Blaring alarm on Verizon phones when dialing 911



  • http://www.kvue.com/news/local/stories/110907kvueverizonalarm-bm.1f46e16ee.html

    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,
    [b]Verizon said the 911 alarm is on all its new phones[/b]. Verizon said the
    audible tone is required by the Federal Communications Commission.

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

    ... 

    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 [b]she carries an old beat-up phone with her phone on her
    property[/b] because though it’s falling apart, it will still call 911 --
    quietly.

    Nice. I think I'll stick with my current VZW cell for a couple more generations...



  • I've had to call 911 once. (It just put my phone in "emergency mode" whatever that means. )

    That's...wonderful. I can sense that whoever programmed that didn't consider all the angles. Too common.

     
    I could see it being useful, were it able to punch out 120dB and at the user's discretion. :)

    Besides the fact that it would probably set the phone on fire and drain the battery, it would be deafen-itly fun. >:)
     

    What's hilarious is that old "In Case of Emergency" phone meme that was making the email rounds...is now a feature on certain Verizon phones. And it's the first entry on the contact list too...way to memorialize a stupid idea kids.



  • I'm guessing it's a case of Verizon's lawyers thinking some FCC statute said to do that even though it says nothing of the sort.



  • @sootzoo said:

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

     

    That has to be the most idiotic thing I've ever heard of. This must be a case of Executive Oversight.

     "Mr. Bumbler suggested that we put this feature into all our new phones to make them more proactive and dynamic with the competition..."



  • 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.



    How in the hell are you supposed to relay information to the 911 operator with this alarm going off?  


    911: What is your emergency?

    Me: I SIREN help!  I've SIREN attacked!

    911: What is your location?

    Me: I'm SIREN at SIREN Street. There SIREN people SIREN.

    911: Please repeat your location.

    Me: I'm at SIREN North SIREN in the alley, and there SIREN all SIREN me.

    911: I'm sorry, I can't hear what you're saying...

    Me: My SIREN, I'm dying and SIREN 



  • @Benanov said:

    I've had to call 911 once. (It just put my phone in "emergency mode" whatever that means. )

    Same here, but it just so happens that I got an "Our operators are all currently busy" recording, and never did get through...  Lots of good that did.  At least I wasn't getting murdered or something...



  • @Benanov said:

    hat's hilarious is that old "In Case of Emergency" phone meme that was making the email rounds...is now a feature on certain Verizon phones. And it's the first entry on the contact list too...way to memorialize a stupid idea kids.

    What's stupid about it? Apart from the two weaknesses mentioned on the Wikipedia page?



  • @PJH said:

    @Benanov said:

    hat's hilarious is that old "In Case of Emergency" phone meme that was making the email rounds...is now a feature on certain Verizon phones. And it's the first entry on the contact list too...way to memorialize a stupid idea kids.

    What's stupid about it? Apart from the two weaknesses mentioned on the Wikipedia page?

    Agreed. Why not make it a standard feature to put an "ICE" button on every phone's main menu? It could present a standard form with multiple clickable phone contacts (spouse, parnets, etc) and a checklist of allergies, extreme medical conditions and other concerns.

     



  • @PerdidoPunk said:

    @sootzoo said:

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

     

    That has to be the most idiotic thing I've ever heard of. This must be a case of Executive Oversight.

     "Mr. Bumbler suggested that we put this feature into all our new phones to make them more proactive and dynamic with the competition..."

    Evidently their lawyers have misread the FCC regulations.

    1) Those lawyers should be disciplined

    2) Verizon must be FORCED to recall the phones and replace with those that don't have the bug

    3) The FCC should start seriously looking into what else in its regulations Verizon might have misread
     



  • @m0ffx said:

    @PerdidoPunk said:
    @sootzoo said:

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

     

    That has to be the most idiotic thing I've ever heard of. This must be a case of Executive Oversight.

     "Mr. Bumbler suggested that we put this feature into all our new phones to make them more proactive and dynamic with the competition..."

    Evidently their lawyers have misread the FCC regulations.

    1) Those lawyers should be disciplined

    2) Verizon must be FORCED to recall the phones and replace with those that don't have the bug

    3) The FCC should start seriously looking into what else in its regulations Verizon might have misread
     

    why would they be forced to do anything?  Is there a regulation that says a phone must not make any noise when dialing 911?   



  • @tster said:

    @m0ffx said:
    @PerdidoPunk said:
    @sootzoo said:

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

     

    That has to be the most idiotic thing I've ever heard of. This must be a case of Executive Oversight.

     "Mr. Bumbler suggested that we put this feature into all our new phones to make them more proactive and dynamic with the competition..."

    Evidently their lawyers have misread the FCC regulations.

    1) Those lawyers should be disciplined

    2) Verizon must be FORCED to recall the phones and replace with those that don't have the bug

    3) The FCC should start seriously looking into what else in its regulations Verizon might have misread
     

    why would they be forced to do anything?  Is there a regulation that says a phone must not make any noise when dialing 911?   

    No, but it's a safety hazard, as has been discussed, so their perhaps should be. There isn't one because no government thought any company would come up with such a STUPID idea. Sooner or later someone is going to get murdered/assaulted/raped as a result of this. Then Verizon would be sued (and hopefully found liable by any competent court). So it's in their interest to make the recall anyway. 



  • So they put a loud siren on something you will be holding to your ear? Brilliant!



  • Brillant even. Paula must have changed fields...



  • @m0ffx said:

    @tster said:
    @m0ffx said:
    @PerdidoPunk said:
    @sootzoo said:

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

     

    That has to be the most idiotic thing I've ever heard of. This must be a case of Executive Oversight.

     "Mr. Bumbler suggested that we put this feature into all our new phones to make them more proactive and dynamic with the competition..."

    Evidently their lawyers have misread the FCC regulations.

    1) Those lawyers should be disciplined

    2) Verizon must be FORCED to recall the phones and replace with those that don't have the bug

    3) The FCC should start seriously looking into what else in its regulations Verizon might have misread
     

    why would they be forced to do anything?  Is there a regulation that says a phone must not make any noise when dialing 911?   

    No, but it's a safety hazard, as has been discussed, so their perhaps should be. There isn't one because no government thought any company would come up with such a STUPID idea. Sooner or later someone is going to get murdered/assaulted/raped as a result of this. Then Verizon would be sued (and hopefully found liable by any competent court). So it's in their interest to make the recall anyway. 

    I think you'll find that it's hard to find someone liable for murder when it is obviously someone else who did the murdering.  Just because it is a completely stupid idea, doesn't mean that the law needs to enforce it.  What if she had her keypad on loud and when she dialed 911, it made 3 loud beeps?   You want to sue Verizon because they didn't silence those keys when they were dialed at the beginning of a number? 



  • @tster said:

    @m0ffx said:
    @tster said:
    @m0ffx said:
    @PerdidoPunk said:
    @sootzoo said:

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

     

    That has to be the most idiotic thing I've ever heard of. This must be a case of Executive Oversight.

     "Mr. Bumbler suggested that we put this feature into all our new phones to make them more proactive and dynamic with the competition..."

    Evidently their lawyers have misread the FCC regulations.

    1) Those lawyers should be disciplined

    2) Verizon must be FORCED to recall the phones and replace with those that don't have the bug

    3) The FCC should start seriously looking into what else in its regulations Verizon might have misread
     

    why would they be forced to do anything?  Is there a regulation that says a phone must not make any noise when dialing 911?   

    No, but it's a safety hazard, as has been discussed, so their perhaps should be. There isn't one because no government thought any company would come up with such a STUPID idea. Sooner or later someone is going to get murdered/assaulted/raped as a result of this. Then Verizon would be sued (and hopefully found liable by any competent court). So it's in their interest to make the recall anyway. 

    I think you'll find that it's hard to find someone liable for murder when it is obviously someone else who did the murdering.  Just because it is a completely stupid idea, doesn't mean that the law needs to enforce it.  What if she had her keypad on loud and when she dialed 911, it made 3 loud beeps?   You want to sue Verizon because they didn't silence those keys when they were dialed at the beginning of a number? 

    There's a difference between an option that someone has left switched on, and a frankly ridiculous thing that you are forced to have. IMO those phones should not be sold, if only because they would make the call itself near impossible if they're screeching in your ear.
     



  • @tster said:

    I think you'll find that it's hard to find someone liable for murder when it is obviously someone else who did the murdering.

    Several US states have a law that says: if anybody dies while you are committing any crime, that's murder, even if you aren't directly responsible for it and your crime is a minor one. It's not entirely sane, but it's there.

    Numerous (but not all) places around the world also have a law that says: if anybody dies in a way that is partially related to you being sloppy or stupid, that's "contributory negligence", regardless of whether it would have happened anyway. 



  • Yet another consequence of this: The story gets around, owners of Verizon phones start checking if their phone has the alarm. Thus annoying the emergency services, especially if they drop the call (in most places this results in police being sent out if the location can be traced) rather than explain to the operator why they called.



  • computer ethics at its best


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