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Magic Jack and 911
Old 09-20-2013, 04:25 PM   #1
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Magic Jack and 911

I had a MagicJack account some time ago, that has long since expired.
About a month ago I received an email that said I might be charged between $12 and $60 per year for 911 services. Just now, I received another email, which is posted below:
Quote:
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.
Does anyone have a clue as to what is going on here? About 6 months ago, my Vonage bill added $1.65/mo for 911. Are we doomed forver to be on the mailing lists and threats of adding charges? At the very least, the way this is being handled is a public relations debacle.
.................................................. ...................

Along with this, a similar, but related question... When I give my credit card number to Amazon or any other online seller... is there anything to stop him/her/them from charging my account for other than what I had originally contracted? Or do the 60 page legal agreements allow this?

Comcast does this... (charges for whatever they wish) and there doesn't seem to be any way to stop them... (Their contiguous overlapping contracts have more words than an average novel, so I doubt that ANYONE has ever read through them completely)

Paranoia is setting in...
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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I had MagicJack a few of years ago, but did not renew. Yet at times I still get MJ voicemails so I assume the device is still active. On reason I didn't renew is because I didn't trust their customer service (if you can even call it that).
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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An earlier MJ message on the 911 topic said, "If you decide you will not pay, you do not have to take any action." I don't see anything in the recent MJ message quoted above that revokes the "no need to act" statement.
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:51 PM   #4
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911 has to be funded somehow. Maybe you have found out how. We still have an old landline and pay $0.56 per month in 911 fees.

Ooma charges us this:
Regulatory Compliance Fee (what's this?)$1.78
911 Service Fee (what's this?)$1.59
Federal Universal Service Charge (what's this?)$0.34
State and local taxes, fees and surcharges (what's this?) 
$0.00 
Total: $3.71 


As far as unauthorized charges to your credit card, every card company has a process for you to dispute a charge. Check your card documentation of give customer service a call.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:23 PM   #5
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I currently have two magic jacks. one in oh and the other in fl. the subs are current and I have not received any notification of 911 charges.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x32c View Post
I currently have two magic jacks. one in oh and the other in fl. the subs are current and I have not received any notification of 911 charges.
Imagine that....I posted yesterday I had not received any notifications and this AM I have a notification in my email.

It is from no_reply@magicjack.com. The email looks like spam and has this line in it....

Please click here to find out the specific charges in your area and you will be directed on how to pay for them.

Anyone else?
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:37 AM   #7
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This is my understanding of the issue. Several 911 districts (W. Virginia and Florida) sued MJ for not collecting and paying to them 911 service fees. As a result, if you want to have 911 services with MJ you may have to pay the fee, if not don't pay. My was $5.51. I am okay with that as we do not have regular landline.
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x32c View Post
Imagine that....I posted yesterday I had not received any notifications and this AM I have a notification in my email.

It is from no_reply@magicjack.com. The email looks like spam and has this line in it....

Please click here to find out the specific charges in your area and you will be directed on how to pay for them.

Anyone else?
Got one as well. 911 charges as indicated by others. Mine is .70/month here in Denver. Seems that I had a similar charge when I had a land line. Signed up no problem. It is from Majic Jack. Not a spam.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:00 AM   #9
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I just got the same email today.

IMO, this still looks pretty much like spam to me. Especially considering that I stopped using Magicjack (didn't renew membership) a couple of years ago but they are trying to collect payment from me).
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:18 AM   #10
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I first got this back in July ( I think ). It stated to the effect that if you do not want 911 service then you do not have to do anything, if you want 911 service you had to sign up for. When I checked my account back then it showed "not enrolled" for 911. As I recall the "911" button on the computer interface disappeared ( I have the old original MJ USB device ). The program is normally minimized and I never use it other than checking the call log.

Today I looked at it and the "911" button is back. Checked the account and it is enrolled in 911 with no way to opt out. I see others now reporting the return of the 911 button

Whoa... My 9-1-1 Returned - MagicJack | DSLReports Forums

Things may still be up in the air as to 911 service with MJ.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:35 AM   #11
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I don not have a problem with the fees. If I have ever thought an email was spam.....it was this one. After I read the previous posts it must be legit but it seems they would have a more professional way to contact you.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:39 PM   #12
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I've got a current MJ account and also received the message. It appears to me that the 911 charges are still voluntary if you want to have access to the 911 system. The email includes the following statement:

"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."

The fees seemed reasonable to me so I clicked through on the link to pay the bill. But then, it showed a charge for Houston's Harris County 911 system, rather than the adjoining Fort Bend County where I actually live. So I decided against paying. I figure I can always use 911 on our mobile phones if needed.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x32c View Post
Imagine that....I posted yesterday I had not received any notifications and this AM I have a notification in my email.

It is from <email address removed>. The email looks like spam and has this line in it....

Please <link removed> to find out the specific charges in your area and you will be directed on how to pay for them.

Anyone else?
I don't think this is spam either, but if you think an email might be spam, please don't post a snippet that has a link or email address in it. That just exposes others to possible spam.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustward View Post
911 has to be funded somehow. Maybe you have found out how. We still have an old landline and pay $0.56 per month in 911 fees.

Ooma charges us this:
Regulatory Compliance Fee (what's this?) $1.78
911 Service Fee (what's this?) $1.59
Federal Universal Service Charge (what's this?) $0.34
State and local taxes, fees and surcharges (what's this?)
$0.00
Total: $3.71

As far as unauthorized charges to your credit card, every card company has a process for you to dispute a charge. Check your card documentation of give customer service a call.
The federal subscriber line charge on a land line is about $6.50 per month, and was designed to ensure that when long distance no longer subsidized the same revenue came in to the local carriers that used to come from long distance. (recall way back when long distance was expensive). Here is a link to an FCC document explaining all the fees:
Understanding Your Telephone Bill | FCC.gov
the universal service fund pays for high cost service areas, also for internet service to schools and hospitals and the like. In my case on a land line there is a 1.13 charge for the federal service and .52 for texas universal service fund.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:03 PM   #15
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This does not answer your question directly but I think you are not dealing with basic question properly.

Why would you use MagicJack to begin with when there is a free alternative to landline? Same goes with Vonage or Ooma. Since last October, I have been using Google Voice with OBi 100 device and everything is free. The call quality is crystal clear, never had a problem.
Now that Google Voice does not offer 911 service, if you are a cell phone user, 911 is available for free on your cell phone and if you must have it on your landline then there are VoIP companies that charge you $2/month for that service. AFAIK, 911 is not available for free.

If you must have copper landline then ignore my message. But since this question talks about MagicJack, I believe, you are not in that club.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:45 PM   #16
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Interesting ... this validates my switch to ooma 3 years ago. No monthly bill ever ... or at least until the box dies.

Current ooma subscribers DO pay 911 and taxes ... just happen to get in before these fees took hold. Yes they loose money on me every month.
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