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LuisPR
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:46 pm    Post subject: VoIP E911: Michigan Atty. General Says Vonage Misleads Reply with quote Back to top

[April 29, 2005]
Voip E911: Michigan Atty. General Says Vonage Misleads

BY JOHANNE TORRES

Its official: Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced today that Internet-based telephone service provider Vonage Holdings Corporation will now face legal action for misleading consumers about the company's emergency 9-1-1 service. In a Notice of Intended Action (NIA) sent to New Jersey-based Vonage this Wednesday, Cox told the company it has failed to make it clear that customers do not have access to traditional 9-1-1 service.

I reported about Cox’s warning about the lack of E911 access to VoIP-based calling service subscribers in the state of Michigan back on April 4 th. "While Voip may offer less expensive telephone service, consumers should be seriously concerned about the possible risks of not having access to 9-1-1 emergency services," Cox said then. "I encourage every Michigan consumer to become informed about this new technology and the important differences between it and traditional telephone service, especially in regards to proper access to the 9-1-1 emergency system."

Now it looks like Cox took his warning a step further by sending Vonage his NIA this week. "Vonage needs to make sure its customers understand that normal 9-1-1 access may not be available to them," Cox said. "Emergency calls made through Vonage's service are often routed through call centers that may not be answered outside of regular business hours."

Cox explained that although Vonage advertises its "911 dialing" as a benefit, the feature has significant limitations compared to traditional phone service. According to Cox’s announcement released today, customers who use Vonage's service are not directed to operators who dispatch emergency vehicles. In this case, if emergency personnel do get the call, they may not be able to identify the caller's phone number or have information displaying the caller's address.

"I don't know about most people, but I don't have the ability to time my emergencies," Cox said. "Vonage has ten days to respond to the NIA, or my office will file a lawsuit seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties."

Consumers who want to file a complaint about Vonage or any other VoIP-based calling service provider may do so by writing to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at P.O. Box 30213, Lansing, MI 48909, or by calling toll-free 1-877-765-8388.

During 2003 and 2004, the Consumer Protection Division collected more than $600 million on behalf of the state of Michigan. In 2004, the Division stopped more than $400 million in utility rate increases and responded to more than 102,000 consumer complaints.

I will definitely follow up on this story and report on any additional details as soon as they become available, so stay tuned!

http://www.tmcnet.com/tmcnet/articles/2005/michigan-vonage-911-lawsuit-mike-cox-attorney-general.htm
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NHTracker
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Has Mr. Attorney General actually bought a Vonage device? Clearly not or he'd know that the 911 issues are addressed in the booklets that come with it. I just don't see where they are going with this? Perhaps they're just unhappy because they can't regulate and tax the hell out of Vonage. So instead they are creating a witch hunt of sorts in order to get the FCC to step in and begin regulating Vonage, so they in turn can do the same. They're concerns are not for the people. They're for the state budget!
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otaku
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Joined: Feb 02, 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

OMFG, he has GOT to be kidding us! Vonage takes you by the hand and leads you through the 911 procedure and constantly tells you "Hey, this isn't normal E911" in big red letters on your screen.

He has GOT to be kidding!

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dconnor
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 4:19 pm    Post subject: miag@michigan.gov Reply with quote Back to top

Tell him how you feel:
miag@michigan.gov


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otaku
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Nice picture there

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