911 service fee

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911 service fee

Postby astanlofter » 05/31/2021

Does anyone have experience with the following?

If I login into my freephoneline account -> App Settings -> press SETTINGS button -> 911 INFORMATION -> click Terms and Conditions link, the detailed document that shows up does not mention any fees.

If I simply go to freephoneline.ca (without logging in) -> Features -> 911 service -> Learn more, I find this:
calls to 911 are subject to a $35 fee which is payable after the call is made, failure to remit payment may result in termination of service.


Questions:
1. Which one of these sources is correct about the fees - official legalese in Terms and Conditions (no fees) or the non-binding feature description page? Does the answer depend on whether I'm using the free desktop app or using the VOIP unlock key with an ATA?

2. "fee which is payable" - how? If I use 911, will I get some kind of invoice with instructions to pay or I will silently get "termination of service" without any warning?

I'm a bit unclear on this - on the one hand Fongo does not want to talk to FPL customers, on the other hand, how are they going to collect the fee without being rude by abruptly terminating the service without any warning?
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Re: 911 service fee

Postby bridonca » 05/31/2021

I do not think there is a mechanism to actually collect the 911 fee. Saying that, don't call 911 to test the service out. This costs Fongo money, and if it gets abused too much, we are in for fees in what is now a free or low cost service. If you do feel you might need 911, just get an un activated cell phone. 911 via VOIP is a bad idea anyway, better than nothing, but I would not want to rely on it.
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Re: 911 service fee

Postby Jake » 05/31/2021

I cannot say officially, but about 4 years ago we had to call 911 and were not charged.

If I had been charged I would have been more than happy to pay for it considering the circumstances. I really needed every service that turned up at the time, and I am very thankful to them all :)
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Re: 911 service fee

Postby astanlofter » 05/31/2021

I would not even begin to consider starting contemplating the thought of running a mental experiment of exercising the idea of trying to call 911 to simply "test this service out" :)

"If you do feel you might need 911"
I'm not sure how to understand this. Are there people who honestly truly feel that they cannot possibly ever need 911? To be honest, I would be very surprised to meet such person.

Many 911 situations simply do not provide any liberty to think about pros and cons of using one device over the other. Worse - there is no guarantee that the only cell phone device you rely upon is going to be undamaged in the emergency situation, fully charged, not lost, located in the same room with you and not the perpetrator, you are physically capable to actually crawl to another room with the cell phone after something bad happens to you, you are unconscious and someone else is able to unlock your phone, ..., ..., ..., ..., ..., ..., ..., ...

Having FPL phones in different parts of your home in addition to cell phones simply increases your chances of getting help. Bad idea or not, FPL 911 might simply be the only option in certain cases.

So for clarity let's place my original question in the following context:
- the cell phone(s) cannot be used to place 911 call for 23 different reasons
- FPL is the last resort
- the 911 call has been successfully placed via FPL
- the help arrived and the situation got resolved

What happens next?
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Re: 911 service fee

Postby astanlofter » 05/31/2021

Thank you, Jake, for sharing your experience.
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Re: 911 service fee

Postby Liptonbrisk » 05/31/2021

astanlofter wrote:D
1. Which one of these sources is correct about the fees - official legalese in Terms and Conditions (no fees) or the non-binding feature description page?


If you want to understand what's going on, read pages 46 to 48 from viewtopic.php?f=15&t=18805#p73839 (PDF guide is found at the bottom of the first post). Basically, the fee exists to dissuade people from testing 911 calls.

Can they charge you? Sure. Have they charged anyone as of May 31st, 2021? No.


Does the answer depend on whether I'm using the free desktop app or using the VOIP unlock key with an ATA?


No. Both apply.

"fee which is payable" - how?


Well, in theory, they could charge you, which you can check in your call history: https://www.freephoneline.ca/callLogs.
It's trivial to send someone an invoice with a link to pay the amount via credit card.

So far no one has been charged. Consequently, no one can answer the rest of your questions because payment has never been requested, except that I find it highly unlikely that an account would simply be terminated for non-payment without at least a warning by email. People would be filing complaints to CCTS. I'm not worried about losing an account due to not being notified about fees; I am completely unconcerned.

Earlier in May 2021, someone I setup FPL for had to call 911 using FPL. It was a legitimate 911 call. Unfortunately, the funeral was today.


There was no fee charged by FPL, thankfully. Given the circumstances, I'm thankful that the family wasn't charged and that 911 was available to them.
In FPL call logs, the outbound 911 call appears as 99999999999. City appears as "911 RELAY". Cost is $ 0.00
Please do not send me emails; I do not work for nor represent Freephoneline or Fongo. Post questions on the forums so that others may learn from responses or assist you. Thank you. If you have an issue with your account or have a billing issue, submit a ticket here: https://support.fongo.com/hc/en-us/requests/new. Visit http://status.fongo.com/ to check FPL/Fongo service status. Freephoneline setup guides can be found at viewforum.php?f=15.
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Re: 911 service fee

Postby astanlofter » 06/01/2021

Liptonbrisk, you are such a wonderful and helpful person! This community might not have been possible without you.

Read your document, very interesting and the multiple mentions of "testing the 911 service" is to be honest a shocker to me. When bridonca mentioned that, I've written that off as something nearly non-existent, something totally bizarre. Looks like I was wrong, it appears to be a real thing. "Let's try murdering a few people to test our legal system"...

I was not worried about the fee itself at all (get years of free phone, save a life and then complain about $35 bucks? seriously?).

My single worry was exclusively about silent service termination. My worry was not baseless: several years ago Fongo simply wiped out my VOIP key silently, without any warning, without any communication with me. My phone number was about to be released into the void. I had discovered all this only by pure accident, because my service continued working just fine.

But you said that this is a non-issue here, which is wonderful.
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Re: 911 service fee

Postby Liptonbrisk » 06/01/2021

astanlofter wrote:Liptonbrisk, you are such a wonderful and helpful person!


Thank you

Read your document, very interesting and the multiple mentions of "testing the 911 service" is to be honest a shocker to me. When bridonca mentioned that, I've written that off as something nearly non-existent, something totally bizarre. Looks like I was wrong, it appears to be a real thing. "Let's try murdering a few people to test our legal system"...


That's not quite the same analogy. 911 with VoIP is different than 911 from a landline. Around 6-7 years ago, I was told by a rep at the VoIP 911 call centre that they don't care as long as it's during off-peak hours and so long that I state clearly there is no emergency. Nothern911 has changed their policies since then:
https://www.northern911.com/911-service ... l-testing/. Basically, you need an appointment and a daily test passcode, and they prefer the service provider schedules the appointment.
Testing is a bad idea to do with FPL because Fongo clearly doesn''t want you to, and you run the risk of a $35 fee just for testing 911.

It's actually not uncommon to want to test 911 with a VoIP service -- so much so, that every other VoIP provider I use offers a way of testing to help ensure that the service will work, typically by dialing 933 instead (or 1-555-555-0911 with another VoIP service), with the exception of Freephoneline.



My single worry was exclusively about silent service termination. My worry was not baseless: several years ago Fongo simply wiped out my VOIP key silently, without any warning, without any communication with me.


Yes, I see that here: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=19163&p=75142#p77570.
You were using Fongo as an ISP and cancelled your internet service with them. They, incorrectly, cancelled your VoIP unlock key as well.
I would consider that to be an abnormal experience. I'm glad you have your VoIP unlock key back.
Please do not send me emails; I do not work for nor represent Freephoneline or Fongo. Post questions on the forums so that others may learn from responses or assist you. Thank you. If you have an issue with your account or have a billing issue, submit a ticket here: https://support.fongo.com/hc/en-us/requests/new. Visit http://status.fongo.com/ to check FPL/Fongo service status. Freephoneline setup guides can be found at viewforum.php?f=15.
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