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MagicJack 911 Calling Changes

 
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Will you be paying magicJack for 911 service?
Yes.
16%
 16%  [ 6 ]
No.
83%
 83%  [ 30 ]
Total Votes : 36

Author Message
magicjack85
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 28 May 2012
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:59 pm    Post subject: MagicJack 911 Calling Changes

I just got this email from Dan Borislow:

Quote:

Dear customer:

This is not a bill, but a choice for you as described below. If you decide you will not pay, you do not have to take any action.

Due to recent changes, magicJack will start to charge for 911 services for 911 capability. If you decide to continue to receive certain limited 911 calling privileges as described in our TOS, you will need to go to my.magicjack.com and fill out the necessary forms and give new debit/credit card information.

magicJack will not profit by collecting these pass through charges for the 911 authorities.

The charges will be billed annually by email and may cost anywhere from $6.00 to over $60.00 a year. On average throughout the country it will cost about $12.00 a year.

magicJack will provide limited exceptions for hardship cases for people who made a 911 call before July 1, 2013 and will post notification or email these certain customers later concerning the eligibility.

These unfortunate changes were made necessary because certain emergency 911 Districts in certain jurisdictions requested we attempt to bill on their behalf and benefit.

Dan


If I need 911 I'll use a landline or deactivated cell phone. Deactivated cell phones dial 911 for free.
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raleightom
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 22 Oct 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:25 pm    Post subject: From Dan Aug. 21, 2013: Magicjack to charge for 911 service

I thought the email was a phishing mechanism. Hoped it was Wink Sad it wasn't Confused

Is 911 free on all cell phones ?

I have never owned one and know nothing about them. What would be a good one for this purpose and where do the retired cell phones live ? Do people recycle them somewhere ?

Do cell phones use universal chargers ? I would like to have one for my car and for when my PC is down (which is often) ?

Friendly ideas welcome Wink

Hope this letter isn't the first of a trend for miscellaneous charges. Google Phone/Video looking better all the time. Use that when on Linux along with Magicjack dongle in order to use my phone with it. My Windows is temporarily broke.
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sctirvn687
MagicJack User


Joined: 03 Jun 2008
Posts: 32
Location: Louisville, Ky

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:50 am    Post subject:

Does this mean that you can't actually dial 911 or does it just not tell 911 your location?
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Pilot
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 03 Jun 2012
Posts: 195
Location: West Coast

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:10 am    Post subject: Re: MagicJack 911 Calling Changes

magicjack85 wrote:
I just got this email from Dan Borislow:

Quote:

Dear customer:

This is not a bill, but a choice for you as described below. If you decide you will not pay, you do not have to take any action.

Due to recent changes, magicJack will start to charge for 911 services for 911 capability. If you decide to continue to receive certain limited 911 calling privileges as described in our TOS, you will need to go to my.magicjack.com and fill out the necessary forms and give new debit/credit card information.

magicJack will not profit by collecting these pass through charges for the 911 authorities.

The charges will be billed annually by email and may cost anywhere from $6.00 to over $60.00 a year. On average throughout the country it will cost about $12.00 a year.

magicJack will provide limited exceptions for hardship cases for people who made a 911 call before July 1, 2013 and will post notification or email these certain customers later concerning the eligibility.

These unfortunate changes were made necessary because certain emergency 911 Districts in certain jurisdictions requested we attempt to bill on their behalf and benefit.

Dan


If I need 911 I'll use a landline or deactivated cell phone. Deactivated cell phones dial 911 for free.


I have not received this email (yet) ... am I the only one, or are there others out there still "missing out" ?
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RobQ
MagicJack User


Joined: 24 Dec 2008
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:56 am    Post subject:

Just received mine today. Sad
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lynxys
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:09 am    Post subject:

They should give me 911 estimate before they want my credit card. I cannot give my credit card before I know how much to pay. (911 service fee is 1.59 in my area. OMG!!!! more than an average!!!) If they charge 911 then OOMA is more attractive to me than partially disabled magic jack line.

I can buy one in Costco (160) and have unlimited time to return it if I don't like one or less expensive at Amazon (120). OOMA will be 44.52/year taxes +120-150 dollars for the box in my area. MJ will be 29.99+18.96=48.95(I have the box already).

On the one hand OOMA has better quality and long term value than MJ, on the other hand I save 4.43 per year and I need 120/4.43=27.09 years to make OOMA less expensive.

Here we have one more if, MJ doesn't have my CC on file now. If I give them CC for 911 don't they use it for renewal of my service. For some reason I don't trust people like Dan. I hope I'm wrong with my reasons.

Decision I don't pay them now and wait to see what happened next,
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Henderson
magicJack Apprentice


Joined: 13 Sep 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:13 am    Post subject:

It irks me to no end that there's a $10 yearly charge for your own ported phone number that they do absolutely nothing to maintain... zero maintenance on their end, absolutely no fees or labor incurred by them. Charging for 911 now just adds more insult to this money-grabbing scheme.

I realize that paying $39.95 still saves me quite a bit of money, but it's the principle behind it. And to ask me to sign up to pay something without telling me the specific amount of money I'll be charged is absolutely ridiculous for any business. There's just no way I'd be willing to sign up anywhere without a firm price, especially with this company.

I'm going to look into switching to Ooma if it's that reasonably priced. I don't mind the initial cost to deal with a reputable company. That you can't use speed dial on your phones already cripples MagicJack to me and now not being able to dial 911 is the end.

Of course I'll first have to pay MagicJack to release my current phone number... there is no other company that charges to give up your number. I really hate this company and if finances weren't that tight for me, I'd have gotten rid of MagicJack when they started adding on the vanity number yearly charge.

Edit: I checked into Ooma and even though calls are free, they charge monthly taxes and fees which come to $6.75/month for me. So that leaves them out.

I've been tempted to change my number to Google Voice which is still currently free, but there's no telling what the cost will be once they do start charging.
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Bill Smith
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Posts: 218

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:50 am    Post subject:

Point Of Information - Google Voice does not allow calls to 911 unless you pay $12/year to an outside vendor.
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Henderson
magicJack Apprentice


Joined: 13 Sep 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:38 am    Post subject:

$12 is still cheaper than an undisclosed amount from MagicJack. And in my instance, I'd simply have the Google number directed to my cell phone number, so I'd still have 911 available on my cell phone.

I've discovered that many cities have a regular 10-digit phone number that you call that goes to the same dispatch center as dialing 911. You probably have to call your local police department to get the number though.
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IamBored
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 10 May 2013
Posts: 169

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:27 pm    Post subject: Other people are ticked off too

magicJack Under attack for 911 fees (alinina.com)

Got An email stating Magic Jack Phone service will be charging (pissedoffconsumer.com)

Calling 911 No Longer Free with MagicJack and other wireless companies (racticalwaystosavemoney.com)

Magic Jack 911 email today (broadbandreports.com)
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threepwood
magicJack Apprentice


Joined: 01 Nov 2009
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: 911 charges`

Seems like they will charge me today but 'pay' service won't start until 10/1. So I guess I still have free 911 until then?
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SouthFlorida
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:06 pm    Post subject:

From what I understand Magic Jack is not charging, they are just making you pay the local tax that the 911 services charge.

It's optional and is not needed.

Instead just call your non emergency number and ask if they can give you a number for dispatch and they can do what 911 does or route you to them. Then just add the new number to your contacts as "911"

you can always dial non emergency number for police, and tell them you have and emergency.
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SouthFlorida
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:15 pm    Post subject:

Henderson wrote:
It irks me to no end that there's a $10 yearly charge for your own ported phone number that they do absolutely nothing to maintain... zero maintenance on their end, absolutely no fees or labor incurred by them. Charging for 911 now just adds more insult to this money-grabbing scheme.



That $10 yearly charge really is theft for porting a number one time.

As far as the 911 charge, they say they are passing them on and not profiting from them. The problem is that you don't know what the charge is. They link you to an amount, but you don't know if it's monthly or yearly or for the remainder of your yearly service.
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SouthFlorida
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: 911 charges`

threepwood wrote:
Seems like they will charge me today but 'pay' service won't start until 10/1. So I guess I still have free 911 until then?


Unless you decline the offer to pay. I was moving and was gonna put my new address in and got a confusing link to pay, declined it and my 911 bar/button is gone.
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SouthFlorida
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:24 pm    Post subject:

The 911 system is to blame. They just created another tax to call police, fire or EMTs. Police and Fire are already paid by municipal taxes, Why do we have to pay extra to call them?
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Henderson
magicJack Apprentice


Joined: 13 Sep 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:35 pm    Post subject:

SouthFlorida wrote:

That $10 yearly charge really is theft for porting a number one time.

As far as the 911 charge, they say they are passing them on and not profiting from them. The problem is that you don't know what the charge is. They link you to an amount, but you don't know if it's monthly or yearly or for the remainder of your yearly service.


That's exactly my thoughts on that $10/year extra charge for your previously ported number... theft. Yes, it's fair to charge a one-time fee for porting, but not after that.

As for the 911 charge, I'll admit it's probably a legit expense they will be incurring and passing along to customers. I don't know of any additional tax added on that's a nice round even number like $2.00 or $12.00 though. I've no doubt there will be change left over from each fee collected that MagicJack will be keeping. And to set up a payment system where you provide your credit card info to be billed an undetermined amount is totally unacceptable on all levels. They could have a page where you enter your zipcode and get the fees for your area before blindly trusting them with your credit card.

Anyone who trusts that MagicJack will bill you only the appropriate amount for your area and not a penny more is being very naive in regard to MJ's business practices.
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SteveHC
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 26 Dec 2011
Posts: 498
Location: Southwest Florida

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: MJ is doing this the right way

OMG what a bunch of curmudgeons we seem to have here LOL. It's amazing that MJ succeeded in fending off local governments over this issue for this long.

Unlike MJ, almost ALL telecoms do not give you the option of "opting out" of 911 service, and most of them do NOT tell you in advance how much your 911 fee will be - that fee is set by your local government (just check with your local government to get the info), and ALL of it goes to pay for your local 911 service operations. In my area the fee is only $0.50/month, and that is exactly what MJ indicated it would be for me ($6/year).

In most areas the actual cost to localities to run their 911 service is about $1-$1.50/month per subscriber line; if they charge you less the difference is being made up from other local taxes. One way or another the cost is funded.

If you decide to "opt out" don't forget that 911 doesn't link with just local police service but also fire and EMS as well. If you're going to rely on cellular 911 access, consider how well and reliable your cellular service reception is at your home - and that if you'll be accessing it via an "unconnected" cell phone, your exact location data will most likely NOT be transmitted along with the audio call so you'll need to be sure to state it during the emergency phone call.

BTW - OOMA charges on a monthly basis for ALL potentially relevant local, state and federal taxes and fees, not just the local 911 fees... including their OWN service fee to cover the cost of collecting and distributing government taxes and fees.
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cell14
Dan Should Pay Me


Joined: 23 May 2009
Posts: 673
Location: South FL

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:30 pm    Post subject:

In order to clear up certain things :
Most VOIP providers either do not provide 911 service at all or charge a monthly fee of up to $ 1.50/month for e911 service. This fee is not a local tax.
Which means that they may have to charge the 911 tax ADDITIONALLY to this e911 fee . However, most VOIP providers let you opt out of any 911 charges if you claim a non US/CAN address.
So, in this particular case, very exceptionally, Magic Jack is NOT to blame.
I would recommend to drop the 911 service through MJ. MJ is way to unreliable for that. You cell phone is probably much better, as long as you have coverage, although only few cities/counties are able to determine your location on a cell.
If you absolutely need 911 service at home other than cell phone try Callcentric with it's free NYC DID and their $ 1.50/month e911 charge. You may actually discover a better VOIP providers this way.
Wink
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greenman
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:22 pm    Post subject:

The sad thing is, nobody got notified prior to Dan disabling E911. At least I didn't. We should have expected at least a standard two weeks notice before a major change in policy like this. This is just poor business practice. I smell a lawsuit in the making from people who thought they had e911 and no longer have it.
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redpepper
Dan Should Pay Me


Joined: 13 Oct 2009
Posts: 501

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:32 pm    Post subject:

The GVJackApp has optional real E911 service available for $12 per year prepaid. See GVCNAM.com for details. You are responsible for keeping your physical address current.

If there are at least a few initial requests for it we will quickly move forward and add the same E911 service capability to the Magicfeatures Plugin for magicJack.
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IamBored
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 10 May 2013
Posts: 169

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:22 am    Post subject:

SouthFlorida wrote:
The 911 system is to blame. They just created another tax to call police, fire or EMTs. Police and Fire are already paid by municipal taxes, Why do we have to pay extra to call them?

Also keep in mind, that the police can sue you for calling 911.

It is a sick, and sad world that we live in.
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tcgc70
magicJack Apprentice


Joined: 31 Oct 2011
Posts: 24
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:33 pm    Post subject: Magicjack to charge for 911 service

If you still have your outside phone line coming into your house from your previous provider, your 911 service may still work. Mine does. You can also use an old cell phone that no longer is connected with a provider. I will be using my cell phone.
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Mimon
magicJack Apprentice


Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:22 pm    Post subject: reinstated 911?

i have just noticed that the 911 service is back on the GUI today,not that i have ever needed to use it to date.
is anyone else's back up?or did they change their minds about shelving the service?
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Billy B1bbit
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:19 am    Post subject: 911 back???

911 just 're-appeared' I also have never used it so I don't feel real confident that it would work. Sad
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kpfx
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:59 pm    Post subject: Looks like we're all going to be charged regardless

I had previously selected the now missing "e911 opt-out" feature when they made the initial announcement on 8/21. But I just got this email today (8/30)
Quote:
Dear customer:

Last week, magicJack began sending customers bills and/or notices covering the fees that certain emergency communications districts charge for your being able to dial 911. These emergency communications districts have required magicJack to send these bills, but these are not magicJack's charges. magicJack does not profit at all for providing access to 911 services, and the funds we collect are turned over to the government authority pursuant to their requirements.

magicJack continues to provide 911 calling capability for all of its customers who provided a valid local address in the United States for 911 purposes.


I don't think any phone provider is legally allowed to let people opt out of e911 (you either offer it, or you don't). So it looks like they turned e911 back on for all customers and removed the opt-out feature

But now the bad news.... the way I read this, it appears they're going to try and bill everybody for e911 fees.

Not that I was necessarily opposed paying for e911... but after getting hit with all their hidden charges (ported number charge) and the inability to even tell me what the e911 fees are going to be (which other VOIP providers can provide), I'm not sticking around. I can't stand the way they're running the business... which is too bad because I actually think the service is OK.

BTW.... I have a feeling a lawsuit is brewing regarding this.
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threepwood
magicJack Apprentice


Joined: 01 Nov 2009
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:04 am    Post subject: 8/30 911 email

Ok, now i'm really confused. After receiving the latest magic jack email I restarted my magic jack this morning just out of curiosity and for the first time EVER, instead of coming up yellow the 911 bubble came up green and I have NOT paid them and NOT optioned out. I have had this magic jack for over 2 years and it has never been green, always yellow. ????
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stevereno
MagicJack Expert


Joined: 06 Jan 2009
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:36 pm    Post subject: 911 Service is back for me as well...

I have a couple of original magicJacks running on thin clients and after a re-boot this morning, noticed that 911 service was restored. I have them both on a 5-year pre-paid service plan. I suspect they discovered the legalities involved in shutting down previously enabled 911 service. I've not received any sort of email invoice for 911 and wouldn't pay it if they do send one. My bet is that they'll have to provide it at no cost to existing and pre-paid customers, and will only be able to (legally) charge for it upon renewal of existing service, or for service to new customers.
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KMNugent52
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 100
Location: N.E. Georgia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject:

My AT&T land line ran me about $40 a month.
I figure MagicJack has saved me over $2,000 in the past 5 years.
With that in mind, I don't have a problem being charged an e911 fee, especially if it's just a pass-through, recovery fee.
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Anjalena
magicJack Apprentice


Joined: 26 May 2009
Posts: 26
Location: Orono, Maine

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:36 am    Post subject:

My issue with this is that I'm disabled on a low, fixed income. I make $710/month on SSI and that's it! That's the whole reason I use MagicJack is because I can't afford regular service. And I absolutely cannot afford a sudden, extra charge as it will send my bank account negative. I don't know what to do about this if they aren't going to allow me to opt out. I'm scared and frustrated. =(
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SteveHC
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 26 Dec 2011
Posts: 498
Location: Southwest Florida

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:11 pm    Post subject:

Anjalena - No worries. At least at this point in time everybody gets e911 service from MJ whether or not they volunteered to pay the local fee. Just be sure to DELETE whatever debit or credit card you might have on file within your MJ account online just to make sure. But given the nature of your situation, at least if you're in the US you should apply for free, lifeline cellular phone service.
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IamBored
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 10 May 2013
Posts: 169

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:41 am    Post subject: Bill for Government-Imposed Charges for 911 Services

Just received this email from magicJack RE: 911 fees

-----------------------

From: [email protected]
Subject: Bill for Government-Imposed Charges for 911 Services

This is a bill.

Certain emergency communications districts have required that we attempt to bill you via email the charges they impose for your being able to dial 911 services. If you wish to continue to be able to dial 911, it is important that you pay this charge. If you have access to 911 services but do not pay this government-imposed charge, the emergency communications district in your jurisdiction may seek to collect any amounts from you directly.

MagicJack does not profit at all for this service and the funds we collect are turned over to the government authority pursuant to their requirements.

Please click here to find out the specific charges in your area and you will be directed on how to pay for them.
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Bill Smith
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Posts: 218

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:43 am    Post subject:

I received the same message.
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greenman
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:00 am    Post subject:

Bill Smith wrote:
I received the same message.

Same here.
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SteveHC
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 26 Dec 2011
Posts: 498
Location: Southwest Florida

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:14 pm    Post subject:

Yeah, I just received it too. Guess we'll just have to wait & see what they actually do.
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