Got Vonage or VOIP? Make sure you got 911

I caught a tragic story that went on NPR in March and it underscores an important thing: If you’re going to ditch your phone-company phone service and use one of those Voice over IP serices like Vonage , make sure the 911 services are included.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has sued an Internetphone company, saying Vonage does not adequately inform customers about limitations of its 911 service. The case stems from an incident in Houston last month. Robbers shot and wounded a husband and wife while their daughter’s 911 call on Vonage was blocked. The family had not activated the 911 service on their account as the company requires. Abbott wants an injunction to stop Vonage from advertising that it offers 911 service. He’s also demanding that Vonage clearly disclose its limitations. The lawsuit is asking $20,000 per violation.

Whoever you use, make sure that E911 is included. If I were you, once my service got installed, I’d make an E911 call just to make sure and then when they pick up the phone I’d just tell them I was testing to make sure my phone worked.