I just got a two paragraph email from magicJack services about 911 services, this time not from Dan.
—————————- Original Message —————————-
Subject: 911 Services
Date: Fri, August 30, 2013 10:24 pm
To: magicJack@mydomain.com < address munged >
Last week, magicJack began sending customers bills and/or notices covering the fees that certain emergency communications districts charge for your being able to dial 911. These emergency communications districts have required magicJack to send these bills, but these are not magicJack’s charges. magicJack does not profit at all for providing access to 911 services, and the funds we collect are turned over to the government authority pursuant to their requirements.
magicJack continues to provide 911 calling capability for all of its customers who provided a valid local address in the United States for 911 purposes.
They sent the email for some reason. Unfortunately, their intention is fairly cryptic. They’ve already notified us that they’re charging for 911 and that no part of the charge goes to magicJack or its affiliates. It seems to imply that if you’ve already provided a valid 911 address, 911 services will continue to make use of it whether or not we pay for the privilege, but they don’t come right out and say it. It could also imply that so long as you pay for it, they’ll broker your 911 services for you.
There is no apology in the text for any confusion wrought by the first email, nor is there any apology for not giving customers advanced notice prior to disabling 911. Rather, they seem intent on defending a position–that they aren’t making any money on this, even though that isn’t the issue.
Does this mean that if we elect not to pay but previously had 911 service enabled, the address will still be used by 911 services? Are these people grandfathered for a specific amount of time or until they move or the device is void? What happens to new customers how had no previous 911 services, but also elect not to pay magicJack for 911 services?
On the website’s home page, magicJack has this ostensibly quaint video of Dan with his daughter and their puppies, still after many years, attempting to rely on the home-spun “small-inventor-done-good” veneer on top of a fairly large business. If they’re going to continue to portray the company as an underdog, they need to apologize. They need to clarify without the lawyers watering down the wording to meaningless, useless words that can imply anything but say nothing.
The above email mostly accomplished further confusion, engendering more new questions than clear answers. Please – please – please — hire a real public relations person. Make your image match your reality. Inform your customers of exactly what your intentions are before you make global changes. Fix the FAQ on the website to be meaningful and useful. Apologize for not informing your existing customers before-hand for making serious changes without prior notification.