dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
20974
share rss forum feed

cmthru

join:2005-03-19
Rockville, MD

1 recommendation

Charges for 911 calls?

Got the following email this morning:

Dear customer:

This is not a bill, but a choice for you as described below. If you decide you will not pay, you do not have to take any action.

Due to recent changes, magicJack will start to charge for 911 services for 911 capability. If you decide to continue to receive certain limited 911 calling privileges as described in our TOS, you will need to go to my.magicjack.com and fill out the necessary forms and give new debit/credit card information.

magicJack will not profit by collecting these pass through charges for the 911 authorities.

The charges will be billed annually by email and may cost anywhere from $6.00 to over $60.00 a year. On average throughout the country it will cost about $12.00 a year.

magicJack will provide limited exceptions for hardship cases for people who made a 911 call before July 1, 2013 and will post notification or email these certain customers later concerning the eligibility.

These unfortunate changes were made necessary because certain emergency 911 Districts in certain jurisdictions requested we attempt to bill on their behalf and benefit.

Dan

If they send me a 911 bill they had best show details such as my local jurisdiction and the actual charge. Otherwise a generic charge will be ignored.


Elector

join:2000-05-25
Albany, NY
I posted the notice also not the actual email. But the charge unless its mandatory will not be paid by me.
--
Knowledge is a terrible thing to waste. That is why I post when I can.


NoThanxDan

@rr.com
A person can cope without 9-1-1 service.

Check with your local law enforcement agency and I think you'll find that there is a parallel, non-911 phone number that will connect you to the same Emergency Response Center in your jurisdiction.

For instance, in the city of Austin Texas, you can dial 512-974-0911 and you'll reach the same operator as if you had dialed 9-1-1.

(Teaching your dog how to dial that longer number may be more of a challenge, though.)

FloridaGuy

join:2013-08-22
Great info. Thanks. I called the city I live in and they gave me the direct 10 digit number to dispatch. I called where I will be moving and they gave me a number, but you have to prompt 5 which sucks.

Anyway once you are given the number you can add it to your MJ contacts as 911, it will show up first if you don't have any other number names in contacts. You can also set it on your phone speed dial.

and this is not a MJ charge, it's optional, and MJ does not profit from it, it's another local government tax. It should be illegal because it risks lives if you can't call 911.


NoThanxDan

@rr.com
The ink is barely dry (so to speak) on Dan's email message and I noticed the 9-1-1 button has already disappeared from my MJ on-screen dialer.

Think maybe he could have given us 48 hours notice before pulling the plug on free 9-1-1 and leaving everyone vulnerable?

(On, I forgot. Dan isn't great at telling time. I first received an offer on June 25th for the "Exclusive 48 Hour Sale" on The New 2014 MJ+. Today marks the 58th day that I am STILL getting that offer ad.)


gonzo122

@state.ny.us
reply to cmthru
Same exact letter word for word...
Well the whole idea about MJ was to save money and pay one fee a year...
It was a good ride the main reason i switched from Skype home calling, was the 911 feature.

It appears the renewal fee is 29.99 on yearly basis and now whatever fee 911 will become.

Still the cheapest option, and service and support, and it clearly shows...


MBark

@cox.net
reply to FloridaGuy
FloridaGuy, you say "Anyway once you are given the number you can add it to your MJ contacts as 911". By looking at Add Contacts, I see no way that you can equate one number to another.

Can you please tell me how to equate the 10 digit (911) number to 911. Thanks in advance.


MBark

@cox.net
Florida Guy, I think I now know what you meant by this statement: "Anyway once you are given the number you can add it to your MJ contacts as 911".

You meant use 911 as the name for your 10 digit (911) number.

FloridaGuy

join:2013-08-22
Right, you can't add it to the 911 bar, just to your contacts but you can leave it at the top of your contacts if it lets you.

FloridaGuy

join:2013-08-22
reply to NoThanxDan
Mine was there this morning. I tried to add the new address I am moving to in September and I got a screen telling me about the charge. It was confusing and I couldn't tell if the $4.xx charge was for one month or until my MJ service expired this year so I declined it and the 911 bar/button is gone.


MBark

@cox.net
reply to FloridaGuy
Thank you, FloridaGuy; your answer is appreciated.


lugnut

@communications.com
reply to cmthru
I haven't received this email yet. Then again I am in Canada and it may only be an American thing.

Either way they can go pound sand if they try to collect this from me. I only bought the MJ+ as a cheap secondary phone for free long distance in the first place.

I kept my landline all along and specifically for the purpose of 911 service and with an 89 year old living in the house with me I don't plan to drop it anytime soon.

Either way, it's a non-issue to me.

FloridaGuy

join:2013-08-22
reply to cmthru
In reality the 911 system is at fault. Why are they creating a tax to charge people to call the police, fire and ambulance service in the first place when there is an emergency, shouldn't municipal taxes go to pay for this?


detcity

@ldmi.com
.55 per month detroit,mi. not that calling 911 in detroit does any good anyhow!

cmthru

join:2005-03-19
Rockville, MD
reply to cmthru
My 911 button vanished this morning. Interestingly my local police/fire dept. doesn't appear to have an alternate emergency number. County residents are directed to ring 311 and calls will be transferred to 911. But there's a problem as 311 only operates M-F 7am-7pm. Maybe after hours there's a option to press a certain button for emergencies.

I'll be using my cell phone for any emergencies.

FloridaGuy

join:2013-08-22
You can always call the non emergency number, tell them you don't have a way to dial 911 and tell them you have an emergency. Those calls are recorded too, and if they refuse to help you they are looking at a big lawsuit.


greenman

join:2002-06-18
Athens, GA

1 edit
reply to cmthru
YMax has known about this change in Federal policy prior to January.
We should have been informed of the change at least a month before-hand about what our options would be and when the cut-off date would be if we planned not to opt back in for a fee. Any non-VOIP phone company would do this. If YMax wants to aspire to the same standard, they should hold themselves accountable.

YMax should fire their head of public relations--if they have one--and pay for a real one. Frankly, I think all of magicJack's customer base deserves an apology from YMax for this fiasco.
--
MJCheck - »mjcheck.low.li
Tips and Info on MagicJack plus.

PX Eliezer
Premium
join:2013-03-10
Outland
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Optimum Voice
·callwithus
·Callcentric
said by greenman:

Any non-VOIP phone company would do this. If YMax wants to aspire to the same standard, they should hold themselves accountable.

For that matter, pretty much all of the VoIP companies aside from MJ would have handled it better. MJ is at the bottom of the VoIP industry not just in price.

said by greenman:


YMax should fire their head of public relations--if they have one--and pay for a real one. Frankly, I think all of magicJack's customer base deserves an apology from YMax for this fiasco.

This seems strange. You [are] aware that MagicJack, YMAX, Vocaltec, are all one big family?


JonBlack

join:2003-08-10
Charleston, SC
reply to cmthru
I received the email a few days ago and it definitely left me scratching my head. Another family member with MJ hasn't received their email yet but it clearly showed the message when they logged into their account.

I wonder if this is legal or does MJ not consider themselves to be a VOIP provider???

According to the FCC page:
»www.fcc.gov/guides/voip-and-911-service

All interconnected VoIP providers must automatically provide 911 service to all their customers as a standard, mandatory feature without customers having to specifically request this service. VoIP providers may not allow their customers to “opt-out” of 911 service.


greenman

join:2002-06-18
Athens, GA
reply to PX Eliezer
said by PX Eliezer:

... You [are] aware that MagicJack, YMAX, Vocaltec, are all one big family?

Yes. Their customers deserve an apology.
--
MJCheck - »mjcheck.low.li
Tips and Info on MagicJack plus.


linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink
reply to JonBlack
I called 911 once in 7 years. It was a disaster. My phone company charges less than $2 per month for this service. It is still too much money to pay someone to find and read a card before an ambulance is dispatched. Where I live direct to EMT is faster and much more efficient.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside


greenman

join:2002-06-18
Athens, GA
reply to JonBlack
Skype does not provide 911 service. Google does not require it. I wonder what requirements make the difference between those who are required and those who are not. Sounds like a good research progject.

Just saw this from another thread on this forum:
said by Frodo:

said by JonBlack:

I wonder if this is legal or does MJ not consider themselves to be a VOIP provider???

»seekingalpha.com/article/1355931···oopholes
"MJ claims that it is not an Interconnected VoIP provider as defined by the FCC. MJ is relying on a loophole in order to work around the definition: One of the MJ group companies, magicJack LP, sells the magicJack device and provides free incoming calls while a second company, YMax communications, provides the free outgoing calls, so that none of the companies, on a standalone basis, provides both services (each is providing only One Way VoIP)."

--
MJCheck - »mjcheck.low.li
Tips and Info on MagicJack plus.

redpepper

join:2009-09-05

4 edits
@Greenman

Skype does not advertise their service as a replacement for telephone service. You have to purchase a real incoming phone number separately if you want to receive calls from regular phones. Skype have also very recently announced the decommissioning of their Skype public developer API interface that has been used by scores of manufacturers to develop advanced apps and other adjunct phone and phone adapter solutions over the last decade. Their real market penetration has come from low cost outgoing international calls and Skype to Skype calls made from computers and mobile phones and they appear to be going back to that core focus.

Google does not advertise regular telephone service at all either. In fact their latest transition that is still underway to base Google Voice on the new Google Hangout proprietary technology that does NOT have a public developer API interface appears to further distance them from that classification. Google have already made the statement that Google Hangout technology is the future of Google Voice.

Once the integration of Google Hangout technology is really completely finished (and they do appear to be getting closer to it), Google will not really have any reason to continue supporting the existing Google Chat technology for calling. When that day comes Obihai and other standalone device options that use the Google Chat based public developer API will cease to work. This will force users to keep their Gmail (or another Google interface) open with Google ads displayed of course in some form or another on an active computer to be able to place and receive calls the way Google probably really envisioned and intended.


greenman

join:2002-06-18
Athens, GA
I remember when Google Voice was Grand Central. It seems to me this type of service is still relevant in an age when people have cell phones, land lines and various other interfaces. I like having one phone number and the ability to switch between devices/numbers at the press of a button. I hope you're at least wrong about this particular part of Google Voice. I heavily rely on it.
--
MJCheck - »mjcheck.low.li
Tips and Info on MagicJack plus.

redpepper

join:2009-09-05

4 edits
@Greenman

According to Google, their Google Voice service is here to stay. Only the VoIP part of it is being moved over to ride on top of the Google Hangouts technology platform. Same basic user capabilities as far as phone calling is concerned but a different underlying technology and network communication interface. The Google Hangouts technology platform is closed and there is no public developer API at the moment for it and no indication so far that one will be published.

I can't think of any real reason why Google would continue to spend money to support the Google Chat technology platform for VoIP phone calling as well after the integration of Google Hangouts into Google Voice has been completely finished. Maybe I am wrong about the latter but if and when that happens existing 3rd party standalone solutions that allow VoIP calling using the Google Voice network without a computer will stop working.

The lack of a public developer API for Google Hangouts makes 3rd party standalone solutions that allow VoIP calling using the Google Voice network without the use of a computer pretty much impossible to develop and support since you don't know the network interface or the changes when they are made from time to time.

I have actually never seen any statements from Google about ever wanting to be in the regular phone business or support regular phone devices. In contrast, I have seen statements made indicating they want to be a player in the social media communications space on desktop and mobile devices.


Gork
Ou812ic

join:2001-10-06
Bountiful, UT
reply to greenman
said by greenman:

Frankly, I think all of magicJack's customer base deserves an apology from YMax for this fiasco.

This is just another decision in a long line which deserves an apology and/or financial compensation.

TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
reply to redpepper
Obi devices work on other services as well. We us them for our VoIP product. They also work with other SIP providers and are very user friendly on the control panel side.

TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
reply to greenman
Google has said before that GV would be paid at some point. Each year that comes around its only pushed out another year.

8744675

join:2000-10-10
Decatur, GA
reply to FloridaGuy
The 911 fee has been charged on land lines and cell phones for years. It's one of the few below-the-line fees that is actually legit. The amount varies depending where you live.

I have a feeling that the FCC will be concerned about leaving people with no access to 911 on their phones. Remember, they required VOIP providers to make their customers register their address with 911 to enable locating them.

Even a locked iPhone allows you to call 911, and you can call 911 from a pay phone for free. There is universal assumption that you can pick up any phone and call 911 for free.

I think that 911 on MJ won't be optional for long. The FCC will likely require them to provide 911 to everyone and collect the fees, just like cell and wire line providers.

Frodo

join:2006-05-05
kudos:1
reply to cmthru
As far as I'm concerned, it is time to get rid of this 20 century nonsense. If someone wants 911, then buy it. If you're not paying for it, it shouldn't work. It should not be a compulsory purchase.

I think there should be a simpler system. There's caller id. You register your phone with the cops if you want them to have the address when you call.

911 has been around since the 1970s. Hasn't technology improved so that costs should be going downwards?

Magicjack has avoided the issue so far by having separate companies handle the inbound and outbound calling. Perhaps we could do that on our own?