Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Texas sues Vonage over emergency service

Filed under
Sci/Tech
Legal

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

A Vonage spokeswoman said the company would welcome a dialog with Abbott on how to improve its 911 service. Vonage customers are told multiple times, including twice during the subscription process, that they need to take action to sign up for 911 service, added Brooke Schulz, senior vice president of corporate communications for Vonage. Vonage warns customers on their dashboard online account summary that they have not signed up for 911 service, and Vonage sends e-mail to customers who have not activated 911 service, Schulz said.

The company also tells customers on its Web site's features page that they must pre-activate 911 service, although the company also notes that "Vonage offers 911 dialing to all customers."
"We want to work with the attorney general's office to resolve his concerns," Schulz said. "We do all these things today, and if those aren't adequate, let's talk about it."

The lawsuit, filed under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, requests the court issue an injunction stopping Vonage from "misrepresenting" the type of emergency telephone service it offers, according to a press release from Abbott. The suit seeks $20,000 per violation.

Because VoIP services route 911 calls through IP networks instead of the traditional telephone network, VoIP 911 service doesn't work the same way as traditional 911 service. Dispatch centers aren't able to pinpoint the address where the VoIP call originated, unlike enhanced 911 service available with most traditional telephone service today.

Vonage on March 7 reported it had exceeded 500,000 total phone lines on its network, and it was signing up customers at a rate of 15,000 lines per week.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Why You Should Consider Open Sourcing Your Software
    Free & Open source software have grown so rapidly in the last few years. Just compare the situation of being ignored and considered like a nerds-movement in the early 2000’s to the situation today in 2017. We surly made a huge advancement so far. Thanks to the amazing ecosystem of open source which links both communities and enterprises together. However, when it comes to individuals, a lot of people are hesitant when it comes to open-sourcing their software. They think that the “secret” behind it will be stolen. They think that they will be releasing their work “for nothing in return” when they do so. That’s definitely false.
  • Caspia Projects and Thunderbird – Open Source In Absentia
    What does this have to do with Thunderbird? I sat in a room a few weeks ago with 10 guys at Clallam Bay, all who have been in a full-time, intensive software training program for about a year, who are really interested in trying to do real-world projects rather than simply hidden internal projects that are classroom assignments, or personal projects with no public outlet. I start in April spending two days per week with these guys. Then there are another 10 or so guys at WSR in Monroe that started last month, though the situation there is more complex. The situation is similar to other groups of students that might be able to work on Thunderbird or Mozilla projects, with these differences:1) Student or GSOC projects tend to have a duration of a few months, while the expected commitment time for this group is much longer.
  • Make Dragonfly BSD great again!
    Recently I spent some time reading Dragonfly BSD code. While doing so I spotted a vulnerability in the sysvsem subsystem that let user to point to any piece of memory and write data through it (including the kernel space). This can be turned into execution of arbitrary code in the kernel context and by exploiting this, we're gonna make Dragonfly BSD great again!

Desktop GNU/Linux

  • [Video] Litebook Alpha Review! | Unboxing, Apps, and Gaming!
  • Beginners Guide To Linux
    Curious about getting into Raspberry Pi or just Linux in general but you're not sure where to start? This post is for you. It's not intended to be a comprehensive guide, rather a gentle intro into the Linux world. I'm not a Linux expert, but I know from experience that it can be an intimidating platform to get started in. I want this post to show you what you need to know to get started with Linux.
  • [Video] 5 Reasons To Switch To Linux
  • System76 Provides Wireless Fixes for Ubiquity
    We are proud to have contributed to Ubiquity in such a way that we feel improves all users’ lives when using Ubuntu. We will continue improving the platform and hope that our users will see value in what we do.
  • GNOME 3.24 Released, See What`s New
    After being in development for six months, GNOME 3.24 was released today, bringing improvements such as Night Light, weather information in the date / time indicator, along with updates to its applications, and more.

Late Night Linux, Bad Voltage, and Effective Communication in Podcasting

  • Late Night Linux – Episode 06
    Jesse is back but this time Félim is in his sick bed so it’s a 3 man show yet again. Some heated debates about Nextcloud’s actions, Ubuntu extended support and PowerPC distros, followed by a deep dive into the world of HiDPI 4k support in Linux.
  • Bad Voltage Live at SCaLE 15x
    The Bad Voltage live stage show, from SCaLE 15x in Pasadena, March 2017!
  • Effective Communication in Podcasting
    When I got serious about doing Linux videos on YouTube, I drew on all of that Old Media experience plus I took a few classes to make sure I knew what I was talking about before handing out advice to others. That has led to the EzeeLinux project. The goal of EzeeLinux is to educate folks about Linux and get them started on the right path to success… I have been truly humbled by the response it has gotten. That said, I don’t feel like I’m competing with anyone – the more, the merrier! I honestly feel that Linux and Open Source Software are arguably one of the few truly good things happening in the world today. It brings people from all over the world together and provides a means to get cutting edge technology into the hands of anyone, anywhere who wants to take the time to learn how to use it regardless of their financial situation. That is the kind of power that can quite literally change the world, folks. No one should be left behind in this Information Age. Come to think of it, Ed Murrow would probably do a documentary about Linux if he was still around today… It would be right up his street, I think. It’s the kind of thing he liked to talk about.

Leftovers: Software

  • [Video] Linux Audio Programs Compared 2017
    I made this video for those that are new to, or just interested in making music on the Linux OS. I go over the features, goods and bads of Rosegarden, LMMS, Ardour, Mixbus, and EnergyXT, as well as touch on Qtractor. I don't don't go much into details of the particular versions I am using, but the video was made in the early part of 2017 and I'm running Ubuntu 16.04LTS.
  • Green Recorder: A Simple Desktop/Screen Recorder for Linux
    Green Recorder is a simple, open source desktop recorder developed for Linux systems built using Python, GTK and FFmpeg. It supports most of the Linux desktop environments such as Unity, Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce and so on. Recently it has been updated to work with Wayland too in Gnome session.
  • Komorebi: A New Way To Enhance Your Desktop Using Animated/Parallax Wallpapers
    In past there were applications that allowed us to run videos/Gif as wallpaper on the desktop and make desktop look much cooler but than all of sudden the development of such Apps stopped and I can't name any App that exist for this purpose. Komorebi is fairly new application designed to make your desktop experience much better and make desktop cool as well, we can say it is kind of 'live wallpaper' situation here or 3D wallpaper. It is developed by Abe Masri and available under GPL license for free.
  • Stacer Sytem Optimizer: A Must Have Application For Ubuntu/Linux Mint
    There are multiple ways to optimize your Linux, the most geeky way is using Terminal, there are also applications available that performs such actions like Bleachbit, Ubuntu cleaner and so on. Stacer is simple, open-source, quick and new application designed to offer you all-in-one optimizer for your Ubuntu/Linux Mint (It's alternative to CCleaner but only for Linux).
  • Qtox: Open Source and Fully Secure Skype Replacement for Linux
    Long years ago, we've talked about a Skype alternative called Tox which was still in its early developmental stages. Tox was supposed to become the anti-thesis of Skype by being a fully open-source video and voice chat client that placed user privacy and security at its center. Well, guess what, there are now fully active and well-maintained chat clients that are built on top of Tox protocol. qTox is one of them.
  • Rclone 1.36 Released With SFTP And Local Symlinks Support, More
    Rclone 1.36 was released recently, bringing support for SFTP, local symbolic links support, mount improvements, along with many other new features and bug fixes. For those not familiar with Rclone, this is a cross-platform command line tool for synchronizing files and folders to multiple cloud storages, which supports Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, Amazon Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Yandex Disk, and more. It can be used to sync files either from your machine or from one cloud storage to another.
  • Streamlink Twitch GUI 1.2.0 Adds Support For Communities And Team Pages, Basic Hotkeys
    Streamlink Twitch GUI (previously Livestreamer Twitch GUI) is a multi-platform Twitch.tv browser. The application is powered by Node.js, Chromium and Streamlink, though it can still use Livestreamer (which is no longer maintained) too.
  • Code Editor `Brackets` 1.9 Released, Available In PPA
    Brackets is a free, open source code editor focused on front-end web development (HTML, CSS and JavaScript).
  • Terminix Terminal Emulator Renamed To Tilix, Sees New Bugfix Release
    [Quick update] Terminix, a GTK3 tiling terminal emulator, has been renamed to Tilix due to some trademark issues.