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  1. #1
    Operator13's Avatar
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    Phone sounds alarm dialing 9-1-1

    http://www.kvue.com/news/local/stori...1f46e16ee.html#

    An Austin woman who dialed 911 recently discovered what she said could be a fatal flaw in some new cell phones.

    I think it’s a danger to everyone,” she says.

    Carol, who asked that her last name not be used for fear of making herself or her land a target for vandals, called for help recently when she arrived at some vacant property she owns in east Austin and found her security chain gone.

    She grabbed her new Casio G’zOne phone from Verizon Wireless, which to her horror made an audible alarm when she called 911.
    Fearing vandals were still on the property, she hung up and hid, then put her hand over the earpiece and dialed again to muffle the sounds.

    “I was afraid the criminals were down the driveway and they would hear and they would know somebody was doing something and they would come out to stop me,” she said.

    The alarm is not ear-splitting, but it is loud enough to be heard at least several yards away.

    Turns out, Verizon said the 911 alarm is on all its new phones. Verizon said the audible tone is required by the Federal Communications Commission.

    The FCC, however, said that’s not so.

    Here’s what Verizon Spokeswoman Sheryl Sellaway said:
    “The tone our customer experienced is our interpretation of Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act calling for a provider of telecommunications service to offer service that is accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities. The tone, indicating that 911 has been dialed, is one of several features designed to make wireless service is accessible and easy to use, especially for those with disabilities. Other features include a voice command key where customers can use their voice to dial by name or number; a voice echo feature so that a person who can't see can hear the number or letter if sending a text; read back text messages and speech output of signal strength, battery strength, missed calls, voicemail, roaming, time and date.”

    Sellaway said Verizon is concerned that Carol is unhappy with her service. She said Carol’s is the first complaint about the tone.
    But the FCC said Section 255 of the Telecommunications Code requires that phones let a caller know a 911 call is underway, but does not require an audible alarm.

    “The Commission has not implemented any rules pursuant to Section 255 that would require the use of any tones concerning 911 calls,” a spokesman said.

    The FCC said it has not had any complaints about 911 alarms.
    Back in Austin, Carol said she worries about someone trying to unobtrusively get help -- maybe during a robbery or a kidnapping -- only to have the alarm alert criminals to their whereabouts.
    She said she’s lucky, because vandals had already left her property when she called police back in September.

    Now she said she carries an old beat-up phone with her phone on her property because though it’s falling apart, it will still call 911 -- quietly.
    "The statements and opinions contained in this communication do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Commission regarding these issues."

  2. #2
    213th's Avatar
    213th is offline Solipsist
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    hmm...thats messed up. I wonder if my phone does that...and how one would go about finding out. Spose I can run the model number by manufacturer or Verizon and find out
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  3. #3
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    If you choose to test your phone by dialing 911, please STAY ON THE LINE and simply explain you were testing the phone or speed dial. Otherwise, most 911 centers WILL send a cop on a 911 hang-up, and with a cell, that typically ends up meaning to an area, not a specific address.

  4. #4
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    If you choose to test your phone by dialing 911, please STAY ON THE LINE and simply explain you were testing the phone or speed dial. Otherwise, most 911 centers WILL send a cop on a 911 hang-up, and with a cell, that typically ends up meaning to an area, not a specific address.

    You do that here, you are liable to get charged. 911 doesn't have the extra time to deal with you "testing" your phone. Find out through your service provider.
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  5. #5
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conalabu View Post
    You do that here, you are liable to get charged. 911 doesn't have the extra time to deal with you "testing" your phone. Find out through your service provider.
    +1


    That sounds like a stupid feature.
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  6. #6
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by conalabu View Post
    You do that here, you are liable to get charged. 911 doesn't have the extra time to deal with you "testing" your phone. Find out through your service provider.
    That's why I didn't recommend or suggest it... merely asked that IF someone were to choose to test their phone that way, they at least stay on long enough to explain. Maybe I should have made it plainer that it was a bad idea...

    I don't recommend doing so. I think it's a bad idea (it ties up 911 lines that might be needed by someone in a real emergency) -- but it does happen. Check with your 911 operators; they'll tell you they get calls like that. Depending on local practice, a 911 hang-up automatically gets cops dispatched to check out what happened. An explained BRIEF misdial or similar 911 call, and our call takers can dismiss the call. So I don't have to go knock on someone's door while they're calling Bangladesh or wherever it is in India that starts 9-1-1...

 

 

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