Integrators, Do You Discourage Customers Changing Their Systems Themselves?

Edit: Title should have 'themselves' added on the end.

I have seen a couple approaches out there, the one extreme being

"If you need anything at all, call me, I'll come out or remote in."

the other being

"The online help is pretty good but if you get in a jam, give me a call."

Which do you come closer to?

Is there one that is clearly better for a smaller integrator looking to grow?


Is this question about customers making changes to systems or what typical service policies are?

In my experience, most customers do not make changes to their system once setup, even if it would benefit (ie: motion detection, time sync, etc)

Also, my hunch is that smaller integrators tend to have more 'anytime, anywhere' service policies. But I'm sure that plenty of exceptions exist.

It's mainly about integrators attitudes towards users making configuration changes to their own systems.

As you say most may not desire to make such changes, I am not concerned with that segment.

For example, I had inherited a Control-4 HA system 7 years ago. I tried to make some changes to the automation rules but couldn't. Called the guy who installed the system out and he told me that he would be glad to make the changes for me, by using his integrator tool that wasn't available even to the OWNER of the system. I couldn't believe it, but it was true.

Although pissed at the time, I got over it, and now can see some up and down sides for both parties. And it was easy enough to get around anyway, since the guy never change the default password.

For me it depends on the customer. If I know them well enough to realise their competency, then I'll say go ahead, just don't toucuh any of the communication configuration (for alarm monitoring) or we won't get signals.

Most don't, or haven't had a need to make configuration changes. Some have wanted to do it on their own, and when I start to explain the process say "nevermind, when can you come and do it?"

I don't discourage the technically inclined customers. I do discourage the ones who aren't. But at the end of the day, they did pay for the equipment, and they do own it. If they want to make changes, I'm all for it. If they screw something up because they tried to do it on their own, well they are now paying for my time to fix it.