Texas Attorney General sues Vonage over 911 issue

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Texas Attorney General sues Vonage over 911 issue

The attorney general of Texas, Greg Abbott is suing Vonage, charging that Vonage does not "clearly disclose the lack of traditional 911 access" nor adequately inform its customers they must first sign up for the free 911 service. This omission violates state law dealing with deceptive trade practices, according to Greg Abbott. The state is asking for civil penalties of more than $20,000 and an injunction requiring a more pronounced disclosure of Vonage's 911 access.

This lawsuit was brought forth as a result of a case in early March when a 17-year-old Houston girl was unable to get through to police after dialing 911 on a Vonage phone after both her parents were shot by intruders.

Vonage responded by pointing out that there are references both on the Internet and material mailed to customers explaining the 911 service's limitations and its the need for its customers to be proactive in configuring it (i.e. entering in your home address via the Vonage web administration)

I configured my Vonage 911 service as soon as it became available, but I can see how the less technically inclined may not be aware that they have to configure it. Or if they do know how, they have to remember to update the info if they move. Perhaps Vonage should detect that its customers have not configured their 911 home address via the web and periodically redirect (every 5th call) any outbound calls to a Vonage IVR which then tells the customer they must go to Vonage's website and configure their 911 service to end this reminder message. Kind of like those nagging software registration popups you get when you buy new software, ya know?

Just a thought...

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