Just minutes ago, I received another email about 911 services from magicJack.

It looks like they have stepped back and taken a different tack. Apparently, they will try to bill us, but if we don’t pay, we may get a bill directly from 911 services in our town.

Pundits like myself with 20/20 hind-site claim to know everything, but seriously… This is how magicJack should have handled this situation:

  • When the federal regulation was set in place, we should have been notified that there would be a change and that more information would follow.
  • About a month before the change would happen, we should have received an email that told us what was happening, why it was happening, along with supporting links to government and perhaps even reliable news sources.
  • They should have bolstered their position by saying that those of us who have land lines or cell phones with 911 service have already been paying the surcharge. We should support our 911 emergency workers by paying this worthy fee.
  • We should have been given a step-by-step set of instructions about what to expect in a specified timeline.
    • Your 911 services will continue as they have been set until one of  the following things happen.
      • magicJack receives your payment for 911 services. This will be sent to the correct authority and we will receive no part of it. (Your e911 service continues.)
      • magicJack receives word that you have refused to pay an invoice sent directly by your local 911 provider. (Your e911 service is cut off on a reasonable future specified date.)
      • A defined date after which no confirmation of 911 payment has been received. At that time, your 911 service will be automatically disabled until you decide to make payment.

e911But magicJack didn’t seem to have a plan. I get the impression that because it started out in a garage-type situation, they’re still running it like it’s a garage business with minimal staff and chat support from the Philippines. This is not something that takes that much business acumen or common sense to figure out. magicJack really needs to hire a professional public relations specialist who will step them past the “geeky-family-guy-makes-good” image and do some damage control–someone to think about potential fires before they have to be put out. Because right now, damage control consists of putting out existing fires. Is that any way to run a big business?

—————————- Original Message —————————-
Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2013 7:47 AM
To: me
Subject: Bill for Government-Imposed Charges for 911 Services

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.

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