AP:"vonage faces a suit over 911 calls

Discussion in 'VOIP' started by Rick Merrill, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Rick Merrill

    Rick Merrill Guest

    It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
    failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
    when they sign up for the VOIP service.

    ....
    Rick Merrill, Mar 24, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Rick Merrill

    Mitel Lurker Guest

    In article <> Rick Merrill
    <> writes:

    >It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
    >failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
    >when they sign up for the VOIP service.


    We've been trying to tell people for several months now that VOIP has that
    shortcoming. It's solvable, but it's going to take an infusion of cash and
    outfits like Vonage have no interest in doing that. What will come of the
    lawsuit will be an obligation to inform customers of the shortcoming and
    insist that they sign an acknowledgement and waiver when they sign up for
    service. I doubt Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When you
    understand what it takes to do it you begin to understand why there was a
    911 surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.
    Mitel Lurker, Mar 24, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Rick Merrill

    Rick Merrill Guest

    Mitel Lurker wrote:
    > In article <> Rick Merrill
    > <> writes:
    >
    >
    >>It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
    >>failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
    >>when they sign up for the VOIP service.

    >
    >
    > We've been trying to tell people for several months now that VOIP has that
    > shortcoming. It's solvable, but it's going to take an infusion of cash and
    > outfits like Vonage have no interest in doing that. What will come of the
    > lawsuit will be an obligation to inform customers of the shortcoming and
    > insist that they sign an acknowledgement and waiver when they sign up for
    > service. I doubt Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When you
    > understand what it takes to do it you begin to understand why there was a
    > 911 surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.


    There's a different 911 number for each customer: it's an index - how
    did they ever manage to make it so complicated?
    Rick Merrill, Mar 24, 2005
    #3
  4. Rick Merrill

    Ivor Jones Guest

    Rick Merrill wrote:
    > Mitel Lurker wrote:
    >> In article <> Rick Merrill
    >> <> writes:
    >>
    >>
    >>> It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
    >>> failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
    >>> when they sign up for the VOIP service.

    >>
    >>
    >> We've been trying to tell people for several months now that VOIP
    >> has that shortcoming. It's solvable, but it's going to take an
    >> infusion of cash and outfits like Vonage have no interest in doing
    >> that. What will come of the lawsuit will be an obligation to
    >> inform customers of the shortcoming and insist that they sign an
    >> acknowledgement and waiver when they sign up for service. I doubt
    >> Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When you understand
    >> what it takes to do it you begin to understand why there was a 911
    >> surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.

    >
    > There's a different 911 number for each customer: it's an index -
    > how did they ever manage to make it so complicated?


    This assumes everyone is in the US again of course, we don't have 911 in
    the UK. We do have 999 though and in mainland Europe they have 112 (also
    coming into use here as well) so how would you ensure an emergency call
    goes to the correct destination based on where the caller *actually* is
    rather than where the system *thinks* he is..?

    Ivor
    Ivor Jones, Mar 24, 2005
    #4
  5. Rick Merrill

    Rick Merrill Guest

    Ivor Jones wrote:
    > Rick Merrill wrote:
    >
    >>Mitel Lurker wrote:
    >>
    >>>In article <> Rick Merrill
    >>><> writes:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
    >>>>failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
    >>>>when they sign up for the VOIP service.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>We've been trying to tell people for several months now that VOIP
    >>>has that shortcoming. It's solvable, but it's going to take an
    >>>infusion of cash and outfits like Vonage have no interest in doing
    >>>that. What will come of the lawsuit will be an obligation to
    >>>inform customers of the shortcoming and insist that they sign an
    >>>acknowledgement and waiver when they sign up for service. I doubt
    >>>Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When you understand
    >>>what it takes to do it you begin to understand why there was a 911
    >>>surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.

    >>
    >>There's a different 911 number for each customer: it's an index -
    >>how did they ever manage to make it so complicated?

    >
    >
    > This assumes everyone is in the US again of course, we don't have 911 in
    > the UK. We do have 999 though and in mainland Europe they have 112 (also
    > coming into use here as well) so how would you ensure an emergency call
    > goes to the correct destination based on where the caller *actually* is
    > rather than where the system *thinks* he is..?
    >
    > Ivor
    >
    >


    The CallVantage answer is that the customer is responsible for entering
    their correct address and location. I assumed that ATT would be able to
    look up the "phone number" for the EMS at that address and location -
    silly me!
    Rick Merrill, Mar 24, 2005
    #5
  6. Rick Merrill

    Guest

    On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 20:32:49 -0500, Rick Merrill
    <> wrote:

    >It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
    >failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
    >when they sign up for the VOIP service.
    >
    >...



    We were told that it was necessary that 911 service be activated when
    we signed up for the VoIP service in Jan '04!
    , Mar 24, 2005
    #6
  7. Rick Merrill

    dg Guest

    "Mitel Lurker" <wdg@[206.180.145.133]> wrote in message
    news:...
    > service. I doubt Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When you
    > understand what it takes to do it you begin to understand why there was a
    > 911 surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.


    Vonage does indeed have 911 service, but you need to activate it and give
    them your physical address where the phone is used. For example, I live in
    California but I could easily get a phone number out of New York. I must
    tell Vonage the physical address is in California so 911 operators can tell
    that even though I have a New York number, I am in California.

    --Dan
    dg, Mar 24, 2005
    #7
  8. Rick Merrill

    Rick Merrill Guest

    wrote:
    > On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 20:32:49 -0500, Rick Merrill
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
    >>failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
    >>when they sign up for the VOIP service.
    >>
    >>...

    >
    >
    >
    > We were told that it was necessary that 911 service be activated when
    > we signed up for the VoIP service in Jan '04!


    Glad to hear it!

    Here is a further article on the subject:
    http://www2.technologyreview.com/articles/05/03/wo/wo_hellweg032505.asp
    Rick Merrill, Mar 25, 2005
    #8
  9. Rick Merrill

    Ivor Jones Guest

    Rick Merrill wrote:
    > Ivor Jones wrote:


    [snip]

    >> This assumes everyone is in the US again of course, we don't have
    >> 911 in the UK. We do have 999 though and in mainland Europe they
    >> have 112 (also coming into use here as well) so how would you
    >> ensure an emergency call goes to the correct destination based on
    >> where the caller *actually* is rather than where the system
    >> *thinks* he is..? Ivor

    >
    > The CallVantage answer is that the customer is responsible for
    > entering their correct address and location. I assumed that ATT
    > would be able to look up the "phone number" for the EMS at that
    > address and location - silly me!


    I thought one of the main attractions of VoIP was that it doesn't matter
    where you are, as long as you have a broadband connection you can plug in
    an ATA (say) configured with a UK number in the US or wherever and call
    back to the UK at UK rates. For example I take my Sipura SPA-2000
    configured with my UK phone numbers to the US with me and connect it to my
    friend's ADSL router. I then have my 2 UK numbers active in San Francisco
    and I can then call home the same as if I was still there.

    I then want to call the emergency services. So which number do I dial..?
    The system has no idea where I am physically located so how can it route
    the call to the correct destination..?

    The use of VoIP for emergency access still has a way to go, I think.

    Ivor
    Ivor Jones, Mar 25, 2005
    #9
  10. Rick Merrill

    Ivor Jones Guest

    dg wrote:
    > "Mitel Lurker" <wdg@[206.180.145.133]> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> service. I doubt Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When
    >> you understand what it takes to do it you begin to understand why
    >> there was a 911 surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.

    >
    > Vonage does indeed have 911 service, but you need to activate it
    > and give them your physical address where the phone is used. For
    > example, I live in California but I could easily get a phone number
    > out of New York. I must tell Vonage the physical address is in
    > California so 911 operators can tell that even though I have a New
    > York number, I am in California.
    > --Dan


    So what do you do if you want to use the system elsewhere..?

    Ivor
    Ivor Jones, Mar 25, 2005
    #10
  11. Rick Merrill

    dg Guest

    You have to tell them your physical location. That is the only way they can
    know where you are physically located, there would be no other 100% sure way
    of knowing. I think this is one of those situations where the old saying
    "you can't have your cake and eat it too" would apply.

    --Dan

    "Ivor Jones" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > So what do you do if you want to use the system elsewhere..?
    >
    > Ivor
    >
    >
    dg, Mar 25, 2005
    #11
  12. Rick Merrill

    Rick Merrill Guest

    Ivor Jones wrote:
    > Rick Merrill wrote:
    >
    >>Ivor Jones wrote:

    >
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >
    >>>This assumes everyone is in the US again of course, we don't have
    >>>911 in the UK. We do have 999 though and in mainland Europe they
    >>>have 112 (also coming into use here as well) so how would you
    >>>ensure an emergency call goes to the correct destination based on
    >>>where the caller *actually* is rather than where the system
    >>>*thinks* he is..? Ivor

    >>
    >>The CallVantage answer is that the customer is responsible for
    >>entering their correct address and location. I assumed that ATT
    >>would be able to look up the "phone number" for the EMS at that
    >>address and location - silly me!

    >
    >
    > I thought one of the main attractions of VoIP was that it doesn't matter
    > where you are, as long as you have a broadband connection you can plug in
    > an ATA (say) configured with a UK number in the US or wherever and call
    > back to the UK at UK rates. For example I take my Sipura SPA-2000
    > configured with my UK phone numbers to the US with me and connect it to my
    > friend's ADSL router. I then have my 2 UK numbers active in San Francisco
    > and I can then call home the same as if I was still there.
    >
    > I then want to call the emergency services. So which number do I dial..?
    > The system has no idea where I am physically located so how can it route
    > the call to the correct destination..?


    In the USA dial 911, then TELL them where you are. The system called
    "E911" (Expanded 911) was designed for liscensed telephone companies to
    communicate to an emergency call center in your immediate locality.

    VOIP 911 (in the US) has to figure out where you said you were, then
    figure out where the neares emergence response team is to call them.
    Rick Merrill, Mar 25, 2005
    #12
  13. Rick Merrill

    Ivor Jones Guest

    Rick Merrill wrote:

    [snip]

    > In the USA dial 911, then TELL them where you are. The system called
    > "E911" (Expanded 911) was designed for liscensed telephone
    > companies to communicate to an emergency call center in your
    > immediate locality.
    > VOIP 911 (in the US) has to figure out where you said you were, then
    > figure out where the neares emergence response team is to call them.


    You miss the point. My ATA is configured with UK phone numbers. 911 is
    unknown in the UK, dialling it will not work. VoIP does not know where I
    am, it assumes as I am using a UK number I am located there, that's why I
    can call home for the same cost as if I was there. Even if the UK 999
    number worked, it would connect me with a UK operator, which is no good to
    me 5000 miles away..!

    Far better to forget VoIP for emergency use, use a normal landline or a
    mobile.


    Ivor
    Ivor Jones, Mar 25, 2005
    #13
  14. Rick Merrill

    Ivor Jones Guest

    dg wrote:
    > You have to tell them your physical location. That is the only way
    > they can know where you are physically located, there would be no
    > other 100% sure way of knowing. I think this is one of those
    > situations where the old saying "you can't have your cake and eat
    > it too" would apply.


    So who do I tell..? Suppose I move around a lot, that's a lot of hassle
    and extra work for both me and them.

    Far better IMHO to use normal landlines or mobile (cell) phones in a true
    emergency.

    Ivor
    --
    A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
    Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
    A: Top-posting.
    Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet and in e-mail?
    Ivor Jones, Mar 25, 2005
    #14
  15. Rick Merrill

    Rick Merrill Guest

    Ivor Jones wrote:
    .... My ATA is configured with UK phone numbers. 911 is
    > unknown in the UK, dialling it will not work.


    And whose fault is that!

    > VoIP does not know where I am,


    Not true: you are required to tell your provider your location, unless
    you are using something like Net2Phone.

    > it assumes as I am using a UK number I am located there, that's why I
    > can call home for the same cost as if I [were] there. Even if the UK 999
    > number worked, it would connect me with a UK operator, which is no good to
    > me 5000 miles away..!


    People's lives have been saved by calls from 2000 miles away.

    > Far better to forget VoIP for emergency use, use a normal landline or a
    > mobile.


    IF there is one. Also, not all cell phones have location capability yet,
    but that will be required soon in the US.
    Rick Merrill, Mar 25, 2005
    #15
  16. Rick Merrill

    Rick Merrill Guest

    Ivor Jones wrote:

    > dg wrote:
    >
    >>You have to tell them your physical location. That is the only way
    >>they can know where you are physically located, there would be no
    >>other 100% sure way of knowing. I think this is one of those
    >>situations where the old saying "you can't have your cake and eat
    >>it too" would apply.

    >
    >
    > So [whom] do I tell..? Suppose I move around a lot, that's a lot of hassle
    > and extra work for both me and them.


    Not much: you just access a web site (click) and type in your location -
    this is assuming your browser remembers usernames and passwords for you
    .... oh, I forgot, that's too much work for you even thou you have time
    to travel "5000 miles."
    Rick Merrill, Mar 25, 2005
    #16
  17. Rick Merrill

    Ivor Jones Guest

    Rick Merrill wrote:
    > Ivor Jones wrote:
    > ... My ATA is configured with UK phone numbers. 911 is
    >> unknown in the UK, dialling it will not work.

    >
    > And whose fault is that!


    Whoever decided which emergency number is used in which country, I expect.
    Nothing to do with VoIP or providers of it.

    >> VoIP does not know where I am,

    >
    > Not true: you are required to tell your provider your location,
    > unless you are using something like Net2Phone.


    Required by whom..? I use Sipgate (www.sipgate.co.uk). I have two accounts
    with them, each with a different UK phone number and SIP ID. These are
    programmed into my Sipura SPA-2000 ATA, which I then plug into my ADSL
    router. There is nothing whatever to stop me unplugging it from my own
    router and taking it with me anywhere in the world and plugging it into
    another router there. It registers with the central server at Sipgate and
    I get dial tone when I pick up the phone. I can call UK numbers at the
    same rate as if I were at home and people there can call me at the normal
    local rate.

    Read the info on Sipgate's website, the ability to do this is one of the
    prime selling points of the service. Say you live in Hong Kong, but do a
    lot of business with customers in London. You can have a London phone
    number, even though you don't live there.

    Besides, as far as I can tell, there is no way for me to tell Sipgate or
    anyone else where I am anyway..!

    >> it assumes as I am using a UK number I am located there, that's
    >> why I can call home for the same cost as if I [were] there. Even if the
    >> UK 999 number worked, it would connect me with a UK operator,
    >> which is no good to me 5000 miles away..!

    >
    > People's lives have been saved by calls from 2000 miles away.


    Using VoIP..?

    >> Far better to forget VoIP for emergency use, use a normal landline
    >> or a mobile.

    >
    > IF there is one. Also, not all cell phones have location capability
    > yet, but that will be required soon in the US.


    If by that you mean GPS, there is no necessity for that to locate a phone
    in use, it can be triangulated to within a reasonable distance by the
    service providers anyway based on the cells in use. That's how it's done
    here.

    Ivor
    Ivor Jones, Mar 25, 2005
    #17
  18. Rick Merrill

    dg Guest

    Well if you have a landline and cell phone, AND you are aware of this issue,
    whats the problem? What exactly is your complaint here? I just don't seem
    to get it. Its like saying "oh you mean I actually have to aquire food,
    prepare it, and EAT it, just to stay alive? I am a busy person and thats a
    lot of hassle and extra work. Far better IMHO to just order some chinese
    food or a pizza".

    --Dan

    "Ivor Jones" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > So who do I tell..? Suppose I move around a lot, that's a lot of hassle
    > and extra work for both me and them.
    >
    > Far better IMHO to use normal landlines or mobile (cell) phones in a true
    > emergency.
    >
    > Ivor
    > --
    > A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
    > Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
    > A: Top-posting.
    > Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet and in e-mail?
    >
    dg, Mar 25, 2005
    #18
  19. Rick Merrill

    Ivor Jones Guest

    Rick Merrill wrote:
    > Ivor Jones wrote:
    >
    >> dg wrote:
    >>
    >>> You have to tell them your physical location. That is the only
    >>> way they can know where you are physically located, there would
    >>> be no other 100% sure way of knowing. I think this is one of
    >>> those situations where the old saying "you can't have your cake
    >>> and eat it too" would apply.

    >>
    >>
    >> So [whom] do I tell..? Suppose I move around a lot, that's a lot
    >> of hassle and extra work for both me and them.

    >
    > Not much: you just access a web site (click) and type in your
    > location - this is assuming your browser remembers usernames and
    > passwords for you ... oh, I forgot, that's too much work for you
    > even thou you have time to travel "5000 miles."


    Whose website..? I use Sipgate www.sipgate.co.uk - the only time you are
    ever asked for a location is when you sign up for an account. Find me
    somewhere on that site to tell them I am plugging in my equipment away
    from home.

    Ivor
    Ivor Jones, Mar 25, 2005
    #19
  20. Rick Merrill

    Miguel Cruz Guest

    Rick Merrill <> wrote:
    > Ivor Jones wrote:
    >> VoIP does not know where I am,

    >
    > Not true: you are required to tell your provider your location, unless
    > you are using something like Net2Phone.


    Huh? Required by what rule? And by what mechanism would you tell them
    anyway? My VoIP providers sure haven't expressed any interest in that info.

    If you sign up for 911 service, then they want your address to send along
    when you dial 911. That's it.

    miguel
    --
    Hit The Road! Photos from 35 countries on 5 continents: http://travel.u.nu
    Latest photos: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Israel, Palestine
    Miguel Cruz, Mar 26, 2005
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. The J-Man
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    1,954
    Rick Merrill
    Jan 9, 2006
  2. Replies:
    7
    Views:
    3,895
    carrottop1960
    Jan 3, 2013
  3. Au79
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    403
    joevan
    Jun 30, 2006
  4. OldGringo38

    Re: drunk driver calls 911 on herself

    OldGringo38, Nov 3, 2009, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    438
    OldGringo38
    Nov 3, 2009
  5. Shel-hed

    Re: drunk driver calls 911 on herself

    Shel-hed, Nov 3, 2009, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    387
    Shel-hed
    Nov 3, 2009
Loading...

Share This Page