As many of Aunty’s readers know, the State of Texas sued Vonage recently for, they claimed, failing to provide adequate instructions for signing up for 911 emergency telephone services. Hogwash!
Now the State of Connecticut is pulling the same thing, suing Vonage claiming that “Vonage’s lack of disclosure was a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act,” and “for failing to adequately inform customers about the performance of its 911 emergency service.” Bullpuckey!
The plain fact is that Vonage makes abundantly clear exactly what you have to do in order to ensure that your VoIP service through Vonage has 911 service. Vonage spokesperson Brooke Schulz says that “the real problem is that Vonage has not yet been able to negotiate an agreement with SBC Communications, the dominant wireline phone company for most of Connecticut, for access to its 911 network.”
Aunty’s readers will also remember that SBC recently granted 911 access to its own VoIP offering, engendering cries of “foul” and “anticompetitive” from certain sectors.
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But back to Connecticut’s misguided lawsuit. Here is the 911 info from Vonage’s site (use the blue bar at the right of the image to scroll down):
And here is an actual screenshot of their actual signup page – could it be any clearer?
It’s critical that the customer go through that separate 911 sign-up process, because that’s how Vonage knows where the customer is physically located, geographically speaking. This is because customer can request a Vonage phone number in any area of the United States that they like. Aunty could sign up for Vonage and request a number in Walla Walla, Washingon, if she wanted to, but she sure wouldn’t want emergency crews in Walla Walla to come looking for her when she’s located in California!
And given how clear Vonage is about the requirements for signing up for 911 services, Aunty can’t really imagine what else Vonage could do to make it any clearer for their customers. Can you?
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