I'm just passing along this press release ... don't shoot the
messenger, please ...
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox Takes Action Against Vonage to
Protect Internet Phone Customers http://www.michigan.gov/ag
LANSING, Mich., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Mike Cox
announced today that New Jersey-based Vonage Holdings Corporation, a
major provider of Internet-based telephone service, faces legal action
for misleading consumers about the company's emergency 9-1-1 service.
In a Notice of Intended Action (NIA) sent to Vonage Wednesday, Cox
told the company it has failed to make it clear that customers do not
have access to traditional 9-1-1 service.
"Vonage needs to make sure its customers understand that normal 9-1-1
access may not be available to them," Cox said. "Emergency calls made
through Vonage's service are often routed through call centers that
may not be answered outside of regular business hours."
Although Vonage advertises its "911 dialing" as a benefit, the feature
has significant limitations compared to traditional phone service.
Customers who use Vonage's service are not directed to operators who
dispatch emergency vehicles. If emergency personnel do get the call,
they may not be able to identify the caller's phone number or have
information displaying the caller's address.
"I don't know about most people, but I don't have the ability to time
my emergencies," Cox said. "Vonage has ten days to respond to the
NIA, or my office will file a lawsuit seeking injunctive relief and
civil penalties." Consumers who want to file a complaint about Vonage
or VOIP may do so by writing to the Attorney General's Consumer
Protection Division at P.O. Box 30213, Lansing, MI 48909, or by
calling toll-free 1-877-765-8388. During 2003 and 2004, the Consumer
Protection Division collected more than $600 million on behalf of
Michigan. In 2004, the Division stopped more than $400 million in
utility rate increases and responded to more than 102,000 consumer
SOURCE Michigan Attorney General
Web Site: http://www.michigan.gov/ag