Powered Services Podcast: 4 Things Your Decline of Service Agreement Needs to Protect Your MSP

Powered Services
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Our first Powered Services Podcast episode received a warm reception and we are thrilled to announce that our second episode is garnering considerable attention and support from MSPs as well. Over a span of 30 minutes, our host Dan Tomaszewski, and Brad Gross, a leading legal authority in the cloud computing transactions vertical, tackle primary pain points and answer common questions MSPs have regarding Decline of Service agreements.

Brad talks about the key elements that help make a Service Level Agreement (SLA) robust while also emphatically stating that MSPs should give Decline of Service agreement templates a wide berth since they don’t cover issues adequately.

Tune in to the podcast today to learn how to protect your MSP from client lawsuits and read the blog to get a general understanding of the topic.

What Is a Decline of Service Agreement?

A Decline of Service agreement covers the services that have been declined by a client. It also states that the MSP will not be liable for any issues resulting from the absence of a particular service when it has been declined by a customer. 

A record of all such declines should be included in the contract so that the MSP is not held liable if a breach occurs. It is not uncommon for MSPs to find themselves in a legal crisis when things blow up and they lack a documented proof of decline of service.

In the second episode of the Powered Services podcast, Brad Gross discusses why your MSP should hire a lawyer to draft a Decline of Service agreement, how to draft the agreements properly and why using templates isn’t the best choice. Keep in mind that having the client’s refusal documented can save your MSP business from expensive lawsuits and cumbersome court cases.

Services MSPs Need a Decline of Service Agreement For

Cybersecurity and Business Continuity and Data Recovery (BCDR) are services that are frequently denied by clients despite their many advantages. A client might believe that they are unlikely to suffer a cyberattack and therefore opt out of these critical services. 

“An increase in phishing and ransomware attacks, along with continued high numbers of web application attacks, have underscored a year of unprecedented security challenges,” states the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report.

According to the report, remote work caused an 11% and 6% increase in phishing and ransomware attacks respectively, while web application attacks accounted for 39% of all breaches due to a speedy increase in cloud adoption.

Many organizations, especially small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), incorrectly assume that cybercriminals will not target them no matter how much their MSP partner says otherwise. They try to make do with obsolete cybersecurity solutions that can barely fend off today’s sophisticated attacks. Sometimes, cost is a factor in refusal. Since the cybersecurity services designed to stop modern cyberattacks are costly, SMBs often drop them from the list to keep a lid on their IT costs.

Unless MSPs have a robust Decline of Service agreement in place, they could end up wading through expensive lawsuits while also coughing up a sizable amount in punitive damages. 

It is likely that many MSPs have dealt with this issue at some point. Listen to the podcast to learn how to navigate the system, identify potential pitfalls and prepare for the worst. It is also possible for MSPs to become embroiled in a cybersecurity issue when a vendor product is at fault.

Sometimes MSPs can get into a tough situation because of an upstream vendor or product breach. A well-crafted, legally-binding SLA covers an MSP from liabilities arising from such situations.

What Answers Can I Expect From the Podcast?

MSP owners risk the financial well-being of their organization by using Decline of Service templates that are not customized by a legal professional to meet their specific use case(s). Other topics we’ll cover include: 

  • The difference between using a templated agreement and partnering with an attorney. 
  • How using a Decline of Service agreement can make a difference when organizations decline services that could have prevented an incident. 
  • If an MSP doesn’t want to draw up a Decline of Service agreement but has an email from their customer that explicitly says, “I don’t want this service,” — is that enough to protect them?

Are these scenarios representative of your client conversations? Then check out the podcast to get the answers you need to protect your MSP business. With Powered Services, you can grow your business and protect your interests at the same time.

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