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SBC Communications Inc. (SBC) Message Board

  • ur2u2 ur2u2 Mar 23, 2005 12:11 PM Flag

    vonage follies

    Texas Sues Vonage Over Emergency Service

    Suit highlights VoIP's shortcomings on 911 emergency calls.

    Grant Gross. IDG News Service
    Tuesday, March 22, 2005
    Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit today in Austin against Vonage Holdings, accusing the fast-growing VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) provider of failing to warn customers about limits to its 911 emergency dialing service.

    Abbott's lawsuit, filed in the District Court of Travis Country, Texas, accuses Vonage of deceptive marketing practices for not making clear to customers that they must sign up separately for 911 service, instead of its automatically being part of the Vonage VoIP offering.

    In an announcement about the lawsuit, Abbott cited a February incident in Houston in which a family with Vonage service couldn't get through to 911 dispatchers. Joyce John tried to dial 911 from a VoIP phone in her home as burglars broke into the house and shot and wounded her parents.

    John's call to 911 connected to a recording saying she would have to dial 911 from a different phone. She eventually contacted authorities from a neighbor's house. "This Houston family's moment of crisis signals a dire need for Vonage to clearly communicate to its Internet telephone customers that 911 access may not be available to them," Abbott said in a statement. "This is not just about bad customer service; it's a matter of life and death."

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