbucks coffee, but I'm rootin' for 'em on this.

      I've had many customers have to pay quite a bit to get out from under them, and many that wouldn't pay the price of new equipment and just suffered. Yea, it was their own fault for not knowing what they were getting into. But also the national chains fault for such horrible service.

      The customer asked for non-proprietary, and the companies representatives lied about what they were giving them. You can spray all the perfume you want on it, it still stinks.
      sigpic
      Rocket Science
      Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


      http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
      One Man's Opinion

      The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

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      • #4
        Fair enough.
        The CCTV Blog.

        "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

        -SecTrainer

        Comment


        • #5
          I have canceled numerous contracts with ADT due to non-performance issues on their part. I always included, in contracts, what my expectations and requirements were. When they failed to comply with the contract they signed, they were out the door.

          The last time was for a new alarm system for corporate offices. The contract called for all new hardware. Shortly after the install the system had a failure. Investigation found that they had used numerous parts from the old system. I had yet to pay for the system.
          Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
          Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

          Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

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          • #6
            I agree with Integrator97. ADT has walked on the dark side for too long. I just talked with someone the other day who has a builder that will not allow anyone to even prewire for a security system without signing a 3 year contract with their monitoring service. Only their "monitoring service" is really just a collection point for ADT. It's just backhanded and shows how even ADT knows that they are seen as shady since they have to hide behind a fake monitoring service.

            That being said, Starbucks has inflated the price of their lawsuit as much as they inflate the price of a cup of coffee. If I read that right, they want nearly $8M all said and done...for about $400k of panels.
            -------
            Tips and tricks about your home security and other fun things around the house.
            www.lowervoltage.com
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            • #7
              Welcome GeneLitt. I see you are from God's country.
              Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
              Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

              Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GeneLitt View Post
                I agree with Integrator97. ADT has walked on the dark side for too long. I just talked with someone the other day who has a builder that will not allow anyone to even prewire for a security system without signing a 3 year contract with their monitoring service. Only their "monitoring service" is really just a collection point for ADT. It's just backhanded and shows how even ADT knows that they are seen as shady since they have to hide behind a fake monitoring service.

                That being said, Starbucks has inflated the price of their lawsuit as much as they inflate the price of a cup of coffee. If I read that right, they want nearly $8M all said and done...for about $400k of panels.
                Nor is their monitoring service performance very good under any name they call it, IMHO.
                "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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                • #9
                  I hope nobody thinks I was sticking up for ADT in my original post. They are scumbags who make us all look bad and I hate them and sincerely wish them nothing but the worst and hope they go out of business.

                  I just don't like it when people use the civil court system to punish people. Pay what you owe and maybe a little more in damages. That's why I said $900 a panel is crazy and it should be more like $400 or $500 a panel at most.
                  The CCTV Blog.

                  "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

                  -SecTrainer

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Welcome GeneLitt. Nice little Blog you have there. Straight forward information & opinion, and not just a sales sheet. I like it. Speakin of which, I need to get back on mine. Lots of opinions, just haven't had time in the past 10 days or so.
                    sigpic
                    Rocket Science
                    Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


                    http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
                    One Man's Opinion

                    The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the welcome, guys.
                      -------
                      Tips and tricks about your home security and other fun things around the house.
                      www.lowervoltage.com
                      -------

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