Help, Support, Hints and Fixes
This article is one of many about this situation. Want the most recent info? As additional news comes in, check the e911 feed for more up-to-date news on where magicJack is headed with e911 services.

Are you sure your e911 is working on your magicJack? Yesterday mine was. I enabled it last week when I was registering my new device. Suddenly this morning it was disabled. This doesn’t seem to be a big thing until you actually have an emergency and thought you had emergency 911 enabled. Except Dan disabled it without telling us first.

e911And so it begins… magicJack is beginning to add extra charges just like every other voip service. It started with call forwarding. There was also a nebulous “administrative regulatory fee” when I bought the magicJack plus 2014. Then this email came this morning from “Dan” using noreply@magicjack.com:

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

I wonder how many people are going to get really steamed at magicJack for not telling us before-hand that they were going to disable e911 services. I know I am. They had plenty of time to figure this out. Apparently, this is something that’s been in the works with the US federal government since January, so it’s not like Dan couldn’t have warned us about the change before making it. Instead, he disabled e911 first and then emailed us as an afterthought.

For my instance, I found out the charge will be $4.35 per year for 911 services. (See the chat support transcript below.) I guess I’m okay with that, considering it’s supposed to be a pass-through charge that directly benefits my local 911 service providers. But what happens when I move?

Update: It’s not $4.35 per year. It would have been $4.35 until my device renewal in November–a little less than three months. It turns out magicJack wants to charge me $18.00 per year. I’m not sure I’m willing to do that, so I have to consider my options. When I went back today to check out the price it was $4.26 instead of $4.35, probably because it’s a day later?

911 charges per year: $18

What Dan did may be legal, but it was not good business practice. How many people are going to suffer n the next couple weeks because they needed 911, but had it disabled without their knowledge? Yikes. This was poorly implemented. This is a business without any plan of action to notify their customers of serious changes before-hand. It’s time to fire their public relations manager and pay someone to do the job right.

Chat with magicJack chat support:

Please wait for a site operator to respond.

You are now chatting with ‘Destiny’

Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK11153012140704X

Destiny: Hello, how may I help you?

Destiny: How are you today?

Chris: Hi Destiny, I just received an email from “Dan” saying I would start being charged for e911 services. How will I be notified?

Destiny: No worries, I will do my all best to give all the information that you wish to have.

Destiny: Thank you for waiting, As I have checked it here in our end the 911 have new update the to continue to use there service to have the 911, there is a fee for continuing the 911.

Destiny: The changes made by the 911.

Chris: Destiny, I read that in the email. How much will I be charged and will I be notified of the exact charge before it is charged against my credit card?

Destiny: According to the 911 that the stated that it is depend to your location how much the fee.

Destiny: Please click here

Chris: Okay

Destiny: Inform me once you already log in , thank you.

Chris: On the 911 tab it still only tells me that it could be anywhere from $6 to $60. That’s more than the cost of magicJack yearly phone service at $60.

Destiny: Please click on the account tab then hit on the 911

Destiny: That is only the example that given by the 911.

Chris: It says the same thing as the email. Nothing else. Is there anything you can tell me about the _exact_ charges to _me_?

Destiny: Please scroll down.

Destiny: Can you see  CLICK TO ENABLE.

Destiny: If yes please click on the that.

Destiny: then select the location that you have there.

Chris: Okay, it says $4.35 to enable. What’s odd is that I had 911 enabled up to this morning. Now I find that it’s been disabled without my knowledge. Is that even legal?

Destiny: Yes, because the made by he 911 service.

Chris: That sentence is not well formed. I don’t understand what you mean.

Chris: Could you rephrase, please?

Destiny: All the charges that you see there is made by the 911, if you ask me if that is legal, YES that is legal .

Destiny: All the fees that you pay to continue the service of the 911 is goes to the 911 fund not to us.

Chris: I’m not asking if the charge is legal. Up until this morning, I had 911 enabled. Or at least I *thought* it was. If I had tried making a 911 call, I would have been ill-informed. I would not have gotten through. I was not given notification that 911 had been disabled by magicJack. _That_ is what I’m questioning the legality of.

Chris: Why didn’t magicJack give prior notification that they would just disable everyone’s 911 service?

Destiny: We are not the one who made that  the 911.

Chris: That’s not a reasonable sentence again, Destiny. 911 is not an organization.

Destiny: we dont have authorize to disabled your 911 that is the most import  number that we need to keep.

Chris: Could you please rephrase?

Destiny: 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.

Destiny: 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.

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

Destiny: 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.

Destiny: 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.

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

Destiny: that all we have here in our end the given by the 911.

Chris: But someone did disable existing 911 service at magicJack. Yesterday, 911 was enabled. Today it is not. I received no prior notification that it would be disabled. I would have expected at least a week notification – maybe two. We got none.

Destiny: I understand that.

Chris: Destiny, I’m not upset at you. I’m upset at how Dan Borislow and Ymax handled this situation. They did not notify people that they would be disabling existing 911 services before they started charging. That’s very bad business practice.

Destiny: But we dont have any access to 911 , the can do what the want.

Chris: Obviously prior to this morning magicJack did have access to 911 services because it was enabled. Now it is not.

Destiny: Thank you for waiting. I’ll be with you in just a moment.

Destiny: By the way, we only process a request to  the 911, once all the request made  the 911 is the one to continue to complete the transaction.

Chris: magicJack customers were not informed prior to the fact. We were informed after the fact. I keep all my emails. The only one I received about e911 services was from this morning. We received no prior notification that 911 would be cut off on a certain date (today).

Destiny: Thank you for that information.

Destiny: No worries I will also raise this concern to our higher department so that they will also looking to this issue

Destiny: May I have your best email address so that we will send you a email if we have more update to your concern?

Chris: I’m saying that is bad business. You’re going to have a lot of very unhappy customers who think they’re still connected to 911.

Destiny: I understand that.

Chris: magicJack@mydomain.com (munged email address for this post…)

Chris: That’s the email address for my account.

Destiny: Thank you for that information.

Destiny: Please do not fret as we will surely look into this issue and we are thankful that we were notified of this issue. We will be work on this with utmost effort and prudence. Please extend your patience as we need to apply standard procedures in checking the lines. For reference, please save this Ticket ID LTK11153012140704X, Thank you.

Destiny: We’re Going to Work Extremely Hard for this to be done as soon as possible..thank you for your great understanding and patience on this.

Chris: I’m aware of it now. So I can act to resolve it. A lot of other people are NOT. Not everybody reads their email every day. I’m just saying don’t be surprised when angry customers come knocking on Dan’s door telling him he disabled their 911 before telling them it would happen.

Chris: This is most unfortunate.

Chris: Good day.

Destiny: Thank you and have a good day too..

Destiny: By the way, I hope I somehow did an Excellent job to addressing to your concerns with regards to your inquiries.

Destiny: Have a nice evening a head and thank you so much .

Chris: You too Destiny. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I feel very sorry for Dan Borislow.

Chris: Good night.

5 Responses to e911 — Extra Charges from magicJack

  • I do not have this service, but also did the dance with the people here trying to find out the cost of the 911 service. I think I will stay with vontage a little longer as Magic-Jack does not even offer my state area code NH – 603) thus I can not “port” my phone number that I have had for 35 years. Never did find out the cost to me and not sure if I pick another state if I would be paying to that service and not New Hampshire’s. But I guess I could find the cheapest one and save more.

    • I always suggest porting your preferred phone number to google voice, which should work anywhere in the US. Get your magicJack number for any city in any state and forward your Google Voice number to the magicJack. Give everyone your GV number. That way, if you have a cell or other service, all calls can be forwarded through the GV account. The cost for e911 service averages about $18 depending on what state you live in and whether e911 is actually available in your state. With e911, the phone number is associated to an address regardless of area code, because you assign the address manually when you sign up for it. So it doesn’t matter what the area code is. You pay for 911 service on a per-phone-service basis. If you have a cell phone, it’s probably bundled into that monthly fee for that device. Same with vonage. I hope this helps.

  • Nobody told me there would be charges for 911. If so, I don’t want it. That is why I went the MagicJack route, to avoid all those charges.

    • Norman, I can understand your frustration. As a citizen of Massachusetts, you will pay a similar e911 charge every time you buy minutes for a pay-as-you-go cell phone, every month on your monthly cell phone, every month on every land-line bill. Ostensibly, the money that comes from the e911 you pay to magicJack goes to the service that allows people to stay up at night in your area to connect you to police, fire and emergency rescue services. The total charge ends up being about twelve to eighteen dollars per phone line per year, except if you have a pay-as-you-go phone, where you only use the phone intermittently — for example, in emergencies. In that case you pay about seventy-five cents for every $30 renewal, or thereabouts. magicJack originally tried skirting these issues by making the device separate from the service when they first started out. They even masqueraded as two different companies — one for device sales and one for service sales. US Federal law caught up with them and said, “You’re not providing a VoIP service with “some benefits” and a “device”. You’re providing a replacement phone service. You must be regulated like a phone provider.” And that was the beginning of when the cost for e911 became mandatory. No, they don’t put it in the up-front cost. Some people don’t want e911 service. They are covering their butts legally by saying you must buy it. If you don’t pay, and they were not able to connect your 911 emergency call if a felon broke in, harmed your family or burned down your home, they would be able to say they can’t be held responsible for ills of people who don’t pay for the service. It really is up to you. You can pay or take your chances. (That’s a short history of magicJack e911, and some of the particulars may have been incorrectly remembered by me, so don’t quote me.) Frankly, it would be much more honest if magicJack would bundle the e911 cost into the flat rate yearly bill and broker a deal so they get a better rate and pass it on to us. I’d also like to see a public accounting of the e911 costs and follow where that money goes for all phone service providers, including magicJack.

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Latest Versions

Windows

2014-07-22

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Macintosh

2014-07-22

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Last checked: 2014-12-20